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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 at the Sharks Sandbank).
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.
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 to April) is wetter while winter (mid-April to mid-October) brings a dryer climate.
During summer, temperatures can rise as high as 86°F/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 (81°F/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.
More than 170 spots have already been published on Snorkeling Report, but there are still many spots to be added! You too can contribute to populate the map by sharing your favorite snorkeling spots around the world. The more snorkelers will contribute, the easier it will be for you, and other snorkelers, to find sites and enjoy the underwater world!
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You can’t miss them at Sharks Sandbank; common on many other spots, especially in Moorea and Bora Bora lagoons
Unmissable at Sharks Sandbank; also frequently seen at Motu Fareone
On all spots, sometimes in large schools, for instance at the Coral Garden
On all reef spots
On all spots, even a few meters from the beach
Frequent on reefs bordering motus; common in the Coral Garden (Tahaa) and Motu Ofetaro (Raiatea)
On all spots
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