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If you are looking for a shallow and easy-to-access snorkeling spot in Moorea, Temae Lagoon, is one of the best options. The Sofitel Moorea resort is located here. Snorkeling in the lagoon’s crystal clear waters, you will discover brightly colored underwater life: clownfish, giant clams, butterflyfish, as well as healthy staghorn corals in less than 6 ft/2 meters of water.

A school of trevallies shelters below the Sofitel's bungalows.
A school of trevallies shelters below the Sofitel’s bungalows.

How to get to the Sofitel Moorea snorkeling area

The spot faces the Sofitel Moorea Kia Ora Beach Resort, on the northeast coast of Moorea. It is located about 2 miles/3 kilometers north of the ferry terminal and 1 mile/1.5 kilometers south of the airport. If you stay at the resort, you will have direct access to the spot. If not, you can access the snorkeling area by swimming from the Temae Public Beach.

Sofitel Moorea snorkeling map

Water entrance for snorkeling the Sofitel Moorea

You can enter the water anywhere from the sandy beach. As the current is usually running from north to south, it is recommended to enter the water from the northern part of the beach, which is in front of the staghorn coral patches.

Sofitel Moorea snorkeling tips and recommendations

The snorkeling area includes the shallow waters that faces the resort, the area with the overwater bungalows, as well as the nearby coral reefs.

Snorkeler taking picture of an anemonefish at the Sofitel Moorea
The orangefin clownfish is quite easy to see around the overwater bungalows.

1. The overwater bungalows

Here, snorkelers can explore a good example of coral reef restoration. The construction of the bungalows has had a significant impact on the lagoon. 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 their stilts. You’ll discover that all around the bungalows there are small coral patches teeming with life.

Immersed tiki at the Sofitel
One of the Tiki statues immersed in the Sofitel lagoon.

Within 4ft of water, it is easy to spot the orangefin clownfish in their sea anemones, not common in the lagoon, brightly colored butterflyfish, schools of blue damselfish, and orange-lined triggerfish. You will also see in some places, the Tikis and marine life sculptures which have been immersed near the reef.

Branching coral at Sofitel Moorea
The Sofitel Moorea features beautiful examples of branching corals.

2. The coral areas

Coral patches are found both north and south of the bungalows. The most notable of these two areas is the northern zone, covered with many patches of healthy staghorn coral.

You can follow pufferfish, surgeonfish, or bannerfish in the maze of the reef. You’ll also encounter schools of hundreds of green chromis swimming just below the surface.

Restaurants and accommodations nearby

The restaurant of Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort is open to non-guests.


  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth6ft/2m
  • Water entranceFrom a sandy beach
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersLow
  • Access costsStay at the Sofitel, of free by swimming from Temae Beach
  • Restaurants nearbyYes, at Sofitel resort

MAP Spot

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.