Free shore access
This spot have a free shore access: you can go snorkeling there freely and without having to book a tour or pay an entrance fee.
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Last updated on April 6, 2021
The lagoon that stretches between the Tahiti Ia Ora Beach Resort (formerly Le Méridien) and Toaroto public beach is one of Tahiti’s most famous snorkeling spots. In the calm, shallow and transparent waters of the lagoon, snorkelers can spot around the corals many colorful fish, and sometimes eagle rays.
This snorkeling spot is located in Punaauia, on the west coast of Tahiti. From Papeete, follow the direction of Punaauia then Paea/Taravao for about 15km. You then have the choice between two access point:
Once on the beach, get in the water wherever you want.
The snorkeling area stretches for nearly 500m between the Tahiti Ia Ora Beach Resort water bungalows to the north and Toaroto Beach to the south.
Here, the coral reef is quite far from shore, the lagoon being between 700 and 800m wide. We advise you to stay in a strip of about 150-200m along the beach, which already allows great sights.
In the lagoon, the seabed is sandy, with countless coral areas and bommies (↕2-6ft/0.5-3m). The corals have been invaded by Turbinaria triquetra seaweed in many parts of the lagoon, but in the most unspoiled areas there are still beautiful porous coral and branching coral.
During your snorkeling, you may spot many fish, such as blue damselfish, convict tang, parrotfish and Moorish Idols. Several species of butterflyfish are also found around corals. Sometimes a spotted eagle ray crosses the clear waters of the lagoon.
The Tahiti Ia Ora Beach Resort has two bars and two restaurants. In Toaroto beach, you’ll find the Sunset restaurant on the seafront. A roulotte is also often present in the parking lot of the public beach.
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.
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