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Ever dreamt of swimming with sharks? The snorkeling spot of Sharks Sandbank, a shallow sandbank located in the north of Moorea lagoon, is one of the best in Tahiti islands for living this unique experience. In a few feet of water, you will swim with dozens of blacktip reef sharks (some of them over 4 feet long) and friendly pink whiprays.

Moorea Sharks Sandbank.
Moorea Sharks Sandbank.

How to get to the Sharks Sandbank snorkeling spot?

To reach the Shark Sandbank (Le Banc des Requins), you have two main options:

  1. Renting a kayak at TIPNAUTIC, located on the beach of Hotel Les Tipaniers (simple kayak 1000 CFP/hour, double kayak 1500 CFP/hour in 2023). It is recommended to book your kayak a few days in advance. To get to TIPNAUTIC, follow the path on the left of Hotel Les Tipaniers entrance. The kayak rental staff will explain to you the best itinerary to get to the spot and to the neighboring Motu Fareone. Kayaking to the sandbank will take you about 15 minutes. Moor your kayak to one of the mooring buoys of the spot.
  2. Book a snorkeling tour, for example with Temoana Tours. Most boat tours in Moorea include snorkeling at the Shark Sandbank. Check when booking.
The Sharks Sandbank snorkeling map, Moorea.
The Sharks Sandbank snorkeling map.

Water entrance for snorkeling the Sharks Sandbank

Enter the water directly from your kayak. If you participate in a snorkeling tour, your boat will moor on the sandbank and you’ll simply have to jump in.

Sharks Sandbank snorkeling report

The Sharks Sandbank is a sandy area with a depth limited to 3-6 feet/1-2 meters. Close to the channel edging the south of the sandbank, the sand dramatically drops off. Stay out of this area (currents/boat traffic). In case a current occurs on the sandbank (usually a west > east current), don’t let you drift too much to the west.

Snorkeler taking underwater picture of a ray and a shark
At this location, the sharks and rays swim peacefully between the visitors.

You only need to put your mask below the surface to see the blacktip sharks and pink whiprays coming and going between the boats.

As sharks and rays tend to swim away if you try to follow them, we recommend you stay still, and they will approach you by themselves. Around 20 sharks can be present at the same time around the sandbank, while stingrays are less numerous (around 5 individuals).

A blacktip reef shark.
The blacktip reef shark is the only shark species you will spot at this location. It is easy to spot throughout French Polynesia.

On the western part of the sandbank, the sandy beds are scattered with small rocks and corals, which attract small reef fish such as butterflyfish and damselfish.

Larger creatures, including bluefin trevally, yellowmargin triggerfish and green sea turtles also visit the area. Sea turtles usually only quickly cross the sandbank: if you want to spot them, head to nearby Tiahura Beach, where they abound in the channel.

A yellowmargin triggerfish at the Sharks Sandbank.
A yellowmargin triggerfish at the Sharks Sandbank.

This is a very popular spot at certain times of day, so watch out for the boats and the other snorkelers.

If you explore this spot by kayak, we recommend you snorkel on the same day the Motu Fareone, located only a few hundred meters from here.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

There are no amenities on the spot, located in the middle of the lagoon. After kayaking back to Moorea, you can enjoy a lunch at Hotel Les Tipaniers’ beach bar. If you take part in a day boat tour, lunch will most probably be included. Make sure of it when booking.


  • Level required Intermediate
  • Maximum depth3-6ft/1-1,5m
  • Water entranceFrom a boat/kayak
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersHigh
  • Access costsFree
  • Restaurants nearbyNo
  • Public toilets & showersNo

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.