Why we love it
In the middle of the Pacific Ocean, 450km northeast of Tahiti lies Fakarava, the second largest atoll of French Polynesia. Part of the Tuamotus Archipelago, and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the North and South pass and the lagoon are teeming with marine life. It hosts some of the most healthy corals, hundreds of sharks, schooling fish, dolphins, and manta rays - all with truly exceptional visibility. Every year, in June or July, a marble groupers spawning event happen, attracting hundreds of sharks! Between dives, bike across the village with its gorgeous, flower-lined roads, bright coral churches, and quaint homes. At night, marvel at the infinite shades of blue lagoon that inspired Matisse, and toast to spectacular sunsets from the beach.
The dive center in the North pass has been built entirely in wood and uses rain water. They ask their clients to only use reef-safe sunscreen. They promote local employment.
Who is it for?
For pelagic lovers, beginners can dive in the lagoon while experienced divers will enjoy the drift dives in the passes. Non-diving partners are welcome: cycling, kayaking, excursions on other beaches and lagoons, snorkeling, pearl farm visit, or sit back with a coconut cocktail.
Prices and Dates
- In the North Pass:
- 11 dives
- 5 nights in a Beach Bungalow facing the lagoon. Price per person on a double accommodation shared basis
- half board (breakfast and dinner)
- bicycles, kayaks, stand up paddle boards
- In the South Pass:
- 8 dives
- 5 nights in a no frills Bungalow facing the pass. Price per person on a double accommodation shared basis
- all meals
- All equipment except dive computer, SMB and camera. These can be rented. We recommend you to bring your own equipment for the South Pass.
- Transfers the days of arrival and departure
- Any flights, food and beverage or any other elements not mentioned in the above section.
- Fakarava is one of the world's best dive spots, and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
- Fakarava is also home of a big marble groupers spawning event that attracts hundreds of sharks (and scientists!) every year. Depending on the years, the event takes place during the full moon of June or July.
- Huge coral heads, schools of fish by the thousands, “walls” of sharks (grey reef sharks, black & white tip sharks, silky sharks, hammerheads) in the passes, dolphins, manta rays, humpback whales in season, barracudas, tunas, napoleon fish, groupers, butterfly, angel, surgeon fish… some good macro life too.
- Season: diving all year long. June & July: groupers spawning event. July to September: manta rays. December to March: Great hammerheads.
- Currents: strong and changing - some dive sites are not suitable for beginners or anyone that doesn’t feel comfortable in currents.
- Visibility: 30 meters(feet)
- Water Temperature: 26° to 29°C (79° to 84°F)
- Depth: deep and shallow dives
- Dives in the passes are drift dives, with canyons. They require good buoyancy skills and currents experience.
- Inside the lagoon dive sites have less current, they are usually more shallow with beautiful coral gardens.
- 2 main areas for diving: Garuae Pass in the north where most dives are - the pass is 1,6km wide, and Tumakohua Pass in the south, 60km away
- Dives sites in the north: Garuae Pass, Maiuru, Ohutu, Pufana. In the south: Tumakohua Pass, known for its wall of 500 sharks!
- Up to three dives per day, seven days a week. Dusk dives are only possible in the South pass, with an additional charge.
- Operation created in 2016 in the North and more than 20 years ago in the South
- Number of boats: 2 in the North and in the South
- Courses up to Divemaster, ask us
- Instruction in English and French
- Maximum divers per group: 5
- Equipment Recommended: a Surface Marker Buoy and a Nautilus Lifeline if you have one, as currents can be strong. A 5 mm wetsuit between July and October, and a 3 mm wetsuit the other months of the year.
- Insurance: both dive insurance and travel insurance are mandatory. We recommend Dive Assure that has plans to cover both - ask us for a quote.
- Nearest Hyperbaric Chamber: Tahiti, 450 km away from the atoll. No doctor on the island.
Visas, flights, and more!
- Please check the current visa policy that applies for your country.
- Many countries are entitled to a three-month stay without a visa, check what's requires on the website of the French Polynesia Prefecture
How to get there
- From USA: United Airlines, Air Tahiti Nui, Hawaiian Airlines and Air France.
- From Australia: Air Tahiti Nui thanks to partnership agreements with Qantas, Air New Zealand and Emirates.
- From New Zealand: Air New Zealand and Air Tahiti Nui.
- From France: Air France and Emirates have the shortest flight time to Papeete.
- Once in Papeete, French Polynesia, fly with Air Tahiti to go to Fakarava. If you want to visit more islands, you can purchase the Air Tahiti Multi-island Pass, it is really worth it!
- Bring reef-safe sunscreen, a hat, a rash guard, some insect repellent, your own medicine (for lack of pharmacies)