Are you visiting Easter Island and want to treat yourself to a snorkeling session on the shores of this legendary island? Go to Anakena, Rapa Nui’s only real snorkeling spot, without hesitation. This pretty white sand beach, bordered by coconut palms, contrasts with the volcanic and rocky landscape that everyone sees everywhere else. In its crystal clear waters, you will discover the island’s rich underwater life, which includes several unique fish species.
Anakena Beach is located on the northern coast of Easter Island, at the end of the main road. On the island, there is no public transport service, but some Hanga Roa tour operators which offer shuttle services to and from the beach (up to 3 times per day, from 7,000 pesos per person return trip). Car, quad bike, and scooter rentals are also available in Hanga Roa. From the village, take a 25-minute drive to reach this well-marked beach.
Enter the water from the sandy beach near the rocks that line the bay.
The main snorkeling area covers the rocky zones bordering both sides of the bay, as well as the sandy areas facing the beach (though of less interest). Of the two rocky areas, the eastern area (on your right when facing the ocean) is the most sheltered, but also less extensive and lively than the western area.
Along the shore, east of the beach, you quickly come across pretty rocky screes (↕1-1.5m), partly covered with algae. This area is the most sheltered in Anakena, but can be brewed on swell days, which causes the sand to “fly” and reduce underwater visibility. Numerous whitebar surgeonfish come and go above the rocks, as do small groups of blue-striped orange tamarins, and a few Easter Island butterflyfish, endemic to the island. Stop at the concrete platform, as the sea tends to be more agitated beyond this point.
The rocks along the opposite shore (to the west) are certainly the most interesting area from the point of view of underwater life. The water level is greater (↕2-4m) and the underwater landscape is more varied, where rocky bars fall on sandy bottoms. In some places, the rocks are riddled with rounded holes, in which sea urchins and cowries are hidden. There are also some small coral heads attached to these bottoms. Schools of hundreds of surgeonfish are flying over the rocks, rocked by the swell. Among the most colorful fish that live in the area are the yellow-brown wrasse and the yellow longnose butterflyfish. We also come across red mullet, Easter Island butterflyfish, and rabbitfish. Do not get too close to the edge if the sea is a little rough to avoid any risk of being thrown against the rocks.
There are several small cafes set in the grassy areas above the beach. Only one camping site has been set up in place (Camping Sustentable Ana Tekena). Wild camping is forbidden in Easter Island.
These spots are accessible to anyone with basic snorkeling skills, and feeling comfortable in the water and with his snorkeling gear. You will enter the water from the shore (beach, pontoon, ladder, rocks) or from a boat. The water height in the sea entrance area is reasonable, but you will not necessarily be within your depth. Moderate currents can occur in the area, even when the sea conditions are good. The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas of the spot does not exceed 200 meters.
This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.