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French Polynesia

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French Polynesia Dive Liveaboards to the Tuamotu Atolls
8 days from US$3,750

he faraway islands of the Southern Pacific Ocean are often overlooked by divers due to their sheer remoteness - but these are your classic ideal of lush and varied islands, some formed as atolls whilst others have unique and beautiful topography. Underwater we can find pristine coral gardens filled with fish and colour, as well as prolific populations of sharks, rays and reef giants such as Napolean wrasse.

Tahiti provides a classic example of steep topography, with tall lush mountains rising steeply from a shoreline which is often protected by barrier reefs. In contrast, the Tuamotu Islands in French Polynesia are low lying and form the largest chain of atolls in the world.

If we take Rangiroa in French Polynesia as an example, this is one of the largest atolls in the world whose elliptical reefs about 200km in circumference incorporate 415 motus (islets and sandbars) and a total land area of about 170km2. The lagoon is about 1,446km2 with a maximum depth 35m.  The waters here can provide some very protected calm coral reef diving and snorkelling, whilst the many channels which link the lagoon to the ocean can have strong currents which attract pelagic species including  hammerheads, grey reef, black tips, silver tip, silky and tiger sharks.

The UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Fakarava is another huge atoll, lying in the west of the Tuamotu group of French Polynesian islands. This is 60km long and 21km wide where outside of the reefs drift diving can provide memorable encounters with sharks. Inside the substantial lagoon there are some stunning hard corals, protected from wave action from all sides, sheltering a host of crustaceans and molluscs.

Rangiroa and Fakarava are both part of the Tuamotu Islands, of which others include Toau, Tikehau, Kauehi, Apataki and Manihi. These are all targets within our French Polynesian Dive Liveaboard journeys.


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