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Last updated on October 7, 2022
The Blue Lagoon is one of the most popular attractions in Rangiroa. Small palm tree-covered islets border this natural pool, sometimes described as a “lagoon within a lagoon”. Snorkeling with blacktip reef sharks and sicklefin lemon sharks in the surrounding waters of the islets is an amazing experience.
The Blue Lagoon is located a one-hour boat ride from Avatoru and Tiputa, the main villages of the atoll. Day tours to the Blue Lagoon (including lunch on the islets and snorkeling with sharks) are organized by several tour operators on the island.
Tours can be booked through your hotel or guesthouse (from euro 100 per person). Tours sometimes include a snorkeling stop in the Avatoru Pass, on the way to the Blue Lagoon.
For snorkeling in the shallow lagoon (zone 1 on the map above), enter the water from the beach. For snorkeling the outer reef shark area (zone 2 on the map), water entrance is from a boat.
Two areas of the Blue Lagoon are particularly recommended for snorkeling:
1/ A relatively deep area (↕12-18ft/4-6m) located outside of the lagoon, equipped with buoys, where the guides usually stop their boat to allow their guests to swim with sharks (area n.2 on the map above). You will enter the water from the boat when your guide will allow you to do so.
This area is full of sharks, mainly adult blacktip reef sharks (1-1.5m long), but also impressive sicklefin lemon sharks (2-3m long). Do not try to reach this area by yourself from the islets, as the sharks are sometimes nervous after being fed by unconscious guides.
2/ A shallow area (↕2-4ft/0.5-1m) bordering the south edge of the main islet, where most tours will drop you for the day (area n.1 on the map above). This reef flat is home to juvenile blacktip reef sharks, slowly wandering under the Polynesian sun. You can snorkel in this area by yourself, entering the water from the islet.
When snorkeling with sharks, swim smoothly and don’t try to chase or feed them.
All day tours to the Blue Lagoon include a Polynesian lunch on the beach of one of the islets surrounding the lagoon.
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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