Without a doubt, one of the most popular things to do in Bora Bora is snorkeling. Bora Bora’s lagoon is packed to the brim with incredible marine life. It’s mesmerizing to see!
I’m not gonna lie, whilst I was in Bora Bora, I must have gone snorkeling almost every single day! There was just so much marine life that I couldn’t help myself.
This ultimate guide covers the best Bora Bora snorkeling tours, the exact locations where you can go snorkeling and the best resorts for snorkeling in Bora Bora.
Table of Contents
After visiting Bora Bora and snorkeling there myself, here’s what you need to know:
- This is the best rated snorkeling tour and the one I personally did. It was super fun and I saw so much marine life. They even pick you up from your resort.
- A great alternative is this private snorkeling tour which is perfect for honeymooners or large groups looking for some privacy.
- The best resort for snorkeling is the Conrad Bora Bora Nui.
- The best natural location for snorkeling is ‘The Aquarium’ which is a snorkel/dive site.
Bora Bora Snorkeling Tours
Without a doubt one of the easiest and most convenient ways to go snorkeling in Bora Bora is to book onto a tour.
This completely takes the stress away from planning the day and gives you the best possible chance of seeing marine life up close as the guides know where to find fish without fail!
If you’re wanting to book onto a Bora Bora snorkeling tour, then here are my favorites:
- Best Rated Bora Bora Snorkeling Tour (most recommended)
This tour is Bora Bora’s best rated snorkeling tour and the one that I personally did.
The groups are small and have a maximum of 6 people so it’s super intimate and personal. They also include pick up/drop off directly from your hotel or resort.
We got to visit several different snorkeling locations with our expert guide who knew so much about both Bora Bora and the marine life (ask them anything, they’ll know the answer!).
I saw so many amazing creatures include manta rays, coral reefs, moray eels, eagle rays and lots of tropical fish!
Just check out the reviews of this tour and I promise you’ll be sold.
- Private Bora Bora Snorkeling Tour (not shared, great for large groups or honeymooners)
If you’re looking for some privacy, then you can book a private snorkeling tour in Bora Bora just for you and your group.
You’ll have your own personal guide and you can tailor the itinerary based on your interests.
This tour also includes pick up and drop off directly from your hotel.
It’s great if you’ve got a large group or if you’re on your honeymoon and want to spend some quality time with your significant other.
- Full Day Bora Bora Snorkeling Tour (great for families and those looking for an all-day adventure)
This full-day tour includes a tour of the island in an open-air safari truck, lunch at the famous Bloody Mary’s restaurant and a cruise of Bora Bora’s lagoon to snorkel amongst the coral and meet stingrays and reef sharks.
Pick up and drop off at your hotel is included. It’s ideal if you’re looking for a full-day adventure.
Bora Bora Snorkeling Price
Snorkeling tours in Bora Bora cost between $98 and $200 per person. The one that I did cost $120.
The cheaper tours usually just include a snorkeling experience and tend to have larger groups.
The more expensive tours tend to include additional extras like lunch, visits to several different snorkeling locations and other activities like an island tour.
If you’re wanting to save some money, then this is the absolute cheapest snorkeling tour available in Bora Bora (it’s still very highly rated).
Check out my full cost breakdown of a vacation in Bora Bora for more budgeting advice.
Best Snorkeling in Bora Bora
Bora Bora’s iconic turquoise lagoon is without a doubt the best place to go snorkeling.
The lagoon is home to hundreds (if not thousands) of tropical fish, stingrays, manta rays, reef sharks and colorful coral.
It’s a large area though and there are certain parts of it which are better than others for snorkeling.
For the best snorkeling, head over to one of the many coral gardens as this is where you’ll find the most abundance of marine creatures.
Here’s a few of my favorite spots and locations where you’re basically guaranteed to be swimming alongside tropical fish and corals.
Don’t forget to bring your own snorkeling gear. This snorkel set is my favorite.
The best place for snorkeling in Bora Bora is an area known locally as ‘the aquarium’. This area has the most amount of fish across the whole island.
It’s not literally an aquarium, it’s just called that because there’s so many different fish swimming around that it literally feels like you must be swimming in a fish tank.
This was hands down to best place that I snorkeled in Bora Bora. I saw so many fish, it was almost unreal.
It’s ideal for both beginners and advanced snorkelers. The depth is 5 meters maximum and the water is very clear.
This incredible coral garden is located just off the southern end of Motu Pitiuu Uta which is the small island containing the Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island resort.
Check out the location of ‘the aquarium’ in the image below:
I found that the water here was super calm and incredibly clear so it was really easy to swim with hundreds of fish including angel fish, trigger fish, parrotfish, wrasse, humbug fish and more. You may even spot the occasional stingray like I did!
Make sure you look out for the sign which says ‘I Love Bora Bora’ written in coral on the bottom of the ocean floor. It makes for a pretty cool photo.
Quick Tip: Look out for eels hiding in some of the coral holes.
Check out what you can expect from snorkeling in ‘the aquarium’ Bora Bora in the video below:
Related Post: Why Is The Water In Bora Bora So Clear?
How To Get To The Aquarium Bora Bora
You can easily access this snorkeling site via boat. This snorkeling boat tour includes a stop at ‘the aquarium’ snorkeling site and is the easiest way to get there.
Your guide will take you amongst the fish and between the corals to help you discover the magical underwater world.
If you happen to be staying at the Sofitel Private Island Resort then you’ll already have unlimited access to this amazing snorkeling spot. Just grab a free kayak and make your way over.
Please note that at the time of writing, the Sofitel hotel is temporarily close. They were due to re-open in late 2022 however it’s now 2023 and it’s still closed.
If you’re staying elsewhere then you will need to come via boat. Some people choose to kayak from Matira Beach too which is also an option but it can be tiring due to the distance.
For more of the best snorkeling in Bora Bora, head over to Matira Beach which is, hands down, Bora Bora’s most popular beach.
I spent an entire day here just relaxing on this beach, swimming in the ocean and reading my book on the sand. It’s a captivating beach that made me feel like I’d woken up in paradise.
It is located on the southern tip of the main island. You can see the location of Matira Beach in the image below:
As well as being one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, it’s also one of Bora Bora’s best snorkeling spots!
With the white sandy beach and tropical palm trees as your backdrop, you can jump into the water and swim amongst colorful fish, stingrays and more.
I saw so many fish here and even bumped into a seahorse, some starfish and a turtle!
This location is suited to beginners as it’s super easy to access. You can literally just walk out to the coral reef right from the beach.
Check out what you can expect from snorkeling at Matira Beach in the video below:
Check out my 5 Day Bora Bora itinerary for more ideas of things to do in Bora Bora.
How To Get To Matira Beach
Matira Beach is located on the main island so it’s super easy to access.
To find the fish, head over to the northern point of the beach. Walk out into the ocean near the old Hotel Bora Bora (this hotel closed down in 2008).
I noticed that there was tons of coral surrounding the overwater bungalows of this hotel which still remain even though the hotel has been closed for well over a decade now.
Another part of Matira Beach that I found to be great for snorkeling was at Matira Point on the eastern portion of the beach.
You can walk out into the water here towards the northern edge of the barrier reef and you’ll often see lots of fish.
This area is located close to ‘the aquarium’ snorkeling location so it’s always teeming with marine life.
I loved that the water here was super calm and really clear so it’s ideal for everyone including beginners and children.
Tip: Bring some water shoes when snorkeling in Bora Bora to help protect your feet. Sometimes the coral can be sharp.
The Inner Reef
The Inner Reef is the area which forms the protective ring of Bora Bora’s lagoon. It is shallow (just 5ft deep) and has a sandy floor so is ideal for beginners.
Here you’ll find small clumps of coral with a variety of marine life swimming around it. This includes blacktip reef sharks, stingrays and tons of tropical fish.
There aren’t as many fish here compared with other areas of Bora Bora’s lagoon. This is mainly where the reef sharks and fish pass through when moving towards the deeper outer reef.
The reef sharks are used to humans and are generally very friendly but you still shouldn’t try to touch them.
I loved just watching the sharks do there thing and it felt like such a surreal experience to literally be swimming with sharks. I mean, how many people can say they’ve done that?
Many tour guides bring groups to this area to see the reef sharks. These guides often bring small fish to lure the sharks and rays closer.
Due to this, you might see a group of snorkelers being circled by reef sharks, but don’t worry it’s perfectly safe.
You can access the inner reef by paddling out in a kayak or canoe. The current can be strong at times so it’s better to go with a tour guide if possible.
The Outer Reef
The Outer Reef is the area which lies just beyond Bora Bora’s lagoon. It encircles the entire island and is located where the lagoon meets the Pacific Ocean.
The depth here is 40ft so it’s definitely not for the faint-hearted.
If you’re feeling adventurous, then head outside the lagoon into the deep blue ocean of the outer reef. You’ll be rewarded with views of huge shoals of fish and reef sharks!
Don’t worry, the sharks in Bora Bora aren’t dangerous and by venturing out into the outer reef, you’ll be able to meet these friendly sharks one-on-one.
I actually wrote an entire guide to swimming with sharks in Bora Bora for more information as it was one of the best things I did on the trip.
In a nutshell, I’d recommend booking onto a tour if you want to swim with the sharks in the outer reef.
This is recommended as, at the end of the day, you’ll be swimming with sharks out in the open ocean so being with a guide is strongly recommended.
You definitely shouldn’t attempt to go swimming out here on your own.
This is my favorite swimming with sharks tour in Bora Bora.
You’ll likely be able to get up close and personal with blacktip reef sharks and the larger lemon sharks if you’re lucky (which can reach up to 10ft long!) like I did!
The lemon sharks are much more shy so if you manage to see one, count yourself lucky.
Check out what it’s like to swim with sharks in Bora Bora in the video below:
Anau is a district of Bora Bora which is well known for its manta ray dive spots. It’s located within the Bora Bora lagoon.
Divers tend to love the reef here as it is teeming with manta rays! All you need to do is look around and you’ll see several huge manta rays gliding above you, feeding on plankton.
Alongside manta rays, you’re likely to meet turtles, blacktip reef sharks and a plethora of tropical fish.
I found that the best dive spot in Anau is located in the lagoon opposite the Le Meridien hotel.
Tip: You’re best visiting this one via a boat tour as currents can be strong.
Check out what it’s like to dive in Anau in the video below:
Related Post: How Deep Is The Water In Bora Bora?
Bora Bora Resorts with the Best Snorkeling
If you’re spending $1,000+ per night on your resort then it’s likely that you don’t want to leave at all.
Luckily, many of Bora Bora’s incredible resorts have some of the best snorkeling in Bora Bora right on-site.
Some of the resorts have created their own inner lagoonariums just for their guests so they can snorkel at the resort instead of trekking around the island in search of the best snorkeling spots in Bora Bora.
Other resorts are actually lucky enough to have natural coral gardens nearby which also offer great snorkeling opportunities.
Let’s find out which of Bora Bora’s resorts are best for snorkeling…
Bora Bora Resorts with Natural Coral Gardens
Some resorts are lucky enough to have natural coral growing around them!
Here’s the best resorts in Bora Bora for snorkeling. These all have natural coral gardens either nearby or on-site which you can explore.
Conrad Bora Bora Nui
Hilton’s Conrad Bora Bora Nui resort is one of the best for snorkeling as it has colorful corals under and near its many overwater bungalows.
Look out for coral growing underwater on the stilts of your bungalow!
This means that you can just jump into the water right from the deck of your overwater bungalow and start snorkeling straight away!
All around your bungalow, you’ll be able to see angelfish, parrot fish, starfish and even the occasional sea turtle or eel.
Conrad is actually one of the only luxury resorts in Bora Bora that has a natural beach so you can also go snorkeling simply by stepping into the water from the beach itself too.
Just head out 2 to 3 meters from the beach to explore the magical underwater world.
At Conrad, the area close to the black lava rocks is fantastic for snorkeling and a popular spot for fish.
Not only is Conrad Bora Bora Nui one of the best resorts for snorkeling, but it is also one of the best resorts for overwater bungalows in Bora Bora.
Tip: The water is a bit deeper around the black lava rocks so only go snorkeling here if you’re an experienced swimmer.
Check out what you can expect from snorkeling at Conrad Bora Bora in the video below:
InterContinental Le Moana
InterContinental Le Moana resort is another one of the best snorkeling resorts in Bora Bora. It is located on the southern tip of the main island.
There are some great snorkeling opportunities here as there is a lot of coral present which grows under many of the overwater bungalows.
Just jump into the water from your bungalow to meet the fish!
This hotel is also just a short walk from Matira Beach which is another great spot for snorkeling (discussed above).
Check out what you can expect from snorkeling at InterContinental Le Moana in the video below:
Le Bora Bora By Pearl Resorts
Le Bora Bora By Pearl Resorts has been working hard recently to regenerate and rejuvenate a coral garden near its overwater bungalows.
At this time, the coral is still fairly small but it’s growing and has started to attract colorful fish.
This means that if you do choose to stay in one of their overwater bungalows, you should be able to go snorkeling right from your deck!
Check out what you can expect from snorkeling at Le Bora Bora Pearl Hotel in the video below:
InterContinental Bora Bora & Thalasso Spa
InterContinental Thalasso is another one of Bora Bora’s resorts which has some natural coral reefs.
Close to its stunning overwater chapel, you’ll find a beautiful coral garden which is teeming with fish.
Tip: You can actually get married in this beautiful chapel! It has a glass-bottom floor too so you can see the fish swimming beneath you as you say your vows.
You can also sometimes spot fish swimming around the overwater bungalows!
Check out what you can expect from snorkeling at InterContinental Thalasso in the video below:
Maitai Bora Bora
Maitai Bora Bora is located on the main island, just to the left of the famous ‘aquarium’ snorkeling spot.
If you’re up for it, you can kayak from the Maitai hotel over to ‘the aquarium’ coral gardens for the best snorkeling in Bora Bora.
It can be quite tiring depending on the currents so only attempt this if you’re fit enough. It’s not super difficult but does take a bit of time.
Best Bora Bora Resorts with Lagoonariums
There are several other resorts in Bora Bora that have created their own man-made lagoons which they call ‘lagoonariums’.
These are designed specifically for guests to go snorkeling. As they are artificial, these are suited to beginners.
These resorts tend to be located on the eastern side of the lagoon where little coral grows naturally.
St Regis has one of the best lagoonariums in Bora Bora. This large lagoon wraps around the private island that St Regis sits on, providing lots of snorkeling opportunities for guests.
Their private lagoon acts as a haven for a variety of fish and coral including the rare Napoleon fish.
I actually stayed at the St Regis and swam in the lagoon myself. It was such an enjoyable experience.
The lagoon is super well maintained and really clean. I knew that it was man-made so I was so surprised to see such an abundance of marine life! There were so many fish in there.
There are several pontoons positioned around the lagoon for easy access. They also do fish feeding sessions a few times a week.
Check out St Regis’s impressive lagoonarium in the video below:
Four Seasons Resort
Although the Four Seasons resort does have a small amount of natural coral, they have also created a lagoonarium for their guests.
This stunning lagoon is located just at the base of the spa. It’s pristine, warm and well-protected so it’s ideal for beginners.
I also spent a few nights at the Four Seasons so I got the chance to swim in their lagoon a few times.
I was lucky enough to meet a wide variety of fish including triggerfish, wrasse, surgeonfish and the occasional eel.
If you don’t feel like swimming, then just get yourself a massage at the spa instead. The spa features glass-panels in the treatment room floor so you can watch the fish swimming below you as you get your massage.
One of the best things about the lagoonarium at the Four Seasons is that they have an on-site marine biologist who will give you a tour of the lagoon and tell you all about the marine life that live there.
The on-site biologist really knew her stuff. During my tour with her, we also had a young girl in the group who was grilling her super hard and she answered every question with ease.
This resort is also ideal for kids as they have a kid’s club which includes activities with the marine biologist.
Check out what you can expect from snorkeling at the Four Seasons Bora Bora in the video below:
And that’s it!
My personal favorite places for snorkeling in Bora Bora is ‘the aquarium’ snorkeling spot. Snorkeling there was honestly a dream come true.f
If you’re looking for more things to do whilst in Bora Bora then I wrote an entire guide on things to do in Bora Bora at night.
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