Rangiroa Travel Destinations
When divers head to French Polynesia in search of stellar coral and adrenaline-rush dives, Rangiroa is often the destination of choice. The water’s 150-foot visibility and abundant schools of sharks and tuna add to the allure. But the ultimate thrill is “shooting the pass,” a fast-paced drift dive from the ocean through Tiputa Pass into Rangiroa’s protected lagoon – alongside what seems like a million fish.
Rangiroa is a necklace-shaped coral atoll comprised of 415 tiny motus, making it the largest in Tahiti’s Tuamotu island group. No motu is higher than three feet above sea level, meaning Rangiroa travel is most definitely about the water – being on it, in it, above it and under it – while waterskiing, parasailing, kayaking, glass-bottom boating and more. Unless you like sand and there’s plenty of that, too. Rangiroa’s beaches, such as the ones on Blue Lagoon Motu and L’Ile aux Recifs, feature fine white sand and access to superb snorkel spots. Lagoon excursions are also popular and vary according to interests: Options include fishing expeditions or visits to a bird sanctuary or to spy on playful dolphins at Tiputa Pass.
The clear waters of Rangiroa lagoon also produce some of Tahiti’s finest black pearls. To see how these beautiful baubles are cultivated and harvested, visit one of French Polynesia’s largest pearl farms. And while Tahiti is not known for wine production, the French are. One Rangiroa, one French expat named Dominique Auroy created a vineyard in the middle of the South Pacific and you can visit to sample his “Vin de Tahiti.”
Accommodations range from a newly renovated superior-class resort to a rustic castaway property without TVs or telephones. You’ll also find two small villages on Rangiroa: Avatoru, home to the airport and most resorts and shops, and Tiputa, located across the lagoon. And everywhere you go, there’s an open invitation to dive right in.
Popular Sightseeing and Tours
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Drift Snorkeling at Tiputa Pass
This is a "lazy person's" snorkeling! A boat takes you out and drops you in the Pass, then you float with the tide as you take pleasure in the sea life unfolding below you. Tour operates daily.