Best of French Polynesia
Because French Polynesia is comprised of 118 islands and atolls (only 67 are inhabited), it is divided into 5 island groups. The most popular are the Society Islands, housing Tahiti (which actually holds 69% of the entire French Polynesian population) and Bora Bora. The Tuamotu archipelago is home to the most immense natural aquarium, but the Gambier, Marquesas and Austral islands each hold their own special characteristics.
Famed as the second largest surfing wave in the world, Teahupo’o is both feared and loved by surfers. Teahupo’o can be found on the southern side of Tahiti and is home to the annual Billabong Pro Championship. While this wave is only about 20-feet tall, it’s quite deep and is one of the most intense waves in the world. This monster breaks on a shallow, ragged reef and has only been surfed since the early 2000s. If you’re not a pro, do not attempt to ride Teahupo’o, but we do suggest a visit to watch this majestic beast!
The many lagoons that make up the warm waters of the South Pacific host some of the best diving, housing an abundance of fish, sharks, rays and so much more! Rangiora (one of the largest atolls in the world) attracts schools of dolphins and the Blue Lagoon creates a natural aquarium. Fakarava has been named a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve for preservation of rare marine species, while Tumakohua Pass has an underwater valley, known as “Shark Hole.” Don’t forget to experience Tikehau, which has the highest concentration of fish in French Polynesia!