French Polynesia consists of 118 islands, out of which over 80 are coral atolls. The region known for its inviting blue waters and abundant coral reefs, but the most popular sites for admiring reef life are Bora Bora and the Rangiroa atoll.
Located in the Leeward Society Islands, northwest of Tahiti, Bora Bora is world famous for its brilliant coral ledges and cliffs, as well as for the rich variety of reef fish (including clown fish, parrot fish, butterfly fish and electric blue angel fish) and eagle rays, manta rays, barracudas and even sharks. The reefs of Bora Bora are of the barrier type, which means they are separated from the main landmass, and they form astonishing gardens and formations. The main types of corals found here are the elkhorn, cauliflower and finger corals.
Rangiroa is the second largest atoll in the world. Its large reef is open at 2 passes between the ocean and the lagoon, and twice every day the tide carries water from and to the lagoon, attracting an incredibly rich diversity of marine life through the currents formed. Famous diving sites here include the Tiputa Pass and Avatoru Pass.
At Tiputa Pass, you can spot black tips, silvertips and white-tips, as well as grey sharks, surgeon fish, Napoleon Wrasse, groupers, eels and turtles. At the Avatory Pass, along the reef’s outer rim, divers can expect to encounter silver fish, black tips, schools of big eyes and large silvertip sharks.