|The Tuamotu Atolls|
In contrast to the dramatic peaks of the high islands such as Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora the low islands of the Tuamotu are green rings of coral reef surrounding a central turquoise lagoon.
The Tuamotu Archipelago comprises 78 coral atolls, scattered over several hundred miles of the eastern Pacific Ocean governed by French Polynesia. These islands are geologically the oldest in Polynesia and look very different from the Society Islands. They are the vestiges of ancient volcanoes, sinking over millions of years while coral growth at the rim keeps reaching for sunlight. As the island eventually submerges, the ring-shaped reef forms an atoll with a central lagoon.
These ring-shaped islands can be huge (Rangiroa , 46 miles across, Fakarava , 38 miles across ), with a strip of land often no more than 6 feet above sea level, covered with lush vegetation and tightly packed coconut groves. Colors seem brighter here and the water is amazingly clear.
The beautiful interior lagoons sometimes have one or two narrow openings to the ocean where the rushing tides provide nutrients for an exuberant coral and fish life.
Diving or snorkeling in these passes of indigo water where the visibility can reach 150 feet is an unforgettable and exhilarating experience.
Local life on these remote atolls is simple and peaceful. In the small villages, usually located near the pass, the visitor can discover the true flavor of the Tuamotu.
The interior lagoons are a haven for black pearl farms, fish parks, snorkeling and scuba diving. Motorized outrigger canoes or motor boats are used by the locals to reach the distant motu islets across the lagoon, where the day is spent collecting copra and searching for colorful seashells.
The accommodation in these atolls can range from international class hotels (in Rangiroa, Manihi, Tikehau), to small hotels , B & B's or a room with families, where guests can find simple but clean accommodations.
are also upscale sailing cruises inside Rangiroa as well as a
diving and discovery cruise into more remote and uninhabited atolls.
This cruise offers a unique opportunity to visit in total comfort
some of the most remote tropical islands in the world.
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