Rangiroa is a marvel of both land and sea. When on the water, you can find manta rays, dolphins, sharks and even whales in certain seasons. Back on land, you can find black pearl farms, coral churches, craft centers, and local restaurants along with a few tiny shops operated by locals.
Rangiroa means “endless skies,” which makes it the perfect name for this enormous lagoon. An “atoll” is a ring of coral around a lagoon with no volcanic remains visible in the center. So, unlike Bora Bora or Moorea, there is no main island in Rangiroa – just the reef protecting the lagoon from the ocean. To give you a sense of the lagoon’s scale, the inside of the lagoon is so large it could hold the entire island of Tahiti.
The local people in Rangiroa mostly live on two of the hundreds of motu circling the atoll: Tiputa and Avatoru. These motu are close to the two passes holding the same name allowing access to the ocean. In addition to the many things to see and do, there is even a local winery nestled within a coconut grove!
The atoll island of Rangiroa is all about the lagoon! Here you will find some of the best diving and snorkeling in the world. Almost all of the available excursions are focused on being in the water. Here are some of our favorites:
Get up close and personal with a huge variety of marine life in Tiputa Pass. You will likely see huge schools of fish, humphead wrasse, manta rays and leopard rays and reef sharks. Then finish up with a visit to the natural “Aquarium” to see the multi-colored fish of Rangiroa’s lagoon. Eco Tour and Dolphin Watch (2 hours)
Start the tour with a snorkeling session within the Aquarium to observe the lagoon fauna. Then, make your way towards Tiputa for a drift snorkeling session within the pass. Wrap up the tour by a dolphin expedition. Look for the big bottlenose dolphins, manta rays and sharks. Swimming time with the dolphins is only possible with clear weather and cannot be guaranteed.
Discover an incredible place known as the Lagon Bleu, a lagoon within a lagoon, just one hour from Rangiroa by boat. Feed tropical fish, bird watch, explore surrounding islands and go snorkeling before settling down to your picnic and seeing some sharks. Enjoy a locale “bringue” (local band) during lunch time on the motu (Barbecued Fish or Poultry with vegetables). After lunch, you will have a demo of coconut palm braiding, followed by a Shark & tropical wild Bird feeding session. On your way back to the village, you will stop at the aquarium for a great snorkeling session.