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Other Tuamotu atolls... the sand rafts
Personality : Hundred islets scattered on the ocean

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Budget level: Standard
Encounter: Tuamotu atolls are spread over a very wide area, more than 2,000 Km in length. They are therefore very isolated and they will please those visitors who are seeking untouched nature and contacts with a population of fishermen and sailors, not really affected by time... Beside the 4 tourism-oriented atolls of Rangiroa, Manihi, Tikehau, Fakarava, many other atolls have three or four guest houses. You will find a list of these hidden atolls below...

 

Takapoto, small 20 x 6 km atoll, centered on pearl farming with many farms to visit, and a charming village. To discover: very beautiful beaches and the remains of a marae built in coral.

Anaa, cradle of the Pomare royal family, this very friendly atoll without a pass, lives off fishing and copra farming.

Arutua, circle shaped atoll about 30 Km (19 miles) in diameter, has a central islet, which is rather rare. Fishing and pearl farming are its main resources.

Takaroa, also centered on mother of pearl shell farming for the Leeward Islands' pearl farms, tourism is also starting to make its way there.

Makatea, is one exception as it is not an atoll. This high island is actually a huge block of phosphate risen from the sea and without a  lagoon. The phosphate, now abandonned, was mined there for many years at the industrial level, and left unremovable scars in the landscape.

Mataiva, this particular atoll rather close from Tahiti, has a lagoon with shallow pools caused by rising land. It also possesses an enormous underground phosphate deposit, which is nolonger mined to protect the environment. The population lives off several fish parks and have pride in their cultural past.

Kaukura, this oval shaped 50 x 14 km atoll with its 65 islets encloses a shallow crystal clear lagoon and a small village living off fishing and supplying fresh fish to the Papeete Market.

Nukutavake, a tiny 5 Km2 atoll over 1000 Km away from Tahiti has no interior lagoon. Activity is centered around fishing and copra farming.

How to get  there: Many of these atolls have a tiny airport. However the links with Tahiti are seldom daily and it is best to get information first. Flight time is between 1h and 3h30 from Tahiti according to the distance. Supply boats also ensure connections with Tahiti. They load passengers for a modest price, but comfort is generally rather spartan. Only advisable if you have time !

 


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