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Take a Tour to Magnificent Rangiroa

Mar 2, 2008
No matter you are planning for a memorable honeymoon, a romantic vacation, or an enjoyable holiday with your family and friends, Tahiti and her islands offer excellent choices. There are about 120 islands and coral atolls in Tahiti or French Polynesia, all of which are categorized into five island groups or archipelagos, such as Society Islands, the Marquesas Island groups, Gambier Islands, Austral Islands, and Tuamotu Atolls.

Most popular among the destinations in Society Group are Tahiti, the main island in French Polynesia, Bora Bora, which is perhaps the most romantic places on the earth, Moorea, with its Tiki Village, and Huahine. Included in the Marquesas Island Groups are Hiva Oa, Nuku Hiva, Fatu Hiva, and Ua Pou. Rurutu and Tubuai are some of the most popular islands in the Austral Islands. Gambier Islands is much favored for its Mangareva, which in turn is the smallest French territory. When comes to the Tuamotu Atolls, it is highly famed for such destinations as Manihi and Rangiroa.

Located just an hour's fly from Tahiti, Rangiroa is the largest coral atoll in French Polynesia and the second largest in the world. Rangiroa, literally meaning 'Long Sky' gets its name from the enormous length formed as a result of its more than tiny 200 islets that surround its gorgeous lagoon.

Perhaps the greatest of the attractions in this spectacular atoll is its magnificent jade green lagoon, which is sprawling over an area of about 1600 square kilometers and is about 40 miles long by 20 miles wide and with a depth up to 150 feet.

Further, the lagoon is credited to have the clearest waters in the world. With its coral beaches, bright climate, and lagoon akin to an enormous inland sea, Rangiroa is truly a paradise for diving and snorkeling enthusiasts. Rangiroa consists of two passes such as Avatoru Pass, which is famed for its dive spots such as Napoleon and Sharks and Manta point, and the Tiputa Pass with such diving spots as the Wall, Barracudas Point, and Sharks Point. In short, Rangiroa boasts of diving spots to cater to all levels of divers.

For instance, if you are a first time diver, then one of the best choices available at Rangiroa is the Aquarium or Nuhi Nuhi, which has a depth of about 9-30 feet. Likewise, diving spots within Avatoru Pass are also best for beginners, as the current are not much strong.

Further, this area is also a great spot to view such rare marine species as spotted leopard rays, grey sharks, pompano, and silvertip sharks. One of the best diving spots for advanced divers is the drift dive, otherwise known as the Valley, which is in the Tiputa Pass. Since the current here is strong, this area is strictly not for beginners. Further, in this area, divers can come through an array of marine species such as eels, lionfish, stone fish, sharks, and hammerheads.

Another popular spot for diving is Shark Cave, which is at the edge of the Tiputa Pass. An overhang can be found here at an about 115 feet, which serves as shelter from strong currents. Additionally, as the name implies, this spot is a great area for viewing different types of sharks such as blacktips, silvertips, greys, and hammerheads. With a depth of about 45-75 ft, L'Eolienne is also a great spot for diving. Dolphins can be seen in this area, apart from an enormous variety of reef fishes.

A good number of travel agencies and top notch hotels are in the scenario to make your diving in Rangiroa a great experience. There is also an array of centers in order to impart diving classes and render rental diving equipments. Few among them are Blue Dolphins Diving Center, Rangiroa Paradive, Raie Manta Club, and The Six Passengers and Topdive. In fact, diving in Rangiroa is highly prized because of the pass dives in the dive sites of the island and the waters of the lagoon teeming with scores of marine life.

Rangiroa is diveable throughout the year. According to the interest of divers, diving in Rangiroa is classified into three seasons: the hammerhead shark season, which is January through February; the manta ray season, which is from September to October; and rest of the year when other species of fish, apart from manta ray and hammerhead shark, can be seen.

Nowadays, many of the high-end hotels in the area provide superb facilities for an enjoyable diving in Rangiroa. Some even render packages inclusive of accommodation, dining, and facilities for diving and snorkeling in the destination.
About the Author
Six exclusive luxury Sofitel and Novotel resorts in French Polynesia , including a private island, offering outstanding natural beauty, sparkling turquoise waters, and all the romance of the South Seas to travelers and honeymooners in search of the ultimate paradise island experience .
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