Tahiti and the Society Islands

The 14 dream islands composing the Society archipelago (Iles de la Société in french) are the most populated within French Polynesia. Many are world famous: think Tahiti, Moorea and of course Bora Bora. With its 9 volcanic islands and 5 atolls, the archipelago has a wide range of waterscapes ensuring you multiple snorkeling experiences.

Choose a spot on the map below to see the detailed description:
Do you know a snorkeling spot in the Society Island that’s not shown on the map? Send us the details using the "add a spot" form and we’ll add it to the site.

There is a recurrent Polynesian cliché figuring a crystal clear lagoon less than one meter deep in which swimmers are surrounded by small black-tip sharks, common stingrays and hundreds of bright yellow butterflyfish. More than a dream, it is actually a must-do in Society Islands such as Bora Bora and Moorea (in particular in Stingray World).

Snorkeling Tahiti Society islands
Orangefin anemonefish, Moorea lagoon, and double-saddle butterflyfish

But Society Islands are not all about splashing about with sharks. Dozens of delightful snorkeling spots await you at the foot of the green peaks; whether you are a beginner or an experienced swimmer. The sites to explore range from shallow lagoons teeming with colorful fish to gorgeous reefs bordering unexplored motus (sandy islets grown on coral) or atoll passes where manta rays and turtles meet in the deep blue.
When to go to Tahiti and the Society Islands?

French Polynesia is a huge territory and each of its archipelagos has its own climate. A tropical rainforest climate rules over Society Islands and sets a two-seasons rhythm. Summer (November – April) is wetter while winter (mid-April – mid-October) brings a dryer climate.

During summer, temperatures can rise as high as 30°C and the air is damp. Showers occur frequently, they can be particularly intense in December and January. Hurricanes are less frequent than in many South Pacific areas, but they are more likely to happen during these months.

During winter, humidity lessens and showers are scarce. The sun shines a lot and temperatures are easier to cope with (27°C in average). It is the best moment to pay a visit to the Islands and go snorkeling, even though trade winds sometimes shake the otherwise quiet ocean. August and September are said to be the best months to visit Tahiti and its archipelago.

Where to spot them?

Pink whipray

Numerous in Moorea, also common at Motu Fareone

Double-saddle butterflyfish

On all spots

Threadfin butterflyfish

On all spots

Vagabond butterflyfish

On all reef spots

Orangefin anemonefish

At the Coral Garden and Motu Ofetaro

Reef triggerfish

On all spots

Mailed butterflyfish

On all spots

Convict surgeonfish

On all reef spots