It’s hard to put into words the beauty of French Polynesia, potentially one of the most photogenic places in the world. The islands were originally volcanoes (like the Society Islands to the west, the archipelago where Tahiti is the main attraction). But the volcanic cones collapsed many thousands of years ago and coral reefs began to form along the banks of the ancient craters, creating beautiful natural lagoons.
In the Tuamotu island archipelago, composed of several small islands surrounding a lagoon, you will find the largest atoll chain in the world, spread over a territory of more than 330 square miles (850 km2) in the Pacific Ocean. Part of French Polynesia, its correct name is Archipel des Tuamotu. In the Polynesian language, “Motu” means “small island” and the prefix “Tua” means “distant” – this was how the residents of Tahiti considered islands other than their own.
There are many destination options in this region, each with its own charm. You can visit boutiques and regional art galleries in Papeete, snorkel with stingrays and manta rays in Bora Bora, and if anyone still has energy for sport, there is a golf course on Moorea designed by Jack Nicholson. However, no trip to the Pacific will be complete without organizing an afternoon of festivities, with a good beach barbecue with live music all prepared by friendly locals.