Literally all of Tahiti is great for snorkeling, and there are more than a few amazing dive sites as well. The majority of tourists are more interested in beaches, hikes, and boating, but there are enough divers to create some sort of competitive quality among commercial diving companies. Actually, Tahiti and Bora Bora are reputable honeymoon destinations, but there is more on the offer than just for laid-back honeymooners.
Couples with a sense for adventure will get a kick out of the diverse Tahiti and Bora Bora honeymoon packages available. Dive shops can be found in any larger town, but most are concentrated around the capital, Papeete. Some sort of organization is lacking, and it may not be a bad idea to find tour operators with diving programs before even departing for French Polynesia.
Cessna Dive Bowl (The Aquarium)
This is the most popular dive site in French Polynesia, and the one most adapted to beginners. The Aquarium is located southwest of Papeete, and it is up to 15 meters deep. Several wrecks occupy the artificial reefs – two boats and a Cessna plane. The best known fish you can spot there are angelfish, lionfish, butterflyfish and surgeonfish. Because of the large amount of diving traffic The Aquarium gets, diving gear prices are the highest, so it is best to bring your own. Also, the waters are the least clean, so you should have proper equipment consisting of at least a diving suit, even when snorkeling.
Two wrecks, a 30 meter long cargo ship and a two-engine Catalina, give the name to this popular dive site. Located at a 5 minute boat ride off the island of Tahiti, The Wrecks are as deep as 70 meters, and only for advanced divers. Expect to see anemones and triggerfish.
The White Valley
The best place to drift dive in Tahiti is The White Valley. It stretches down as deep as 60 meters, and it is known for its flora and fauna. Expect to swim with blacktip reef sharks (Tahiti’s most common and docile breed, definitely not the same as the Florida-based blacktip shark), lemon sharks, grey sharks, jackfish, and triggerfish, among others.
This dive site consists of a 70 meter long amphitheater decked with lush gorgonians, up to 60 meters deep, located near Faa airport. Papa Whiskey is available only for advanced divers. The waters are visible, and you can expect to see schools of tuna and damselfish.
St. Etienne Drop Off
A 10 minute boat ride off the west coast of Tahiti, you can find St. Etienne Drop Off, a 60 meter deep ocean dive. The area, punctuated by madrepores, is vast and different parts can be performed by divers of different degrees. The vertical coral gardens can only be attempted by advanced divers. The fish present are tuna, unicornfish and jackfish, but if you’re lucky, you will get to see lobsters and cowries, too.
This underwater spring makes for an excellent ocean dive 15 minutes away from the coast of Tahiti, by boat. The fresh-water emissions are visible on the surface of the ocean as well, but if you choose to dive here, it is important to pick a clear day. Humphead Maori wrasses and sharks are some of the wildlife you will find here, but the turtles really make the dive fun. The valley surrounding the spring is rich in aquatic flora and fauna worthy of the dive, and they can be seen even during the spring emissions.