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Tapu is a famous diving and snorkeling spot in Bora Bora and one of the few located outside the lagoon. The site attracts many visitors thanks to its abundant blacktip and occasional lemon sharks. The important depth at this location makes it less suitable for children and beginners than the neighboring Toopua’s Shark Sandbank.

Snorkelers watching sharks at Tapu, Bora Bora
Snorkelers observing sharks at Tapu snorkeling site, Bora Bora.

How to get to Tapu snorkeling spot?

The Tapu shark-watching site is located along Bora Bora’s outer reef, about 0.6 mile/1 kilometer south of Passe Teavanui, the only pass in the island’s lagoon. It’s one of Bora Bora’s most popular snorkeling spots.

You can visit Tapu on day trips, which often include this location in their itinerary. Prices generally range from 15,000 to 18,000 francs per person (125 to 150 euros), including lunch. Check with the tour operator to make sure this spot is included in the itinerary.

Tapu snorkeling map, Bora Bora
Tapu snorkeling map, Bora Bora

Water entrance for snorkeling Tapu

This spot is located in a relatively deep area. You will enter the water from your boat.

Snorkeling with sharks in Tapu

Tapu snorkeling site is located on the outer reef of Bora Bora, some 120 meters from the barrier. The depth in this zone ranges between 33 and 50 feet/10 to 15 meters.

Snorkeling with sharks at Tapu, Bora Bora
Getting up close with sharks is always an amazing experience.

As soon as you arrive at the location, you’ll see the Blacktip sharks patrolling around the boats. These sharks are larger than those usually found in the shallow lagoons.

If you want to see them up close, it’s best to remain static and let them come towards you. If you try to follow them, they usually move away within seconds.

Triggerfish at Tapu
The most common reef fish at Tapu are the Black triggerfish (up) and the Redtoothed triggerfish (down).

While Blacktip sharks are unmissable in Tapu, you may also be lucky enough to encounter Lemon sharks. Far more impressive in size (they often measure over 10 feet/3 meters in length, compared with a maximum of 3.3 feet/1.60 meters for blacktips), they are also much rarer.

Few other marine species can be seen in Tapu, apart from the dozens of Redtoothed triggerfish and Black triggerfish swimming in the open water.

Blacktip reef sharks in the blue in Bora Bora
Blacktip reef sharks at Tapu, Bora Bora.

Restaurants and accommodations nearby

This spot is located in the open sea. Day trips usually include lunch.


  • Level required Intermediate
  • Maximum depth50 feet/15 meters
  • Water entranceFrom a boat
  • Visitor numbersMedium to high
  • Access costsCost of a snorkeling tour

MAP Spot

These spots are accessible to anyone with basic snorkeling skills, and feeling comfortable in the water and with his snorkeling gear. You will enter the water from the shore (beach, pontoon, ladder, rocks) or from a boat. The water height in the sea entrance area is reasonable, but you will not necessarily be within your depth. Moderate currents can occur in the area, even when the sea conditions are good. The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas of the spot does not exceed 200 meters.

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.