The coral reef that encircles each island holds back the waves of the Pacific, creating the beautiful lagoons that make enjoying water sports on Tahiti a must.
The list of water sports on Tahiti is extensive. They include snorkeling and scuba diving, kayaking, canoeing, sunset catamaran cruises, Aquablue (walking under the sea), water skiing, jet skiing, parasailing, fishing, and of course, swimming.
Skimming the Surface
The only thing better than gazing at the seemingly endless blue lagoons is getting out on them. A popular water sport on Tahiti is traveling to a small, secluded island called a motu by outrigger canoe, kayak, or some other type of boat.
Jet skis provide the perfect way to see the spectacular landscape. In addition to being treated to an unparalleled view of the green mountains jutting up beyond the coast, riders can enjoy the exhilaration that comes from skimming across the clear turquoise water.
Other water sports on Tahiti include dolphin watches, stingray feedings, and shark feedings. Some hotels, like the Intercontinental on Moorea, have their own catamaran for daytime excursions or sunset cruises.
Under the Sea
The tranquil waters of the lagoon are home to a wide variety of tropical fish, making Tahiti, Moorea, and Bora Bora a fabulous spot for snorkeling and scuba diving. Even visitors who have never snorkeled before should consider donning fins and a mask to glide along the waters surface. Large hotels supply snorkeling equipment to guests at no charge.
Scuba diving is also a popular option, and diving excursions are readily available through hotels or private tours. Bathys Club at the Intercontinental Resort and Spa on Moorea organizes scuba diving outings, as does the Moorea Pearl Resort & Spa.
Once youre underwater, youll be rewarded by the sight of a mind-boggling array of tropical fish: colorful parrot fish and Picasso trigger fish, zebra unicorn fish, butterfly fish, wrasse, puffer fish, Javanese moray eels, trumpet fish, tang, snapper, goatfish, grouper, and long-horned cow fish.
Even those who prefer to stay dry can view the awesome underwater activity. At the Intercontinental Resort and Spa on Moorea, visitors can walk along the ocean floor by wearing helmets that enable them to breathe underwater. Tour companies offer trips on the Aquascope, a glass-bottomed submarine that enables passengers to sit deep below the waters surface.
The best way to enjoy the waters of Tahiti, Moorea, and Bora Bora is by taking a lagoon excursion with a tour guide who knows the top snorkeling or scuba diving spots.
For example, Teremoana Tours on Bora Bora offers an all-day outing that begins with a stingray feeding, with the guide summoning the large, graceful fish that are used to interacting with people. They swim among their delighted guests, gliding against their legs and swooping in close enough to touch.
A relaxing picnic on a motu secluded island follows. Guests can stroll on the beach or snorkel on their own while the guides prepare a Polynesian feast.
The meal, served on plates made of woven leaves, includes grilled tuna, poisson cru (raw fish in coconut milk), uru (breadfruit), cake-like coconut bread dipped in coconut milk, and fresh pineapple and watermelon. Guests also learn how to open a coconut and receive a lesson in the art of Tahitian dance much harder than it looks!
At a second snorkeling stop, guests explore a coral garden, filled with beautiful coral and a multitude of colorful tropical fish. The third stop is a thrilling shark feeding, with the guide tossing fish to swarms of hungry blacktip sharks as visitors watch while under the water just a few feet away.
While lagoon excursions are the best way to ensure that youll see a wide assortment of fish, snorkeling right outside the hotels can also be enjoyable.
At the Moorea Pearl Resort & Spa, for example, youll see plenty of fish snorkeling on the fringe reef around the hotels beach, including under the bungalows. There is also good snorkeling in the lagoon off the Intercontinental Resort and Spa Moorea, as well as behind Le Meridien Bora Bora.