Tikehau Things to do, French Polynesia

Tikehau Atoll French Polynesia: Things to do, Highlights & Attractions

Tikehau, formerly Oropaa, belongs to the Tuamotu atolls archipelago of French Polynesia and is located 300 km northeast of Tahiti and only 30 km from Rangiroa. Tikehau offers an incredible amount of things to do and is a real jewel especially because of its striking layout and its natural 460 km² lagoon. With a diameter of only 25 kilometers and a depth of about 30 meters, this underwater aquarium is teeming with marine life. This enchanting atoll is the ideal destination for diving and snorkeling.

Whether it is the almost perfect circular shape of the coral ring, the infinite palette of blue tones of the lagoon or the beauty of the coconut groves, all this contributes to the peace and serenity that allow you to relax completely undisturbed with the untouched nature and the fascinating flora and fauna. A stay on Tikehau tempts you to dream.

In this post, I take you to the fantastic island of Tikehau, which belongs to French Polynesia. In addition to my TOP 3 things to do on Tikehau, I’ll tell you where to stay best and how to get to Tikehau. You can find a lot more sights, accommodation tips and info about Tikehau but also the French Polynesia archipelago in our 599-page French Polynesia travel guide.

There is no bank or ATM on Tikehau. So remember to bring enough cash with you.

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Overnight stay on Tikehau

Tikehau has a small but fine selection of accommodations. In addition to a few guesthouses and bed and breakfasts, there are two luxury resort accommodations. The Tikehau by Pearl Beach Resort & Spa* and the Ninamu Resort*.

My personal insider tip for those who find the two luxury accommodations a bit too expensive is the Chez Christiane* guesthouse. Located on the main motu of Tikehau, this new bungalow on the edge of a very beautiful white sand beach with sunset views is the ideal place to get away from it all. Kayaks and bicycles are available free of charge.

Tikehau atoll: Best things to do

Tikehau Island is primarily known for its extraordinary aquatic fauna. Diving enthusiasts from all over the world come to Tikehau to marvel at the many colorful fish and the numerous sharks in the waters. But besides snorkeling and diving, there are numerous activities you can experience on Tikehau. In the following I will tell you my personal highlights and therefore the most beautiful sights on Tikehau for me. On the map you will find my TOP 3 highlights on Tikehau and the locations of the accommodations.

1. Tikehau Things to do: The beaches

Let’s make it short: On Tikehau all – and here I really mean all without exception – sandy beaches are especially worth seeing. The number of sandy beaches on Tikehau is immense. The famous pink beaches on Tikehau are among the most beautiful beaches in the entire South Seas. They are formed by the corals of the reef, whose particles are eroded by the tides over centuries and washed to the shore by the sea. On each motu, no matter how small, you will find one enchanting sandy beach after another.

The best way to discover the beauty of the palm-fringed sandy beaches that turn from white to pink with the light of day is to walk from motu to motu or take a boat trip on the lagoon.

The pink sandy beach on Motu Kahia, the islet on which the exclusive luxury hotel Tikehau by Pearls is located, is particularly worth seeing. At least as remarkable are the pink sand beaches on the east coast of the atoll near Motu Ohihi. There you can wade through the water or snorkel from one island to the next. The sandy beach, which is also called Les Sables Rose, is often chosen as the location for the Polynesian BBQ during lagoon excursions. The easiest to access and therefore the most popular beach on the atoll is Coconut Beach. It is located on the western tip of Tuherahera, Tikehau’s main motu, and is most easily reached by bicycle or on foot. Be sure to bring your snorkeling gear, as smaller reef sharks and many colorful fish often congregate in the wide channel off the sandy beach.

2. Tikehau Things to do: Lagoon hike from motu to motu

A lagoon hike from motu to motu is one of the most beautiful activities you can do on Tikehau. A lagoon hike allows you to discover the motus in complete solitude. While you hike from motu to motu, you alternate walking and swimming. I can recommend Coconut Beach as a starting point. From there you can walk over to Motu Tavararo through the shallow water.

3. Tikehau Things to do: Manta rays and the bird island

What would Tikehau be without a lagoon excursion? For the ultimate South Seas experience and to see the lagoon in its full glory, I recommend taking a full day lagoon tour. Depending on your accommodation and provider, this usually costs between 7,500 and 8,500 XPF, including Polynesian BBQ for lunch.

Most tours include a stop at the Manta cleaning station first. This is a tiny islet in the middle of the lagoon that used to house a pearl farm. Underwater, giant manta rays gather at the so-called manta cleaning station every morning to be cleaned by small fish that feed on the parasites on the manta rays’ skin. Manta rays are among the most graceful fish in the world and their aquatic ballet is an unforgettable sight. A magnificent spectacle, which I know so on French Polynesia only from Maupiti. The view in Tikehau is much better.

We continue to Motu Puarua, the bird island, also called Ile aux Oiseaux. In contrast to the other motus of Tikehau, Motu Puarua has something special because it is located in the middle of the circular atoll. Even as the boat approaches this rocky outcrop at the end of the lagoon, it becomes clear how this magical place got its name. Hundreds of birds circle above the island. The sounds are overwhelming. At a suitable spot, you can step ashore over sharp coral and anxiously follow the guided tour of the island. A small path allows you to cross the island from both sides. At the edge of the island you can observe reef sharks. As a tour provider I can recommend Tikehau Ocean Tour Tikehau Ocean Tour and the tours of Pension Chez Justine Pension Justine | (pensionjustine@yahoo.fr).

How do I get to Tikehau?

Tikehau can be easily reached by air with the airline Air Tahiti. Air Tahiti flies to Tikehau several times a week from Tahiti, Rangiroa and Bora Bora. As part of an itinerary, Air Tahiti offers two multi-island passes that include Tikehau: The Lagoons Pass and the Bora-Tuamotu Pass. If you choose the Bora-Tuamotu Multi-Island Pass and want to be the first Tuamotu island to Tikehau Atoll, you can fly to Tikehau exclusively from Bora Bora with a short stopover on Rangiroa. You usually have this possibility twice a week on Wednesdays and Sundays. Of course, you could also fly from Tahiti to Tikehau, but Air Tahiti’s policy is to visit all your favorite Society Islands first in this passport before continuing to the Tuamotu Islands.

The flight time from Papeete is about 55 minutes and from Rangiroa about 20 minutes. The pure flight time without stopover from Bora Bora to Tikehau is 1 hour 35 minutes. Arrival to Tikehau is via the small airport Aéroport de Tikehau (TIH), located on the main island of Tikehau Atoll.

You’ve been to Tikehau before, how did you like it?

Which places have enchanted you here? Do you have any insider tips or maybe a question about the journey or our accommodations? Write it in the comments! We are curious!

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