"We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us."            





OVERWATER BUNGALOWS



BIKING - MANIHI



SCUBA DIVING - TIKEHAU



RELAXATION - FAKARAVA



SURFING - RANGIROA



DUSK - FAKARAVA



NET FISHING - FAKARAVA



PEACEFULNESS - MANIHI



BIRD ISLAND - TIKEHAU



MARINE LIFE - FAKARAVA



OVERWATER BUNGALOWS - RANGIROA



DOLPHINS AT PLAY - RANGIROA



GOLDEN SUNSET - RANGIROA



SECLUDED BEACH - TIKEHAU



REEF SHARKS - FAKARAVA



TRANQUILITY - RANGIROA

TUAMOTU ATOLLS - THE LABYRINTH

The largest of the Polynesian archipelagos
includes 76 islands and atolls extending over 1250 square miles. Asleep for many years, now it has come back to life through the establishment of some 250 pearl farms and tourism based on rich scuba diving sites. These atolls are the islands of exotic dreams. Imagine palm trees swaying in the slightest breeze, sand banks that periodically interrupt the white foam of the waves, and ribbons of islets fringed with coconut trees which float between the azure blue and the trade winds. Renowned for an exceptional quality of scuba diving, one can easily discover angel fish, manta rays, hammerhead sharks, jack trevallies, and barracuda. It is not unusal to see family fish parks, where shoals of cavally, "duckbills," and parrotfish are swimming around. Children can choose a playmate from among the small sleeping sharks. On the surface of the vast lagoons of the atolls you can often see the outlines of little jetties and pearl farm structures which are usually included in sightseeing tours for visitors who are curious to see how they work and to admire their pearls. Being far away does not mean isolation and lack of comfort. "Green"solar energy provides electricity and hot water and all the modern means of communication are available in these atolls. Far from the bustling city, the Tuamotu offer a lifestyle that the Robinson Crusoe in all of us only dream of: stepping out of our normal home environment into harmony with nature's great ocean, between the sky and the sea; learning how to live beyond the normal constraints of time.

                                    

 RANGIROA - THE INFINITE LAGOON: Slightly over an hour away from Tahiti on flights that operate daily, Rangiroa is a gigantic atoll, the largest in French Polynesia. A genuine natural aquarium rated by Commander Jacques Cousteau as the most beautiful and richest lagoon in the world. Rangiroa has become a mecca of the world's scuba divers. The Tiputa pass is a must-see, offering an incredible panorama of marine life; particularly the famous shark "wall", a group of up to 300 sharks of various species. Diver or not, the atoll is a sweet paradise for anyone, where several excursions will lead to pink sands, hidden "motu," and the blue lagoon; a heavenly and isolated place. Rangiroa, on its narrow strip of land, offers visitors different possibilites according to the wishes and budget of each, from hotels to pensions, or cruises to enjoy the pleasures of life on the water.

Rangiroa has been described as a ship anchored in the ocean. Unlike other mountainous Polynesian islands, it is an atoll, the eroded rim of an ancient volcano. Some 240 motu (islets) separated by more than 100 very shallow hoa (channels) form its coral ring. Imagine a crystal lagoon 42 miles long in the aquamarine South Pacific. Imagine pristine white beaches as long as the island itself. Imagine a sea of islands that invites your exploration. This is Rangiroa. In the native tongue it means “Boundless Sky."


4 good reasons to choose Rangiroa 

Rangiroa is the largest atoll in French Polynesia

With its dream beaches and coral reefs, it was ranked by Commander Jacques Cousteau as one of the finest and richest in the world.

A world fanous deep-sea diving paradise

Beginners and accomplished divers alike will be amazed by the abundant underwater fauna and the diversity of sites, from lagoons and passes to reef drop-offs out in the ocean.

A wide range of water activities are encouraged in this enchanting setting

Explore the sea-bed by glass-bottomed boat; sail on the "blue lagoon" aboard a motorboat; discover genuine, giant, natural, marine habitats; snorkel the coral gardens; meet the dolphins; travel to the island's reefs; discover the "pink sand" beaches; and fishing on the open sea.

The two passes give access to the ocean

Tiputa and Avatoru, which bear the same name as their adjacent villages, are the gateways to the ocean. The inhabitants of the atoll work on the pearl farms, fish, collect copra, or collect shells for making necklaces.
    

 TIKEHAU - THE PINK SAND ISLAND: 185 miles northeast of Tahiti and about 10 miles from Rangiroa, Tikehau, with its nearly perfect circular blue lagoon and its pink sand beaches, looks like a gigantic natural swimming pool. In these waters, that are among the richest in fish on the planet, the most surprising species congregate to give visitors a show like no other. Come back up for air and the spectacle is just as rich: many bird species live on this little strip of sand. This is the place to live the Polynesian life and enjoy its particular beat. 


4 good reasons to choose Tikehau

A huge natural swimming pool

16 miles in diameter, Tikehau is famous for being the atoll with the most fish in French Polynesia.

Tuheiva, Tikehau's only pass

is the place to see the dancing manta rays, the shoals of barracuda and tuna, the gray or black tip sharks, and the lovely blue dolphins. Outings suited to each diver's skill level are arranged by the island's dive centers.

Activities include

trips to a natural "motu," visits to the natural lagoon aquarium, excursions to the island of birds, visits to the village of Tuherahera, sunset cruises, and crossing the lagoon to see the pink sand.

A luxury resort

is located at the heart of a natural coconut grove fringed by deserted, white sand beaches where buildings and nature blend in perfect harmony.

 

 MANIHI - THE ISLAND OF PEARLS: Less than 125 miles from Rangiroa, Manihi is a small atoll with less than 1000 residents, particularly famous for its pearl farms. Manihi was the site of the first pearl farm that helped pave the way for pearl farming throughout the Tuamotu.  The black-lipped oysters, found only in Tahiti, are cultivated for their prized black pearls. In the stilt houses dotting the lagoon, one can discover the secrets of the creation of this sea jewel. Fishing enthusiasts and divers will be enchanted by Manihi's lagoon. 


4 good reasons to choose Manihi

An atoll at the edge of the world

Manihi has exceptional seabeds that attract international divers. Many species, including the marbled loach, come here to breed each year. 

A fairy-tale lagoon sprinkled with pearl farms

Guided visits are organized to explain the process of pearl farming in Tahiti.

Activities

Picnics on an undeveloped "motu," longline fishing, deep sea fishing, round the island boat tours, snorkeling down the pass, boat hire with skipper, sunset cruises, glass bottom boat trips.

A festive luxury hotel

plays host to talented island musicians and dancers.
         

 FAKARAVA - THE ISLAND OF DREAMS: 280 miles from Tahiti, Fakarava is the second largest atoll of Polynesia. Like her big sister, Rangiroa, Fakarava is famous for its exceptional dive sites, especially the north pass that is, at 800 meters, the widest in Polynesia. A biosphere reserve of UNESCO, this delicate ecosystem supports especially rare flora and fauna, including the hunting kingfisher, the Tuamotu palm, and sea life, such as squills and sea cicadas. Fakarava also contains one of the first Catholic chuches constructed in Tahiti. Located in the ancient village of Tetamanu, this structure is built primarily of coral and dates back to 1874.  


4 good reasons to choose Fakarava

A protected atoll that is part of a UNESCO classified biosphere reserve

Particularly rare fauna and flora testify to the richness of this ecosystem and are a source of great delight for divers. 

The "Mecca" of diving

The northern pass of Garuae, is the largest in French Polynesia (800 meters wide) and is excellent for experiencing the "big fauna" in a drift dive; and the coral formations of exceptional quality.

The visitor highlights of the atoll include pearl farm visits

as well as a visit to the old village of Tetamanu, which has one of the first Catholic churches built of coral and dates back to 1874.

A private guesthouse

on an amazing site in harmony with the sea and this enchanting atoll. Small family hotels will offer you an unforgettably authentic experience; guaranteed to take you to another world. 



 





For more information or reservations for these islands, 
contact
a Lighthouse Travel Certified Tahiti Specialist.

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