French Polynesia Dive Resorts

The tropical paradise of French Polynesia conjures up images of beautiful white sandy beaches, tropical lagoons, and secluded getaways, however, there is far more to this remote island nation than first meets the eye. Over 118 islands and atolls offer vibrant cultural encounters, romantic hideaways, and of course fantastic Pacific Ocean diving. Here are the best island resorts in French Polynesia. 
 
Find out about scuba diving French Polynesia in our in-depth destination guide.

french Polynesia dive resort areas

Here are some of the best dive resort areas in French Polynesia.

TAHITI

As the ‘capital’ island of French Polynesia, Tahiti hosts the main international airport for the country, and the city of Papeete is a busy and bustling introduction. However, traveling just a short distance out of the town, visitors will discover a dramatic coastline with some great surfing beaches, beautiful hiking trails, and some upmarket hotels and resorts. 

While the diving around Tahiti doesn’t offer the same huge marine diversity as other islands, the reefs still provide some exciting opportunities to dive and snorkel, including several shipwrecks and the remains of a plane.

MOOREA

Just a short ferry ride or plane hop from Tahiti, Moorea feels like a different world with all the hustle and bustle of the main island a distant memory. Surrounded by a bright blue lagoon Moorea is stunningly beautiful, with luxurious resorts dotted around secluded bays that seem like paradise on earth. There are also more affordable accommodation options available, many built in the traditional French Polynesian style on stilts with grass roofs.

The diving here is special, with a fascinating underwater topography of canyons, chasms, and promontories swarming in large schools of fish. The abundance and diversity of species is hard to believe and diving with Moorea’s lemon sharks is a treat. However, what draws many nature lovers to Moorea is the opportunity to swim with humpback whales as they migrate through the islands between July and November.

Learn why Moorea is one of the best places in the world to swim with whales.

FAKARAVA

Despite being the second-largest atoll in French Polynesia, Fakarava is quaint and unspoiled, with small villages, and friendly shops and restaurants dotted along the coastline of this UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The island is a nature lover’s dream, and the lagoon itself hosts one of the world's best diving destinations. Accommodation can be basic, with guesthouses and pensions the main option, however, local hospitality is second to none and the experience genuine and rewarding.

Alongside Rangiroa, Fakarava boasts phenomenal shark diving. There are two notable passes that feed into the lagoon, heavily populated with an abundance of gray reef, lemon, blacktip, and whitetip sharks. There are also many schools of fish, barracuda, and eagle rays, easily photographed in excellent visibility.

RANGIROA

As remote as it gets without being completely uninhabited, Rangiroa offers a genuine insight into local culture with minimal development, idyllic scenery, and a peaceful lagoon teeming with life. There are a couple of luxury resort options available as well as some smaller hotels, guesthouses and lodges.

Famed for crystal clear waters and exceptional pass dives, Rangiroa is one of the best places in the world to dive with sharks. Strong currents and deeper water attract incredible amounts of marine diversity including pods of dolphins, gray reef, whitetip, blacktip, and silvertip sharks, schools of jacks and barracuda, eagle rays, turtles and the occasional manta ray.

BORA BORA

One of the most beautiful islands visitors are likely to experience, Bora Bora exudes romance and luxury, with gorgeous resorts and spas and the overwater bungalows that the island is famous for. There are plenty of activities available on Bora Bora, from watersports such as kayaking and kiteboarding through to sunset cruises around the reefs or hiking into the lush jungle interior.

Diving Bora Bora is on many divers’ “must do” list because of the abundance of large marine life. The waters here are full of manta rays and sharks, as well as colorful hard and soft corals teeming with reef fish.

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