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Archive for the Category "Tuamotus Atolls"

Exotic Cruising: Pacific Islands Feb 18

#travel #cruises #cruising #Pacific #islands #Tahiti #FrenchPolynesia #IslandGetaways

For more information on Cruising,
contact: Jacintha Perera, ACC, MCC
Accredited & Master Cruise Counsellor
JP@IslandGetawaysTravel.com
www.IslandGetawaysTravel.com
916.897.9597 M-F 9am – 5pm PST

Tahiti’s Tuamotus Atolls Jan 18

“In French Polynesia, the atolls of the Tuamotu form a very special archipelago. This string of 77 atolls spread’s out over 1500 km from North to South and 500 km from East to West. These outstanding landscapes of isolated islets surrounded by emerald and jade lagoons, will ravish the visitor.”
Video & Text Courtesy of  Tahiti Tourisme

For Your custom-designed Tahiti Getaway, contact Jacintha Perera,
Tahiti Tiare Specialist  www.IslandGetawaysTravel.com 866-345-ISLE

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Highlights of 2009: Island of Rangiroa Jan 08

This an excerpt from the Tahiti Tuamotus Atolls Virtual Tour.
See Archives August 2009 in the left sidebar for the entire tour.

Day 3: Creature Comforts

Rangiroa overwater bungalowsOne of your first observations will be the contrast in geography. The high peaked mountains, lush valleys and hidden caves characteristic of the Society Islands are replaced by stretches of empty beaches and groves of coconut palms, silent except for the lapping of waves and the gentle rustle of trade winds. These are low-lying atolls where life is relatively simple and with few distractions.

That is NOT to say you will be limited to living Robinson Crusoe style. The small Hotel Kia Ora provides creature comforts albeit with a certain rustic charm. Do not expect the fashionable features of a world-class Bora Bora Resort . But they are not really needed or missed here.

Their overwater bungalows are extremely popular, especially with honeymooners.  The glass coffee table that serves as a viewing window and direct access to the water from the deck are lovely appointments.

For more information, go to:
www.IslandGetawaysTravel.com

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Day 10: At the End of the World Aug 14

Question: What lies at the end of the world?

pier at Le Maitai Hotel, Fakarava

pier at Le Maitai Hotel, Fakarava

Answer: Fakarava, the second largest atoll in French Polynesia with its large lagoon and pass. Not only is it a world class diving destination, it has also been declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

The ONLY hotel is the Le Maitai Dream Fakarava. It serves as a home base for sailing and diving excursions. You can also go down the road to “town”.

Each remote atoll has a quiet little village with only the essentials: the all important dock for the periodic supply boat; a small grocery store, more the size of a mini mart than a supermarket: a church since the missionaries had been here saving pagan souls plus a couple of snack shops and pensionsor guest houses. Fakarava is no different. I was amused by the fact that they have no bank. The money arrives each month on the supply boat.

After a few days, it is time to return to “civilization”. I will take you out to one of my favorite hideaways, Tikehau, a picture postcard atoll with pink and beaches, on a future virtual tour of private islands.

For more information, contact:
Jacintha Perera, Tahiti Tiare Specialist
www.IslandGetawaysTravel.com
(916) 897-9597

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Day 9: Going Full Circle Aug 13

Manihi Pearl bicylclesI noticed several bicycles parked at the Manihi Pearl Resort. The manager informed they that they were available for guest use free of charge.

I pondered that for a moment before I realized that we were on an island. You could take one out on a ride and pedal and explore until you were tired and ready to come back. There was nowhere to go but full circle.

You couldn’t take it off the island. It was too big and conspicuous to carry onto the small inter-island flight so theft was not a concern. And if you abandoned it, no worries, I imagined eventually someone would return it.

It’s almost time to come full circle back to Papeete where we started.
Just one more stop at the end of the world.

For more information, contact:
Jacintha Perera, Tahiti Tiare Specialist
www.IslandGetawaysTravel.com
(916) 897-9597

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Day 8: A Mermaid’s Jewels Aug 12
Photo Courtesy of Tahiti Tourism

Photo Courtesy of Tahiti Tourism

Commonly referred to as “Black Pearls”, the Tahitian cultured pearls actually come in a  rainbow of exotic jewel-toned colors. The warm lagoon waters are an ideal “broth” for incubating the oyster shells and encouraging pearl growth. The final product is influenced by water temperature, nutrients and possible pollutants. Only about 7 out of every 100 shells will produce commercial grade pearls. The value is based on several factors: size, shape, color, luster, and lack of defects.

You will see many local residents, both men and women, wearing Tahitian pearls on a daily basis. There is a plethora of pearl shops in downtown Papeete as well as boutiques at major resorts and on cruise ships.

My favorite local designer is the lovely and talented Tahia Collins, a resident of the island of Moorea, now an internationally acclaimed jewelry designer. Her elegant exclusive creations can be viewed in boutiques throughout the islands.

I am blessed to have several Tahitian pearls and look forward to adding to my collection over time. They are the perfect mermaid’s jewels after all.

For more information, contact:
Jacintha Perera, Tahiti Tiare Specialist
www.IslandGetawaysTravel.com
(916) 897-9597

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Day 7: Reaping the Benefits Aug 11

Meanwhile, above water, an employee gives a fascinating talk, alternating in both English and French for foreign visitors, about the lengthy & labor-intensive process involved in pearl cultivation. It’s hard WORK and unlike the finished product, there’s nothing glamorous about it.

Manihi pearl farm 1
A professional grafter imbeds a “seed”, a small bead, in each black pearl oyster as an irritant to initiate the growth process. The live oysters are tended with care over a 3 year period – periodically inspected, cleaned, lowered/raised as necessary – as layers of organic matter are built up coating that nucleus. Then the final harvesting reveals the tiny percentage of valuable pearls actually produced and suitable for sale.

For more information, contact:
Jacintha Perera, Tahiti Tiare Specialist
www.IslandGetawaysTravel.com
(916) 897-9597

Manihi pearl farm 2

 

 

 

 
Manihi pearl farm 5

Manihi pearl farm 4

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Day 6: A Labor of Love Aug 10
Photo Courtesy of Tahiti Tourism

Photo Courtesy of Tahiti Tourism

Commercial fishing, mother-of-pearl production and copra (coconut) plantations were once the mainstays of activity in the Tuamotus. Now that has been replaced by the much more lucrative enterprise of pearl farming.  Today, there are over 300 pearl farms throughout the archipelago. Many are family-owned and operated on isolated motus.

It is possible to visit one of the 30+ black pearl farms around Manihi. Below the surface of the clear blue lagoon,  clusters of individual oysters dangle down along long lines, filtering water and nutrients that may eventually nurture a beautiful pearl.

photo courtesy of Tahiti Tourisme

For more information, contact:
Jacintha Perera, Tahiti Tiare Specialist
www.IslandGetawaysTravel.com
(916) 897-9597

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Day 5: Peace & Quiet Aug 07

A short inter-island flight finds us on Manihi where transportation vehicles (read: two golf carts) are parked adjacent to the open-air airport (read: supports with a roof) next to the runway (read: airstrip).  These await arriving passengers and will shuttle them down the road (read: sandy track)to the smaller Manihi Pearl Resort, the only hotel here.

Manihi Pearl beach bungalowsOnce you get settled, relax on the beach or at the poolside bar with a cool drink. It’s very easy to meet other travelers at such a small, intimate place. Staff members may entertain guests with music, song and dance this evening. After dinner, stroll back to your fan-cooled beachfront bungalow.

There is an almost eerie solitude here at night – no air conditioners whirring, no external lights, only the sounds of the waves and the wind.

Ah, peace and quiet for a few days.

For more information, contact:
Jacintha Perera, Tahiti Tiare Specialist
www.IslandGetawaysTravel.com
(916) 897-9597

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Day 4: Special Delivery Aug 06

Imagine a tropical breakfast delivered by room service to your overwater fare or bungalow via outrigger canoe for a private, romantic and leisurely start to your new day in paradise.

Photo Courtesy of Tahiti Tourism

Photo Courtesy of Tahiti Tourism

I’ll stop talking now and let you savor that image.

For more information, contact:
Jacintha Perera, Tahiti Tiare Specialist
www.IslandGetawaysTravel.com
(916) 897-9597

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