It was my first visit to Rangiroa and I must admit it was spectacular! I couldn't have been more excited to explore a new ( to me )...Polynesian island that I could offer to YOU. As a Certified Tahiti Tiare Specialist it is my job to check out all the islands and resorts you might want to vacation at!
My first glimpse of Rangiroa is from the plane and the WOW factor I wasn't prepared for. Beautiful, colorful, small, friendly and amazing! Our hotel the Kia Ora was really nice! Not as fancy or touristy like Bora Bora and I definitely have clients who want these type of getaways! Not everyone wants the big resorts and actually in all of Tahiti the resorts are NOTHING like you would find anywhere else!!!
During my whole visit in Rangiroa I kept thinking WOW this is one of the most Tahitian and authentic islands here in in the Tuamotus. The garden bungalow with a private pool here was perfect! The Polynesian show at the hotel in Rangiroa was so exciting with the little children (minis) and the juniors and on up to seniors dancing.
From Jerry our hotel manager he said: Rangiroa is like what Bora Bora was 30 years ago and when it comes to marine life, you can't get much better. Even Jacques Cousteau said "I've never seen as many fish in my life as in Rangiroa."
The diving is rated among the top 5 places in the world. We always say that Rangiroa is the "Mecca" for diving.
We are very fortunate to have a Top Dive center directly at the hotel Kia Ora where I stayed. They are the best in French Polynesia with security as their main objective.
Here is what a typical afternoon dive in like in the famous Tiputa Pass...
During the briefing in the Top Dive center located directly at the hotel, the divers will listen attentively to the instructions of Yannick, their instructor who will explain the security measures, the currents they will encounter, as well as what they will expect to see during the dive. The Tiputa Pass is the channel in the reef on the north part of Rangiroa between the ocean and the lagoon. This is where the boats come into the lagoon. It has the highest concentration of Grey Sharks in the world.
The current can be strong at times so it is very important to know if it is incoming or outgoing. This current attracts a lot of marine life and where they are fish, there are larger fish, Manta Rays, Eagle Rays, Dolphins, many different variety of sharks and a whole lot of other sea creatures!
The visibility is extremely good thanks to the clear and translucent water.
As the divers jump off the Zodiac, they will be amazed with the beautiful scenery below. The water offers different shades of blue as the sunshine glistens through the water. Right away they spot a school of Barracudas with Grey Sharks swimming peacefully around the group trying to decide who they will have for a snack! (Just kidding)
Then all of a sudden more sharks appear...20, 30, 40, 50...about 60 Grey Sharks come cruising by as if everything had already been planned.
Then below them the group sees a dozen Eagle Rays swimming in harmony just like a flock of birds. Their eyes move towards the divers as if to say," We're coming through, don't bother us!"
Well if that wasn't enough, eight dolphins come at full speed to greet the divers in a playful manner turning in circles and spiraling through the water. Even though these are wild dolphins, they are used to divers and will even let you pet them. One of them is called "Touch Me" because she loves it when you caress her belly.
Then , when they thought the show was over, a huge 15 foot Great Hammerhead Shark comes by to check out what all the fuss is about! Unbelievable!
This is why people come back every year to Rangiroa and the Kia Ora.
Jerry keeps telling us, this is THE DESTINATION to come to in French Polynesia! My personal experience is that the island is wonderful but not for my Bora Bora crowd!!! I think the perfect travelers who would love this island want a quieter atmosphere, more authentic, snorkelers or divers, or relaxing is the MODE of this island! Are you up to it??
Three times a week at the Kia Ora on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday they offer complimentary shuttles at 5:00 PM to go see the dolphins at the Tiputa Pass. It is just a 5 minute drive but some guests prefer to walk or take a bicycle to see them. The dolphins offer everyone a free show but they prefer to jump when there are waves in the pass. I was here and witnessed it, AMAZING!
A great article just came out in Condé Nast Traveller titled "Why There's More to the Islands of Tahiti than Bora Bora." Check it out: https://www.cntraveller.com/
Can you imagine visiting Rangiroa for Christmas? I can!!!!
Please let me know if you are ready for an adventure in Rangiroa! Contact your Certified Tahiti Tiare Specialist