Fakarava “Island of Dreams”
Fakarava Island is the second largest atoll in the Tuamotu Archipelago, after Rangiroa. Located about an hours flight from Tahiti, the island of Fakarava has become a dream location for those seeking a tropical island getaway, especially for those who enjoy scuba diving. Fakarava is a developing island with accommodations that include 1 major hotel as well as several guest houses, pensions, and bed and breakfast properties.
Fakarava Island is protected as a biosphere reserve classified by UNESCO because of its rare flora and fauna, as well as an ecosystem rich in birds and lagoon crustaceans. The lagoon is outstanding and home to amazing sharks, mantas and tropical fish. The 2 major passes of Fakarava Island allow for very active water circulation between the lagoon and open ocean. The Garuae Pass on the northwest coast is 1 kilometer wide, and is the largest pass in French Polynesia.
There are approximately 1000 residents on the island, living between the villages of Rotoava and Tetamanu. Most of them live in Rotoava, which is home to the post office, churches, town hall and shops and supermarket. Fakarava is home to the first island church ever built entirely out of coral in 1862 and today the shell still remains. There is no bank on the island so make sure you have cash before you arrive.
The main dive center is located in Rotoava and offers an amazing selection of dives and sites. As the leading attraction of this island is scuba diving, you will find an amazing abundance and variety of marine life from loachs, groupers, barracuda, and hammerhead sharks to unlimited amounts of tropical reef fish and corals.
Other names for this island are Havai’I or Havaiki, & Farea. Its nickname is well suited as “End of the World” This atoll is 60 kilometers long and 25 wide with a depth of 30-50 meters in the lagoon. . On the southeast side of Fakarava is the Tumakohua Pass which is about 650 feet wide and 45 feet deep. To get from one pass to the other takes about 90 minutes by speedboat. Fakarava enjoys more than 3000 hours of sunshine per year
Fakarava Hotels & Resorts
- Hotel Mai Tai Dream Fakarava
- Raimiti Fakarava
- Pension Havaiki
Fakarava Island Activities
Fakarava offers world class diving. There are 2 amazing passes at either end of the lagoon. Some companies arrange outer reef dives as well as deep sea dives. There are a couple dive centers who have qualified instructors to take you out to different sites. Some sites listed are Garuae Pass, Ohutu et Mairuru, Tetamanu Pass, and Baptito Lagoon which is excellent for first time divers. Top Dive & Te Ava Nui are among the main dive operators in Fakarava.
Take a trip to koka koka motu which is a favorite destination for those in the know. It is surrounded by pink sands and a sparkling lagoon where you will find an abundance of tropical fish for snorkeling. Coconut trees are in abundance here and the motu is home of the giant coconut crab. At the end of Fakarava’s lagoon is a very special motu accessible only by boat called Hirifa. You can request locally to have a special picnic here as well.
Black Pearl Farms
There are several on this atoll. Check with your hotel upon arrival to find out which one is nearest you for a visit.
Motor Boat Rental & Fishing Excursions
There are a number of local vendors offering such services out into the lagoon. Deep sea fishing is also available outside of lagoon. Local hotels serve fresh fish caught daily by local fisherman as well as your own catch.
Fakarava Dining & Nightlife
Dining Choices are limited on this island, but each property caters to their own quests with a good selection of local produce and fresh caught fish. Island entertainment is generally scheduled for select nights at each hotel.