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 Pacific stingrays. If you explore this spot, we recommend you to pay an additional visit to the snorkeling spot of Motu Fareone & Motu Tiahura, located only a few hundred meters from here.

How to get there?

The nicest (and cheapest) way to explore this spot is by renting a kayak on the beach in front of Hotel Les Tipaniers (about €10/hour). To get to the beach, follow the path located on the left of the hotel entrance. The beach rental staff will tell you how to get to the spot and to the neighboring Motu Fareone. If you’re kayaking, reaching the sandbank will take you about 15 minutes. Moor your kayak to one of the mooring buoy of the spot.

Snorkeling at Sharks Sandbank, Moorea

You can also take part in one of the popular day tours leaving from Moorea, but they are quite expensive (often more than €100 per person) and you might have to share the spot with dozens of tourists.

Water entrance

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

Sharks City snorkeling map, Moorea

Exploration

You only need to put your mask under the water to see the sharks and stingrays coming and going between the boats. You can easily get close to them, but they will swim away if you make any sudden gestures. Some stingrays are quite “tactile”, but don’t forget that they have a stinger that can inflict serious injuries.

Snorkeling with blacktip reef sharks at Sharks Sandbank, Moorea

Here and there, you will also see jacks, butterflyfish and pinktail triggerfish moving above the sand.

This is a very popular spot at certain times of day, so watch out for the boats and the other snorkelers. Sea conditions are generally good (few currents or waves) and are adapted to beginners who are looking for strong sensations.

Snorkeling with stingrays at Sharks Sandbank, Moorea

Restaurants and accommodation

There are no amenities on the spot, located in the middle of the lagoon. After your return trip to Moorea, you can enjoy a snack on 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.

Species you may spot while snorkeling Sharks Sandbank
COMMON NAME SCIENTIFIC NAME ABUNDANCE FISHBASE WIKIPEDIA
Blacktip reef shark Carcharhinus melanopterus  

 

  • Level required Intermediary
  • 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.