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With its turquoise water bordered by leaning coconut trees, the Blue Lagoon boasts one of the most iconic landscapes of Fakarava. Mere natural pools are shaped by the lagoon in some places, making ideal snorkeling spots. There is no real coral reef here, but the Blue Lagoon gives you the opportunity to swim amongst very inquisitive colorful fish and meet small blacktip reef sharks.
Ths Fakarava Blue Lagoon (also called Teahatea Blue Lagoon, and not to be confused with Rangiroa Blue Lagoon) is located at the north-western side of Fakarava atoll. It is the main destination of day or half-day tours from the atoll’s northern side (the other main tours destination in Fakarava being Tetamanu and the South Pass, at the atoll’s other side). You can easily book this excursion at your hotel or pension in Rotoava (ask the front desk for information). Allow 6000 to 7000 CFP/person for a half-day excursion and 9000 CFP/person for a full day. Tours to the Blue Lagoon generally include a few other snorkeling stops like Ile-aux-Oiseaux (Birds Island) and/or the northern pass. Ask for the complete program when booking. The boat trip from Rotoava to the Blue Lagoon takes about 45 minutes.
Enter the water from the beach located on the motu, close to the small reefs that can easily be guessed underneath the water surface.
The area recommended for snorkeling is rather small. It includes the small reefs extending in front of the beach as well as the sandy areas surrounding them. This shallow area of the Blue Lagoon looks like a natural pool, making it a perfect place for beginners and children.
Don’t expect multicolored corals here: the Blue Lagoon’s small reefs are old and the only remaining living corals are a few porites. However, this area shelters rather interesting underwater life. Fluorescent-blue neon damselfish gravitate around the reefs, as small schools of squirrelfish (myripristis kuntee) prefer remaining in the coral’s shadow. Several butterflyfish species also dwell in the lagoon, notably pacific double-saddled butterflyfish, threadfin butterflyfish and vagabond butterflyfish. Some of them are particularly friendly and do not hesitate to swim around snorkelers in the shallowest areas.
During your exploration, you will also meet large schools of squaretail mullets darting just underneath the water surface. But above all, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to swim with small blacktip reef sharks. A lot of them are generally patrolling in front of the beach. Be discreet however: they are rather shy and tend to move swiftly away unless you stay motionless in the water.
Day tours include a barbecue on the motu bordering the Blue Lagoon. Half-day excursions generally include a snack and refreshments.
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.
Steep drop off with coral, reef fish and sharks
Shallow reef and deep pass with sharks and Maori wrasse
Level: Resort nearby
Coral patches with colorful fish
Level: Free shore access
Drift snorkeling in a deep pass visited by sharks, rays and dolphins
Coral reef with a vibrant marine life
Drift snorkeling in a deep pass visited by sharks, rays and turtles