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.

Poissons-papillons ratons-laveurs au Tahiti Ia Ora Beach Resort
The raccoon butterflyfish, generally seen in pairs, is one of the common inhabitants of the lagoon.

How to go Tahiti Ia Ora Beach Resort and Toaroto Beach?

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:

  • Reach the lagoon via the Tahiti Ia Ora Beach Resort (formerly Le Méridien). Access to the beach is free, and you will be allowed to pass through the lobby even if you are not a hotel guest.
  • Access the lagoon via the public beach of Toaroto (PK15.5), located a few hundred meters after the Tahiti Ia Ora Beach Resort. The parking lot is on the right, just after a Mobil gas station.

tahiti Ia Ora Beach Resort snorkeling map

Water entrance for snorkeling Tahiti Ia Ora Beach Resort and Toaroto Beach

Once on the beach, get in the water wherever you want.

Tahiti Ia Ora Beach Resort and Toaroto Beach snorkeling exploration tips

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.

Coraux dans le lagon du Tahiti Ia Ora Beach Resort
Healthy patches of branching coral can be seen in the lagoon. In the background, Turbinaria seaweed has invaded the reef flat.

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.

Raie léopard au Tahiti Ia Ora Beach Resort
Spotted eagle rays are occasionally sighted in the lagoon.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

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.

 

  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth10ft/3m
  • Water entranceFrom a sandy beach
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium
  • Access costsFree
  • Restaurants nearbyYes

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.