Dive Into a Trip of a Lifetime on Islands of Rangiroa and Tikehau

Dive_Main Hero.jpg

A short flight away from each other, among the islands Rangiroa and Tikehau, are what are widely considered the best diving spots in the world, home to multitudes of sublime locations fit for dive enthusiasts and novices alike. This itinerary takes advantage of these sites being all within close proximity to one another. It’s full of plenty of opportunities for a rewarding solo sojourn, or to bond with friends (old and new) and family on dive outings that will awe everyone with the vastness of aquatic life in these pure blue waters. Get ready to greet stingrays, manta rays, grey reef sharks, sea turtles, and so much more—a week’s worth of fascinating underwater discoveries await on this ultimate dive trip.

Tahiti_Logo_1200x1200 (1).png

Trip Designer

Tahiti Tourisme

Tahiti Tourisme is committed to helping visitors discover, curate and book their dream vacation. On, you’ll find everything you need to plan the ultimate trip to the Islands of Tahiti, from special offers and detailed information on attractions throughout the 118 islands, to links to tourism partners and an easy-to-use booking platform.

Trip Highlight

Dive With Sharks While They Dine

Take a thrilling sunset dive at Tiputa Pass, and marvel at the sharks who’ve come out to feed, and the dolphins jumping and spinning in the glow of the setting sun.

DAY 1Discovering Rangiroa’s infinite lagoon

A 55-minute flight from Tahiti will land you in the region’s scuba-diving capital, Rangiroa. Known as the “infinite lagoon,” it’s the largest atoll in Polynesia, and the second largest in the world, with spectacular colors ranging from jade green to turquoise to deep purple. With 240 islets and more than 100 channels, there’s no shortage of opportunities to marvel at the sea life surrounding the island. But the main areas for dives occur in the two largest passes, Avatoru and Tiputa, where drift dives will bring divers up close with many varieties of wildlife: grey reef sharks, sea turtles, humphead wrasse, shoals of barracudas, manta rays, hammerhead sharks, and, if you’re lucky, friendly dolphins that sometimes come to play.

To get around the island, rent bikes (your hotel or guesthouse may even provide them complimentary.) Stay at a Tahitian Guesthouse, also known locally as a pension, such as Les Relais de Josephine whose seven comfortable bungalows face Tiputa Pass, where the dolphins can be spotted dancing in the waves. Or try Pension Loyna, an affordable family-run pension offering friendly advice, free bicycles, and delicious home-cooked meals. Pension Bounty has some of the best views in the world and just a matter of feet from the white, sandy beaches of Ohotu Bay, a prime location for scuba divers.

Start your tour with a full-day snorkeling excursion at the remote Blue Lagoon, an hour boat ride away. Snorkel in pristine waters, and then dig into a picnic lunch. It’s a gentle way to start your week in the water.
African American_Day 2.jpg

DAY 2Drift diving in Tiputa Pass

Book a tour with The Six Passengers to explore the deep and narrow Tiputa Pass, considered one of the best dive sites in the world. It’s legendary for “drift dives” in which open water-certified divers will drift straight down the middle of the pass. When you dive around “The Angle” you’ll likely swim with massive schools of snapper and sea turtles in one of the richest marine ecosystems in the world. Don’t be surprised if dolphin swim right by you! Experienced open-divers will go deeper down (as far as 100 feet) to encounter the frequent coming and going of mantas, gray reef sharks, stingrays—or simply schools of yellow ludjans or even a big hammerhead shark. (Less experienced divers will stay around 60 feet for a breathtaking overview of the action and may even get lost in a dazzling school of striped barracuda.) After the day’s dive, replenish at Snack Puna for traditional food on a deck right over the lagoon.

DAY 3Coral gardens and a dizzying array of fish species

Today you’ll dive at Avatoru Pass, Rangiroa’s second lagoon pass, where silvertip sharks feed in the morning, when you’ll also spy barracuda. Accessible to all levels of certified diver, the dive begins in the middle of the pass. There, you’ll find several common sharks such as the blackfin or reef whitetip, amongst a dizzying array of other fish species. You may even spot a manta ray searching the currents for food. Let the current carry you from the ocean into the lagoon and end your dive among the magnificent coral gardens inside the calm waters.

Spend the afternoon at Tiputa Village, and go for a sunset dive at Tiputa Pass. This is when sharks come out to feed, and dolphins frolic in the glow of the sunset. Replenish with the traditional poisson cru at Snack Chez Lili, or feast on a juicy steak after a full day of diving and touring.

DAY 4A glorious day on land

Bike and beach day! Rent a bike or borrow one from your hotel to see the gorgeous scenery and other treats of this island from above ground. Cycling between the Tiputa Pass and the Avatoru Pass is a mere six miles each way along the only road on the island, from which you’ll see small reef sharks swimming. For lunch, head to Snack Mitivai, a local favorite, for grilled tuna. After a swim and snorkel at the island’s only sandy beach, oenophiles will want to check out French Polynesia’s only winery, the vineyards of Vin de Tahiti, for a 5 p.m. winery tour and taste testing. Check out the acclaimed rum, too. End the day at Te Mao Rangiroa for a dinner of local fish served up with local charm.

DAYS 5-7Tikehau’s enchanting divers’ paradise

Get ready to dive in a coral atoll—praised by French aquatic explorer and conservationist Jacques Cousteau as the richest atoll on the face of the earth. Fly 20 minutes on the once-weekly flight from Rangiroa to Tikehau Airport, located on the Southern tip of the atoll. On the ground, you’ll bike (rent one or some guesthouses will provide them) or get picked up by tour operators for your dives.

Book a room at a Tahitian Guesthouse such as Pension Tematie, Pension Hotu, or Royal Tikehau, which is on a private motu. Note that there are no restaurants on the island, so you will eat at your guesthouse—or the Tikehau Village pension accepts outside guests. For snacks, you can pick up chicken burgers from Magasin Henriette, or donuts and baguettes from the patisserie.

With diving tours available from TopDive and Dive Discovery, you’ll have your pick of top notch dives to explore over the course of three days, including: The Pearl Farm, Teonai, Tuheiava, The Sharks Hole, Right Corner, Left Corner, Turtle Refuge, Raira Cave, and Hina’s Bell. On any one of these dive areas, you’ll soon discover why Cousteau so heavily praised the atoll after a 1987 scientific expedition here. He considered the lagoon one of the most abundantly fish-filled in the South Pacific. Protected by its single pass, the lagoon harbors a huge variety of marine life, making it a paradise for scuba divers. It doesn’t hurt that the visibility is phenomenal and dive-spots are as little as 15-minute boat rides from the main village.

There are more than underwater thrills here too. The vast array of native birds in the air is also a thing to behold—as are the unique pink sand beaches. One of the small islets is even called Bird Island, for the sheer volume of red-footed boobies and brown noddies that nest there. Think of them while you’re up in the air yourself as you depart on the daily flight to Tahiti to connect to your flight home.
More From This Author