FAKARAVA and TOAU as well as the 5 other atolls of Niau, Aratika, Kauehi, Raraka and Taiaro make up the district of Fakarava and are a part of UNESCO’s international program for the preservation of the Biosphere combining sustainable use of natural resources and human development.
Fakarava is the second biggest atoll of the Tuamotu Archipelago measuring some 60km long and 25km wide. It is rectangular in shape with a general orientation of NW to SE. This vast ring of coral has large uninterrupted motu on more than 40km of its coast to the north and east with some islets in the south and west with coconut trees on them.
It is situated 450km to the east-northeast of Tahiti. Its lagoon is accessible by two passes, the pass of Garuae, that is situated at the North, the largest of any in Polynesia (1600m across) and the Tumakohua pass (200m across) situated to the South of the atoll, with its small village of Tetamanu. The two passes are different, both offering a rich diversity of discoveries for the diver (see Dives).
The airport and the main village of Rotoava (about 850 people) are located in the North. The village has 2 shops, 1 bakery, some small ‘snacks’ (restaurants), 1 post office, 1 infirmary, and the possibility to rent the bicycles or scooters to get around. One point to be careful of is that Fakarava does not have a bank. Payments must be made in either cash FCP / $US / €, by local check or credit card where usuable (VISA is perhaps the most widely acceptable).
AIR TAHITI flies to Fakarava every day from Tahiti’s main airport at Papeete, the flight taking about an hour and ten minutes.
You will be seduced by the kindness and the tranquillity of the local people as well as by the magic of the colours and the landscapes of this magnificent lagoon.
This atoll is about an hour by boat from Fakarava (it has no airstrip). It is 20km long and 10km wide, and is rectangular in shape, with oriented NW to SE. Its lagoon is accessible by two passes, one named Otugi (400m wide) and the other Fakatahuna (150m wide). Both are situated on the east coast. This atoll is regularly visited by the people of Fakarava who go there to fish and to collect coconuts.
The archipelago of the TUAMOTU benefits all year round from a sub-tropical hot climate characterized by 2 seasons. The dry season from May to October, during which the temperatures vary between 21°C (70°F) and 28°C (82°F).
The rainy season from November to April, during which the temperatures vary between 24°C (75°F) and 31°C (88°F). The water temperature is relatively constant, it varies between 26°C (70°F) and 29°C (84°F) depending on the time of the year.
There is no need for vaccinations to stay in Polynesia.
Anti-mosquito spray or oil and sunscreen lotions are highly recommended.