Define Your Dream Stay In Rangiroa
The beauties of the atoll attract very different travelers. To find the perfect accommodation, the first step is to determine the type of stay Rangiroa sought after: do you want it to be oriented relaxation on fine sand, or focused on sports challenges, or rather family, or targeted around discoveries of wild places for nature lovers. Also define whether you prefer a quiet boutique type hotel where you can go about your business freely or an all-inclusive hotel where everything is punctuated and planned by the staff.
Add to these elements your budget possibilities: you will have a clear idea of the type of establishment youre looking for.
Where To Stay In French Polynesia: Hotel Kia Ora Rangiroa
If youre anything like us, our vacations are always fast paced, packed with activities, and while fun, a little exhausting. We decided this year we needed to slow down and enjoy a vacation of R& R, which is exactly what we got while visiting the Hotel Kia Ora Rangiroa in French Polynesia!
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Top Attractions On Rangiroa
Rangiroa offers a choice of must-see attractions for inquisitive couples celebrating a romantic honeymoon getaway, including the following
L’ile Aux Recifs
Wearing reef shoes, explore the fascinating raised feo , some five to six meters above the lagoon.
Renowned for its fossilised razor-sharp coral formations created by erosion, the 9m-long âisle of reefsâ is considered one of Rangiâs best lagoon excursions, easily reached on a one-hour boat ride from Avatoru.
Swim or snorkel pools set between coral outcrops and relax with a picnic on one of the nearby motus. Ile Aux Recifs, Rangiroa â Image courtesy of catamarancocktail.com
For some great free entertainment, head to the public park at the western side of Tiputa Pass and watch cavorting dolphins leap high above the waves â the best time for this entertaining sight is during the late afternoon.
Alternatively, sign up for a dolphin-watching cruise, easily arranged from any of Rangiroa’s hotels and resorts.
Gauguin’s Pearl Farm
Learn about the long and laborious process of cultivating Tahitian black pearls on a guided tour of this fascinating pearl farm, which is located close to the airport.
Learn about the Pinctada margaritifera or black-lipped oyster, and watch as a technician inserts a nucleus into the oyster to begin the pearl growing process. Then browse for a unique honeymoon gift at the farmâs shop.
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Visit The Blue Lagoon
One of the most popular day excursions is a boat trip to the Blue Lagoon, which you can book through one of several operators. Its an hour-long ride across the lagoon to the western side of the atoll . There, a rough circle of small islands surrounds the small lagoon and its almost impossibly bright blue hues.
Docile black tip sharks are the welcoming committee as visitors wade ashore from their boats for a day of picnicking and snorkeling in and around the lagoon. There are often several additional stops just off the islets for reef snorkeling among the sharks and other marine life.
Following similar itineraries are trips to Reef Islandwhere petrified reef skeletons rise out of the lagoon like abstract sculpturesor the utterly Instagrammable Pink Sand Beach.
Tips For Staying In Pensions
While pensions really aren’t that much different from staying at a bed & breakfast or hotel but here are a couple of tips that are worth noting as you plan your trip to Rangiroa.
Tourist taxand island tax Unlike the Fakarava pensions, it seems like explicit taxes aren’t applied to the stays but you’ll find that especially on Booking.com, some include taxes and fees while others add on an arbitrary amount.
Some pensions in Fakarava have communal bathrooms depending on the property or the bungalow so make sure to read carefully.
Wifi is mostly free but don’t expect fast speeds Except for one, wifi is available on all properties but speed and coverage of the property varies quite a bit. I’ve tried to note those that have poor performance but overall I’d say go in with the expectation that you might not get great speeds. As a result, it makes sense to get Tahiti Wifi.
Cellular service It’s honestly pretty spotty, especially while we stayed on the Tiputa motu. My recommendations for SIM cards and data hotspots can be found in the Tahiti travel guide.
Language This is not specific to Rangiroa in talking to other travellers, we learned that some pensions do prefer French-speaking guests. In most cases this is because they don’t speak English and does present some challenges. Come in with an open mind, be patient, and have Google Translate ready.
Beach towels Not all pensions provide this so it’s better to play it safe and bring your own.
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Where Is The Pink Sand Beach
Rangiroa is composed of 240 islets, known as motus, that each have their own charm. One of the most picturesque of these is Le Sable Roses, the pink sand beach. This dreamy motu with white and pink sand is located on the southern rim of the atoll. The pink sand dunes emerge from the reef, and naturally-crushed seashells have given this amazing pink hue to the area.
Plan Your Trip To French Polynesia
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Rangiroa Diving And Travel Guide
I always dreamed of travelling the South Pacific and last year Enrico and I got that chance, travelling to 3 countries over 2 months. We visited 6 islands in French Polynesia, and if I had to choose a favourite, I think it would be Rangiroa. Its such a magical place. Not only is there world-class diving, but also beautiful untouched beaches, wonderful people and even a coral winery. What more could you ask for!?
Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. This means that if you click a link and purchase something Ive recommended Ill earn a small commission. This does not affect the price you pay but helps me to run this site. You can read my full affiliate disclosurehere.
The Unmissable On The Island Of Rangiroa
As promised, based on my weekend spent there and the information gathered, here are the things to do or see on the atoll, both in terms of activities in Rangiroa, as well as visits, etc.. To clarify this from the beginning, it is possible to visit the atoll all year round, even if the best season remains the cool season or the inter-seasons .
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A Four Star Experience
Rangiroa, a coral atoll situated in the Tuamotu archipelago in French Polynesia, is home to one of the most beautiful hotels of the South Pacific the Hotel Kia Ora Resort & Spa.
Located on the northeastern coast between the two passes of Avatoru and Tiputa and surrounded by a lagoon with crystal clear waters, the hotel has a long standing commitment to authenticity and exceptional Polynesian hospitality.
The Hotel Kia Ora Resort & Spa has 60 bungalows nestled along the coral reef atoll on a site of splendid beauty, surrounded by beautiful gardens and coconut grove.
You will appreciate the comfort of the bungalows, whose decoration is a tribute to traditional Polynesian craftsmanship.
The beautiful and unspoilt nature of Rangiroa is conducive to all types of activities and excursions where you can either explore the wonders of the tropical nature or just relax in the infinity pool facing the lagoon with its different shades blue.
At sunset, relax in Rangiroas unique overwater bar the Miki Miki Bar, and enjoy a refreshing tropical cocktail as the sun drops below the horizon.
You will enjoy your meals in the Te Rairoa Restaurant which are prepared for you by our chef who blends delicate flavours of traditional Polynesian cuisine with the specialties that have made the reputation of French gastronomy.
Each morning, guests will encounter Mother Nature and the beauties she has to offer. They will be treated to a majestic lagoon stretching out over the horizon.
Activities Close To The Hotel
As far as activities are concerned, Rangiroa Island is full of possibilities. There are obviously many sites to rest in the shade of coconut trees throughout the atoll but this quiet happiness is not the only one. If you are interested in exploring the seabed, check to see if your hotel is close to a site where you can easily observe the exceptional marine fauna: whale sharks, dolphins, sharks, turtles, manta rays, barracuda, fish reef Know that in the Tiputa pass, north of the island, you can easily admire the dolphins antics.
The ideal accommodation will undoubtedly be one that allows you both to enjoy the calm with direct access to the beach , and easy access to local life. What a pleasure it is to visit a Polynesian village, its shops, and meet its inhabitants! Local craftsmanship requires a visit to a pearl farm located in the area that will satisfy your curiosity.
Local gastronomy, with its varied fresh fish, is also among the discoveries to consider. Consider whether the type of catering proposed by your hotel is homemade or industrial to avoid unpleasant surprises.
For sportsmen and adventurers, the best sites of the island have diving schools, and opportunities for boat rentals. Diving and snorkeling are key and popular activities. Good accommodation in Rangiroa will guide you in finding the best clubs from which to choose.
For walkers, strolls are also a great way to make wonderful holiday memories.
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A Location With A Taste Of Paradise
The hotel is very well located along a white sand beach on the inside shore of the atoll where the swell is rare and the snorkeling is good.
The rooms and bungalows have been nicely built among coconut trees and several of them are located along the beach with a very nice sea view.
This is a very convenient place to practice outdoor activities like diving, kayaking, sailing, fishing or snorkeling. The hotel has bicycles available to reach nautical and diving centers or the transfers can also be organized by the operators. Most of them are located at less than 5 kilometers from the hotel.
Things To Do In Rangiroa
When talking about activities and entertainment, there is no big city-like nightlife in Rangiroa. But what the atoll has in spades is diving and water-based recreation. Drift dives at Tiputa Pass will see travellers flying over vast swathes of multi-coloured coral gardens, some of them thousands of years old. Snorkellers in Moana-Uri will play with pods of wild dolphins, sea turtles and gentle manta rays, while our South Pacific Specialist can sign adventure-lovers for shark dives with hammerheads, black-tips and grey reef sharks. At Rangiroa, finding a deserted island is just a matter of kayaking away in any direction.
Romance in Rangiroa
How Many Days Do You Need In Rangiroa
This really depends on how many dives you want to do. I met scuba diving enthusiasts who came all the way from Europe and Japan just to dive in Rangiroa for 3 weeks! Think of it this way: youll do a max of 2-3 dives per day almost always in the same dive spot , with the hopes of spotting the big stuff. So heres the formula think about how many dives you want to do add a day before and a day after and use this time for exploring the atoll and/or heading out on a lagoon excursion take into account if youll be diving elsewhere in the Tuamotus, like in Fakarava for example.
How To Get Around Rangiroa Atoll
Even if Rangiroa is the second largest atoll in the world, you will still spend most of your time on the main motu, where the airport, shops, restaurants and all the diving shops are located. In short, walking around the motu in very hot weather is not an option, but cycling is widely possible. No need to rent a car in Rangiroa. When renting bicycles, you can very often ask your pension directly.
The rest of the time, either you will go diving, and the club will pick you up at your pension/hotel, or you will eat at the local restaurant which is a stones throw from where you sleep. The same applies to excursions where the service providers will pick you up.
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A Diving Trip On The Rangiroa Atoll
This is obviously the main reason why the majority of tourists come to the atoll. Not all of them come for a dive trip, but if you like the clear shallow waters and the underwater life, is of course a must.
If you arrive for a dive cruise, everything will be managed by your organization. If you come on your own and visit the other islands in the territory, you can book your dives yourself by calling the islands diving clubs . I personally chose the Yaka diving center, and everything was fine.
The best time to come and dive: remember that whales are generally present from August to October and that the preferred time to see hammerhead sharks is from January to March .
On the program: a multitude of sharks , manta rays and the classic eagle rays, dolphins, various tropical fish, etc. For those who are not diving fans , dont hesitate to put on a mask and snorkel to discover the wonderful underwater world.
Swimming In Turquoise Waters
And yes, because spending a few days on an atoll is also enjoying the white sand and coconut trees, right? Whether you are on the lagoon or ocean side, you will always have the opportunity to swim in crystal clear water. Of course, the best spots for swimming are always on the lagoon side, as in all the atolls of the South Pacific! However, you wont find many sandy beaches on the atoll.
One of the most beautiful sites where I had the opportunity to swim is at the tip of Avatoru, at the other end of the motu. The water has an extraordinary color and strolling there for an hour is not far from paradise!
The Rangiroa Hotel Location
Rangiroa, the largest atoll in Polynesia, covers more than 79km2. Remember to look up the distance between the airport to your accommodation and learn about the transfer arrangements put in place by the latter.
The north shore enjoys an exceptional panorama from the beach, including the beautiful bay of Ohotu. The atolls main amenities are in the village of Avatoru but you will also find small local shops close to Tiputa Pass at 600 meters of Pension Bounty. By choosing accommodation in Rangiroa itself, you will also be guaranteed easy access to all the essential sites of the atoll.
The most charming paths are on foot or by bike. Also, ask your hotel if it is possible to rent bicycles in the area to move around and travel the island in optimal conditions.
Where To Eat In Rangiroa
To eat on an atoll, there arent 30 options. Either you have a large budget and you are going to eat at the restaurant of your pension or hotel. Either you be a little careful and you can cook your own dishes. At Olga, you have access to a kitchen to cook directly for yourself. This is one of the tricks to make a trip cheaper to French Polynesia. A good little raw fish on the edge in this sumptuous setting is still not bad at all.
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Staying At Hotel Kia Ora Resort On Rangiroa
French Polynesia is like a tropical postcard. With dazzling blue water, white-sand beaches, and gorgeous architecture, this place is as close to paradise as it gets.
The second largest atoll in the world, Rangiroa is located between two bodies of water the Moana-tea, or the Peaceful Ocean, and Moana-uri, the Wild Ocean. Whether youre on the hunt for the perfect beach or the best diving in the world, this is the place to be.
Heres my experience exploring Rangiroa and staying at Hotel Kia Ora!
Scuba Diving In Tikehau
Tikehau is famous as well for all the fish in the area. In fact, itâs been labelled as the âfishiestâ atoll in the world which is immediately obvious as you drop down below the waves. I have never swum with so many schools of fish in my life. It was absolutely stunning! Though I have to say my favourite was a group of puffers who came right up to our faces.
Tikehau also has a good chance for sharks. We say some white tip reef sharks but if you are lucky you could see hammerheads of some of the resident tiger sharks that live in the area. Usually, they hang out by Tikehauâs only pass but the conditions need to be right to dive it. Unfortunately, the conditions were not in our favour so, despite my wishful hopes, no hammerheads or tiger sharks for me! Still, it was beautiful.
Who to dive with: Tikehau Diving
Search for accommodation in Tikehau here.
*Note: We booked late and stayed at Hakamanu Lodge which is quite far out. We had to pay an additional $60 to be picked up/dropped off. So if you are diving, I wouldnt recommend staying here as that is a big added expense.
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