Fakarava, an atoll of Tuamotu islands and a UNESCO-based lagoon in Tahiti will drive one insane with its pristine white sand, turquoise blue water, and its essence of untouched beauty. A natural reserve for exotic flora and fauna, Fakarava is deemed to be the second-largest lagoon in the atoll and is located in French Polynesia. With a population of mere 837 people, this hidden gem is definitely a paradise for sea life aficionados. 

It also sits at such a southern point that it's considered to be the island 'at the end of the world.'


About Fakarava Island

Fakarava means "Beautiful" in Tahitian and is located about 490 km to the Northeast of Tahiti. An atoll of 1200 km, this lagoon is amongst the Tuamoto archipelago in French Polynesia. By being accessible by two passes such as "Garuae Pass in North" and "Tumakohuna Pass In South", it is 60 km long and 21 km wide. Albeit with this area, it has a mere population of 837 people.

Having one of the world's biggest diving destinations, Fakarava has exceptional marine life such as underwater canyons, coral heads, the highest concentration of grey reef sharks, dolphins, White Tip Sharks, tunas, turtles and is indeed a visual therapy in terms of its color settings. Also known as UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the purpose of this reserve is to combine natural resources and human development primarily.

Related: Rangiroa, Tahiti Is The World’s Largest ‘Natural’ Aquarium

Things To Do Around Fakarava

Visit Rotoava Village

One of the best village settlements of French Polynesia is Rotoava village. A quaint place with churches, beaches, restaurants, shops, town halls, and schools. Around 9 km North of Rotoava is Plage De Pk9 beach with white sand, turquoise lagoon colors, laced by palm trees, wild reef beaches, and an absolute population. Snorkeling is advisable here over swimming. If one goes further north, there is an ancient Polynesian temple, Marae Tahiti Wairau. Not quite exceptional to view this temple but can take a glimpse if nearby.

Scuba Diving In Fakarava

Fakarava drives people all over the world primarily for scuba diving. Having the rich diversity of the ecosystem, the "Northern Pass Of Garuae '' and "Tumakohua Pass In South '' own the highest concentration of fishes, primary sharks during dives, and exotic flora and fauna. Corals can be enchanting with gorgeous hues and sizes. One should not miss the "Pink Sand Beach" on a tour that involves South Pass and Tetamanu village.

One can contact Dive Operators such as Kaina Plongee, Top Dive, Dive Spirit for dive packages and learning. One can also take an introductory scuba dive certificate for beginners or a fun certified scuba dive for experts.

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Visit Tetamanu Village

After Rotoava village, Tetamanu village is the prime village of Fakarava. Less populated than the former, this village is mainly for the scuba divers gearing up to dive in the South Pass. One can visit the charming hostel, "Tetamanu Village and Sauvage" which has garden bungalows adorned by the awesome view of Tumakohau Pass. Having all the basic amenities, it is 7 mins walk from the Tetamanu Village.

Tour at Lagon Bleu

A lagoon within a lagoon, this place is in the northwestern corner of Fakarava. Choose snorkeling, swimming, or a peaceful retreat although it is felt divine in nature in any form.

Phare De Topaka Lighthouse & Fakarava Church

One of the oldest lighthouses in Polynesia, Phare De Topaka is rumored to be 100 years old and its resemblance is similar to an Egyptian pyramid. With palm trees around it, this coral limestone rock figure is a 15m tall grey turret but is no longer in operation. One can also bask in the ancient beauty of the Fakarava church built entirely out of coral by European missionaries.

Places To Eat In Fakarava

French Polynesian cuisine is basically seafood and has coconut milk as its prime staple. Following recommendations can be considered for feasting on it.

Snack Chez Elda

Traditional Polynesian Dishes are served here such as Tuna Sashimi, Carpaccio, Tartare, Polynesian Pork Salad, Red Cabbage Wraps, and Pulled Tacos.

Havaiki Lodge

One of the fanciest people in Fakarava is Havaiki Lodge where food is served in a lagoon-side deck with a thatched roof and traditional French Polynesian dishes mark the attraction. It also offers authentic bungalow accommodations exuding authentic Polynesian charm.

Snack Paillote

Known for Crepes, Paninis, burgers, sandwiches, hot dogs, or scrumptious appetizers by the beach, this shack in Rotoava village has quite cozy vibes. In the evening time, the terrace is effervescent with a thousand lights.

Accommodation in Fakarava

While Fakarava is split into two areas such as the largest town, mainly Rotoava, and the southern part of the island, I.e 1.5 hours away by boat. The island and most accommodations have rustic vibes over fancy and the following options can be considered for one's stay.

One can consider Relais Marama, a place in Rotoava that offers bungalows and camping. Havaiki Lodge is one of the fanciest places meanwhile Raimiti is an ideal spot for divers. Motu Aito is one of the quite basic places for those wishing to dive the pass.

How To Reach Fakarava

One can board flights from Tahiti to Fakarava directly which is 70 mins away from each other and also Rangiroa which is 30 mins away.

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