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If you participate in a Bora Bora lagoon tour, chances are that a snorkeling stop at the Aquarium will be included in your program. This snorkeling spot is nicknamed the “Aquarium” by the locals and is a stunning coral garden. This natural aquarium and saltwater park is located off the southern end of Motu Pitiaau and Motu Piti Anau, not far from Le Meridien. At this location, one of the most popular on the island, snorkelers jump in crystal clear water to encounter the thousands of colorful fish that live around the reef.

The Aquarium snorkeling site, Bora Bora
The Aquarium snorkeling location in Bora Bora. In the distance, Matira Beach.

How to get to the Bora Bora Aquarium snorkeling spot

The Bora Bora Aquarium, also known as the Bora Bora Coral Garden, is one of the busiest snorkeling spots on the island. It is located in the southern part of the lagoon. This is off the south end of Motu Pitiuu Uta, on which the Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island is located.

Most visitors reach the spot with snorkeling tours that often include the Aquarium in their itinerary. The price of day tours generally ranges between 15,000 and 18,000 Francs per person (125 to 150 USD), including lunch. If this is the area you want to see, make sure the location is included in the program before you book.

It is also possible to reach the Aquarium by kayak from Matira Beach which has good shore snorkeling, see report here.  You can also reach it from the Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach Resort which is a little more than half a mile from the spot. You can also reach it from the InterContinental Bora Bora Le Moana Resort, about half a mile.

If you are staying at the Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island, which is located on Motu Pitiuu Uta, you can swim to the spot which is only about 330 yards from the hotel’s main jetty.

The Aquarium, Bora Bora snorkeling map
The Aquarium, Bora Bora snorkeling map.

Water entrance for snorkeling the Bora Bora Aquarium

If you are on a tour, you will enter the water directly from your boat, next to the reef.

The Bora Bora Aquarium snorkeling exploration

The Aquarium spot features a series of coral reefs scattered in the sand. The depth is moderate, varying between 8-15 feet depending on the area.

School of sergeants around tour boats in Bora Bora
Schools of sergeants gather around the tour boats.

As soon as you enter the water, you will be surrounded by schools of different species of sergeant majors (see species list at the bottom of the page) sheltering near the boats. The thousands of fish suspended in the crystal clear water create a magical atmosphere.

From there, swim to the reefs, where sea life abounds. Although the corals are in average condition, they attract numerous fish species. Some of the most notable fish at the Aquarium include lemonpeel angelfish, butterflyfish and surgeonfish.

Lemonpeel angelfish in Bora Bora
The gorgeous lemonpeel angelfish.

The guineafowl puffer, which looks very friendly, sometimes shows up on the reef. In total, dozens of reef species call the Aquarium home.

During your visit you may have the chance to encounter the massive Giant moray eel which lives at the Aquarium. Fed by the guides, it can be very inquisitive, so keep your distance.

Giant moray eel in Bora Bora
The Aquarium resident Giant moray getting cleaned up by two bluestreak cleaner wrasse.

In the sandy area that stretches between the boats and the reef, you can spot the “I Love Bora Bora” sign written with stones. This is the opportunity for a beautiful souvenir photo!

As the Aquarium is located in a sheltered part of the lagoon, the conditions for snorkeling are usually great, with clear, flat water, with no surf or current.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

Most full-day lagoon tours include lunch on a motu.


  • Level required Intermediate
  • Maximum depth15 ft / 5 meters
  • Water entranceFrom a boat (if you reach the spot with a boat tour) or from the beach (if you kayak or swim to the spot)
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersHigh
  • Access costsCost of a tour, or free from the shore

MAP Spot

These spots are accessible to anyone with basic snorkeling skills, and feeling comfortable in the water and with his snorkeling gear. You will enter the water from the shore (beach, pontoon, ladder, rocks) or from a boat. The water height in the sea entrance area is reasonable, but you will not necessarily be within your depth. Moderate currents can occur in the area, even when the sea conditions are good. The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas of the spot does not exceed 200 meters.

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.