5. A True Taste of Heaven: Rangiroa – French Polynesia


The Clearest Turquoise Water in The World

Rangiroa is a coral atoll (a circular coral formation) which surrounds a deep turquoise lagoon. Rangiroa is also one of the world’s finest destinations in the world—one rich in corals and beautiful sea creatures afloat in some of the clearest, most beautiful turquoise waters in the world.

The World’s Most Photographer-Friendly Fish

Rangiroa is one of the largest coral atolls in the world. Divers love Rangiroa both because of its crystal clear waters and the beautiful diversity of its corals and marine wildlife. Wild dolphins frequent this island, as well as manta rays, sea turtles, and friendly (yes, friendly) sharks who most cordially allow you to photograph them if you wish. Divers talk about the friendliness of all the fish here, in fact.

Situated in the French Polynesian Islands, Rangoria is located 194 miles northeast of Tahiti in the Tuamotu Archipelago. This coral atoll is ringed around a pristine island paradise.

A Lagoon So Massive It Has Its Own Horizon

Rangiroa is a 40 square kilometer island, one of 78, in French Polynesia. Most of its 40 kilometers, however, are covered by a lagoon – in fact, a lagoon so massive that it has its own horizon.

The name of the island, Rangiroa, actually means “vast sky,” and the sky here is massive, reminding you of the Big Sky country of Montana perhaps. When you see the vista here, which is truly endless because of the great size of the lagoon, you’ll see why Rangoria has earned its name.

The Formation of The Atoll

Rangiroa is actually one of 240 tiny islets, made of many, what is called “motu.” Rangiroa was created by a volcano that was eventually submerged back into the sea, leaving only a ring of rocks, which formed the coral atoll. Rangiroa, in fact, is the second largest atoll in the world, after Christmas Island. You’re standing, in other words, on what used to be the mouth of the volcano.

There are two other unique features of Rangiroa that deserve mention, its vineyards and its pearl industry, Tahitian Pearls to be exact. Divers typically find oysters still boasting Tahitian Pearls, which makes this a highly prized and unique site for diving fun.

An Intoxicating Experience—In More Ways than One

Visiting here is an intoxicating experience not only because of the beauty of the waters and fishes but also the beautiful wines produced by the local vineyards. A variety of thirty red and white wines here are produced and served at the cafes.


Then there is the pearl industry of French Polynesia which is especially active in Rangiroa, where their famous lagoon pearl farms produce the best Tahitian pearls one can buy.

If you want to visit a place of complete tranquility, where the island inhabitants rise at sunset and go to bed shortly after dusk, this is the perfect place for you.

Tourism is the backbone of Rangiroa’s economy and tourists come not just for the beauty of the corals and the fishes found here but because of the stillness and quietude of this place.


The wine and pearl industries here also provide tourist-friendly activities that keep them frequenting the island. Here, visitors to Rangiroa can go scuba diving, try to find their own pearls in the oysters in the lagoon, sunbathe, commune with the friendly natives here, or contemplate the unknown as they gaze into an endless vista of blue on blue. Para sailing is a popular pastime here as well as, of course, snorkeling and scuba diving.

Although located nearer to Tahiti than any other island, this island is virtually untraveled and pristine. The only visitors here will be the tourists as the island holds a mere population of only 2500 – total. Therefore, if you want to experience a land cast back into time, still quiet and untamed, where you can truly experience a connection with nature, Rangoria is the place for you.  Small craft shops and two are about as exciting as it gets here. It’s truly a quiet escape for the world-weary who want to experience a quieter form of joy.

Rangiroa also boasts of its diversity of marine life here. Bottlenose dolphins and tame tiger sharks swim here, as well as hump head wrasses, stingrays, and an occasional hammerhead shark that feed on the sting rays here. Also sea turtles, wild dolphins, and around four hundred species of fish dwell here.

Rangiroa is also surrounded by legendary bodies of water. These are called the Moana-tea, which means Peaceful Ocean, and Moana-ure, meaning wild ocean. But the experience you’ll have here is nothing but peaceful. The endless vistas of water here create an environment that is otherworldly in its sense of undisturbed quiet. It is described as a truly heavenly experience and, in that respect—a true place of great spiritual grace.

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