Scuba Diving in French Polynesia
Tahiti scuba diving holidays rank amongst some of the best in the South Pacific. Visibility is excellent with 30 metres common the outside reefs and 20 metres in the shallow lagoons. And sea temperature are warm year round (26-29C). There are more than 30 certified scuba diving companies throughout the islands offering everything from beginner courses certified by both the French standard CMAS and by PADI to advance diving. Most instructors speak good English. There are several live-aboard scuba diving charters available for those with a real passion for exploration diving.
Tahiti scuba diving holidays offer an excellent variety of dive sites with some of the healthiest coral reefs in the world and a wide range of large marine life, particularly rays and sharks. Drift diving through channels is particularly exciting. As a summary, Bora Bora is renowned for its manta rays, Moorea for its shark feeds and Raiatea for its wreck dives. The best corals and reef fish are found in the Tuamotu Group with Rangiroa and Fakarava atolls famous for its exciting channel dives with sharks and other pelagics and Manihi and Tikehau reputed for their enormous schools of reef fish and soft corals.
Tahiti Island - the main island
Offers a good introduction to scuba diving with a bit of everything: wrecks, nudibranchs and leaf fish, and conveniently close to the western hotel chains. There are Gorgonian fans on the attractive Southern Peninsula, also walls from 3 to 60 metres. Experienced divers will enjoy the rich caves off Tahiti Iti in the east.
Abundant shark population, sometimes in packs of 50 or more. Also Sting Rays, Napoleon Wrasse, Moray Eels and Turtles. Oponohu Canyons off the north coast and Tiki Point off the West Coast are the best shark feed dives in Tahiti.
Anau is renowned as the most prolific Manta Ray Sanctuary in the South Pacific, and whilst there's a good chance of seeing rays all over Tahiti, at Bora Bora you'll see hordes of them, particularly at Teavanui Pass. Its also great for sharks: lemon tips, black tips. Excellent also for snorkelling.
The Tuamotu Atolls is the most famous shark diving destination in the South Pacific with over 10 species commonly sighted. All dives are through passes with fast flowing currents (good for experienced divers), lots of fish, rays , turtles and other pelagics as the ocean often plummets over 1,000 metres. Tikehau has exceptionally rich coral reefs with numerous and often vast schools of fish.