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 lemon sharks in the surrounding waters of the islets is an amazing experience.

Sharks at the Blue Lagoon, Rangiroa

How to get there?

The Blue Lagoon is located a one-hour boat ride from Avatoru and Tiputa, the main villages of the atoll. Day tour to the Blue Lagoon (including lunch on the islets, and snorkeling with sharks) are organized by several tour operators on the island, and can be booked through your hotel or guesthouse (from euro 100 per person). The tours sometimes includes a snorkeling stop in the Avatoru Pass, on the way to the Blue Lagoon.

The Blue Lagoon snorkeling map, Rangiroa

Exploration

Two areas of the Blue Lagoon are particularly recommended for snorkeling:

  • A relatively deep area (↕4-6m) located outside of the lagoon, equipped with buoys, where the excursionists usually stop their boat to allow their guests to observe the sharks and snorkel with them (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 mature blacktip reef sharks (1-1.5m long), but also impressive 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 tour operators.

Snorkeling with blacktip reef sharks in the Blue Lagoon, Rangiroa

  • A shallow area (↕0.5-1m) bordering the south edge of the main islet, where most of excursionist will drop you for the day (area n.1 on the map above). This reef flat is home to juvenile blacktip reef sharks, slowly patrolling 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.

Snorkeling with blacktip reef sharks in the Blue Lagoon, Rangiroa

Restaurants and accommodation

All day tours to the Blue Lagoon includes a Polynesian lunch on the beach of one of the islets surrounding the lagoon.

Species you may spot while snorkeling The Blue Lagoon
COMMON NAME SCIENTIFIC NAME ABUNDANCE FISHBASE WIKIPEDIA
Blacktip reef shark Carcharhinus melanopterus  
Lemon shark Negaprion brevirostris  

 

  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth2-15ft/0,5-4m (depending of the area)
  • Water entranceEasy, from a sandy beach
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium
  • Access costsTour price (from €100pp.)
  • Restaurants nearbyNo (tours includes lunch)

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.