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Best Diving Destinations in French Polynesia

The Most Beautiful Dive Sites in French Polynesia

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About scuba diving in French Polynesia

French Polynesia is a set of islands that is a part of an overseas territory of France, located in the South Pacific Ocean. It consists of 118 islands and atolls that are divided into five groups: the Austral, Gambier, Marquesas, Society, and Tuamotu archipelagos. Most of the islands in French Polynesia are volcanic in origin and fringed by coral reefs. The Society Archipelago is the most famous of all, and includes the islands of Bora Bora, Mo’orea, and Tahiti. The Tuamotu Archipelago includes only low-lying coral atolls, and of these, only a handful have passable inlets into their central lagoons. Rangiroa, the largest coral atoll in French Polynesia, is famous for its natural beauty. The Austral and Gambier islands in the south are less populated, because most of them are still uninhabited. Besides the amazing nature in French Polynesia, travelers can try a variety of different activities, such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and other various water activities. Tourists can enjoy guided historical tours, hiking, and exploring, as well as shopping. Diving in French Polynesia is very exciting as all the islands have excellent scuba diving and snorkeling opportunities. The islands of French Polynesia offer lagoons, ocean drop-offs, and passes for divers of all levels to discover. The lagoons in French Polynesia are less-known for the colorful soft corals than for the wide variety of sea life they contain. Divers can expect to see lots of colorful tropical fish, stingrays, and manta rays. Sharks are frequently seen here, although most of them are of the relatively harmless reef varieties: blacktip, silvertip, whitetip, and gray sharks. The most-visited islands now have shark-feeding encounters. Hammerheads and other large sharks live outside the reef and in the passes leading into the lagoons. The best diving and snorkeling opportunities are at Rangiroa, Tikehau, Manihi, and Fakarava in the Tuamotu Archipelago, where the huge lagoons harbor an incredible variety of fish and sharks. The depth of the dive sites can be up to 45m/147ft. Some of the popular dive sites are Tiputa Pass, Aquarium, the Spring, Tumakohua Pass, St. Etienne Drop-Off, Tiki Point, La Cité de Corail, Garuae Pass, Tupiti, and Eagle Rays’ Station.

When to go to French Polynesia

French Polynesia is a year-round destination. Scuba diving in French Polynesia is possible all year, and the best time to dive is April to November. It has a tropical but moderate climate. The warm, humid summer is from November through April. Winter is May through October, when the climate is slightly cooler and drier. The average air temperature is 27C/80F. The water temperature averages 29C/84F in summer and 26C/79F in winter. The water visibility is good, from 10-30m/32-98ft and more. Currents depend on the location, and can be strong at some sites.

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