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Under the Sea in Tahiti

Under the Sea in Tahiti

story by: House of Travel

With water temperatures as pleasantly high as 26 degrees Celsius in Tahiti, spending countless hours under the sea is always delightful rather than dreary.

Here are a bunch of water-based activities you can enjoy in the warm waves of around this tropical island, sure to make you feel like a mermaid or merman in paradise.

Snorkel among the Tikehau coral islets
In the Tuamotu language, 'Tikehau' means peaceful landing, and this 26-kilometre-long lagoon is truly a serene spot to snorkel. It is home to a chain of coral islets, not quite large enough to be islands, but utterly delightful in their peach and purple colours underwater. Tahiti Tourisme wrote "in Tikehau, fish seem to outnumber people one-billion-to one", and indeed, snorkelling in these waters is likely to open your eyes to a whole variety of colourful schools of fish. Coconut tree groves frame the soft sands beside Tikehau, making this an idyllic spot to visit or stay in during your time in Tahiti. Fascinatingly, the sand on this Tahitian island has a pink hue, making it a lovely background for writing your name into with a piece of driftwood. Sapphire blue waves lapping against these pink shores make this one of the prettiest atolls to see in the Pacific.

Tahiti Lagoonarium
Located just outside Pape'ete's cityscape is this meshed-in lagoon area for safe, fun snorkelling. A novelty of this spot is its entrance, built like a giant grey concrete shark that you have to walk through to enter. This shark is attached to the Captain Bligh Restaurant. Here in this underwater observatory, you needn't be a pro diver to enjoy looking at or swimming beside reef fish, sea anemones, turtles and moray eels. For thrill seekers there are also sharks, yet the shallower waters of the lagoon make for an easier swimming environment so you can manoeuvre yourself better.

Meander below the waves in Matavai Bay
Centuries ago, this historic bay was the spot where early European navigators anchored their ships before stepping onto the shores of Tahiti on exploratory missions. In fact, Pointe Venus, the promontory that juts out along the eastern end of Matavai Bay, was once the site of Captain Cook's observatory for the star Venus. His task, back in 1769, was to keep track of how Venus moves across the face of the sun to figure out how far the Earth was from the sun. Today, Point Venus is a popular beach spot, with black sand and ample trees for shade. A lighthouse built in 1867 towers over the beach, and local outrigger-canoe racing clubs often train here, making for an enjoyable spectacle as you sunbathe - just be sure to snorkel well clear of them! 

TOPDIVE in Rangiroa
Certified divers will adore venturing below the waves in Rangiroa, where you have the thrills of seeing dolphins, marlin, manta rays as well as grey and hammerhead sharks. There are two dive centres from which to embark on your aquatic adventure, conveniently located near Tiputa pass. Avatoru reef is one of the highlights of these dive sites, with exuberant sea life in vivid colours for you to admire. Schools of bigeye jackfish and the alluring silvertip shark frequently visit this reef. Another once-in-a-lifetime experience is to see an underwater wreck of a sea plane. Experienced divers can head out on a calm day to explore Mahuta, the ocean drift dive, set between an undersea valley. You enter this area through the Motu Fara, a small islet in the middle of the Avatoru pass. As soon as you drift over, you will be bedazzled by a wall covered in coral in shimmering colours and diverse shapes, with fish such as surgeonfish, unicornfish and paddletail snappers darting in and out of the coral formations.

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