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.

Coral cuttings on Sofitel Moorea bungalows pilotis
Some coral cuttings placed on the stilts have now grown, and shelters juveniles of many species, such as blue-green chromis, threebanded damselfish and sergeant major.

How to get to Sofitel Moorea?

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.

Sofitel Moorea snorkeling map

Getting into the water to snorkel around Sofitel Moorea

Enter the water from the beach, near the overwater bungalows.

Sofitel Moorea snorkeling tips and recommendations

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).

Orangefin anemonefish in sea anemone at Sofitel Moorea
At the Sofitel, orange-fin clownfish (amphiprion chrysopterus) can be seen less than 10 meters from the beach, which is unique in Tahiti and Moorea.

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.

Branching coral reef at Sofitel Moorea
At the native reef, extending south of the bungalows, some nice patches of branching coral can be seen.

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.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

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




 

  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth6ft/2m
  • Water entranceFrom a sandy beach
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersLow
  • Access costsFree
  • 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.