Manihi is a veritable tropical island paradise in the Tuamotu Islands in French Polynesia. Reputed for its natural, preserved beauty, crystal clear lagoon and the abundance of its marine life, a vacation in Manihi is a chance to relax and leave the stresses and strains of modern life far behind. Here is our suggestion for a 3 day break on this idyllic island.
Relaxing on the white sandy beaches
Drop off your bags and slip into your swimming costume, because your first morning in Manihi will be spent on the beach. The soft white sand circles the entire lagoon and makes for perfect Instagram photos. Have a swim and go snorkeling, then relax in the shade of a coconut tree and enjoy the calm and the beauty all around you.
Visit a pearl farm
Pearl farming began in Manihi in 1968 and there are a dozen or so farms on the atoll today. Take a boat excursion to visit one and learn all the secrets of the Tahitian black pearl. The ‘black’ pearls actually come in a range of colors from dark green to golden yellow, and your visit is the ideal occasion to buy some at a very advantageous price.
Getting around in Manihi is easy because there are only a few kilometers of road on the island. The best way to see it is by bike or on foot. There are craft workshops in the charming little village of Turipaoa, where you can learn how to weave coconut palms to make hats, baskets and o’ini (dishes). There are souvenirs for sale in the small local shops. Once you’ve visited Turipaoa, you can continue your tour of the atoll, stopping for a chat with the islanders and a dip in the sea from time to time.
Explore the lagoon
Famous for its rich marine life, Manihi is a superb destination for scuba diving and snorkeling. There is a dive center where you have a choice of diving and snorkeling excursions. Manihi has only one pass, Turipaoa, and diving there is easy and suitable for all levels. Along with a multitude of tropical fish, you’ll be able to swim among the majestic manta rays, which is always an unforgettable experience. During the month of June, thousands of groupers reproduce in the warm waters of the pass. All the dive sites in Manihi are in a protected zone where fishing is not allowed.
Go on a deep sea fishing trip on a poti marara fishing boat. Learn the techniques used by the local fishermen and hopefully you’ll come back with a good catch that you can enjoy for your evening meal.
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