By Danielle – (New Jersey)
We are looking for the best snorkeling sites in Bora Bora as we prepare for our trip there in October 2016. We are starting to research different snorkeling spots, but wanted to check and see if anyone can provide their input.
We’ve snorkeled in Curacao, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Bonaire (our favorite snorkeling location thus far). So we are anxious to see what Bora Bora has to offer as well.
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Nicole & Galen – Aug 8, 2016 – Another Story
Hi Danielle, we have not been to that part of the world yet, but there is a visitor page that has some information about Bora Bora snorkeling spots. Check it out here.
Sue – Sep 3, 2016 – Great Spot Next to Sofitel on Motu
The best snorkeling we found in Bora Bora was across the water from the Sofitel Marara, on the right side of the Motu where the sister Sofitel is located. We went in the shallow water next to shore, but the tour boats stopped farther out in the water in the same general vicinity.
It took us about 20-25 minutes to kayak over from Sofitel Marara. It was a little choppy that day, and we had to contend with current out in the middle, but it was beautiful water and was still totally doable. We saw lots of fish in good variety, and even some coral that was in good shape. We wondered if you could just walk from the hotel on the Motu over to a good spot to jump in…?
Danielle – Sep 3, 2016 – Sister Sofitel on Motu
Thank for the info, Sue! Greatly appreciated! We love to explore and snorkel on our own (rather than go with a group), so it’s good to know about the tour boats that may be there. We have our camera ready! Based on what you said, perhaps we could try swimming to the Motu from Sofitel Marara, right? Did you see any big fish in that area (sharks, rays, etc.)? If not, did you see those larger fish in other areas? Thanks again!
Ray R – Oct 17, 2016 – Bora Bora Snorkeling Sites
Hi Danielle, hope this catches you before or during your trip to Bora Bora. I spent a week there in January 2015 at the Sofitel and had a great time. I agree with most of the comments and sites suggested.
We rented a small boat and tried a few spot snorkels but were generally disappointed.
One spot we did find was up (north) from the Sofitel. If you start snorkeling from the Sofitel the beach transitions into a bar jutting out into the lagoon with a drop-off of maybe 10 meters, along this was a great array of fish and hard coral, best we saw all trip. A word of caution though is if you go too far it gets into the boat lane for the Sofitel transfer boats.
Hope you have a great time and enjoy the great French food.
Dave W. – Apr 22, 2019 – Bora Bora Snorkeling Tours
Our experience in Bora Bora is that a boat is really necessary to see the best snorkel spots, although we would not claim to have seen the entire island. Our accommodations on Bora Bora did not include a kayak or boat (as did our accommodations on Moorea and Huahine) so we opted to go out with David and Aimee of Bora Bora H20 private lagoon tours. David will take a maximum of four people out for a comprehensive tour of the island, stopping at several spots.
The “Coral Gardens” on the northern motus was my favorite. But we also stopped to see many kinds of rays including the huge Mantas and the “Aquarium” on the south side of the island. He will give you the full island tour or tailor the trip to your interests. We liked the experience so much we went out with David again later in the week.
Anonymous – Jun 15, 2021 – Can’t Beat Bora Bora H20
Thanks for suggesting Bora Bora H20, Dave W.! David’s knowledge is comprehensive and he is very environmentally sensitive. We booked with Bora Bora H20 because of Aimee’s quick response to my queries for a tour the following morning! She was reassuring regarding our weather concerns since we’ve only enjoyed one sunny day in French Polynesia for the last week.
Thank goodness we didn’t book a boat as we originally planned because of the currents, we couldn’t have managed. This was especially true at the Manta cleaning sites. We saw them at two different places and were wowed by the coral garden we finished our tour with. Lots of fish and corals. Go with confidence with Bora Bora H20.
The best snorkeling site on Bora Bora, and I would argue anywhere in the entire world, is an unknown spot called Shipwreck Reef.
You have to do a private tour to get there because it is literally on the barrier reef of the lagoon and only accessible on the calmest of days. And only a private charter would be willing to go there or even know it exists. It’s on the southeast reef of the island a little southeast of the Intercontinental La Moana.
I have been all over the world and that is still the most beautiful reef I have ever seen. And no one knows it’s there on any typical travel blog so keep it a secret for only us hardcore snorkelers!
Hi Aj, did you stay at the Intercontinental?