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An Incredible Diving Paradise in Rangiroa

Dec 27, 2007
Rangiroa is an incredible coral atoll, situated in the Tuamotu Archipelago, of French Polynesia. With a land mass covering an area of about 40 square kilometers, Rangiroa is the largest atoll in the South Pacific and one of the largest in the world. Its lagoon in the center is the largest in the world, after Kwajalein of the Marshall Islands.

Covering an area of about 1650 square kilometers and measuring 75 kilometers across and 25 kilometers wide, the lagoon is much favored for its sparkling clear as well as warm waters, dramatic landscape, and abundant marine life such as manta rays, sharks, eagle rays, turtles, dolphins, and schools of barracudas. With a string of coral surrounding the glowing turquoise, jade-colored lagoon, Rangiroa is a paradise for diving and snorkeling. Rangiroa is only an hour's fly away from the Pepeete, the capital as well as the administrative center of the Tahiti.

Literally meaning 'Long Sky,' Rangiroa get its name from the enormous length formed as a result of its more than tiny 200 islets that surround its gorgeous lagoon. Scuba diving and snorkeling in Rangiroa are truly a great experience, since it is surrounded by two separate bodies of water, such as, the Moana-uri and the Moana-tea.

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.

No matter you are a beginner, an intermediate, or an experienced hand, Rangiroa boasts of diving sites to cater to all levels of divers and snorkelers. For beginners, one of the best spots in Rangiroa is the Aquarium, otherwise known as Nuhi Nuhi. Located near a motu within the Tiputa Pass and with a maximum depth of about 35 feet, the Aquarium is a great diving spot thriving with an array of interesting coral as well as reef fish species such as triggerfish, threadfin butterfly fish, eels, parrotfish, Moorish idols, and damsels. Another great diving site for beginners is Mahuta, where you can swim along with marine species such as reef fishes and sharks.

Diving sites in Rangiroa also include the Tiputa Pass, which is located between the deep lagoon and Open Ocean. Boasting of The Valley - one of the most challenging spots for drift diving in the world, this area is however recommended only for advanced levels of divers, since its strong current cannot be sometimes manageable for novices.

Further, this area contains underwater valleys whose edges are criss-crossed with crevasses and crevasses, where a number of fish species can be seen such as eels, lionfish, hammerheads, and stone fish. Found at the edge of the Tiputa Pass is another popular diving area, namely, Shark Cave, which is about 120 feet. This area consists of an overhang where one could shelter from the current as well as spectacle some species of sharks such as blacktips, silvertips, and greys.

Apart from these, one could also come along a number of other fish species including unicornfish, surgeonfish, snappers, and trevallies. Other popular diving spots within the Tiputa Pass are Hammerhead Plateau and L'Eolienne.

Also, a great diving destination in Rangiroa is Avatoru Pass with strong current, al though not as strong as that of the Tiputa Pass. With a depth varying from 60-90 feet, the Avatoru Pass allows you to swim along a plethora of tropical fish species such as spotted leopard rays, pompano, rays, patrolling grey sharks, eels, and much more. Rangiroa's other popular diving destinations are Giant Wrasse Shelf, The Wind Turbine, The Blue, Napoleon Manta Point, Motu Fara Pass, and Mahuta.

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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