Discovering the Marquesas Archipelago Part 1: Transit in Rangiroa


Last Christmas I made an fantastic travel to the Marquesas archipelago and I will share the whole trip with you. But first, before reaching the Marquesas, I made a short transit on Rangiroa atoll. And I promised to write a location about the winning shot of the hidden location rumble (, and here it is!

Well, I’ll perhaps disappoint you a bit as I stayed a very very short time on the atoll of Rangiroa. In fact, I only made a transit there on my way to the Marquesas archipelago during last Christmas holidays… I spent exactly 20 minutes on this very surprising island (if you can call this an island…) but what I saw was truly amazing and so I’ll share with you this little time I spent on Rangiroa.

The flight to the Marquesas archipelago is the longest one you can make inside French Polynesia. From the capital city Papeete you’ll need 3 1/2 hours as it is almost 1500 km far away from Tahiti. And of course, as the planes are not jumbo jets, you need to make a transit anywhere in the middle of the trip, that means you have to stop in the Tuamotu archipelago, and to be more precise, in the main Tuamotu “island” called Rangiroa.

The Tuamotu archipelago is made mainly out of atolls (the only real island is Makatea, you can see it in one shot of the gallery), that means that you have no real island as the island sank down thousands of years ago and the only thing remaining on the surface is the corrallian barrier or Recife. So you have only a very thin piece of land (only made out of sand), which is 5 to 20 meters large. Outside it’s the ocean and inside, where the former island was, it’s the lagoon. Rangiroa is the biggest atoll of French Polynesia with a ring measuring 75 km from east to west and 25 km from north to south. It’s so big that the whole island of Tahiti could fit inside the atoll ring of Rangiroa! And inside of the ring is one of the most beautiful lagoons of French Polynesia, a real divers paradise (anyway, there’s nothing else to do as to dive…. or relax on the endless sand beaches…)

Well, this place is for sure one of my future travel destinations as I didn’t really had the time to discover it for real in 20 minutes… But of what I saw when we arrived by plane (and landing on a very little airport, just 10 meters between the ocean and the lagoon… you really must trust the pilot for that…!) it’s for sure a fascinating place.
And here are the only few shots I could make in this very short time, to give you the “taste” of Rangiroa before you – who knows? – decide to travel there one day…! :)))

To be continued…..

written by vicuna on 2010-04-08 #places #travel #island #transit #lagoon #wide-angle-lens #plane #location #pacific-ocean #supersampler #aerial-view #lc-a #atoll #tuamotu


  1. stouf
    stouf ·

    Ahhh lucky vicuna... Such a beautiful spot ! I really enjoy looking the aerial shots and comparing with the map... Such beautiful places that will sadly disappear if the sea level rises just a little bit...

  2. erikamentari
    erikamentari ·

    only 20 mins! what a magical spot to see!

  3. azurblue
    azurblue ·

    That's an incredible place ! You are very lucky to see these marvellous landscapes, but we are too to discover them though your pics !

  4. bravopires
    bravopires ·

    14 is marvellous!

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