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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.

Sharks at the Blue Lagoon, Rangiroa
Dozens of juvenile blacktips call the shallow lagoon home.

How to get to Rangiroa Blue Lagoon snorkeling spot?

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.

The Blue Lagoon snorkeling map, Rangiroa

Water entrance to snorkel Rangiroa 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.

Rangiroa Blue Lagoon snorkeling tips and recommendations

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.

Snorkeling with blacktip reef sharks in the Blue Lagoon, Rangiroa
Blacktip sharks in area 2.

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.

Snorkeling with blacktip reef sharks in the Blue Lagoon, Rangiroa
Blacktips in area 1.

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.

Restaurants and accommodations nearby

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


  • 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.