Luxtripper Travel Editor
Unsure on the best spots to snorkel and dive in French Polynesia? Check out our recommended islands and resorts and feel inspired for your next aqua adventure.
Known for its crystal-clear turquoise lagoon and beautiful coral reefs, Bora Bora has some of the best snorkelling and scuba diving in the world, its coral reefs home to an abundance of tropical fish, sea turtles and dolphins. For the more advanced divers, a private dive can be arranged at the legendary Tupitipiti, where colourful coral has shaped into a dramatic underwater landscape or caves, grottos and canyons, home to many species of marine life.
Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora offers a unique experience for guests to participate in and learn about preserving the aquatic eco-system and its sustainability. A WiseOceans marine biologist at the resort offers tours of the lagoon sanctuary, perfect for couples, families and children which includes snorkelling, coral grafting and discussions on Polynesia ecology. The lagoon sanctuary is home is over 100 species of marine life; take a guided snorkelling tour to witness the colourful and vibrant sea life or book a private SNUKA excursion, a cross between scuba diving and snorkelling without the heavy tanks or bulky diving equipment.
With stunning aquamarine lagoons and vibrant coral beds, Moorea has a number of perfect sites for snorkelling and scuba diving, where you can witness creatures such as lemon sharks and sea turtles in their natural habitats. For beginners, the Rays Corridor is a beautiful and accessible site with coral and reef fish, along with white tip sharks and eagle rays. Advanced divers can visit the Garden of Roses, a world-famous dive site known for its magnificent coral “roses” that seem to stretch on forever.
Located along the beautiful garden island of Moorea, Manava Beach Resort & Spa Moorea offers a super fun, easy and eco-responsible coral grafting workshop. This activity includes transplanting coral cuttings into threatened areas of the reef which allows the environment to recreate and encourages aquatic life. End the workshop with a guided snorkelling tour where you can explore the magnificent coral reefs and tropical fish. Take part in some scuba diving at the Blue Diving Center located on the resort site, where you may be lucky enough to witness lemon sharks and sea turtles.
Tahiti is home to beautiful black sand beaches on the east coast, white sand beaches on the west coast, and is the ideal destination for scuba diving. Explore the underwater paradise and encounter a variety of sea life including humpback whales and dolphins. The Wrecks is a famous dive site where divers can explore the wrecks of a plane and an old schooner, whilst another popular and exceptionally beautiful site is Papa Whiskey, a vast underwater amphitheatre home to a wide variety of beautiful and brightly coloured coral.
Stay at Le Tahiti by Pearl Resorts to witness spinner dolphins all year round, as well as humpback whales between the months of August and November. With the option of scuba diving both inside the lagoon and in the open ocean, you’ll be sure to come across rich underwater life including Red Mullets, Napoleons, sea turtles, bright coral and even some sharks in certain dive sites. For the more experienced divers, the resort offers night-time diving where you will discover the luminous coral and marine predators.
With beautiful white sand beaches, colourful coral gardens and exceptional marine life, the island of Tahaa is an ideal destination to go both snorkelling and scuba diving. For those looking to go wreck diving, you can visit the Norby shipwreck that sank in 1900, now home to a wealth of creatures including stonefish, angelfish, and lionfish. With its crystal-clear waters, you can go on a drift dive at Ceran Pass and spot a wealth of tropical fish including surgeonfish.
Take part in snorkelling in and around the coral garden at Le Taha'a by Pearl Resorts, where it’s full of colourful and vibrant marine life. More adventurous guests can try some drift snorkelling, allowing the tides to carry them from the small reef at the edge of the islet into the heart of the coral garden. The resort also offers diving programs around Tahaa and Raiatea both inside and outside of the lagoon where you can encounter a variety of tropical fish.
Offering a truly luxurious and secluded holiday, Tetiaroa Atoll’s glistening turquoise waters are perfect for both snorkelling and scuba diving, and is known as a sanctuary of biodiversity in French Polynesia. With the encircling reef restricting access between the open ocean and lagoon, you can expect to see a rich variety of marine life on snorkelling tours, with species including triggerfish, parrotfish, turtles, and spotted eagle rays.
With stunning coral gardens and a lagoon that is home creatures such as sea turtles, manta rays, reef sharks and tropical fish, snorkelling at The Brando is simply extraordinary. The resort offers whale watching tours between the months of mid-July to mid-October, where you will be accompanied by a naturalist guide and professional scuba diver. For those who have never been scuba diving before you can take lessons in the lagoon and open ocean diving outside of the reef (lessons are not available during whale season of mid-July to mid-October).