Day 1,896 of Traveling the World | Rangiroa Atoll, Tuamotu Islands, French Polynesia | April 12, 2023

We know, we know – You are thinking, “Are they ever going to go to anywhere NEW???” All of these gorgeous atolls/islands/motus look much the same. It was our first time in Rangiroa, but it felt like an old friend as we walked across the island in 5 minutes (again) and wandered along the windward side again. It wasn’t as windy as Fakarava’s windy side, but nobody was laying out on the beach or snorkeling on that side, either. Everyone was on the calmer and prettier lagoon side, with pale, clear, jade-colored water and drooping palm trees.

Rangiroa is the largest atoll in French Polynesia and the second-largest in the world. Like a string of pearls, forming a circle, the atoll is 46 miles long and 15 miles wide, so large that the entire island of Tahiti could fit comfortably in its central lagoon. There are two major industries on Rangiroa in addition to its famous diving spots and other water sports, and one is very surprising. The first is pearl cultivation, and six of today’s ship excursions were to “Discover the World of Pearls.” They come in a range of colors here, from white to shades of gray to cultivated black pearls. The second largest industry – surprise! – is wine-making. The vineyards are on the edge of a lagoon beside coconut trees, and they produce two harvests per year.

We found, once again, that while the temperature is very hot, the people are very warm. All of the locals waved to us, said hello, and had big smiles. We passed by several homes that looked very inviting. Once again, the colors of the ocean are simply amazing, with a range of blues, jades, and turquoises. The clouds are white and look overstuffed, and the sky is a penetrating blue. Below are just a few of the 200 photos we took over a few hours. We also shared a sweet encounter with some children. All in all, a perfect day for wandering around French Polynesia.

Like glass! This was our first photo from the rear deck of the cruise ship, before we ventured onto land.
Arriving via tender, we were greeted by about a dozen kiosks of local arts and crafts, along with small boats offering lagoon tours.
Check out that water! We couldn’t believe our eyes.
Some of the bars and restaurants are along the shore, naturally, offering seating with these intoxicating views.
Such a lazy feeling!
There were many scenes like this – loads of coconut trees in a plantation.
On the windward side of the island, the water was a darker blue, evidence of deeper water. This little motu (island) was sitting just offshore.
Two women taking photos below us.
The ring road here is paved, and there was quite a lot of traffic as we walked along!
The windward side wasn’t lined with many coconut palms, but with these sand-loving trees.
Another photographer, grabbing some shade wherever possible.
Some very rustic signage for destinations on the atoll.
One of the pretty houses off in the distance.
We were shocked to come upon Rodeo Jam, Country Music Tahiti – complete with a logo of a buckin’ bronco!
We then walked back to the lagoon side and saw these over-the-water bungalows on the right.
Still life, with boat.
This house has a lounge chair facing the lagoon, and behind it is a double swing. There were also kayaks and barbecues.
Some boats are anchored way out in the lagoon.
A lovely bunch of coconuts.
These kids were capitalizing on fallen coconuts, keeping them cold in a cooler. It was 200 francs (about $2 US) for a coconut, and the little girl cut the top off to reveal a coconut filled with milk. We were both nervously watching her as she cut the top off, hoping she didn’t cut herself. We really just wanted to give them some money to encourage their entrepreneurship, not caring much about the actual coconut. Her t-shirt said, Newport Beach, CA! They did not speak English, so we tried a few words from our 2 years of studying French, and we will say – we got along fine! We were able to ask in French how many coconuts they had sold that day, and they replied, “10.” Not bad business for an unpaved road on a tiny island, hawking coconuts they harvested from the ground.

🔹🔹 If you enjoyed reading our post, you can subscribe to our website to automatically receive every blog we publish. Just go to our “Contact” tab. In the gray box at the very bottom, it says – SUBSCRIBE TO BLOG VIA EMAIL. Just put in your email address, and we will appear in your Inbox! Also, right above it, there is a small form to send us a message, if you wish. (But please note, you cannot hit “Reply” on the post emailed to you to send us a message. You must use the Contact tab.)