Rangiroa Travel Guide

Rangiroa © Olivier Bruchez

Part of the Tuamotus archipelago, Rangiroa is the world's second largest atoll, actually just a ring of low land encircling a vast, crystal-clear deep turquoise lagoon. The island, about an hour's flight from Tahiti, offers, among other things, world-class scuba diving. The water is so clear that visibility is estimated at least 150ft (46m), and the temperature remains a constant 80°F (27°C).

The stretch where the lagoon opens to the ocean, known as Tiputa Pass, is particularly rich in marine life and is recognised as one of the world's greatest shark dive locations. Even snorkellers can appreciate close-up views of the various species of sharks and schools of dolphins that gather in the pass.

Accommodation options on the atoll are limited but include a lovely low-key five-star hotel/resort near the main village, and an adventurer's South Sea paradise on a remote lagoon islet, consisting of five primitive beach bungalows hidden under the palms.

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