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If you are sailing in the Tuamotus and planning a stopover in Apataki to have your boat serviced, know that you’ll find decent snorkeling near the site. The coral patches facing the beach, where you can swim among many colorful fish, offer pretty great sightings.

Sleeper shark in Apataki
Sleepers sharks are frequently seen resting on the sand.

How to get to the Apataki Carenage snorkeling spot

This spot is located on a motu in the southeast of Apataki Atoll, where there is a boat maintenance company. Therefore, most visitors are sailors who stop at the motu to have their boats serviced or kept. It’s difficult to get there by any other means.

Apataki carenage snorkeling map

Water entrance for snorkeling Apataki Carenage

You can enter the water directly from the beach.

Apataki Carenage snorkeling exploration tips

You can snorkel the shallow areas (↕3-9ft/1-3m) facing the motu. The seabed is mainly sandy, with many small coral patches scattered all over the place.

Chromis around a coral bommie
Damselfish around a small coral bommie.

While some corals are damaged, others are beautiful and healthy. Numerous giant clams and Christmas tree worms are embedded in the Porites coral.

On the reef, snorkelers may spot large groups of green chromis, several species of butterflyfish – the double-saddle butterflyfish, the chevron butterflyfish, the oval butterflyfish, surgeonfish, sixbar wrasse and cornetfish.

Double-saddled butterflyfish in Apataki
The double-saddle butterflyfish is pretty common at this location.

At the end of the day, you can see from the beach many sleeper sharks, which come to rest on the sand.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

The company Apataki Carenage provides showers, toilets, internet connection, and laundry. The village of Niutahi, where you’ll find the airfield and a small store, is about 10 nautical miles from here.


  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth10ft/3m
  • Water entranceFrom a sandy beach
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersLow
  • Access costsFree

MAP Spot

These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.

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.