Take it All In

A vacation in the Tuamotus is all about diving and snorkeling, close encounters with wonderful marine life, lazing on pink sand beaches on the edge of translucent lagoons, wandering through small towns that seem frozen in yesteryear, and relaxing under palm trees. However, don't expect to see more than two islands if you only have seven days—the heat will kill you.

3 Days: Just choose one island and experience what's on offer. Go on a lagoon and motu picnic excursions complete with shark feeding and visits to bird islands one day. On another, go drift diving or snorkeling the passes or hop abroad a bike, scooter, or dune buggy to zoom along the one island road.

5 Days: You could see two islands in five days, but that would be pushing it—remember that half a day will be lost just by getting to airports and hotels. It's possible of course, so if you're game, follow the above itinerary on Rangiroa and then head to Manihi for some R & R.

7 Days: Take a three- or four-day cruise around Rangiroa lagoon with Haumana Cruises and then fly to Fakarava for some great diving or snorkeling in the Garuae (also called Ngarue) Pass.

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