We are so excited to have Meredith from Reef Traveler as our guest blogger this week. For years Meredith has been traveling and diving exotic locals and she will be bringing you tales from all her latest underwater adventures! Keep reading to learn more about Fakarava, French Polynesia. After reading Meredith's description of this beautiful atoll, it is high up on my places to visit list! -Victoria
"Growing up in the mountains of West Virginia, I learned to love nature and the environment. In 1995 I became SCUBA certified, and my obsession with the underwater world began. Three years ago I picked up an underwater camera, and I haven’t looked back. I’ve photographed reefs and their inhabitants all around the globe from the Maldives to Tahiti to Australia to Roatan. Today I am the editor of Reeftraveler, a blog about diving, snorkeling, island travel, underwater photography and ocean conservation. Follow my journey at www.reeftraveler.com"
Diving in Fakarava, French Polynesia by Meredith at Reef Traveler
“You went where?” That was the most frequent reaction I garnered when I raved about my trip to the remote French Polynesian atoll of Fakarava. After a thirteen- hour plane journey to the Tahitian capital of Pape’ete, followed by a puddle-jumping marathon from atoll to atoll, I laid eyes on a turquoise lagoon so stunning it nearly brought tears to my eyes.
Most visitors to Fakarava have been lured there by tales of its legendary diving and snorkeling (if you’ve gone there expecting an extensive roster of land-based activities, you will be sorely disappointed). Although it’s the second largest atoll in the Tuamotu Archipelago, it has a population of only 700 people. Due to its incredibly healthy and diverse marine life population, Fakarava has been classified as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
The two most revered dives in Fakarava are drift dives through the North and South Passes into the atoll. These dive sites are world renowned for good reason. Imagine the thrill as you zip through the pass at 80-90 feet (2-27m) with dozens, even hundreds of reef sharks, giant Maori wrasse, Javanese eels and perhaps even a manta ray or hammerhead if you are lucky.
For those who prefer to remain at the surface or for divers on a day off, the healthy reefs of Fakarava also offer spectacular snorkeling opportunities.
After a long day of diving and snorkeling, grab a Mai Tai, settle into your secluded beachfront bungalow and gaze at the sunset as you wonder what adventures the next day will bring.