Fakarava atoll is in the Tuamotu Islands of French Polynesia, about 260 miles northeast of Tahiti. It has been classified as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO because of its exceptional ecological value.
This idyllic atoll is famed for its incredible biodiversity and breathtaking underwater scenery (including a ‘wall of sharks!’). Diving enthusiasts come from all over the world to swim with the majestic gray sharks in the waters of Fakarava, explore the coral reef and drop-off, and admire the sea turtles, rays, barracudas and a host of other marine species. A veritable natural sanctuary where each dive is even more magical and thrilling than the last.
What makes it so special
Why choose Fakarava ?
Diving and relaxing
A crystal clear lagoon which makes it easy to admire the diversity of life beneath the waves.
In the passes of Fakarava, you can see gray sharks, manta rays, dolphins, sea turtles, multi-colored tropical fish and endless other marine species.
Arts & Crafts and Culture
The beaches of Fakarava are also very popular with visitors because of their soft, bright, white and pink sand, ideal for a picnic and an afternoon snooze. The islanders are extremely friendly and reputed for the warmth of their welcome and hospitality. Visitors can watch performances of traditional dancing and attend various festivals and ceremonies to learn about the island’s traditions, culture and history.
The craftsmen and women of Fakarava make wonderful jewelry from seashells found on the beach, which you can admire and purchase in the art and craft shops. You can also invest in one of the island’s main sources of revenue, pearls. Visit a pearl farm and learn the secrets of their cultivation.
Not to be missed
What to do
You can explore the biosphere reserve on foot, by bike or by kayak. Walk along the vast coconut plantations on the atoll, they offer impressive views over the ocean and lagoon and give you an insight into the daily lives of the islanders.
Apart from diving, there are various other activities on the atoll: a picnic excursion to one of the motu with pink sand beaches, exploring the reef platform at night on foot, meeting the local craftsmen and women, bike and quad ATV tours, jetski, paddleboard, windsurf…And of course, sunbathing on the almost deserted beaches.
Four days in Fakarava
You’ll need at least four days to enjoy the wealth of treasures to be found in this beautiful atoll in the Tuamotu Islands. With 683 square miles of sea for 10 square miles of land, Fakarava is the second biggest lagoon in French Polynesia, after Rangiroa. It is the perfect destination for those who like to explore the underwater world and a veritable paradise for divers.
You’ll also enjoy
Activities in Fakarava
Fakarava is considered to be one of the best destinations in the world for diving. The more courageous can watch an incredible display organized by over a hundred sharks.
For a more relaxing dive, go down to a depth of 30 to 40 meters in Garuae pass and let the current sweep you into the lagoon. Keep your eyes open for the barracudas, groupers, rays and a multitude of other species that will be swimming with you.
A vacation ‘far from the madding crowd’, filled with memorable encounters and pleasant surprises.
Vacations in Fakarava
Book your trip
Looking for an all-inclusive package or a diving special? Take a look at our vacation offers that include the island of Fakarava.
Bora Bora, Fakarava, Moorea, Raiatea, Rangiroa, Tahiti
Fakarava, Marquesas Islands, Rangiroa, Tahiti
Fakarava, Marquesas Islands, Other Tuamotu Islands, Rangiroa, Tahiti
Bora Bora, Fakarava, Rangiroa, Tahiti
Where to stay in Fakarava
There are over twenty different places to stay in Fakarava.
For an authentic experience, stay in a Tahitian Guesthouse. Perhaps not the same luxury as in a top-class hotel, but the warm, friendly atmosphere and the opportunity to experience the Tahitian way of life up close, more than compensate for that. The price includes breakfast and your evening meal, which will mostly be freshly caught fish and local produce. Simple but delicious home cooking.
The atoll is home to several annual festivities which celebrate pearl cultivation, local produce and the sea. Visitors are more than welcome to attend and participate in the dancing, cooking, and fishing competitions, fashion shows, exhibitions and craftwork displays.
Getting there and getting around in Fakarava
Air Tahiti flies to directly Fakarava several times a week. The flight takes just over an hour from Tahiti-Faa’a International Airport. You can also fly from Bora Bora or catch a flight to Rangiroa, that continues on to Manihi, Tikehau, Fakarava and other atolls.
Fakarava airport is on the main motu about 2.5 miles from the village. A traditional Polynesian bus, called a ‘truck’, transfers passengers to the village, the guarantee of an authentic and colorful start to your visit.
Depending on where your accommodation is, you can rent a car or a bike (sometimes provided free of charge by your hosts) or you can get around on foot. There are plenty of excursions available for you to explore the vast lagoon and its many motu during your stay.
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