Bora Bora is one of the best islands for snorkeling in the South Pacific. There are exceptional locations to choose from within the island chain. Whether you’re going solo or as part of an organized tour, it’s wise to know some of the better snorkeling spots.
In that spirit, we’ve reviewed some of the best areas as well as a few fantastic snorkeling tours you can book when you visit Bora Bora.
At the south end of Bora Bora, just off the small island of Pitiuu Uta, you’ll find a shallow reef famously known as The Aquarium. The best way to get here is to charter a boat at nearby Matira Beach or book a snorkeling tour that visits the area.
When you snorkel in the Aquarium, you’ll see why the name is appropriate. The crystal clear water allows you to see all the way to the shallow, sandy bottom of the area.
Beginners and experts alike can find a full rainbow of coral on display and equally colorful fish that approach you out of curiosity.
The entire area sits in the barrier lagoon that encircles Bora Bora and is a calm and shallow retreat from the deeper, more challenging waters surrounding the island.
Some of the areas are shallow enough to comfortably stand on stable sand while in the water.
If you’re an adventurous travelers and would like a chance to see some of the local shark species, check out Teavanui Pass. Sharks are protected in Bora Bora, so it’s not surprising to see a whole lot of them.
Snorkeling in the shallower waters near the pass gives a unique advantage to view blacktip reef sharks, lemon sharks, and the many stingrays that call this area home.
Like most locations in Bora Bora, you can get to Teavanui Pass by chartering a boat or snorkeling tour. This also gives you the chance to learn local knowledge from a tour guide and a better opportunity to view these stunning creatures firsthand.
There are many other waterspots you can do here. Teavanui Pass is a great place for surfing as well. It’s is also perfect for scuba diving if you’re an experienced diver and would like to check out the depths of the pass.
Between the eastern edge of the barrier reef and the main island of Bora Bora lies Anau, an ideal location to see manta rays. This is a spot the mantas frequently visit to clean themselves up and these reliable visits allow you to see them up close and personal.
Anau is an excellent spot for beginners and experts, with a shallow sandy area and a gradual shift to deeper waters. Most of the time, the waters are clear enough that you can see to the bottom of your boat no matter what depth.
In addition to the manta rays, you can see other rays like eagle and stingrays, as well as blacktip reef sharks, occasional sea turtles, and loads of colorful tropical fish. You can come face to face and even swim with sharks if you’re brave enough.
These and many more species call this coral reef home as it’s a lively spot and a major attractions in Bora Bora.
Four Seasons Spa Lagoon
On Motu Piti A’au sits the Four Seasons Spa Lagoon and a first-class snorkeling experience for guests staying at the luxurious resort.
Join in on a pure snorkeling guided tour and get the chance to see the nearby lagoon full of life including coral gardens and graceful manta rays flying through the water. This is a glimpse into the ecosystem of Bora Bora, with all of its diversity and every color imaginable.
If you’re looking to see sharks and rays, check out the snorkel safari, featuring a ride on an outrigger boat and chances to snorkel with blacktip reef sharks and rays.
You also get to visit one of the smaller nearby islands, locals refer to as a Motus, for a traditional French Polynesian lunch and spectacular views of the main island.
Coral Gardens Bora Bora
There is a luscious coral garden to the south, between the main island of Bora Bora and Pitiuu Uta. This shallow, beautiful blue lagoon offers all of the species you could possibly hope to see during your stay, including moray eels, stingrays, tropical fish, and blacktip reef sharks.
Travelers who want to visit this popular spot can book a tour at one of the nearby operators or as part of your stay at one of the resorts on the shores nearby.
It’s technically free so if you are already chartering a boat for the day, make sure to include this as one of your stops.
This is an awesome place for beginners as the water is on average quite shallow and sandy between coral reef formations.
Snorkeling Tours In Bora Bora
Now that we covered the best spots to go snorkeling in Bora Bora, here are some snorkeling tours worth considering. Not only can you learn expert insights in these guided tours, but lunch is also included for most of these.
Bora Bora Eco Snorkel Cruise – Check out the Bora Bora Eco Snorkel Cruise if you’re interested in a beginner-friendly guided experience at one of the warm lagoons. It features chances to see all of the local marine life.
This inexpensive tour can put you face-to-face with sea creatures like stingrays, blacktip sharks, and lemon sharks, all while exploring coral formations with trained experts. It’s a bargain for its current price.
Bora Bora Snorkel Cruise by Polynesian Outrigger – Catch a ride on an outrigger canoe on this 6 hour cruise of Bora Bora that includes snorkeling and a BBQ picnic. The guided tour is limited to 12 guests at most so it can provide an intimate experience for groups and families.
You even have a chance to spend some free time engaging in whatever you choose: snorkeling with sharks and rays, sunbathing on the boat, or lounging on the sandy beach.
After all the fun, you get to try some delicious French Polynesian cuisine.
Full-Day Bora Bora Lagoon Cruise – A full-day boat cruise awaits with this premier tour. You hop island-to-island with a trusted, local tour guide to show you the best spots to snorkel. It’s a great way to swim with the underwater citizens that call these waters home.
Explore the lagoons, take loads of photos, and enjoy a grilled lunch prepared by your hosts for an incredible value. Depending on what resort or hotel you’re staying in Bora Bora, they can even pick you up.