French Polynesia Rangiroa

Rangiroa Island in French Polynesia

Rangiroa is 350km from the Island of Tahiti, it is known to be one of the greatest destinations in the world to scuba dive. Rangiroa is the second largest Atoll in the world and is just a piece of paradise found in the South Pacific Ocean. We flew from Faa’a airport in Tahiti to Rangiroa. We were picked up at the airport by the hotel, we emailed before arriving to organize.

 

Where we stayed:

Maitai Rangiroa – 5minute drive from the airport

We stayed in one of the Lagoon Bungalows which is a waterfront bungalow. There are only 6 of these bungalows at the Mai Tai. There are two other types of bungalows with garden and partial water views and they are all really nice. The hotel overall is a really nice and chill hotel. The grounds of the hotel are so tropical and beautiful. The restaurant and bar are extended onto the patio which opens up to the pool area. This whole area has a panoramic view of the lagoon. There are bikes, mopeds, quads and other modes of transport to rent from reception which is great for getting around the island.

Our Room:

We had initially booked one of the Garden bungalows which was the only option available on Hotels.com but when we arrived they had one of the waterfront Lagoon bungalows was available so we upgraded. It was a great decision to upgrade as I felt we really got the use out of our front porch area that was directly at the lagoon. We sat there every morning having a cup of coffee and every evening we would watch the sunset and when we weren’t exploring the area we were there sunbathing. The rooms are beautiful and traditional Tahitian style bungalows. The whole hotel and the gardens are a really tranquil place to be. The view from our bungalow was so beautiful as you can see in the photo below, taken directly outside our bungalow.

Food & Drink:

In general, in French Polynesia the food and drinks are expensive. There are definitely ways to be more budget friendly, if you leave your hotel or resort to eat or if you buy your beers in the local store. Eating breakfast at the hotel is between $30 – $40pp which was the cheapest hotel breakfast we came across on all the Islands. Lunch depended on what you wanted but minimum of $20 – $30pp and Dinner was $40+ pp. We ate breakfast at the hotel in the mornings, made baguettes to take away and also took some yogurts & fruit to go, we ate them for lunch. We ate dinner in the hotel each of the nights as it had a nice menu. We also went to the local store next door and got some beers as our Bungalow was ocean view so we sat out the front in the evenings, watched sunset and drank our beers.

Cocktails in the hotel were approx. $20, the local beer was approx $7, imported beers were around $10/$12 and glasses of wine started at approx. $12 just to give you a price scale if trying to figure out spending money.

Snack Puna was one of our discoveries along our cycle along the Atoll. It was directly at the end of the Atoll. We really enjoyed the atmosphere here, it was very chilled. We sat in this small cafe at a window seat having a drink, watching birds fish and the coming and goings of little boats. The perfect stop for a drink and a nice lunch. We didn’t eat here as we ran out of time but we saw the food and it looked really good.

Things to do on the Island:

  • Rent bicycles and cycle around the Motu
  • Walk the beaches
  • Snorkel in the Lagoon
  • Have a snack & drink in Snack Puna
  • Fishing
  • Kayaking
  • Scuba Diving

Activities we did:

We rented the bicycles from reception at our hotel and cycled to the end of the Motu. We came across a really nice snack bar where we got a drink and took in the beautiful panoramic views of the lagoon. We cycled to some really nice beaches where we stopped and walked along the edge of the water. The Atoll was so quiet so we really enjoyed the disconnection from our usual busy lives.

 

We walked along beautiful beaches, I’m not even sure if they are named beaches as when I look them up on google maps, no names appear. It is fun to stumble upon beautiful destinations without knowing what to expect. I’m usually the person that yelps everything and I like to know where I’m going and what to expect but in French Polynesia we just roamed around the Atolls and Islands and came across some of the most beautiful places I have ever been.

Our hotel was located on the lagoon between the passes of Avatoru and Tiputa. The water was pristine and the warm temperature made it so appealing.

Some tips for visiting Rangiroa:

  • The airport is only 5minutes from the airport but the transfer fee for the hotel is quite expensive for the 5minute drive – around $50 each way for both of us.
  • There is a little store right next to the hotel, for getting a few bits like water, beers and snacks
  • If you are looking for a budget lunch/early dinner the snack puna – at the end of the Motu – about a 20-30-minute cycle from the hotel

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