Fakarava France

Fakarava is a stunning atoll in French Polynesia’s Tuamotu Archipelago. The atoll is a component of the Fakarava commune, which is a part of the administrative region known as the Gambier Islands. Fakarava has become a well-liked vacation spot for divers, snorkelers, and eco-tourists because of its turquoise lagoons, white sand beaches, and rich marine life.


Aerial view of fakaravaLocation of Fakarava

French Polynesia’s Tuamotu Archipelago includes the atoll of Fakarava. The atoll has two main sections: the larger northern section, known as Fakarava-Nui, and the smaller southern section, known as Fakarava-Uta. The atoll has a total size of 1,112 square kilometers. A vast lagoon is enclosed by a barrier reef that encircles the atoll. Sharks, manta rays, dolphins, and a variety of fish species can all be found in the lagoon.

The highest point of the low-lying coral atoll Fakarava is only 9 meters above sea level. The geography of the atoll is influenced by wind, waves, and tides. The atoll is shielded from the open ocean by a barrier reef, which forms a tranquil lagoon. The lagoon and the open ocean are connected through one of French Polynesia’s biggest passes, the Garuae Pass. The pass is a well-liked location for diving and snorkeling and is a significant supply of nutrients for the lagoon’s aquatic life.

The ecology and biodiversity of the atoll are significantly influenced by its geology and climate. The atoll is susceptible to erosion and floods because of its sandy soils and low height, particularly during severe weather events like cyclones. The atoll has a tropical environment with year-round high humidity and warm temperatures. The atoll has two seasons: a dry season from May to October and a wet season from November to April.

Fakarava’s History and Culture

Fakarava has a lengthy cultural heritage that goes back thousands of years. Almost a thousand years ago, Polynesian navigators established the atoll, and today, many of their descendants still call the lagoon home. Dance, music, and storytelling are just a few examples of the Polynesian practices that are strongly ingrained in the native culture.

James Cook, a British navigator, was the first European to set foot in Fakarava in 1774. The atoll gained popularity as a whaling ship and pearl trader stopover in the years that followed. Throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the atoll was home to multiple pearl farms, and the pearl trade was a substantial source of revenue for the locals. Nowadays, the atoll’s economy relies heavily on tourism, with travelers from all over the world flocking there to see its natural beauty and rich cultural history.

The people of Fakarava are heavily reliant on the land and sea for their lives, and this intimate relationship between their culture and the environment is evident. Traditional fishing methods from the atoll, like hand-line fishing and spearfishing, are still used today. Taro, coconuts, and other crops are also grown by the locals using conventional farming techniques.

Music, dancing, and artwork are other forms of cultural expression in Fakarava. Ukulele, guitar, and drums are common components of traditional Polynesian music, which is frequently accompanied by dance and chanting. Carvings, paintings, and handicrafts made of materials including wood, bone, and shells are among the atoll’s artistic creations.

Fakarava Diving

Fakarava is regarded as one of the best diving locations in the world because of its beautiful waters, abundant marine life, and distinctive underwater scenery. More than 700 different fish species, including sharks, manta rays, and vibrant reef fish, may be found on the atoll. Due to the abundance of pelagic species and vast schools of fish that it draws, the Garuae Pass is a favorite diving location.

The shark dive, where divers can swim with dozens of reef sharks, including blacktip, whitetip, and gray sharks, is one of the most well-liked diving experiences in Fakarava. The dive takes place in the Garuae Pass, where strong currents draw a lot of sharks in. Although the dive is unique and thrilling, it is not for the faint of heart because the sharks can get quite near to the divers.

The manta ray dive in Fakarava is another well-liked diving activity. The dive takes place in the south pass, where the manta rays congregate to feed on plankton. The atoll is home to a sizable population of manta rays. Because the dive is performed in shallow water, divers of all experience levels can participate.

Fakarava provides a variety of diving experiences, including reef dives, drift dives, and night dives, in addition to the shark and manta ray excursions. Divers may enjoy a breathtaking backdrop thanks to the atoll’s distinctive underwater landscape, which has canyons, coral walls, and drop-offs.

The dive spots in Fakarava are reachable by boat, and the atoll is home to a number of dive shops that provide diving packages and instruction. From May to November, when the waters are calm and the visibility is at its optimum, is the ideal time to go scuba diving in Fakarava.

A family riding bicyclesThings To Do in Fakarava

While diving is the main draw of Fakarava, the atoll offers a wide range of additional activities. Kayaking is one of the most well-liked activities in the lagoon. Visitors who have kayaks can explore the lagoon’s quiet, shallow waters, paddling to remote beaches and coral gardens.

Cycling is another well-liked pastime in Fakarava. Cycling is an excellent way to discover the natural beauty and cultural history of the island because the atoll has a network of roads connecting the many communities. On the atoll, bicycles can be rented from a number of locations.

Fakarava’s waterways are filled with a variety of fish species, making fishing another favorite activity there. Guests have the option of joining a guided fishing trip or casting their lines from a boat or the shore. Traditional fishing activities like hand-line fishing and spearfishing are also available from the locals.

Fakarava boasts a number of beautiful beaches where guests may bask in the sun and take in the blue waters for a more laid-back experience. The beaches are calm and empty, providing a tranquil haven from the commotion of modern life.

Accommodation in Fakarava

For different types of guests’ demands and budgets, Fakarava offers a variety of lodging choices. There are several upscale resorts on the atoll that provide a variety of amenities and services, including spas, restaurants, and private beaches, for visitors seeking opulent lodging. These resorts offer a true retreat from the outer world because they are situated in pristine, remote areas.

There are also some guesthouses and pensions maintained by local families for visitors seeking a more genuine Polynesian experience. With the chance to gain firsthand knowledge of regional culture and traditions, these accommodations provide a more individualized and intimate encounter. Visitors can get a look of native life at the guesthouses and pensions that are spread out around the atoll’s several villages.

On the atoll, there are also a number of camping areas for guests who want to get a close-up look at Fakarava’s stunning natural surroundings. The picturesque locations of the camping areas allow guests to experience sleeping under the stars and hearing the sounds of the ocean.


The combination of natural beauty, cultural history, and adventure found in Fakarava makes it a really exceptional travel destination. For tourists looking for a real Polynesian experience, the atoll is a must-visit location due to its magnificent geography, rich cultural past, and unique marine life.

The main draw of the atoll is its top-notch diving, which allows tourists to discover some of the most pristine and diverse underwater habitats on earth. The chance to dive with some of the most amazing creatures of the ocean, including sharks and manta rays, makes the shark and manta ray dives especially well-liked.

Fakarava offers a variety of activities in addition to scuba diving, such as kayaking, cycling, fishing, and beach relaxation. Visitors can engage in these activities to explore the island’s natural splendor and cultural legacy as well as to unwind and unwind in the lovely and tranquil surroundings of the atoll.

Luxury resorts, guesthouses, and camping grounds are all available as lodging alternatives in Fakarava, giving visitors a variety of choices to fit their requirements and budgets. Fakarava has something for everyone, whether you’re searching for a private, opulent getaway or a more genuine, close-knit encounter with the locals.

Ultimately, Fakarava is a really unique location that provides travelers with a chance to escape the pressures of contemporary life and fully experience Polynesia’s natural beauty and cultural diversity. Make sure Fakarava is on your itinerary if you’re traveling to French Polynesia so you can discover the allure of this breathtaking atoll for yourself.

Our Top FAQ's

The best time to visit Fakarava for diving is from May to November, when the waters are calm and the visibility is at its best.

The main attraction in Fakarava is its world-class diving, which offers visitors the chance to explore some of the most pristine and diverse underwater environments in the world. Other attractions include kayaking in the lagoon, cycling around the island, fishing, and beach lounging.

Fakarava offers a range of accommodation options to suit different types of travelers and budgets, including luxury resorts, guesthouses and pensions run by local families, and camping sites.

The most popular diving experiences in Fakarava are the shark dive and the manta ray dive. The shark dive takes place in the Garuae Pass, where divers can swim with dozens of reef sharks, while the manta ray dive takes place in the south pass, where the rays come to feed on plankton.

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