The Tuamotus are dream South Seas snapshot: the 77 atolls – narrow coral rings encircling turquoise lagoons – that make up this stunning archipelago are flung over an immense stretch of indigo-blue ocean.
Life in the atolls is equal parts harsh and paradisiacal: hardly anything grows, so there’s little fruit and vegetables, and the only drinking water is collected from the rain. Yet the silence, starry skies, coral beaches, blue lagoons, idyllic motu (coral islets) and languid pace of life captivate nearly everyone who makes it here. Most tourists visit Rangiroa, Tikehau and Fakarava, which have the bulk of the tourist infrastructure, but it’s also possible to explore lesser-known beauties such as Ahe, Mataiva and Makemo.
Anyone who loves the water will adore the Tuamotus. The vast, pristine marine area offers unparalleled opportunities to encounter the menagerie of marine life. For nondivers, fantastic lagoon excursions beckon.
These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout The Tuamotus.