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Rangiroa is an island in the Tuamotu archipelago in French Polynesia. It is the second largest atoll in the world.


There are two "villages", Avatoru and Tiputa, both located on the very narrow inhabited zone in the Northern area of the atoll. Avatoru is on the same motu as the airport, however you will need to take a boat to get to Tiputa.

Other destinations[edit]

Rangiroa Lagoon



French is the official language, and Tahitian is also spoken, but the majority of tourist-related activities will be able to cater to English speakers.

Get in[edit]

Air Tahiti flies into Rangiroa from various Polynesia islands such as Bora Bora, Papeete, Fakarava etc. Rangiroa Airport is located at the main motu of Avatoru, near the village and near most hotels and pensions. The airport has an Air Tahiti agency, snack bar, souvenir boutique and public restrooms.

Get around[edit]

Most travellers stay at Avatoru motu (Tiputa motu is only accessible by boat). Not much point renting a car, it is probably best to hire a bicycle, there is only one main road on Avatoru after all, and it is just a few kilometers long!

You will need someone with a boat to bring you to the outer motus.

See[edit][add listing]

Silvertip (and sometimes hammerhead) sharks can be found in the Avatoru Pass dive site.

Tiputa Pass is great for reef sharks (and also possibly hammerhead), dolphins (sometimes they come and play with you!), eagle rays, manta rays, barracudas, tunas, and many other smaller colourful fishes!

On the boat ride to and from dive sites at Tiputa Pass, you might even see dolphins jumping out of the water playing with the waves.

Do[edit][add listing]

Scuba Diving is breathtakingly fabulous in and around the Tiputa pass, with dolphins, sharks, manta rays, turtles... Coral and "small animals" lovers may be disapointed, but for the "big thrills", Rangiroa delivers. The drift dive riding the current flowing from or to the lagoon through the pass is an absolute must-do. Drift snorkeling is a great adventure. At any time there are manta rays that go through the pass.

There are several dive shops, all on the main motu. You can for instance try TopDive, Six Passengers, Rangiroa Plongee or Raie Manta Club. The Tia Ora hotel has its own (more expensive) club.

The tour to the Blue Lagoon is also a great trip. It takes about an hour from the Kia Ora to get to it, but is an amazing sight. There is not much in the way of coral to see, but there were plenty of blacktip reef sharks (over 40) when we were there. Most of the sharks are small, but it is quite an experience when you are not expecting them.

Eat[edit][add listing]

There are only a handful of places where you can grab something to eat on the island. Do not expect 5-star gourmet food, however you can give a try a the following places:

  • Vaimario, near the airport, with some very decent local food besides the takeaway pizzas.
  • Le Kaitai

Drink[edit][add listing]

Like other similar small and sleepy atolls of the Toamutos, there is no night life. The locals maximise the sunshine hours by getting up before 6am and retiring early when the sun has set.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

There are only two "large" hotels, the luxurious Kia Ora and the confortable Novotel. Besides those hotels, there are several smaller family-run pensions, for instance Les Relais de Josephine.

  • Kia Ora, +689 93.11.11 (), [1].  edit A very luxurious but old establishment, with a few overwater bungalows. The annex Kia Ora Sauvage is located on a remote motu, perfect for a complete castaway from civilization. The hotel will undergo renovation during 2009. The hotel is located near a very narrow stretch of sand which could be described as a beach. There is good snorkeling once you get off shore a bit. We saw many fish and rays. The hotel restaurant is good and the seafood buffet is a nice touch. They also have staff (Willie) who speaks excellent english and makes communicating much easier. The infinity pool is a great place to relax during the day.
  • Novotel Lagoon Resort, (+689)931350 (), [2].  edit Less plushy than the Kia Ora, but still high-range. Located close to the airport, but due to the very low number of (propeller only)flights this is really not a problem. Note that the hotel is right on the lagoon, with wonderful snorkelling but that there is no sand beach.
  • Pension Loyna, Rangiroa (French Polynesia), [3]. One of the cheapest family-run pensions would be Pension Loyna. Loyna is very friendly and helpful, provides free bicycle rental, knows everyone else in the island, and cooks delicious meals.  edit
  • Pension Bounty, Rangiroa (French Polynesia), [4]. Located on the atoll of Rangiroa in French Polynesia, this property has some of the most spectacular views in the world and is perfect for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle. Pension Bounty is just meters from the white, sandy beaches of Ohotu Bay and in a prime location for scuba divers. Watch the sun rise or set over the clear, sparkling water. Tiputa Pass is just a half-mile away, where you can spot dolphins playing and swimming. The property is also surrounded by a coconut plantation.  edit


Camping is possible at the "Pension Rangiroa Plange". It costs 2000xpf per night. You will want a mattress as there is no sand only gravel which is uncomfortable to sleep on. The pension does not provide mattresses.

Stay safe[edit]

Although there are (plenty of) sharks in the area, some of which often come very close to the shore, they are for the most part harmless.

Get out[edit]

Tikehau is only a few km away on the map, but counting taking off and landing, it takes 20 minutes to get from Rangiroa to its closest Tuamotu neighbor.

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