The atoll of Rangiroa, in the Tuamotu, is the second largest atoll in the world. The atoll, a string of coral encircling a lagoon of amazing shades of blue, is also known as Rairoa, meaning "Endless sky" in the Tuamotu. It is home to 240 small motu (islets) forming a 100-mile ring around an infinite lagoon.
As you approach Rangiroa by air, you can only be amazed by the different shades of blue that will welcome you, the blues of the lagoon, the blues of the ocean, the blues of the sky... There are 3 main colours in the paradise: white, for the white sand and coral beaches, green for the coconut trees and tiare bushes that grow everywhere and blue for the water and the sky.
Life in Ragiroa is serene, time seems to stop on the island as you will want to just sit down and listen to the sound of the waves crashing on the reef. You are surrounded by the sea, the motu are not very wide and on either side, you can see the ocean and the lagoon. The contrast is amazing, on the one side, the dark ocean, almost wild and mysterious, on the other side the lagoon, calm and inviting, with dreamy shades of blue.
@ D. Hazama / Tahiti Tourisme
No surprise Rangiroa is one of the world's greatest dive destinations and home to hundreds of marine species including various fish, eagle rays, sharks and dolphins. An incredible underwater fauna, 6 different dive centers to choose from, whatever your level diving in Rangiroa is a must.
We arrived in Rangiroa on a Thursday morning and could not wait to discover the treasures that were waiting for us underwater. As soon as we were settled, we booked one of the most popular activities on the island: Drift snorkeling in the Tiputa pass. This excursion lasts about 2 hours and is best done when the current is flowing into the lagoon. This is not your typical snorkeling in the lagoon, your guide will take you where the wild ocean (Moana-uri) meets the peaceful lagoon (moana-tea) at the end of the pass. Don your mask and fins before jumping in the water where you will let the force of the water carry you while you enjoy the underwater scenery.
The boat will be waiting for you at the other end of the pass to take you to the lagoonarium, a natural aquarium where you will meet hundreds of fish and home of some of the biggest eels I have been given to see. Truly a great way to start a holiday!
Once you finish your snorkeling, make sure you go back into the pass as you would not want to miss the dolphins playing in the waves. It is truly an exhilarating moment and watching them jump in the waves is magical. If you are not a fan of boats and waves you can always watch the show from the shore on the point overlooking the pass.