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Manihi Rangiroa Tikehau

Rangiroa lies 200 miles northwest of Papeete (one hour) and is very popular with divers.   It's lagoon is 42 miles long by 16 miles wide and it is the largest atoll in the Tuamotu Archipelago and the fourth largest atoll in the world.   Rangi is made up of  240 tiny motus separated by 100 "hoa", small channels making up the coral ring, and the lagoon is full of wonderful marine life.  There are two deep passages, Avatoru and Tiputa passes,  which allow ships and sea life to go between the ocean and the lagoon.  Because of the strong tidal currents through the passes (three to six knots) divers can experience "shooting the pass" which means they travel from the ocean into the lagoon in the late afternoon with an infinite array of marine life.   Besides the two passes, there are two main towns, Avatoru and Tiputa, where where most of the 2700 people live. A paved road extends between Avatoru and the Tiputa pass.  There are two resorts on Rangi, the Kia Ora Village and the Kia Ora Sauvage and many pensions.

Map courtesy of Tahiti Tourisme

Flying into Rangiroa you see scenes like these.