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 July 20, 2023
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Be careful, because this pass has lots of boat traffic. Do not venture into this area if there are waves or too much current.
There are several roulottes, restaurants and shops within walking distance from the beach.
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.
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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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