Rangiroa is the largest coral atoll in French Polynesia, and the second-largest in the world. It’s a stunner of a destination, a patchwork of white sand, tropical green flora and gleaming turquoise seas – enough to inspire anyone.
Whether you’re in Bora Bora, Tahiti, or somewhere else in French Polynesia, you’re going to want to know how to get to Rangiroa, right? Lucky for you, we’ve put together this handy guide for getting to this dreamy part of the Pacific Ocean.
Read more about Rangiroa
- Best Time To Go To Tahiti
- The Islands of Tahiti Travel Guide – What You Need To Know for French Polynesia
- Best Time To Travel To Bora Bora: A Seasonal Guide
- Tahiti vs Bora Bora – What Are The Differences and Which Is Better
Looking for flights to Rangiroa?
- Flights to Rangiroa can be your most convenient way to arrive on this stunning island. SkyScanner gets you the best rates on airfare to make the most out of your travel budget!
Here's what we're covering:
- How To Get To Rangiroa
- Tips About Travel To Rangiroa
- Closing Thoughts
- Frequently Asked Questions
How To Get To Rangiroa
A trip to Tahiti is one thing, but to get to the wonders of Rangiroa it takes a little more planning. That’s where we come in.
So if you’re wondering how to get to Rangiroa, or even how to get around Rangiroa once you’re there, you’ve come to the right place. Cast your eyes below and take notes.
How to get to Rangiroa from Tahiti
Probably the most common way to get to Rangiroa from Tahiti is to catch a flight. It’s not only the most common but probably the most convenient way, too. Luckily you can get a direct flight from the capital, Papeete to Rangiroa.
Flights to Rangiroa take around 55 minutes. There are eight flights a week.
If this is the option you’re considering, and you don’t think it’s going to be the only flight you take in French Polynesia, you should definitely consider the Air Tahiti Pass.
Sadly, there aren’t regular boats that connect up the island. While some people get to Rangiroa on cargo ships that stop by Tahiti first, this can be super difficult to arrange. A flight is just much easier.
However, there is the option of taking a cruise ship to the island, as it passes by Tahiti. Again, this can be hard to arrange – and can really put a dent in your budget.
If you’re dead set on arriving at Rangiroa by boat, the best option is to charter your own boat (see below). But you can also hire your own private motorboat, too.
Basically, if you’ve got the budget, it’s doable.
Chartered yachts is the way to go if you are a keen sailor. There are a few different companies who can arrange this for you – one such company is Dream Yacht Charter; another is boatbookings.com. This means being able to travel at your own pace on a pretty unforgettable trip.
How to get to Rangiroa from Bora Bora
Your best option here is to take a flight. There are three flights a week from Bora Bora to Rangiroa. It takes an hour and 15 minutes, on average, to fly between the two. For more information, check out our article on the airport in Bora Bora.
Tips About Travel To Rangiroa
Getting around Rangiroa
This isn’t an island you travel around by car. Instead, most people rent bicycles, which is the most affordable and the easiest way to get around. Even though it’s the second-largest atoll in the world, it’s surprisingly easy to get around by the pedal power.
Where to stay in Rangiroa?
Most people decide to base themselves in Avatoru Motu. Here you’ll find diving shops and restaurants, so it’s extra convenient if you’ll be doing more than just sunning yourself on the beach. The beautiful bungalows at Maitai Rangiroa or the villas featuring private pools of Hotel Kia Ora Resort and Spa are excellent choices to lay your head.
It’s also pretty easy to find somewhere to rent a bicycle in Avatoru Motu to explore further around. If you find yourself in the Avatoru Pass, we recommend this snorkeling tour to get a first hand look at the aquatic life in this atoll!
Looking for a unique way to experience Rangiroa?
Pensions are family-operated lodging and we have a helpful post specifically on Rangiroa pensions!
Is Rangiroa worth it?
Totally. This place is amazing. The lagoon here is so big that it can almost fit the whole island of Tahiti within it. It may feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere here, but there’s a handful of resorts, a couple of stores to get food from, as well as a selection of restaurants to enjoy.
Life here is all about soaking up views of the endless ocean. And if you like diving, well, the lagoon here is the main attraction.
If you’re not a great fan of diving, or if you want other things to do than spending the whole time underwater, there are still some good reasons to visit Rangiroa.
For one thing, wineries (with local wine tasting thrown in) and churches on Rangiroa offer a taste of the island’s French heritage, while boat trips across the lagoon allow you to glimpse the sheer beauty of this heaven-on-earth destination. Vin De Tahiti is a very popular winery on the island. They offer tours and an exclusive look into the wine growing history of Rangiroa.
Make sure you don’t miss out on a visit to the Île aux Récifs, also known as Reef Island. Check out this tour to experience snorkeling the dark volcanic landscape of this unique formation, grab some lunch, then visit Tiputa aquarium!
How many days do you need in Rangiroa?
In an ideal world, as many as you like! But in the real world, probably five or six days at the most to really indulge in the surroundings. If you’re tight on time, three days is enough to take in what Rangiroa is all about – but who wants to rush? This place is paradise.
When is the best time to visit Rangiroa?
It depends. You can dive all year round, of course, but if you’re here to see whales you should plan your trip for August to October. Note that seas can be a little rough during the dry season, which runs from June to September.
Then again, if you want your underwater adventures to include getting up close and personal with hammerhead sharks, come to Rangiroa between January and March. This also happens to fall within the rainy season, but don’t worry: storms never tend to stay around that long.
Looking for more information on French Polynesia throughout the year, read Best Time To Go To Tahiti before booking your trip.
With so much to do in French Polynesia, be sure you are prepared! Check out the article below.
Islands of Tahiti Packing List – French Polynesia including Bora Bora, Rangiroa, and Fakarava
Even though Rangiroa feels remote, it’s relatively easy to get to. With multiple flights from Tahiti to Rangiroa per week, and even several from Bora Bora, it’s a breeze to jet your way from these more famed islands to the comparatively lesser visited Rangiroa. If Bora Bora is on your list of places to visit, we also have a comprehensive guide on getting to Bora Bora.
Or, if yachting takes your fancy, you could even sail there. Either way, once you arrive, you’re in for a literal whale of a time. You won’t be forgetting about your visit to this astounding atoll anytime soon.
Frequently Asked Questions
Rangiroa is a string of a couple hundred small land masses, called islets, that encompass a magnificent lagoon known for some of the best scuba diving in the world. Diverse marine life swim about in the turquoise waters among the coral.
While there are many underwater diving locations, Blue Lagoon, Avatoru Pass, Les Sables Roses, and Tiputa Pass are among the most sought after areas.
Due to the lack of permanent fresh water sources and no central water distribution system water safety is something to keep in mind. Most hotels have a filtration system but if you are visiting a local eatery or stay at a pension, it is best to ask your host or server. When in doubt, opt for bottled water.
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