Tuamotu/Tikehau: Île aux Récifs Revisited

The Rangiroa atoll has a second, lesser-known natural attraction after the Blue Lagoon – Île aux Récifs aka Coral Island or Coral City. Located in the southern uninhabited side of the atoll, it’s about 1-1.5 hours boat ride across the lagoon. Tourist traffic is much less here and we ended up having the entire area of islands and reed edge to ourselves. The coral reef here got uplifted by ancient volcanic action and the 2-3 meter (6-9 ft) tall coral towers called “feo” make this whole area look like an alien planet, as if you just landed on the back side of Pandora. Channels and natural swimming pools and even tidal waterfalls are all around and you can get really closes to the reef’s edge and see the waves crash against coral wall.