If Rangiroa Atoll is a popular destination for its unique natural setting, it is especially known worldwide as a paradise for scuba diving enthusiasts. Indeed, the aquatic fauna and flora are of great diversity. Often, the visual is impressive and even sumptuous. Rangiroa is specialized in this field and many diving centers welcome and accompany visitors from all over the world. The discovery of the underwater life promises strong emotions and will certainly be an unforgettable memory. Since diving in Rangiroa is almost a way of life, let’s see what experiences await you there.
Experience a Drift Dive in Rangiroa
In Rangiroa, local life revolves around the two motus Avatoru and Tiputa. They are separated by passes connecting the lagoon to the Pacific Ocean. If ocean dives are also possible, two passes hold all the attention. They are both incredible places to observe aquatic life and interesting physical experiences. Because in Rangiroa, diving is not only contemplative.
The Famous Tiputa Pass
Perhaps one of the best diving spots in the world, Tiputa Pass is among the best things to do in Rangiroa. Carried by the incoming current, divers gradually drift from the mouth of the pass towards the interior of the lagoon. You will encounter dolphins, black tip sharks and grey sharks. You will even see manta and leopard rays. Depending on the period, usually from January to March, hammerhead sharks will also be present. On the walls of the pass, you will see reef life with a multitude of tropical fish frolicking.
This beautiful deep dive is also a very impressive experience. It requires a certain level of comfort in the water (Open Water PADI) and to be accompanied by a professional instructor. During a trip, it is customary to drift dive several times in a row. The aquatic nature being capricious and changing, this will give you the opportunity to experience many different things. Sometimes the fauna will be discreet, sometimes effervescent. Depending on the type of excursion you choose, you will be able to finish this drift dive in the heart of a wonderful coral garden.
The Discreet Pass of Avatoru
Less famous than its neighbor Tiputa, the Avatoru pass offers a similar experience during a drift dive. The aquatic fauna will be just as present, from sharks to rays. However, there are no dolphins, nor coral gardens nearby. This explains in part why the site is less frequented by divers. But don’t worry: it is still an exceptional experience. Moreover, the Avatoru pass has the particularity of being shallower. Therefore, it is a more appropriate site for snorkeling dives. Because of the current, these dives should be done in the presence of a certified instructor.
How do I go About Diving?
What is the Required Level?
For all scuba diving, it is imperative to have a diving certificate. For beginners, baptisms and training courses are offered by certified centers in Rangiroa. Initially, you will familiarize yourself with your equipment to make an outing in a calm environment. Your instructor will then be able to evaluate your skills and guide you. The best way to learn to dive is with a program of four to five dives. You will be able to pass your baptism, obtain your certificate and make a drift dive in one of the passes.
For certified divers, Open Water PADI is sufficient to explore the passes. However, for more comfort, Advanced Open Water PADI is preferable.
Some Dive Centers to Recommend
In Rangiroa, there are many diving centers. These diving professionals will accompany you on your excursions with a friendly and educational approach.
We can recommend two establishments: The 6 Passengers and the Rangiroa Diving Center. Both are located in Avatoru: the first one not far from the Hotel Kia Ora Resort, the second one close to the Tiputa pass. They have a long experience and show a great professionalism. Above all, they address environmental issues and the protection of aquatic life to help you become responsible divers.
An Alternative to Scuba Diving: Snorkeling
In addition to scuba diving, you can also discover aquatic life during snorkeling excursions. Indeed, Rangiroa’s lagoon is so full of fish that the entire atoll becomes a place of observation and wonder.
Near the Tiputa pass, the Aquarium is the place of intense aquatic effervescence. The magnificent coral beds are home to thousands of fish of different sizes and colors. You will not know where to look: the experience is unique and absolutely sensational. The Aquarium is one of Rangiroa’s most popular activities and a visit to the site is part of most tourist circuits.
A second, more remote site stands out: the Blue Lagoon. This is one of the particularities of Rangiroa, namely the presence of a particular lagoon inside the main lagoon. About an hour by boat from Avatoru, you will have to cross the huge lagoon with sometimes the impression of being in the open sea. On the spot, numerous black tip sharks steal the show from the tropical fish. In what looks like a real natural swimming pool, the aquatic observation gives a fantastic feeling. You can enjoy the expedition as part of a day tour with the joint visit of different places of interest.
It’s Time to Discover Rangiroa!
Rangiroa Atoll is a surprisingly preserved natural area. Diving enthusiasts will find here something to satisfy their passion. Indeed, nature is diverse and generous, but the diving centers on site are highly professional, with experience and skills. Therefore, those who have never dived before should be reassured: your first dive in Rangiroa is the guarantee of a successful and unforgettable experience.
Have you already chosen your accommodation among the pensions and hotels in Rangiroa? If so, Rangiroa’s endless lagoon is waiting for you. Organize your next stay in French Polynesia and prepare your itinerary to discover the Pacific islands. Contact us now to benefit from our personalized advice.