6 Best Snorkelling Tours in Rarotonga© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com
6 Best Snorkelling Tours in Rarotonga

6 Best Snorkelling Tours in Rarotonga

© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

Find the Best Guided Tours for Snorkelling in Rarotonga!

Sure, you can snorkel from many beaches around Rarotonga. In fact, we list them in The Best Snorkelling in Rarotonga: Top 10 Places to Snorkel. But some of the best snorkelling and most vibrant ecosystems are a little harder to get to and some are not really that safe without a guide. Cue Rarotonga’s snorkelling tours; guided experiences where the snorkelling gear and even sea scooters are provided to explore the harder-to-reach coral formations. Let us guide you through the best snorkelling tours on Rarotonga.

If you were looking for snorkelling tours with turtles, take a look at the 10 Best Turtle Swimming Tours in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands instead.

1. Ariki Adventures

Take the effort out of kicking your legs for an hour with a sea scooter snorkelling tour. Ariki Adventures‘ snorkelling tours take you to some of the less-visited spots that are better to go with the safety of a guide, such as the Matai Shipwreck or the coral canyons of Tikioki! In the latter tour, the “Lagoon Discover Tour“, you’ll be equipped with a wetsuit, snorkelling gear and a sea scooter, which you’ll learn how to use on land before the adventure begins. Then it’s off to the coral canyons with moray eels and bluefin trevally to feed. You’ll also get free time to explore the lagoon yourself. The tour lasts approximately two hours with 90 minute snorkelling time in the water. Find out more about the tour on Viator and Tripadvisor. Shipwreck tours are also available, as well as snorkelling tours with turtles, which are also outlined on Viator and Tripadvisor

Location: Tours depart from the Flying Turtle Cafe, Main Road (Ara Tapu), Arorangi.

6 Best Snorkelling Tours in Rarotonga© Sean Scott - Cook Islands Tourism

2. Snorkel Cook Islands

Get an exclusive experience with Snorkel Cook Islands‘ three-hour private tour with VIP transfers to their private beach and high-quality snorkelling gear included. The team take you and up to two other people on a tour of healthy marine ecosystems where turtles and rays are a regular feature. Your guide will capture the key moments for you with their underwater camera then, when you’re ready, the snorkelling tour concludes with a banquet of island-style refreshments. Learn more about the tour and book tickets on Viator and Tripadvisor. Plus, see more encounters like this in the 8 Best Luxury Experiences on Rarotonga.

Location: Transfers are available from anywhere on Rarotonga.

6 Best Snorkelling Tours in Rarotonga© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

3. Captain Tama’s Lagoon Cruizes

Join the cheeky crew from Captain Tama’s Lagoon Cruizes for a fun day out on the Muri Lagoon and Motu Koromiri. The half-day cruise includes around 45 minutes of snorkelling at the “Fruits of Rarotonga” snorkelling site a.k.a. the Tikioki Marine Reserve where you’ll be free to swim among the giant clams, angelfish, butterflyfish, surgeonfish and much more. After snorkelling, the cruise on the glass-bottom boat crosses the Muri Lagoon to the uninhabited Motu Koromiri for a barbecue lunch combined with a hilarious coconut and sarong-tying show. Learn more about the cruise on Viator and Tripadvisor, as well as in the 10 Best Day Cruises in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands.

Location: Tours depart from Muri Beach, Main Road (Ara Tapu), Muri. Just look for the yellow boats!

6 Best Snorkelling Tours in Rarotonga© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

4. Koka Lagoon Cruises

Almost identical to Captain Tama’s Lagoon Cruizes, Koka Lagoon Cruises also offers a good portion of snorkelling at a marine reserve just outside of the Muri Lagoon. The main differences are that the cruise departs a little earlier (10am instead of 11am for Captain Tama’s) and the ukulele band playing on the boat throughout the cruise means there’s never a dull moment. Plus, the crew is a little less “cheeky” but just as friendly. You still have an awesome time snorkelling, indulging in an island barbecue on Motu Koromiri and watching a fun coconut and sarong demonstration. Check out reviews and book your tour on Viator or Tripadvisor

Location: Tours depart from Muri Beach, Main Road (Ara Tapu), Muri. Just look for the green and white boats!

6 Best Snorkelling Tours in Rarotonga© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

5. KiteSUP

Offering snorkelling tours for all abilities, KiteSUP offers two spectacular snorkelling tours, as well as a turtle-swimming tour. Snorkel among the shallow waters of the lagoon with an experienced guide who can help gain confidence with your snorkelling technique while seeing the likes of giant trevally, moray eels, giant clams and more. Alternatively, more confident swimmers can join the “Shipwreck Snorkel Tour” to see how the 100+-year-old SS Matai has become part of the reef, harbouring a vibrant ecosystem of coral and fish. Both tours tend to run for 1h30mins to 2 hours.

Location: Main Road (Ara Tapu), Muri, opposite the LBV cafe.

6 Best Snorkelling Tours in Rarotonga© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

6. Adventure Cook Islands

Last but certainly not least, Adventure Cook Islands takes you out where no other snorkelers go; beyond Rarotonga’s fringing reef. Their 2h30mins “Reef to See Snorkel Tour” takes six to seven snorkelers out on their boat to the outer reef where some of Rarotonga’s larger fish reside. See eagle rays, turtles and even friendly reef sharks at the two snorkelling sites this tour includes. The tour lasts approximately 2h30mins with boat rides only taking five to 15 minutes, so there’s plenty of time to explore in the water. What’s more, the snorkelling trip is one of the cheapest on this list!

Location: Main Road (Ara Tapu), Aroa Beach, Arorangi.

6 Best Snorkelling Tours in Rarotonga© David Kirkland - Cook Islands Tourism

More About Snorkelling Tours in Rarotonga and the Cook Islands

Now that you know the top snorkelling tours on Rarotonga, see how they compare to snorkelling tours across the Cook Islands, as well as the snorkelling hotspots:

Finally, plan more of your Raro adventure using the 50 Best Things to Do on Rarotonga and Where to Stay on Rarotonga: The Best Rarotonga Accommodations.


Robin C.

This article was reviewed and published by Robin, the co-founder of Cook Islands Pocket Guide. He has lived, worked and travelled across 16 different countries before settling in the South Pacific, so he knows a thing or two about planning the perfect trip in this corner of the world. Robin works and consults regularly with Cook Islands Tourism Corporation, a local government body representing the tourism industry. Robin is also the co-founder of several other South Pacific travel guides and is a regular host of webinars with the South Pacific Tourism Organisation.

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