Tuamotu Atolls, French Polynesia
The Tuamotu Archipelago comprises 78 coral atolls, scattered over several hundred miles of the eastern Pacific Ocean governed by French Polynesia. The low islands of the Tuamotu are green rings of coral reef surrounding a turquoise lagoon. While many of these atolls are remote, the more populated ones include Rangiroa, Fakarava and Manihi.
Rangiroa is the largest of the Tuamotu atolls and offers white coral beaches and its lagoon is unsurpassed for snorkelling and scuba diving. Motor boat outings and drag line fishing are popular, as well as a variety of water sports.
Manihi is considered the centre of black pearl farming. Popular activities on the island include fish park and pearl farm tours, boat trips around the lagoon and line or spear fishing.
Fakarava is the second largest atoll in the Tuamotu archipelago. Its huge lagoon has several black pearl farms, white sand beaches and is peppered with small islands, homes to many breeds of nesting birds. The passes provide 150 foot visibility for snorkelers and scuba divers.
Things to See and Do
* Guided island and lagoon tours
* Water sports
* Black pearl farm tour
* Snorkelling & Diving
Cruise Season – Jan - Dec
Currency – CFP franc (XPF)
Language – French, Tahitian
Land Area – 850 km²
Population – 15,000 approx
Electricity – 2 angled flat pins and 1 round pin centred below Australian style
Time – GMT minus ten hours
International Country Telephone Code – + 689
Port Location – Anchorage is available at the main villages on the islands. Transfers are generally by tender boat.
Transport Links – There is a small domestic airfield located on Fakarava. Air Tahiti and Air Oceania offer flights from Papeete three times per week, which take approximately an hour and a half.
Ferries tavel between most islands.
Two cruise ships/luxury liners currently ply the islands: the Paul Gauguin, which does a regular 7-day trip around the Societies, with occasional trips out to the Tuamotus, Marquesas and Cook Islands; and the Tahitian Princess which does similar itineraries.