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The lagoon facing the Hilton Moorea beach offers some of the best shore snorkeling on the island. Calm and shallow, the lagoon is well suited for beginners, but advanced snorkelers will not be disappointed by its varied underwater life. Among the most colorful fish you may come across above the healthy coral beds are, among dozens of other species, butterflyfish, angelfish and triggerfish.
This snorkeling spot is located on a section of the fringing reef bordering the northern coast of Moorea, just between Cooks Bay and Ōpūnohu Bay. The lagoon is accessible from the beach (or directly from the overwater bungalows) for Hilton Moorea guests. If you are not staying at the resort, you can buy a day pass for around $90pp., which includes lunch and use of the beach. For a free alternative, you will find some access paths along the coastal road between Ta’ahiamanu public beach and the Hilton.
Enter the water from the sandy beach.
On this spot, a coral reef shelters the lagoon, making it a safe, calm and shallow site to explore. Nevertheless, if you plan to swim outside the recommended area, take care to stay at a safe distance from the channel that run parallel to the shore (see map), used by boats. Also, avoid the eastern and western parts of the lagoon, exposed to currents and the open sea.
The area extending on the western side of the overwater bungalows, facing the Hilton Moorea beach, is the most recommended for snorkeling. The first few meters from the beach are sandy (↕2-4ft/0.5-1m), with a few fish here and there. You need to go a little further to reach the coral areas (↕4-6ft/1-2m), with a good variety of hard and soft coral. The lagoon is frequented by several species of butterflyfish, including double-saddle, vagabond, threadfin and ornate butterflyfish. Convict surgeonfish, damselfish, trumpetfish, bird wrasse and Picasso triggerfish are also amongst the many creatures that can be seen in the lagoon. Try to spot a lemon peel angelfish, one of the most beautiful fish living on this spot.
Day pass at the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort and Spa includes lunch. You will find along the road several budget restaurants and “roulottes” (food trucks typical of French Polynesia). A seafront guesthouse set 200m west of the Hilton (Pension Fare Maheata) also offers a direct access to the lagoon.
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.
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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