French Polynesia is part of France's territory and is located on the middle of the South Pacific Ocean in between America and Australia.
There are 5 archipelagos in FP: Marquesas, Tuamotus, Australes, Gambier and Society.
On the map beside you can see the atoll of Rangiroa, in Tuamotus, our favorite destination for charters in French Polynesia.
Tuamotu is really a special place on this Planet. This archipelago is the largest chain of atolls in the world, about the size of Western Europe.
Famous for the beauty of its unique turquoise clear waters and the abundance of underwater life, the Tuamotu Archipelago is a must-see destination for those who love the ocean.
Among the numerous water activities that are offered, scuba diving and snorkelling are the most popular but the lagoon inside the atolls are also perfect for windsurf, kitesurf and paddleboard.
The liveaboard option is by far the best way to explore the most remote and wild places of the Tuamotu. The sailing inside the lagoons is very pleasant once the waters are protected and usually flat. It is really like being on an immense aquarium!
We normally spend 1 or 2 nights on each anchorage depending on the activities we plan to do.
There are many options of little deserted paradisiac islands to venture into.
Rangiroa means “Huge Sky” on the local dialect paumotu. It is the largest atoll in French Polynesia and the second largest atoll on the world. There are around 3.000 lucky people from all over the world living on this atoll.
From a geological point of view, the atoll originated out of delicate coral outgrowths on the summit of a underwater volcanic mountain.
This fabulous atoll is recognized worldwide for its exceptional underwater fauna: dolphins, sharks, reef and pelagic fish can be easily spotted there as well as humpback whales that come from Antarctica to breed and give birth on warmer waters (the peak season is between August and October).
There is a population of resident dolphins that are always on Tiputa's pass. We always to try our luck and take our guests with our inflatable expedition boat to see and respectfully snorkel with the dolphins always in a non-invasive way. The passes are very influenced by the tides so good timing is crucial when we go there.
In front of Tiputa’s pass you’ll see the snorkel/scubadive site called “Aquarium” where we always see enormous variety of colorful marine life at any time of the day no matter how the tide is behaving.
There are 3 villages on the atoll with a some charmig restaurants, bars and pearl markets.
Depending on the wind, there are many incredible deserted places to visit inside Rangiroa’s lagoon such as:
- The Île aux Récifs is our main sailing destination once it’s easily reached after a 3 hours tradewind´s sail from our base anchorage. The region has the singularity of presenting impressive fossil coral formations creating and drastic landscape on the external reef. It’s an amazing place to visit.
- Les Sables Roses are pinkish sandbanks located in the extreme south of the atoll. A very good place to practice windsurf and kitesurf.
- The Blue Lagoon is a lagoon inside the lagoon, very shallow. It’s exposed to the predominant tradewinds so usually is hard to visit by sailboat once we must overnight there.
The islands: Hiva Oa, Tahuata, Fatu Hiva, Ua Pou, Ua Huka and Nuku Hiva.
The Marquesas are the wildest archipelago of French Polynesia and unlike the other archipelagos there are no lagoons or protected coral reefs surrounding these landscapes. Instead, steep volcanic mountains plunge straight into the pounding Pacific Ocean.
This archipelago is one of the most remote island groups in the world. These primitive islands will call to your innermost savage. You can explore their rugged terrain and discover a land that few people have seen before you. Throughout the islands, there are many archaeological and ceremonial sites including houses, shrines, stone statues, agricultural terraces and burial grounds that testify to the existence of an ancient civilization.
The islands include Nuku Hiva, Hiva Oa, Fatu Hiva, Ua Pou, Ua Huka, Tahuata and other small uninhabited islands.
Hiva Oa is the most historic island in the group, with some of the largest ancient tiki statues in French Polynesia, situated in Pua Mau bay. Known as Gauguin's Island, Hiva Oa is also the final resting place for painter Paul Gauguin and poet Jacques Brel. Both artists are buried at the Cimetière du Calvaire, Calvary Cemetery, overlooking Atuona.
In the spirit of true artistry, it is here in the Marquesas Islands that many Polynesian art forms originated. The locals have proudly safeguarded the ancient techniques of tattoo, sculpture and woodcarving.
The Marquesas, more than any other archipelago in French Polynesia, beckon a very different type of traveler—one with an innate thirst for adventure. As you sail through these wild and untamed islands, you will fall completely captive to their powerful and dreamlike qualities.
The Society archipelago comprehends two groups of islands: Leeward Islands (Îles Sous-le-vent) and Windward Islands (îles du Vent).
Tahiti is the largest island of French Polynesia and situated halfway between California and Australia.
The island of Tahiti is divided into two parts: The larger portion to the northwest is known as Tahiti Nui and the smaller is known as Tahiti Iti. Tahiti Nui is dominated by three extinct volcanic mountains including Mount Orohena, the tallest in French Polynesia and Mount Aorai, known for its incredible views and that offers an amazing hike that we love and highly recommend to our guests. There are many hidden waterfalls on Tahiti's valleys aswell.
Mo'orea is just around 3 hours sail from northern Tahiti and is the perfect place to see humpback whales from July to November when they go there to breed.
Known for its jagged volcanic mountains and sandy beaches, Mo'orea offers amazing hiking and cycling trails through rainforest. This pristine island has also paradisiac sandy beaches and many spots that are great for snorkelling, scubadiving ans surfing.
Bora-Bora is a small islands with a big reputation due to it's turquoise waters lagoon protected by coral reefs where many luxury resorts are currently based. It's also known for seeing the underwater life by scubadiving, snorkelling or even just paddleboarding once the water is so clear that you can see everything from the surface.
Raiatea, Tahaa, Huahine and Maupiti are also high volcanic islands with their lagoons protected by coral reefs and each one of them has it's own charm. They're not as known as Bora-Bora and Tahiti and not so crowded with resorts which makes them ideal scenarios to get to know the real polynesian culture. These islands are also very good to practice watersports such as surf, windsurf, kitesurf, paddleboard, scubadive and snorkel and also for landsports such as hikking and cycling.