Manihi “Island of Pearl”
Manihi is the original home to the first Pearl Farmers in French Polynesia. The island is an elongated atoll located in the Tuamotus Archipelago about 75 minutes by air from Tahiti and 20 minutes from Rangiroa. The atoll is 10 km wide and 20 km long and is ringed by innumerable motus (islets) like a pearl necklace around an emerald lagoon with amazing white sand beaches and rich marine environment. Manihi stands with Tikehau, Rangiroa, and Fakarava as being a few of the rarest places on earth for density and variety of marine life for those with interest or experience in scuba diving.
The Manihi Atoll has two remaining ancient “marea” ceremonial platforms, made up of huge blocks of coral. In all of Manihi’s chain of islets, there are about 800 inhabitants and is today a home for a great number of pearl farms. The chief village is Paeua, and another important village is Turipaoa is located in the southwestern part of the atoll, and close to its only navigable pass Tairapa. Manihi is also part of a two island commune with its sister island Ahe.
With over 60 Pearl Farms here to produce much of the world’s most sought after gem, the black pearl, this island is the most perfect place on earth for cultivating pearls due to its lagoon water temperature, salinity, protection from dominant trade winds and many other environmental factors that allow this particular atoll to be the most successful for black pearl farming. Aside from pearl farming, Manihi has an amazing marine ecosystem and scuba diving is the main attraction to this island, aside from romantic seclusion, overwater bungalows and pristine and private motus and pink sand beaches.
Manihi offers some of the best dive sites and most have great visibility as they are either protected from the trade winds. It also provides some of the most moderate currents in all of the larger atolls making it suitable for both beginner and advanced scuba divers. Some excellent locations are from the Tairapa pass to the reef wall inside the lagoon, and then outside the lagoon there are amazing ocean dives at “the drop off” and “the crossing”. Manihi Pearl Beach Resort is the only hotel on this island and is also the location of Blue Nui Dive Center. See Scuba below.
Manihi Hotels & Resorts
- Manihi Pearl Beach Resort
Manihi Island Activities
Blue Nui Dive Center is located at Manihi Pearl Beach Resort. They have certified dive masters and instructors who offer dives in the lagoon, pass, and outside the coral reef. On special request the offer night dives
Manihi Pearl Dreams
Take a boat tour across the lagoon to the black pearl farm. Farm is open to visitors Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Tours leave early in the morning and last a couple hours. Arrange with Hotel Concierge
Glass Bottom Boat
View the beauty of submarine gardens and tons of tropical fish through the bottom of a glass bottom boat. The trip takes you around the lagoon and along the edge of the coastline outside the pass. The pilot will feed the sharks and you may even see a manta ray or dolphin. Ride is both educational and entertaining.
Deep Sea Fishing
From the Manihi Pearl Resort, you can charter a 30’ boat. It is equipped with all tackle and gear and for up to 4 people. Charter requires 2 hour minimum.
Private Motu excursions can be arranged at hotel as a romantic service that takes you on a trip to your own private pink sand island for lunch, swimming and sunbathing. A picnic unlike any other!!
Manihi Dining & Nightlife
Dining choices are limited on this island. The main resort provides for its own guests. The village of Truipaoa offers snack shops and family restaurants.
Poe Rava Restaurant
Located at Manihi Pearl Beach Resort offers a selection of European and Tahitian cuisine using fresh fish caught daily and local fresh produce. The restaurant is open to the lagoon and offers live entertainment most evenings.
Miki Miki Bar
Offers indispensable romantic background for a sunset cocktail.
On this island you must take advantage and enjoy a sunset cruise. It is Mother Nature’s form of entertainment as the boat takes you outside the pass to witness the sun sinking on the endless horizon. Great for fun or a romantic toast, or just a chance to see the green flash, making a wish, and heading back to your lagoon.