If you are looking for a shallow but secure snorkel spot equally accessible from the seaside in Moorea, go towards Sofitel. Floating in the lagoon’s crystal clear waters, you can discover a brightly colored underwater life: clownfish, giant clams, butterflyfish, fluorescent corals… Found only a few meters from the beach and in less than 1.5m of water.
The spot is facing the Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort, located on the northeast coast of Moorea. It can be found about 3km north of the ferry terminals and 1.5km south of the airport. If you stay at the resort, you will have direct access to the spot. If not, head to Temae public beach, then walk south along the beach to the overwater bungalows.
Enter the water from the beach, near the overwater bungalows.
The snorkeling area includes the shallow waters around the overwater bungalows, as well as the coral reefs right next to the area (beginning just south of the bungalows, see map).
Start by exploring the bungalows’ surroundings. Here, we discover a beautiful example of coral reef restoration. The construction of the bungalows had a significant impact on the lagoon, in which the continuous work of coral cuttings has been carried out for several years to successfully revive the reef. First placed on platforms (several of which are observed under the bungalows), the cuttings are then fixed on artificial concrete reefs or directly on its stilts. We discover all around the bungalows small coral islets teeming with life. Within 4ft of water, anyone can observe clownfish in their anemones (which are rather rare in the lagoon), brightly colored butterflyfish, groups of electric blue damselflies, or even orange-lined triggerfish. As you explore, you will also notice tiki statues and statues of marine species, which have also been submerged near the reef.
Then, join the reef which extends from the southern limit of the bungalows. Here, we find the original reef that formed in the calm waters of the lagoon. Its coral formations are much more massive and extensive. Note the beautiful colonies of branched corals, or tabular corals, in the shade of which shelters schools of squirrel fish. Follow pufferfish, surgeonfish, or bannerfish in the maze of the reef, where you’ll also cross schools of hundreds of blue-green chromis that flutter just below the surface.
The restaurant of Sofitel Moorea at the Ora Beach Resort is open to non-guests.
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.