Con Dao Islands, also known as Con Dao National park, are an archipelago of 16 mostly uninhabited islets just off the southern coast of Vietnam, each of which offering expansive beaches shaded with evergreen trees. Great for savvy travellers looking to escape bustling city life, the main island also boasts miles of coastal roads, hiking trails and a wide range of outdoor activities.
Island-hopping and diving are popular activities on Con Dao Islands, where you can explore most of the uninhabited islets and spot various wildlife such as stingrays, barracudas, moray eels, and dugongs. Due to its status as a national park, you need to arrange your trip with Con Dao National Park Headquarters (29 Vo Thi Sau, Con Dao District, Ba Ria - Vung Tau Province). Hon Bay Canh Island is renowned for its turtle breeding grounds, so if you’re visiting between June and September, you may even get a chance to watch turtles laying their eggs.
- Con Dao has some of the best diving spots in Southeast Asia. If its scuba diving that catches your fancy, it is best to visit around March to October. Underwater adventures here are exciting as you can swim next to hundreds of colourful fish, barracudas, moray eels, cobias, stingrays
- Getting lost in nature is now becoming a challenge; not so much here. Prepare for a lot of walking as 80 percent of the island comprise of jungles. If you happen to visit during April to September, spot turtles laying eggs on the beach of nearby Hon Bay Canh Island.
- Con Dao’s stunning waters are usually calm and flat from around March until October. Rainy season is from June to September, with mainly overnight downpours. Winds pick up November to January, though they have been known to come early or stay late.
- Visibility for diving and snorkeling is optimal from April to May, with the whole diving season lasting from March until October. On the other islands, June to August is the best time for a chance to see sea turtles. June to August is also Vietnam summer holiday
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The best time to visit Con Dao Islands is during the dry season (November to February), but if you’re looking to see turtles nesting on Hon Bay Canh Island, visit between June and September. February till July is ideal for diving excursions as the waters around Con Dao have visibility averaging between 20 and 30 metres.