The Best of the Tuamotus is the ideal way to enjoy a beautiful tropical paradise beach vacation. The Tuamotus Islands 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 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 enjoying Tuamotus Vacations. The vast, pristine marine area offers unparalleled opportunities to encounter the menagerie of marine life. For non divers, fantastic lagoon excursions beckon. The main islands of the Tuamotus Islands are Rangiroa, Fakarava, Manihi, Tikehau, Makemo and Mataiva. For more information on the different islands and beaches of Tuamotus, click here, or visit us on Pinterest.
The Tuamotus Weather – When to Visit
The Tuamotus get more sunshine than any other archipelago in French Polynesia. The shoulder seasons (April to May and October to November) are the best times to visit. From December to March is the when storms and rain are more likely. Between June and September, the prevailing trade winds produce pleasantly mild weather but rough seas – not ideal for boat excursions. Diving is excellent year-round, but the seas are calmer from October to May. As the archipelago is farther north than the Society group, it tends to be a little hotter than the average 85°F in the summer and the average 80°F in winter that other islands experience. The wet season can be wetter, too. The upside is more sunny days and a constant lagoon temperature of around 78°F.
The Tuamotus Best Islands
Stunningly beautiful and refreshingly laidback, Ahe is one of the lesser known atolls in the Tuamotu that is a favorite vacation spot for native Tahitians. This charming atoll enchants travelers with unspoilt nature, crystal clear waters, white sand beaches and amazing underwater scenery. Arguably the main draw of this small atoll is its beautiful interior lagoon. Visitors will be mesmerized by the beauty and the vivid colors as they fly over the atoll on their arrival flight. The lagoon is sprinkled with shallow sandbanks that lie just underwater, creating idyllic picnic spots in this pristine tropical swimming pool that is filled to the brim with abundant marine life and vibrant coral gardens.
The best activities in Ahe are all centered around their spectacular lagoon. It is very easy to fill your days with swimming, kayaking, snorkeling, paddle boarding and fishing. The lagoon has one main pass, Tiareroa Pass, that connects the lagoon to the ocean beyond. Surrounding the pass are numerous coral drop-offs which make for spectacular diving with a diverse array of turtles, rays, sharks, lagoon fish, barracudas and more.
Fakarava is Mother Nature’s ultimate sanctuary. This protected coral atoll is a natural reserve for many rare species of birds, plants and crustaceans. Just as these exotic creatures have discovered their safe haven, you too can find refuge here. Fakarava is one of the world’s best diving destinations. There are two notable passes that feed into the lagoon. The first is the Garuae Pass, located on the north side, which is the widest navigable pass in French Polynesia. The second is the Tumakohua Pass, located on the south side. This pass is home to a narrow underwater valley known as Shark’s Hole, which is heavily populated with lemon, whitecap and hammerhead sharks.
Peaceful and serene, Manihi appears to have invented the simple life. Being the least developed of the primary Tuamotu Atolls, this secluded locale is covered in white sand beaches and swaying coconut palms—and not much else. Travelers come here mainly to snorkel by day and stargaze at night.
Manihi’s inner lagoon is the ideal environment for the cultivation of the highly prized Tahitian black pearl. Blessed with all the right attributes including temperature, light, density and salinity, coupled with the abundant population of the Pinctada margaritifera—the only oyster in the world capable of creating the rich hues characteristic of the black pearl—the lagoon in Manihi is a natural jewelry box for these precious gems.
Rangiroa is quite possibly the world’s most immense natural aquarium. Blessed with an accessible yet secluded appeal and a large abundant lagoon, this renowned destination should be at the top of every eager diver’s list.
The Avatoru Pass and Tiputa Pass, both located on the northern side of the atoll, produce currents that are ideal for drift diving or snorkeling. They are also known to attract schools of wild dolphins. The Blue Lagoon, located on the western side of Rangiroa, is a shallow lagoon carved into the reef inside the central lagoon, creating a small natural aquarium no more than 16 feet (5 meters) deep. Boasting a continuous supply of fish, deep-sea fishing is also a popular water activity in Rangiroa.
Tikehau encapsulates the meaning of going off the grid. This small, cherished atoll consists of countless tiny white and pink sand islets engulfed in coconut groves and hidden alcoves. In Tikehau, which actually means “peaceful landing,” you will find nothing but absolute serenity on her calm and graceful shores.
As you can imagine, diving and snorkeling are the two main attractions in Tikehau. The best diving is found on the western shore around the Tuheiava Pass, the only navigable entry into the lagoon. You will encounter reef sharks and the occasional manta ray, but the appeal here is the enormous population of colorful fish. Some of the more common species include tuna, snapper, barracuda, lionfish, clownfish and parrotfish.
Hi. I had to find out where Tuamotus Vacations are and it.s in the middle of the Pacific ocean which makes it more exciting reading up on where it is and seeing pictures of it of that part of the world. This are places I never heard off and you highlighted brilliantly on your site and I want to thank you for letting me know about this. one for the bucket list 🙂
Thanks for visiting Tuamotus Vacations. And yes, definitely one for the bucket list. Tuamotus is an amazing place, and you would love it!
I love the site. There are so many beautiful beaches, and beautiful pictures of beaches. You have many restaurant reviews. I like that you have dollar signs to indicate if something is expensive or more affordable. What is the actual price range that the dollar signs represen? I feel this would help me in my planning process.
Yes I can 🙂 $ is under 10, $$ is 11 – 30, $$$ is 31 – 60, and $$$$ is over 60 🙂 And this is per meal ordered. Hope that helps and thanks for reading Tuamotus Vacations.
I loved this article. As I read about the various atolls I would say, “This is where I want to go.” But, then I read the next description and that is where I want to go and so on. When I vacation I look for the water. If there’s no ocean or sea, I’m not interested. You have a beautiful site that I will return to often. Katherine
Thank you so much Katherine and I am the same way. There as to be the ocean, the sea, the bay and most definitely the beach! This is one of those hidden gems packed with beauty and everything that most love. Thanks for reading and I am glad you enjoyed my site!
This is soooo tempting!! As a matter of fact, your entire site has been saved on my bookmark list for it is so full of motivation to select a vacation destination and also information about what and how for that destination.
Thank you so much! This is definitely a passion of mine for sure. If there is a particular beach destination you are interested in, please let me know and I will get some some information 🙂 Thanks for visiting Tuamotus Vacations!
Just reading this article makes me feel like I have gone there already! This is an awesome place to visit and have a wonderful vacation.
So much to see and do. The Lagoons and the atmosphere sound absolutely fabulous. You never know maybe one day I may be able to visit. How far is an airline trip from the southern US?
It will take a while to get there. Could be up to 24 hours including all transfers and layovers. Last time I did a trip like this, it did take that long. When I got there, I just went to the beach and caught up on my sleep and then I was good to go 🙂 It is worth it! Thanks for visiting BeachTravelDestinations.com
This travel page is a treasure chest of knowledge! I appreciate the fact that you have many gorgeous pictures of the locations and history and information on each locale.
One of the things that really stuck out was your in depth knowledge that you share to the customer about points of interest, best places for certain things and the price range of available amenities. This helps greatly on planning out the trip.
I found the site very pleasurable and easy to use. In fact I found myself on this site for a couple hours daydreaming and planning my next vacation.
My wife and I will be using you for future trips and will recommend others to use it as well.
Best of luck on all your success and hope to see you on the beach soon!
Thank you so much Scott and I am so glad my site captivated you for a while. Please let me know if I can answer any questions when you get ready to plan your next trip. Thank you so much for visiting Tuamotus Vacations!
Wow, your article is so detailed and super through. It makes me want to go there right now. The pictures look so beautiful and relaxing. Your post not only cover the description of the place, but you also provided places to visit, what restaurants to go to, things to do, hotels to stay. I felt that if I ever go visit this place, you have pretty much covered all the things I need to know. And I don’t have to worry so much about getting lost. Thank you so much for this wonderful post. If I ever go there, I will let you know. Keep up with the good work.
Thank you so much. The Tuamotus Islands are really a wonderful surprise in the Caribbean. Please let me know if you decide to plan a trip here. I would be more than happy to help you in your planning. You would really enjoy this as a wonderful beach vacation. Thanks for visiting BeachTravelDestinations.com.
Your website made me reach those places by just reading. You gave detailed descriptions, instructions and suggestions. I wish I could have a chance to travel and to experience the wonder of even one of those places. But you said this month is not ideal for boat excursions because of trade winds.
Not this month no, and those trade winds can get a bit gusty. But you know what, without them I feel I would get a little to hot, so they feel kind of refreshing for sure. Thanks for visiting!
First of all, wow, the stunningly deep blue color of the ocean water around Tuamotus are unlike anything I have seen in my life. Having been to Hawaii 6 times in my life, their ocean water is blue, but nothing like those depicted in the image seen in this article.
As you first presented your review of this paradise in French Polynesia, it was great that you suggested the ideal times to take a vacation in Tuamotus; considering all the factors regarding weather, rough seas, etc with April -May and October – November providing the best times that the island provides year round.
Also seen in your review, travel to the island via a trans-Pacific flight coming from the U.S. (with a stopover most likely first in Honolulu) does seem to involve a number of connections necessary to reach the destination. I don’t believe that a direct flight from Honolulu to Tuamotus exists.
During your excellent reviews of vacation spots previously read by me on your website, I always take note of your recommendations regarding sightseeing and other activities to do. With this particular spot being an island, naturally you recommended a number of water activities – snorkeling, swimming, boat trips to hidden scenic spots, etc. This would be an incredible vacation, especially as it does not appear to be “touristy” with people literally everywhere you turn – such as Waikiki in Hawaii during the summer months.
I can imagine that visiting this island, especially first of all considering airfare would be rather expensive if coming from the continental U.S. Add in hotels, sightseeing, meals at restaurants and everything else although still it would be a memorable vacation.
You are right that it will not be “touristy” like some popular destinations as Hawaii. I love beach travel, and it is funny that you mention Hawaii. I have only been once, but plan on going back soon! I guess I like both the peace and tranquility, as well as the hustle and bustle. Thanks for your great review!
I just realized have read your European vacation blog as well. This one too is very thorough and organized. That blue water looks unreal.
The Caribbean seems to be closer or easier for me in terms of travel and I have never been there yet. Also there wouldn’t be jet lag which I like lol.
Thanks for sharing. Andy
You are welcome! I don’t mind the jet lag so much, if I can just recuperate from it on the beach 🙂 Yes, the water is so alluring! Between that and the beach, Tuamotus just really is amazing! Thanks for reading!
Beautiful! Wow, that is where I’d like to go during the winter to get away from snow. It’s interesting that not much grows there. But, like you said, it still looks like an amazing place to visit. I love the color of the water. It’s so vibrant.
I added this to my wishlist for my wife and I to go see. Maybe on one of our anniversaries.
Thank you for your easy to follow vacation guide!
You are very welcome and yes, beautiful indeed! I am glad you enjoyed reading. Out of all the spots in the French Polynesia, this is my personal favorite I think. Let me know if you need any additional information.
Comprehensive coverage of all the possible requirements of a traveller are taken care of in the post. Details as to which places to visit, how to reach the place, which hotel options are available, which are the best restaurants available , things to do, transport options available for each major island is covered. One can thus make a very good travel plan based on the information provided.
Keep writing such informative articles to help your readers take informed decisions.
Thank yo so much! I am glad you found everything you need. The Tuamotus Islands are wonderful. And it is important when traveling to French Polynesia to make sure everything is covered 🙂 We would not want to ruin a good beach vacation!
Thank-you for the thorough and helpful article on Tuamotus Vacations.
I dream of going to exotic destinations for a vacation. It’s getting harder for me to travel now so I’ll just have to day dream reading your articles. You have done a great job on the Tuamotus Islands! Great job!
Thank you and hey, nothing wrong with dreaming 🙂 If you ever can make it, you would really enjoy the Tuamotus Islands. They are a wonderful beach destination!