The atoll of Rangiroa is located in French Polynesia, in the Tuamotu and means Heaven Immense in Paumotu. This gigantic Atoll, the largest in Polynesia and the second largest atoll in the world behind Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands is undoubtedly one of the most famous scuba diving destinations on earth. Unusually well preserved, relatively uncrowded, the atoll has many hotels and diving centers of the highest quality and will certainly represent one of the most memorable stay of your diving trip in French Polynesia. Commander Cousteau ranked this atoll as one of the richest in the world in term of marine fauna and flora.
At the geological level, the Atoll is actually a coral reef, emerging from the sea and situated on the summit of the volcano of the same name. Volcano Rangiroa measures more than 1180 meters and was formed almost 64 million years ago. The maximum depth of the Lagoon, delimited by 418 islands, does not exceed 35 meters.
The Tiputa Pass is famous for diving with hammerhead sharks, gray sharks and many others as the pass has the highest concentration of sharks in the world. But pelagic enthusiasts will also be able to dive with manta rays, dolphins, napoleons and many other fish.
The Avatoru Pass, the smaller sister, is less reputed but also has very good diving sites. The site is particularly known for its reef sharks density.
Best time to go diving in Polynesia?
In Rangiroa the temperatures do not vary much throughout the year and remain between 25 and 30 degree celcius. French Polynesia is located in the southern hemisphere; the months of July and August are the coldest.
The southern summer also called the rainy season usually last from November to April. During this period it rains up to 18 days a month. If you wan, we would advise to avoid this season.
The austral winter also called cool season is between the months of May and October and is probably the best time to visit Rangiroa.
The best period for diving in Rangiroa is difficult to define since the Tiputa pass is perpetually visited by a multitude of fish and sharks. It is however important to note that the whale season, which corresponds with a greater concentration of manta rays, extends from August to October. The concentration of hammerhead sharks and eagle rays is higher from January to the end of March.
Scuba diving conditions
The visibility is absolutely exceptional in Rangiroa. Indeed, it can reach up to 100 meters.
Also, be aware that in Polynesia, you will have the right to dive 10 meters deeper than anywhere else in the world. Indeed, an Open Water or level 1 diver will be allowed to dive up to 28 meters and an Advanced Open Water diver will be able to dive up to 49 meters.
Current: The current depends entirely on when you dive. Indeed, in Rangiroa, the lagoon fills and empties itself like a huge bathtub. The current is therefore incoming and outgoing and can be very powerful.
Required level: Rangiroa is suitable for all diving levels but it is better to have at least an open water diver or level 1 to enjoy Tiputa. To take full advantage of Tiputa the ideal would be to have a PADI Advanced diver level or Level 2. However, there are many interesting dive sites on the fringe of the pass. The aquarium, which is located in the lagoon is also well suited for try dive. The temperature of the water in Rangiroa varies between 26 and 29 degree Celsius.
Diving cruise in Rangiroa
Enjoy your dive stay in Rangiroa by booking a diving cruise. To discover a wide choice of cruises, we invite you to visit the website of our partner liveaboard. You will have the chance to observe different species such as manta ray, dolphin, tiger shark and many others. You can discover throughout your cruise various diving spots, for some accessible only by cruising. You can book your next stay in French Polynesia by booking on liveaboard.
What to see underwater in Rangiroa?
fauna and flora
Rangiroa is a paradise for pelagic. You can dive with hammerhead sharks, manta rays, whales, dolphins, eagle rays, reef sharks, gray sharks and many other fish and pelagic. However, lovers of corals and macros will not find their dream dive in Rangiroa. We go there to dive with the big ones.
The whale season in Rangiroa
It is possible to observe humpback whales in Rangiroa from August to October. As in the rest of French Polynesia, whales come to give birth.