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.
Itinerary / 7 DAYSPLAN YOUR TRIP
DAY 1Discovering Rangiroa’s infinite lagoon
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.
DAY 2Drift diving in Tiputa Pass
DAY 3Coral gardens and a dizzying array of fish species
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
DAYS 5-7Tikehau’s enchanting divers’ paradise
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.