Free shore access
This spot have a free shore access: you can go snorkeling there freely and without having to book a tour or pay an entrance fee.
This spot has been added by
Last updated on January 7, 2024
Avea Bay is one of the must-visit sites during a trip to Huahine. It is known for its stunning lagoon and its white sand beach fringed with coconut trees, a perfect postcard setting. Snorkelers will find this location very interesting as it allows exploring both a sandbank visited by stingrays and deeper coral reefs teeming with tropical fish.
West-facing Avea Bay extends for more than a kilometer along the southern tip of Huahine. By car, it takes around 30 minutes to reach the beach from Fare (the main village of the island) by the most direct route (45 minutes by scooter). You can park in several places along the beach.
If you stay at Hotel Le Mahana, you will have direct access to the spot. Avea Bay is also a very pleasant and popular anchorage in Huahine, where you can spend a night or two if you visit French Polynesia with your own boat.
If you are staying at Hotel Le Mahana, you can enter the water from the pontoon or from the hotel beach. Otherwise, get into the water from the public beach located a little further south (see map above) then snorkel to the corals.
Avea Bay is divided into two areas, which can easily be explored at the same time.
To the north (and to a lesser extent to the south) of Hotel Le Mahana jetty, several small coral reefs are found, around which fish and invertebrates gather.
In this area, the corals have grown on a fairly steep reef slope, and their depth varies from 3 to 20 feet/1 to 6 meters.
You will particularly notice anemone gardens where dozens of orangefin clownfish live, as well as damaged coral areas visited by schools of emperors, wrasses, regal angelfish, and small groups of bannerfish. The pillars of ghe jetty provide refuge to snappers and batfish, schooling by dozens near the bottom.
About a hundred meters south of the pontoon lies an extensive shallow sandbank, where the water height does not exceed 3 to 6 feet/1 to 2 meters.
Here, the underwater landscape is quite monotonous, consisting of stretches of white sand punctuated by a few patches of coral. If you see a few fish around the corals, the pink whiprays that frequently cross the flat are the main attraction of this area.
This spot is the house reef of Hotel Le Mahana. Vairai Sunset Grill is located on the public beach, approximately 350 meters south of the pontoon. This is a good option for lunch near the spot if you are visiting Avea Bay for the day.
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.
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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.
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