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The Tuamotu Atolls

An hour to the east of Tahiti are the Tuamotus, atolls of intense beauty surrounding lagoons full of coral and fish, where passes run from the deep Pacific into the shallows. Here sharks congregate to take advantage of the abundance of fish life. The largest and most famous atoll in the Tuamotus is Rangiroa, but there are others with equally exotic names - Tikehau, Fakarava, Manihi, Apataki, Toau, Kaukura. Here can be had some of the best "pelagic" diving in the world.

The Tuamotus boast some of the most beautiful resorts in the world, including the Pearl Beach Resorts on Tikehau and Manihi, the Kia Ora on Rangiroa and Le Maitai Dream on Fakarava. While Rangiroa is certainly the most celebrated atoll in the Tuamotus, in our opinion the others are as good, if not better. Tikehau is one of the most stunning and unspoilt atolls in the world, with some of the finest coral diving in Tahiti; Manihi is as comparable a destination as Yap for manta ray encounters and the Manihi Pearl Beach Resort offers some of the best value for money overwater bungalows in Tahiti; if you want to see a "wall of sharks" then look no further than Garuae Pass at the northern end of Fakarava, and if you are lucky you may encounter a tiger shark or two! Rangiroa is a more developed atoll, and for those lokoing for either a luxury holiday or a more budget hotel but combined with some alternative eateries and entertainment, then this may be the place for you. But if you are looking for the ultimate getaway from it all holiday in unbridled luxury, then head for Tikehau, Manihi or Fakarava.

Some atolls are only accessible by live-aboard and the only true way to do this is aboard the Tahiti Aggressor. Cruising from Rangiroa to Fakarava and back again the following week, the Tahiti Aggressor dives the popular dives sites of Rangiroa and Fakarava themselves, but also passes by Apataki and Toua, the former being location of Tehere Pass, consistently offering up vast walls of grey reef sharks and mighty schools of jacks, barracuda, snapper and other reef dwellers. The Tahiti Aggressor offers exceptional value for money on her weekly cruise, and gives you the opportunity to maximise your precious holiday time and visit atolls that you would not be able to dive under normal circumstances.

Any extended trip to Tahiti should include at least 5 to 7 days in the Tuamutos, as it is here that can be found the real action diving for which Tahiti is justifiably famous.

 


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