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With its shallow lagoon inhabited by a diversity of reef fish and its channel visited by sea turtles and eagle rays, Tiahura Beach is one of the best shore access snorkeling spots to visit in Moorea.

Un poisson-vache à longues cornes rencontré dans les zones peu profondes face à la plage de Tiahura.
A longhorn cowfish noted in the shallow areas facing the beach.

How to get to the Tiahura Beach snorkeling spot

Tiahura Beach is located at the northwestern tip of Moorea Island. Posted signs will show you where to access the beach. It is about 220 yards after the “Le Petit Village” shopping center when arriving from Papetoai and Tiahura. Free parking is available on site.

Some local agencies offer organized boat tours to snorkel with the sea turtles in the Tiahura pass. However, you can also explore this location on your own, entering the water from the beach (see below).

Tiahura Beach is close to two other famous Moorea snorkeling spots which can be reached by kayak or with boat tours: Motu Fareone and the Sharks Sandbank.

Tiahura Beach snorkeling map, Moorea

Water entrance for snorkeling Tiahura Beach

To snorkel the reef area extending in front of the beach (zone 1 on the map), you can enter and exit the water directly from the beach (entry point 1 on the map).

The pass, itinerary 3 on the map, where turtles are usually found, can be explored by advanced snorkelers by drift snorkeling. Drift snorkeling is when you  let the current carry you.  To snorkel it from the shore, we recommend entering the water from the north of Tiahura Beach (entry point 2 on the map). This area is right in front of the black and white pole and will be your first landmark for your drift snorkeling. Come early, around 7 am, when there is not much boat traffic in the channel and take a dive flag with you.

If you visit this spot with a boat tour, you will enter the water from the boat, directly in the pass.

Murène étoilée
A snowflake moray.

Tiahura Beach and Tiahura Pass snorkeling exploration

On this spot, two main snorkeling areas are recommended:

1. The shallow coral areas extending in front of the beach (↕3-6ft/1-2m, area 1 on the map). Here you’ll find large sandy beds and small reefs, made up of coral rock and living corals. Parts of the reef are covered with sea anemones, in which orangefin clownfish are sometimes found.

Saddled butterflyfish at Tiahura Beach
More than 10 butterflyfish species can be spotted in the lagoon, including the saddle butterflyfish.

This part of Tiahura Beach is a perfect location for discovering the Polynesian lagoon’s sea life. Here you’ll spot a good variety of colorful fish species, including angelfish, butterflyfish, damselfish, wrasse, triggerfish and small moray eels. Keep an eye out for crown-of-thorns starfish, whose sightings are quite often reported here.

Recommended route for drift snorkeling in the Tiahura Pass.
Recommended route for drift snorkeling in the Tiahura Pass.

2. The channel that extends past the pontoon of the former Club Med (itinerary 3 on the map), often visited by spotted eagle rays and green sea turtles (↕9-35ft/3-10m).

Here is the route we recommend to explore the Tiahura Pass from the beach:

  1. Enter the water at entry point 2, then swim to the black and white pole. Along the way, you will cross sandy beds punctuated with coral heads which attract many reef fish (zone 2 on the map, ↕3-12ft/1-4m).
  2. Once you reach the black and white pole, let yourself drift down the pass towards the green pole. The green pole is  some 330 yards downstream. During your drift, you will have a good chance of seeing green turtles, many of which frequent the pass and its surroundings. They are quite easy to approach (but don’t touch) and often come to the surface to breathe. Remember not to crowd them. As you get close to the green pole, look at the deeper areas, where spotted eagle rays often congregate.
  3. Once you reach the green pole, it’s time to head back to the beach. Swim through the pass, then get out of the water. You can then walk along the beach back to your starting point.
Snorkeler swimming with a green sea turtle in Tiahura Beach, Moorea
Green sea turtles are frequently spotted in the channel.

Be careful, because this pass has lots of boat traffic. Do not venture into this area if there are waves or too much current.

Restaurants and accommodation sear Tiahura Beach

There are several roulottes, restaurants and shops within walking distance from the beach.


  • Level required Advanced
  • Maximum depth7ft/2m in the lagoon, 35ft/10m in the pass.
  • Water entranceFrom a sandy beach
  • Potential DangersCrown-of-thorn starfish, current, boat traffic in the pass
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium
  • Access costsFree
  • Restaurants nearbyYes

MAP Spot

These spots are only recommended to good swimmers, in good physical conditions, and with excellent snorkeling skills. These spots can experience currents, moderate waves, important depths, tight or narrow passages, or tricky water entrance, and can be located near hazardous areas (channels, boat traffic, strong currents…). The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas can be important - up to 500 meters. The “advanced” category includes drift snorkeling (transported by currents) and snorkeling off the coast.

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.