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French Polynesia


Taumotu Islands

Tuamotu is an archipelago comprising 78 low islands or coral atolls scattered over several hundred miles of the eastern Pacific. Life on these remote atolls is simple and quiet. Interior lagoons are a haven for black pearl farms, fish parks, snorkelling and scuba diving.


Rangiroa, with its 42 mile long by 16 mile wide turquoise lagoon, is the largest atoll in the Tuamotu Archipelago and the second largest in the world. Only an hour's flight from Tahiti, Rangiroa offers sunshine, white coral beaches and an immense playground for water sports and activities.

Lagoon excursions include amazing snorkeling through the pass amongst thousands of colorful fish of all shapes and sizes together with 3 or 4 varieties of sharks. They elegantly - and harmlessly - cruise by, but close enough to make the heart beat just a little faster. A must do!

Also available is line or drag fishing as well as motor boat outings to visit Tiputa village, various remote motu islets, the bird sanctuary on Motu Paio and thefamous "Blue Lagoon" of Toeo'o. Picnics are sometimes included. All of the hotels and pensions can arrange these excursions. Rangiroa lagoon and the pass are also world famous for unsurpassed scuba diving which is available with professional diving centers.


Manihi is an atoll 312 miles northeast of Tahiti in the Tuamotu Archipelago. Its clear lagoon, which is 3 1/2 miles wide by l9 miles long, has a deep navigable pass through the reef. 

It is here, in the purest, blue-green waters surrounding this remote atoll, that that South Seas "gem," the rare black pearl, was first farmed. Manihi is still the center of black pearl farming, and a visit to one of many black pearl farms sprinkled arround the lagoon is a must.

Mast of the population of 400 live in Turipaoa village alongside the pass. Activities are naturally centered around the lagoon, and no matter where you stay, your hosts will arrange boat trips to show you around the lagoon, visiting the fish parks and pearl farms, with picnics on a motus and line or spear fishing.


An hour and a half flight from Papeete ( 3 times a week, Mon,/Fr.  via Air Tahiti, Wed. via Air Oceania ),  Rectangular-shaped Fakarava is the second largest atoll in the Tuamotu, 37 miles long by 15 miles wide. It has a very large pass at the north end and a smaller one at the south end.

Rotoava village has a small airport and is located 6 miles from the Ngarue pass (one-kilometer wide). It is a charming village, home to most of the atoll's 248 inhabitants. The only other - sort of - settlement (11 people ) is on Tetamanu motu (islet) located at the opposite end of the lagoon next to the smaller but prettier pass.

Fakarava's immense lagoon has several black pearl farms, idyllic white sand beaches and is peppered with small islands, homes to many breeds of nesting birds oblivious to visitors. The passes provide endless and exciting discoveries for snorkelers and scuba divers in dream-like purple water where 150 foot visibility is the norm.

For more regional information on the Tuamotu Islands, go to:

Hotels & Resorts on the Tuamotu Islands

For more general information on French Polynesia, go to:

For more regional information on French Polynesia, go to:

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We have included French Polynesia in some of our specials to the South Pacific, eg. our Kontiki Voyage and South Sea Dream Voyage. Another option is to create your own package to French Polynesia by utilizing the seperate travel components, like hotels, flights and excursions on the islands.

For a legal wedding the legal requires in French Polynesia that you remain at least 30 days in French Polynesia before the marriage. In practice this means you may only have a ceremonial wedding in French Polynesia (see also Tiki Village).

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