Rangiroa is one of the world’s greatest destinations for scuba diving! It is the largest atoll in the Tuamotu Archipelago and the second largest in the world. 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, local restaurants along with a few tiny shops operated by locals. There is even a local winery nestled within a coconut grove!
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, close to the two passes holding the same name allowing access to the ocean.
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:
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.
Most of your dining on Rangiroa will be at your resort. There are a few small local restaurants and snack shops located in the village of Avatoru if you want to venture out for a bit of local flavor. There is also a grocery store when you can stock up on drinks and snacks for your room.