A visit to Rangiroa!
Rangiroa is made up of 240 tiny motus (islets) that encircle a turquoise and green endless lagoon. This island resembles a giant pearl necklace and is the second largest coral atoll in the world.
One of the world’s best dive and snorkel destinations, where crystal clear lagoon waters, and an abundance of marine life create some of the best underwater moments.
Rangiroa has two main villages – Avatoru and Tiputa, where visitors can find a few restaurants, tiny shops, churches, and craft centers on the main road of the island. The island’s airport is located near Avatoru, the larger of the two villages.
We cruised to Rangiroa on the MSY Wind Spirit Yacht, one of Windstar Cruises elegant ships.
Here are our recommendations on what to do when visiting Rangiroa.
WHAT TO DO
What to Do?
Snorkel, Dive, Snorkel, Dive …this is the place to spend a lot of time snorkeling and diving. The clear blue water of the lagoon and exceptional diversity of marine life create a paradise for snorkelers and divers.
Rangiroa is one of the premier diving spots in the world. Some of the popular dive sites are the Blue Lagoon, Avatoru Pass, Tiputa Pass and Les Sables Roses (The Pink Sands).
We drift snorkeled near Tiputa Pass on an excursion with Windstar Cruises and swam with wild dolphins. There’s no guarantee if you’ll see marine life, so we were amazed when a pod of dolphins joined us. We also visited some coral gardens, and snorkeled with harmless black-tip sharks, and tropical fish like parrot fish, triggerfish and groupers.
Head to the Beach:
There are lots of white sand beaches on this island made of coral, but most of these motus (little islands) with dreamy beaches need to be reached by water taxis. There is a fabulous vista at Tiputa Point where you can picnic, but do NOT swim since there are strong currents and surf.
We visited Gaughin Pearl Farm and purchased a few unset black pearls to take home and create some jewelry. Learn about pearl cultivation, and how oysters are selected, grown, and grafted for production of the famous Tahitian pearl.
Bicycle the Island:
There are a few bikes available to rent on the pier, as well as at Chez Lilly, and the Dive Center. If you are on a Windstar Cruise, best to reserve a bike to see the island, in case there aren’t any bikes to rent on the island.
Shop at Mama’s Market:
There is a small Mama’s Market set up at the cruise tender pier near Tiputa Point, where cruise visitors can purchase local handicrafts.
Good to Note: We cruised through French Polynesia with Windstar Cruises. If you decide to return and stay on Rangiroa, our recommendation below.
Where to Stay?
Hotel Kia Ora – we stayed here on a previous trip and the resort bungalows, tropical gardens and beaches, and central location make this resort an ideal place to stay. Also, Top Dive is located next door so you can arrange your dive and snorkel trips at the hotel.
EXPLORING FRENCH POLYNESIA & ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
ARTICLES AND VIDEOS OF FRENCH POLYNESIA
On this trip, we cruised with Windstar Cruises, and visited 8 islands including coral atolls Fakarava and Rangiroa in the Tuamotus archipelago, as well as Taha’a, Raiatea, Huahine, Bora Bora, Moorea and Tahiti in the Society Islands. Sharing highlights from each of these islands – what to do, where to go, dine, stay…
***Click here to see drone footage Fakarava Blue Lagoon Tour
· Bora Bora, Island of Romance
· Moorea, the Heart Shaped Island of Polynesia
· Huahine, Polynesia’s Garden of Eden
· Raiatea Island, the Cradle of French Polynesia
· Taha’a, South Pacific’s Vanilla Island
Global Adventuress thanks Windstar Cruises for partially hosting our cruise through French Polynesia, including the Rangiroa snorkeling excursion.