Rangiroa, Tahiti and French Polynesia - Stein Travel
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Part of the Tuamotus archipelago, Rangiroa is the world's second largest atoll, actually just a ring of low land encircling a vast crystal-clear deep turquoise lagoon. The island, about an hour's flight from Tahiti, offers among other things world-class scuba diving. The water is so clear that visibility is estimated at least 150ft (46m), and the temperature remains a constant 80°F (27°C). The stretch where the lagoon opens to the ocean, known as Tiputa Pass, is particularly rich in marine life and is recognised as one of the world's greatest shark dive locations. Even snorkellers can appreciate close up views of the various species of sharks and schools of dolphins that gather in the pass.

Accommodation options on the atoll are limited but include a lovely low-key five-star hotel/resort near the main village and an adventurer's South Sea paradise on a remote lagoon islet, consisting of five primitive beach bungalows hidden under the palms.

Information & Facts


French and Tahitian are the official languages; English is widely spoken.


The unit of currency in French Polynesia is the French Pacific Franc (XPF), divided into 100 centimes. The exchange rate is fairly stable as it is linked to the Euro. Banks throughout the islands are open mainly on weekdays only and are the best place to change foreign currency; rates of exchange are not as good at hotels. There are ATMs on a few of the islands, but shouldn't be relied upon. Most hotels and resorts will exchange travellers cheques in US$ or Euros, and credit cards and US currency is readily accepted on the main islands. Tourism taxes are levied for accommodation and activities.


GMT -10 (The Marquesas Islands are half an hour ahead of the rest of French Polynesia).

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