The Coral Atolls of Rangiroa – Tuamotu Islands, French Polynesia

God’s Aquarium

The world’s second-largest atoll, comprised of 240 palm-covered islets that form a protective 100-mile oval around a turquoise lagoon, Rangiroa has been called “God’s aquarium.” It’s a favorite of divers and snorkelers for its bountiful aquatic population, while swim­mers love its placid breeze-brushed waters and sun worshipers head for its gorgeous pink-hued beaches. Unlike the vertical profiles of Bora Bora and its neighboring volcanic islands. Rangiroa’s is flat, though lush.

An unexpected dose of style and comfort is found at the chic Kia Ora Village, with its ten luxury overwater bungalows, excellent restaurant specializing in fresh fish and seafood caught right in its backyard, and nearby Blue Dolphins Club, a sophisticated scuba center available to hotel guests.

For those who aspire to withdraw even farther from civilization, the ultimate Robinson Crusoe experience is an hour’s boat ride away at Kia Ora Sauvage, a deserted 10-acre motu islet in the middle of nowhere. At this self-imposed exile for ten castaway guests, there’s no electricity, no phone, no air-conditioning, and no problems.

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