This beautiful island, lost in the middle of the Pacific Ocean is a one of the best diving destination in the world. This small paradise of nearly 1000 km2 is by far the most populated island of the French Polynesia with nearly 200 000 inhabitants. Its capital, Papeete, has around 2/3 of the inhabitants of the island and has the only international airport of French Polynesia and, then, is the gateway for all diving trip in Polynesia. The island is divided into two distinct parts, Tahiti Nui, the largest, on which the international airport and Papeete is located, and Tahiti Iti, which is smaller and wilder and offers many surprises to divers and travelers. The most spoken language is French.
Tahiti has some of the most beautiful diving sites in French Polynesia and many clubs and resorts offer high quality services. Quite often, divers will stay only a few days on Tahiti before going to discover the diving spots of Rangiroa and Tuamotu, which are world famous, or the beautiful island of Bora Bora for a luxury diving trip.
When to go scuba diving in Tahiti?
The temperature of the air evolves between 26 and 29 ° Celsius in Tahiti. The climate is of tropical maritime type wet and we distinguish two seasons.
The warm season, also called the austral summer, from November to April. This season is very rainy and should be avoided.
The cool season, also called the austral winter, from May to October.
These two seasons are clearly distinguished and the months of December and January are very rainy. It should be noted that the eastern part of the island, called “leeward” is much more humid than the western part of the island, called “wind”.
Scuba diving conditions
The current is generally very low in Tahiti, making it an ideal place to pass the open water diver course. It should be noted that, in the rest of French Polynesia, the currents of the Tuamotu or in the passes of the different atolls, can be very powerful.
The diving visibility in Tahiti and in the whole of French Polynesia is simply extraordinary. It is generally about 50 meters but can reach up to 100 meters in exceptional weather.
The water temperature varies between 25 ° celcius between May and October and 30 ° celcius between November and April. The water is therefore at the ideal temperature for scuba diving.
Recommended dive level: The vast majority of diving sites are accessible from diving level 1 or Open Water diver. Because of this, Tahiti is quite suitable for beginner diving courses. Unlike the rest of the world, open water allows diver to dive up to 29 meters deep instead of 18 meters deep. Advanced open water or level 2 divers will also find interesting dives but will certainly prefer to dive on the Tuamotu atolls such as the Tiputa pass in Rangiroa.
What to see while scuba diving or snorkelling?
The island of Tahiti is particularly suitable for scuba diving and in particular for divers wishing to pass their open water diver level. Diving in Tahiti is a special experience, thanks to its translucent waters, the variety of Tahiti’s diving sites, between wrecks, falls and coral gardens, but also the incredible diversity of its fauna and its submarine flora .
You can dive with pelagics such as reef sharks, lemon sharks, dolphins, rainbow trevallies, napoleons, hammerhead sharks, gray sharks, leopard rays, barracudas, morays, manta rays and many others. But also with beautiful tropical fish, nudibranches or many other fishes and crustaceans. It should be noted that some periods are more suitable than others for diving with large pelagics:
- FROM JUNE – OCTOBER: Numerous manta rays.
- FROM JULY – NOVEMBER: Season of humpback whales.
- DECEMBER – MARCH: Many hammerhead sharks and eagle rays.