The Tuamotus Travel Guide

Tuamotus Vacations are 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.

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 Attractions

Île aux Récifs - Rangiroa, Tuamotus Islands, Tuamotu beaches, best beaches of French Polynesia, French Polynesia beaches, Rangiroa, Fakarava, Manihi, Tikehau, Makemo, Mataiva, things to do in Tuamotus, Tuamotus attractions, best Tuamotus hotels, best Tuamotus resturantsÎle aux Récifs – Rangiroa

Take an hour-long boat ride from Avatoru to Ile aux Recifs, famous for its coral outcrops, weathered and eroded into mysterious underwater shapes. With ample swimming and snorkeling spots, this section of the reef offers excellent views of the area’s abundant marine life. Relax on one of the many small beaches, shaded underneath coconut trees and surrounded by the bright blue waters of the sea.

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Lagon Bleu - Rangiroa, Tuamotus Islands, Tuamotu beaches, best beaches of French Polynesia, French Polynesia beaches, Rangiroa, Fakarava, Manihi, Tikehau, Makemo, Mataiva, things to do in Tuamotus, Tuamotus attractions, best Tuamotus hotels, best Tuamotus resturantsLagon Bleu – Rangiroa

This is what many people visualize when imagining a Polynesian paradise: a string of sand islands and coral reefs has formed a natural pool on the edge of the main reef, a lagoon within a lagoon. You can walk knee-deep across a (mostly dead) coral seabed to visit a bird island and laze on incredibly photogenic spits of white-and-pink coral sands. This intimate paradise is reached only on lagoon-excursion boats from Avatoru, about an hour away.

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Les Sables Roses - Fakarava, Tuamotus Islands, Tuamotu beaches, best beaches of French Polynesia, French Polynesia beaches, Rangiroa, Fakarava, Manihi, Tikehau, Makemo, Mataiva, things to do in Tuamotus, Tuamotus attractions, best Tuamotus hotels, best Tuamotus resturantsLes Sables Roses – Fakarava

This pink sand beach is in the southeast corner of Rangiroa, reached by a two-hour boat trip. The sands contain eroded coral and foraminiferal deposits (the pulverized red shells of tiny sea creatures) which sparkle in the sunlight. At Les Sables Roses you’ll get complete isolation, deserted beaches, and crystal clear water.

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Tiputa - Rangiroa, Tuamotus Islands, Tuamotu beaches, best beaches of French Polynesia, French Polynesia beaches, Rangiroa, Fakarava, Manihi, Tikehau, Makemo, Mataiva, things to do in Tuamotus, Tuamotus attractions, best Tuamotus hotels, best Tuamotus resturantsTiputa – Rangiroa

Very few visitors venture to this charmingly quiet village edging the eastern side of Tiputa Pass. Although it doesn’t have tourist facilities (all accommodation options are on Avatoru), it’s well worth the trip for its wonderfully relaxed atmosphere and to get a sense of atoll life; getting a boat across the Tiputa Pass adds to the whole experience. A track continues east from the the village through coconut plantations until it’s halted by the next shallow channel.

Plage du PK9 - Fakarava, Tuamotus Islands, Tuamotu beaches, best beaches of French Polynesia, French Polynesia beaches, Rangiroa, Fakarava, Manihi, Tikehau, Makemo, Mataiva, things to do in Tuamotus, Tuamotus attractions, best Tuamotus hotels, best Tuamotus resturantsPlage du PK9 – Fakarava

Plage du PK9 is a thin, laid-back stretch of white coral sand backed by palms and lapped by sparkling turquoise waters. It’s equally good for sunning and swimming and there’s excellent snorkeling not far offshore. Bring plenty of water. Beware of falling coconuts.

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Marae Papiro - Mataiva, Tuamotus Islands, Tuamotu beaches, best beaches of French Polynesia, French Polynesia beaches, Rangiroa, Fakarava, Manihi, Tikehau, Makemo, Mataiva, things to do in Tuamotus, Tuamotus attractions, best Tuamotus hotels, best Tuamotus resturantsMarae Papiro – Mataiva

Marae Papiro is a well-kept temple on the edge of a shallow channel, about 14 km from the village. In the center of this temple you can see the stone seat from which, according to legend, the giant Tu guarded the pass against invasion.  The shallow channel is good for swimming and snorkeling and there are a few nice coral beaches close by.

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26 Comments

  1. Michael

    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 🙂

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thanks for visiting Tuamotus Vacations. And yes, definitely one for the bucket list. Tuamotus is an amazing place, and you would love it!

      Reply
  2. Lnovy

    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.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      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.

      Reply
  3. Katherine

    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

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      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!

      Reply
  4. deepika

    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.
    Amazing effort!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      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!

      Reply
  5. Cynthia

    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?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      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

      Reply
  6. Scott K

    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!
    Scott

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      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!

      Reply
  7. hong

    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.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      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.

      Reply
  8. Dolor

    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.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      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!

      Reply
  9. JeffWA

    Hi, Leahrae.

    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.

    Jeff

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      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!

      Reply
  10. Andy

    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

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      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!

      Reply
  11. Weston

    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!

    Weston

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      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.

      Reply
  12. Alok Singh

    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.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      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!

      Reply
  13. Robert

    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!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      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!

      Reply

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