Where to Snorkel in Aitutaki
You can’t visit Aitutaki without seeing its display of colourful tropical fish, giant clams and pelagic fish species for yourself. From the shores of the main island to the coral bommies scattering the lagoon, there are many exciting places to snorkel in Aitutaki. Some of the top snorkelling in Aitutaki happens out on the lagoon with its popular lagoon cruises, but those looking for a dip from the beach can also find some real gems. Find out where to snorkel in Aitutaki with this complete list of Aitutaki snorkelling spots!
While you’re here, plan more of your stay using the 20 Best Things to Do on Aitutaki and find a place to stay in Where to Stay on Aitutaki: The Best Aitutaki Accommodations.
1. Purple Wall – Aitutaki Lagoon
Our top snorkelling spot on Aitutaki is one that, indeed, you’ll need to take a lagoon cruise to see. Cruises will drop you off at a shallow (2m/6.6ft) part of the lagoon scattered with coral bommies lined with purple coral, hence the name “Purple Wall“. Buoys mark the length you can snorkel and stop you from venturing off track. With a good combination of colourful fish, coral and clams, Purple Wall is certainly one of the best places to snorkel in Aitutaki.
Location: Access to the snorkelling spot is available with Kutekute Tours & Transfers and Teking Lagoon Cruises. Find out more in the 10 Best Lagoon Cruises on Aitutaki.
2. Giant Clam Farm – Aitutaki Lagoon
Giant clams and small native clams can be spotted in many different areas across the Aitutaki Lagoon. Some lagoon cruises, however, use a mooring at a giant clam farm where there are many clams either nestled under coral formations or lying plain-in-sight on the sandy floor. This snorkelling spot is a little deeper at 3-4m (10-13ft).
Location: Access to the snorkelling spot is available with Kutekute Tours & Transfers, Teking Lagoon Cruises and The Vaka Cruise.
3. GTs – Aitutaki Lagoon
Another mooring in the Aitutaki Lagoon is a spot known for its GTs, otherwise known as Giant Trevally. These whoppers are impressive to see up-close underwater, and the surrounding coral formations and tropical fish are a fun distraction too. Some lagoon cruises feed the GTs, making them all the more teeming when it’s time to snorkel. It’s not advised to wear jewellery here, as they can attract the GTs for a bite!
Location: Access to the snorkelling spot is available with Kutekute Tours & Transfers, Teking Lagoon Cruises, Bishop’s Cruises and The Vaka Cruise. Find out more in the 10 Best Snorkelling Tours in Aitutaki.
4. Base One – Aitutaki
If you’re looking for the best place to snorkel from the main island of Aitutaki, head to Base One. This is the snorkelling area located at the western end of the old runway – easy to spot with picnic tables and an eco-toilet cabin under the shade of the trees. This sheltered and shallow snorkelling spot has pockets of coral formations with interesting tropical fish species, as well as munching sea cucumbers. We also list this as one of the 10 Best Beaches in Aitutaki.
Location: Northwest side of Aitutaki – western tip of the old runway.
5. Pacific Resort Aitutaki
Another mainland snorkelling hotspot is in front of the Pacific Resort Aitutaki. The resort has worked with Pacific Islands Conservation Initiative (PICI) to establish the Aquatic Eco Trail, which are five different marine habitats marked by buoys outside of the resort. Snorkel among a mix of coral bommies and regenerating coral, spotting colourful species like treadfin butterfly, lemonpeel angelfish, blue damsel, honeycomb grouper and more.
Location: Pacific Resort Aitutaki. Northwest beach, just above Amuri.
6. Matriki Beach Huts/Tamanu Beach Resort – Aitutaki
Just a little further north of the Pacific Resort Aitutaki, the stretch of beach between Tamanu Beach Resort and Matriki Beach Huts offers another interesting mainland snorkelling spot. You’ll find lots of pockets of coral with colourful fish species to oggle at through your goggles. The resorts here provide kayaks and SUP boards to guests, while snorkelling gear is available to rent with Tamanu.
Location: Tamanu Beach Resort and Matriki Beach Huts. Northwest beach, north of Pacific Resort Aitutaki and south of Etu Moana.
7. Wreck of Alexander – Aitutaki Lagoon
Shipwrecks are typically reserved for scuba diving but the Wreck of Alexander is an awesome sight accessible to snorkelers. Join a lagoon cruise with Teking Lagoon Cruises or Kia Orana Cruise to stop by this wrecked cargo ship that now attracts an array of tropical fish and barnacles.
Location: Western side of the Aitutaki Lagoon, accessible with Teking Lagoon Cruises and Kia Orana Cruise. Find out more in the 10 Best Lagoon Cruises on Aitutaki.
8. Honeymoon Island – Aitutaki Lagoon
If you want to spend the day marooned on an islet in the Aitutaki Lagoon with some decent snorkelling available, choose Honeymoon Island. Although the island is chock-full in the kitesurfing season, the rest of the year sees only a couple of lagoon cruises stop by throughout the day. The island is surrounded by a giant clam farm, as well as coral bommies, making for an interesting time in the water.
Location: Western side of the Aitutaki Lagoon. Accessible with Teking Lagoon Cruises and Kia Orana Cruise. Water taxis and charters are also available with Black Pearl Charters and Wet & Wild. Find out more in the 10 Best Snorkelling Tours in Aitutaki.
9. One Foot Island – Aitutaki Lagoon
An obligatory island stop on just about any lagoon cruise in Aitutaki, One Foot Island has some interesting snorkelling a few metres from its shore. By no means the best snorkelling spot on the lagoon, as the island (Tapuaetai) is away from the lagoon’s coral areas, One Foot Island is one of the most accessible islets of the lagoon. You can often see stingrays, GTs and the odd giant clam, as well as the ever-present tropical fish, making snorkelling a worthwhile activity while on the island as part of a day cruise or when dropped off by a water taxi.
Location: Eastern side of the Aitutaki Lagoon. Accessible with Bishop’s Cruises, Teking Lagoon Cruises, Kia Orana Cruise, The Vaka Cruise and Platinum Cruising. Find out more in the 10 Best Lagoon Cruises on Aitutaki.
10. Ootu Beach – Aitutaki
More of a swimming beach than a snorkelling beach, Ootu Beach is still worth mentioning on this list of the best places to snorkel in Aitutaki for its accessibility. Located by several accommodations at the end of the Ootu Peninsula, the beach here is good for spotting stingrays and fish among the sand. The Ootu Channel at high tide and around the wharf are your best bet for spotting marine life. But be careful of boats.
Location: Southern end of the Ootu Peninsula (southern end of the new runway).
More About Snorkelling in Aitutaki
Now that you know about the best places for snorkelling in Aitutaki, how about finding the perfect snorkelling tour or more snorkelling spots across the Cook Islands?
- 10 Best Snorkelling Tours in Aitutaki
- The Best Snorkelling in the Cook Islands: Top 10 Places to Snorkel
- 10 Best Beaches in Aitutaki
Finally, plan more of your itinerary using the 101 Best Things to Do in the Cook Islands: The Ultimate List.