These are the most beautiful tropical islands in the world, thanks to their geography, the lush vegetation and the clearest water anywhere. Hawaii receives more tourists in two weeks than Tahiti receives in one year. No big hotels in Tahiti (nothing taller than a coconut tree – its the law), very few tourists to be seen and all of this magical environment basically all to yourself. Very easy overnight flight: 7 1/2 hours from L.A.
You can dive in French Polynesia all year round. Local visibility often reaches 130 feet. Three different types of environments exist, whether you’re diving in the volcanic islands or in the atolls:
The lagoon: nature’s swimming pool, generally shallow with very clear water…an ideal place for “Discover Scuba” lessons or for gaining more proficiency in scuba techniques.
The oceanic drop off: the part of the reef that is most alive with amazing varieties of corals, colorful fish and larger predators.
The passes: These natural openings in the barrier reef connect the lagoon with the ocean, always contain large concentrations of large fish and are the cruising zones of big manta rays and sharks. There are numerous species of marine life in these waters, from small butterflyfish with dazzling colors in coral gardens, to bigger fish such as Napoleon wrasses, manta rays, reef sharks, tuna and large schools of jack, snapper and barracuda.
Prepare yourself to see some of the most spectacularly beautiful islands in the world, which means “Bring lots of film!” You’ll encounter many big animals underwater, and even beginning photographers have the opportunity to capture great shots. Above water, set aside some time for sightseeing or maybe an island tour with a local safari company. It will be worth it!