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Both the marine and land wildlife in Fakarava are incredible, and are protected as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The huge atoll features a unique untouched environment and rare endemic species can be encountered.

The two passes that connect its lagoon to the ocean are Garuae and Tumakohua. There is no doubt that they offer among the best dives in Polynesia. Garuae is more than 800 metres wide and is home to a prolific and abundant marine life where divers will enjoy amazing pelagic encounters. Dives are conducted in slack water or with inflowing currents in accordance with the tides. The dive is an exceptional adventure as you never know what you may see, from smaller reef fish sheltering to manta rays and grey reef sharks cruising pass. It's an unforgettable adventure and one of the main reasons to visit Tahiti, as a diver.

The Tumakohua pass in the southern end is an easier dive even though the pass measures only 70 metres wide. The currents are much calmer, but it's just as interesting as its northern counterpart. Due to the distance, trips here are operated less frequently and they require a full day to get there by boat. Both passes serve as the meeting place for a whole variety of marine life, including a variety of sharks, leopard rays and barracuda.

Travel to Fakarava in June or July and you are likely to see huge schools of marbled grouper who gather to mate. It is also one of the best places to see tiger sharks, and between July and September, it is possible to snorkel with whales.

Fakarava has minimal tourist infrastructure and is the place for a complete escape and a true diving paradise.

View suggested itineraries

Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: grey reef shark, marbled grouper, spotted eagle ray, reef manta ray, white-tip reef shark

Dive trips

This dive location is featured in the following itineraries:

Tahiti Island Hopping Adventure

Spend your time island hopping between three of Tahiti's most alluring diving islands: dive the wonderful passes of Fakarava, marvel at the manta rays of Bora Bora and enjoy the colourful and rich marine life around Tikehau.

  • When to go: Jan-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 15 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £4,295 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Paul Gauguin Cruise

Cruise the islands of Tahiti in style on board this luxury ship which sails throughout the year to some spectacular locations, with world-class diving and memorable land excursions. Suitable for divers and non-diving partners.

  • When to go: Jan-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 12 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £3,995 pp
  • Trip type: Liveaboard trip

Rangiroa & Fakarava

A fantastic adventure for shark lovers! Combine exhilarating diving in the crystal clear waters of Rangiroa’s two passes with thrilling drift diving, prolific marine life and numerous shark species at Fakarava.

  • When to go: Jan-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 17 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £4,650 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
Our suggested liveaboard is shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.

Paul Gauguin

Designed specifically to sail the shallow seas of French Polynesia, this luxurious vessel visits small ports and tropical islands that larger ships can’t reach, with world-class diving and spectacular scenery.