Visitors to Tahiti and what we did

My sister and her family visited us in Tahiti. There is a lot to do here with kids. We surfed, went to local markets and ate at the roulettes. We enjoyed watching the lane changer. We snorkeled, scuba dove & wet on a inland island safari into “Jurassic Park” where we saw high water falls, the volcano crater, lakes with eels and swam in the river.

Their son ran with us at 5 am through the cacophony of roosters crowing. We swam in our pool, had drinks watching the sunset over Moorea and rode the waves in the ocean on the black sand beaches. We boogy boarded at Point Venus and visited the cultural museum.

We took the ferry to Moorea with our car and stayed in an over water bungalow on a turquoise lagoon. It rained, but not all the time. Their 10 year old loved jumping off the porch into the sea to snorkel. We swam with dolphins, saw the turtles in the sanctuary, swam and petted the sting rays, swam with black tip sharks and snorkeled off a motu. (small off shore island). We saw an albatross circle over head and saw picasso fish, zebra fish, barracuda and hundreds of other fish under water. We kayaked around the lagoon. We went to the view point and saw Marea, a archeological ruin of an old village and temple.

It was a great week- lots of fun!

 


 

Tikehau- dolphins, manta Rays and pink sand beaches

Tikehau is an atoll in the Tuamotus 12 km from Rangiroa and is known for its pink sand beaches and excellent diving. We dove the pass where we swam with playing dolphins and again saw myriads of fish, including a humpback wrasse (huge), lion fish and schools of barracuda. It was wonderful to hear the dolphin song.

We also dove with manta rays- about 10- 15 of them. They are huge and beautifully fly while remoras suck onto them and clean them.

The Pearl Beach Resort was pretty, isolated and had nice snorkeling off our overwater bungalow. If reserving take care to reserve the premium over water bungalow as the standard ones do not have swim access. The pink sand was lovely. Sharks swam by, there were a lot of baby and adult flute fish and large trigger fish, Titan and Yellow margin,  that were unearthing coral to feel underneath it. We also saw a meter long porcupine fish, which have lovely large eyes.

Evidently the hammerhead sharks are seasonal and are there between Jan and March.

Swimming with the Humpback Whales

Humpback whales migrate from Antarctica to tropical waters of Tahiti for calving. They swim thousands of miles in a short time- often as little as 36 days. In Tahiti the waters are deep enough to calve, but shallow enough that no predators can get above their babies to force them to the depths and drown them. The females eat when in the nutrient rich waters of the antarctic and fast in the tropics. They nurse their babies and ween them with them for 8 – 10 months.

In Tahiti the whale watches are strictly regulated. Only a certified pilot can pilot the boat (ours was a merchant marine who is in Tahiti for this reason only) and our guide, who lead us snorkeling with the whales, is also certified and in Tahiti for this purpose.

No one is allowed to scuba with the whales nor are they allowed to swim with them when the calves are new. The whales are in Tahiti from late August to November, depending on

Tikehau, Tuamotu Manta Rays abound!

We traveled to Tikehau Pearl Beach resort in the atoll of the Tuamotus. The sand is a beautiful pink and the part of the atoll where the resort is located is only accessible by boat. We stayed in a premium over water bungalow as the non premium ones did not have access to the water.

We went on 2 dives- the first one to the “cleaning station” for manta rays. It is at an old pearl farm and we did not dive down far (which was good for us as we could use our underwater camera which has no housing.) There were 30 + huge manta rays just gracefully gliding around while small fish and some remoras. On a dive in Tahiti a NYC woman scoffed at scuba divers going to the “cleaning station”. The diving was easy, but the manta rays go this spot on their own and not because humans coaxed them there with food. It was fascinating and beautiful and not to be missed. We also saw mantas on the reef here and in Bora Bora,. They are beautiful graceful creatures.

The dive we did was beautiful and lush like our other dives in the Tuamotus.

Le Taha’a

Le Taha’a is a Relais & Châteaux property which lives up to its parent organization. The grounds were full of blooming flowers – the nicest we have seen of any resort in FP. It is a place full of romanticism- great for couples. There is a swim up bar, a beautiful pool, a spa which overlooks a pond and a coral garden which you can drift through and see colorful coral and fish.
We also went on a dive which we saw eagle rays and green tortoises.

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Titan trigger fish blowing water in the sand

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spinner dolphin

Between dives

manta ray

manta ray

we saw about a dozen of them

manta ray

manta ray

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Tikehau from the air

Motu

lots of coral to snorkel around

pink sand beach

lots of coral to snorkel around- saw some amazing fish!

deserted pink sand beach

deserted pink sand beach

polynesian tv

polynesian tv

pink sand beach

pink sand beach

sunset

sunset

sunset

TIkehau airport

TIkehau airport

I have been to Tikehau twice. It is in the tuamotu archipelago of atolls. You can’t drive around Tikehau- the atoll is a ring of motus separated by passes. To reach the motus you take a short 3 minute car ride and then board a boat. The Pearl Beach resort is on a motu as part of the atoll on pink sand with aqua water.
The highlight of Tikehau is the manta rays. They have (on their own) adopted an old pearl farm and the surrounding coral where they show up to be cleaned by the smaller fishes that are inhabitants. Our first trip to Tikehau in October, we saw 15 manta rays and my second trip in June I saw 4. They circle the coral and are present for the entire dive and come up to explore us. The site is locally regulated to limit the number of divers and snorkelers and the time they spend so as not to scare the manta rays away.
We also did a dive in the pass which had schools of fish, dolphins to swim with, huge moray eels and huge humphead wrasses. The people the day before saw a hammerhead shark, but we weren’t so lucky.
The resort has 3 types of overwater bungalows. The only overwater bungalow that you can swim off of are the premium OWB or the suites. The premium OWB are situated in a pass and the wind whips over them. You would want a bungalow facing the lagoon if possible as the wind is less. The suites are better situated to have less wind and a sunset view. All have polynesian TVs. Top Dive is on site.
The pink sand beaches are beautiful. On the ocean side one can see whales.