Tuamotus islands

Tuamotu archipelago is a large group of islands, mostly represented by atolls forming the largest chain of atolls in the world. The main activities in Tuamotus are pearl oysters farming, fishing and copra production. The archipelago was officially designated as a UNESCO biosphere reserve in 1977.

What to see (or What to do)

The most of Tuamotu islands are nice and green atolls with blue lagoons in the middle. This archipelago is considered a real paradise for scuba diving. A number of species such as different sharks, turtles and dolphins are typical for Tuamotu underwater fauna. There are at least ten endemic species that do not exist anywhere except of Tuamotu.

Note that fresh water sources are rare in the Tuamotu due to its geographical particularities.

How to navigate

Be careful between the atolls, visible only when less than 10 minutes away. Strong currents in the channels between the atolls. In the 76 atolls there are few navigable passes. When there is strong SE winds or heavy swells, the current coming out of the passes can climb to 6 knots. A tidal bore can rise inside or outside of the passes. Enter during slack tide. There are side markings in the passes of the main islands and sometimes in channels leading to villages.

Be careful in the lagoons, on-sight navigation, have the sun at your back or straight above, so you can see the colors and the coral heads, as well as the pearl farms buoys.

Anchoring recommended on the east side in July-August when strong E/SE winds blow.