Diving in Maupiti is an essential step in the discovery of the Pacific Islands. All the conditions are there to live an unforgettable experience. There are some of the most sought-after spots in Polynesia, with a very generous biodiversity. Moreover, scuba diving in Maupiti is done both in the lagoon and in the ocean, which offers very different experiences.
On this quiet island, you can discover the aquatic fauna in complete privacy. It is an ideal place for those who love the ocean floor, as well as for those who prefer to spend their time on the island’s most beautiful beach in Maupiti. When you go to meet the tropical fish, don’t forget to bring your GoPro camera. All you have to do is getting to Maupiti: The show is worth it!
Diving Trips in the Maupiti lagoon
The “Cleaning Station” of The Manta Rays
Near the Onoiau pass, south of Maupiti, you will find an incredible spot to observe manta rays. At a depth of 8 meters, there are several coral spats, where colonies of wrasses live. These small fishes have the particularity to feed on the tiny parasites that cover the manta rays. Every day groups of manta rays come to swim here to be cleaned. There are often up to eight rays at the same time. This “cleaning station” becomes the place of a strange and fascinating aquatic ballet.
This aquatic dance is a must for scuba diving in Maupiti. You can observe these majestic manta rays from the bottom of the sea. Seeing them pass over your head is a magical sight… This activity takes place in an animal friendly environment, where touching or feeding them is discouraged. It is by adopting this calm and discreet behavior that you will be able to admire them at best.
Usually, the stingray station is frequented by the clientele of the hotels in Maupiti. The site is relatively easy to access by boat. This experience has the advantage of being both a magical adventure, but also of being aimed at both beginners and experienced divers. Indeed, only level 1 diving (PADI Open Water Diver or equivalent certification) is required to participate to this underwater trip.
An Alternative to Diving: Drift Snorkeling
Diving in Maupiti is lived to the rhythm of the manta rays. However, there is an alternative for the more experienced swimmers. This time, we leave the oxygen tanks aside and we equip ourselves with fins, a mask and a snorkel. In the north of the island, there is an excellent snorkeling spot, right next to the motu Pae’ao. A passage with a depth of less than 3 meters offers the best conditions for observing aquatic life.
You enter the water at the entrance of the passage, not far from the reef that separates the ocean and the lagoon. Then, you can let yourself be carried by the incoming current. The swimmer drifts on the surface of the water until the exit further south. The experience is breathtaking: passing over the coral reefs, you can see a multitude of tropical fish, from angelfish to balloon fish.
The practice of drift snorkeling requires a certain experience in the matter. Indeed, the swimmer is carried by the current. He must therefore be able to control his movements over a fairly long distance. An accompaniment is therefore recommended. Beginners, in particular, should be careful not to damage the ecosystem, or even to injure themselves.
Besides this more technical snorkeling experience, swimmers of all levels will be able to try snorkeling in other places of the island. In particular, there are good spots near the beach of Tereia. These are perfect places where you can observe tropical fish and coral schools!
Scuba Diving in the Ocean Around Maupiti
In addition to the lagoon, diving in Maupiti can also be enjoyed on the ocean side. There you can observe a wilder aquatic nature. The entry in the water is done near the reef drop off, preferably from the motu Tuanai in the southeast of the island. Indeed, the visual is particularly impressive.
In addition to the beautiful corals, there is a high concentration of reef fish. Some of them are of reasonable size, like the parrotfish and the surgeonfish. Others, on the other hand, are quite imposing like the napoleon fish. Sometimes you can meet a barracuda or a grey shark.
Note, however, that the currents near Onoiau Pass are among the strongest in all of Polynesia. In addition, the possibility of diving depends on the weather conditions. For an optimal and safe experience, it is imperative to use the services of a diving club. We recommend Maupiti Diving, the only dive center on the island at the time of writing.
Want to Dive in Polynesia?
French Polynesia is full of quality diving sites, where you will be able to meet the aquatic fauna and flora. After Maupiti, we recommend to scuba diving enthusiasts to go to the Tuamotu archipelago. This archipelago is renowned for its rich seabed.
You are wondering which itinerary and which islands to choose to make diving the highlight of your stay? Simply contact us using the form available on our contact page, and we will be happy to advise you. Our team is here to help you organize the vacation of your choice in this magnificent part of the Pacific Ocean!