The Aquarium

The Aquarium is a delighting spot for anyone on the lookout for snorkeling a reef full of colorful tropical fish. Located at Motu Nui Nui – a coral islet stretching in Rangiroa’s lagoon, just across the Tiputa Pass-, it is within an easy reach from the atoll main villages. Whether you are a beginner or advanced snorkeler, don’t leave the atoll without a visit to this irresistible “open water aquarium”.
How to get there?

The Aquarium is just a 5 minutes boat ride from Rangiroa’s main villages, Avatoru and Tiputa. The first option to snorkel it is to book a 1-hour snorkeling tour to the Aquarium only (from euro 20pp.). The second is to take part to a drift snorkeling tour in the Tiputa Pass (euro 30-40pp. for 2 hours): the Aquarium being located at the exit of the Tiputa Pass, most of guides will let you drift from the pass until the motu at the end of your tour. Check with your tour organizer if the tour includes a stop on the Aquarium when booking.

Water entrance

Whatever the option you choose (the Aquarium snorkeling only or Tiputa Pass drift snorkeling), you will enter the water from a boat.

Aerial view


The snorkeling area covers the healthy coral reef (mainly made of hard coral) running along the western edge of the motu.

Depth ranges between 3ft/1m on the top of the reef and 12ft/4m on the slope. The big attraction about this spot is the abundance and variety of reef fish that can be seen on such a small area. Schools of hundreds of humpback red snapper (lutjanus gibbus) and convict surgeonfish teem above the coral, while sergeant major, double-saddle butterflyfish and sixbar wrasse abound just under the surface of the water. Blacktip reef sharks are also a regular sighting at the Aquarium.

Aquarium Rangiroa snorkeling reef
Rangiroa Aquarium's reef

Underwater visibility is generally perfect on this spot, with moderate currents, but sea conditions may vary. Follow the advices of your guide.

Restaurants and accommodation

The closest facilities are located in Avatoru and Tiputa, the two main villages of Rangiroa.

Snorkeling Report gives the most precise tips possible about the snorkeling spots and potential dangers, but each one of us is responsible for our own safety in the water. For more information, take a look at the snorkeling safety page. If you want to add extra information or make any corrections to the spot descriptions, please contact us.

Spot’s weather forecasts (°C)

Spot tips

  • Type of spot
  • Level of difficulty
  • Maximum depth
  • Water entrance
    From a boat
  • Lifeguard
  • Visitor numbers
  • Access costs
    Tour price (from €30pp.)
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Public toilets & showers

Spot map

Spot photos

Underwater spot photos