The Tuamotu atolls

Rangiroa, Tikehau, Fakarava, Manihi

The Tuamotus are like sand rafts resting on the velvet of the Pacific Ocean. A diver's paradise, a sanctuary for pearl farms, the isolation of the Tuamotu is also an invitation to wake up the Robinson Crusoe sleeping in each one of us: a return to untouched nature, to meals based on the day's catch, lost in the immensity of the Pacific, on an islet suspended between the blue skies and the Trade Winds…
Rangiroa... along the sky
Tikehau... and its aquarium lagoon
Fakarava.... the end of the world
Manihi... cradle of the black pearl

Rangiroa... along the sky

Rangiroa: the very very big blue
Former name: Rairoa (literally: "long sky")

Encounter: The largest of the atolls in French Polynesia and the second in the world in size. Every diver's Mecca.

At a glance: Rangiroa's clear waters are very deep and hide many treasures for divers with an exceptionally rich marine fauna: over 700 species to discover, as well as many bird colonies nesting on the neighboring motus. Its lagoon is so big that it has a true inside sea and it is often difficult to see the other side.
But in the past 15 years Rangiroa has also become a Mecca for shark lovers as many sharks are frequently encountered in both passes. Not for weak hearts!

How to get there: Rangiroa is only an hour away by plane from Tahiti. The airport is located near the village of Avatoru, on a strip of land 300 meters wide. This airport is also a hub for flights to the other Tuamotu atolls.

Tikehau... and its aquarium lagoon

Tikehau: crystalline, sparkling
Former name: Oropaa

Encounter: Tikehau is even a greater getaway than its neighbor Rangiroa, only miles away. An enchanting scenery with crystal clear water, white sands and majestic coconut trees as far as you can see.

At a glance: With the perfect shape of one of its famous black pearls, Tikehau, the well rounded, is in fact like an immense and pleasant natural aquarium 28 km (17 miles) in diameter and 80 km (50 miles) around. There are found over 400 varieties of fishes The some 450 residents of the island live from fishing and copra, as do most of the people of the Tuamotu.
But it is mostly Tikehau's simplicity, combined with the tranquility of its coconut groves, that gives it that "quaint little village" look that Rangiroa has partially lost.

How to get there: 30 km (20 miles) away from Rangiroa, Tikehau is located about 300 km (200 miles) from Tahiti. By plane: direct flights from Papeete (55 minutes) or via Rangiroa.

Fakarava... the end of the world

Fakarava: Immense, lost
Former name: Farea or Havaiki

Encounter: Lovers of forgotten beaches will choose Fakarava. Between 15 meters (50 ft) and 35 meters (110 ft) deep, all diving spots on the atoll are stunning and easily accessible, except for those in the passes.

At a glance: Recently open to tourism, The immense lagoon of Fakarava is now an incomparable undersea paradise for any diver, with exceptional scenery and encounters: sting rays, hammerhead sharks, tiger sharks, etc.
A biosphere registered by UNESCO, Fakarava reveals abundant and very original fauna and flora.

How to get there: The airport is 4km (2.5 miles) from the village. Its 930-meter runway can accomodate Air Tahiti's ATR planes, which fly several times a week non stop from Tahiti or via Rangiroa.

Manihi... cradle of the black pearl

Manihi: between the sky and the deep blue sea

Encounter: Manihi, small atoll in the North of the Tuamotu with its many pearl farms and unforgettable diving spots. Life there is in harmony with light and the sparkling lagoon.

At a glance: Manihi is the cradle of the Polynesian black pearl (called Poerava). This atoll has the parcicularity of having trees, which gives it a special charm within the myriad of atolls in the Tuamotu. There are many white sand beaches on the motu and the various diving centers propose wonderful undersea excursions for diving fans from all over the world..
Manihi gives you the feeling that you have reached the end of the world with wide spaces under an unreal sky.

How to get there: Located 520 km (320 miles) from Tahiti, Manihi can be reached by plane directly from Tahiti (about an hour and fifteen minutes flight) or with a stop in Rangiroa.

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