Think about this for a minute… You’re on vacation with the person you love the most. Your toes are sinking into the sand on a secluded beach with the sound of waves crashing near you and the smell of the ocean in the air. The light wind is keeping you cool on a hot day and the sun is beating down on your face keeping you at the perfect temperature. You open your eyes and you’re stuck at work. Sorry about that, but did you know that there is a place that offers all of this, you just have to bring the one you love. That’s right, it’s the Tikehau Atoll in French Polynesia. Once you see these pictures, you’ll be planning your next vacation.
Tikehau, which means Peaceful Landing in Tuamotuan, is located in French Polynesia. It’s a coral atoll in the Palliser Island group.
It’s not easy to find. It’s located 211 miles northeast of Tahiti. The next closest atoll is Rangiroa and it’s 7 miles away. In the same group of atolls is Mataiva, which is 21 miles to the west.
Basically Tikehau is in the middle of nowhere.
The Tikehau Atoll is home to about 300 residents. You may wonder what they do for work, but most of them actually work at the Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort.
You can travel to this paradise island by boat but that may be a bit of a long journey for some. They do have an airport. It’s called the Tikehau Airport and it’s on the Southern tip of Tikehau Atoll. It was inaugurated in 1977.
There are daily flights going to and from Tahiti, and also other atolls located in the Tuamotus group.
The unique oval shape of Tikehau’s lagoon is 16 miles long and 11 miles wide. It contains 2 major islands, and quite a few islets as well.
In the Northeastern quarter there is an atoll that is a single, mostly inhabited island.
One of the great things about this atoll is that it’s surrounded by an almost continuous coral reef.
There is a single pass that is wide enough for boats to go in and out of the lagoon. This pass is called the Tuheiava Pass and it’s on the Western shore.
Most of the island and islets are covered with beautiful coconut palms. The main village of the atoll is called Tuherahera.
It’s not known how long the island has been there, but the first recorded European that arrived to Tikehau was Russian mariner Otto von Kotzebue.
He named the atoll Krusenstern Island, which is named after Russian Explorer Adam Johann von Krusenstern.
Also The Wilkes Expedition passed by this same atoll on September 9, 1839.
Jacques Cousteau’s research group visited the atoll in 1987. They discovered that the lagoon contains a greater variety of fish species than any other place in French Polynesia.
Today, Tikehau is a popular tourist destination, offering pink sand beaches and underwater fauna.
While a lot of residents work at the Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort, a lot of them also rely on the heavy fish population as industry. Families will often share fish parks, which are underwater fenced areas, where they trap parrotfish and other species living in the lagoon. They use these fish both as food and income.
While there are only 300 residents who live on the atoll full-time, they will welcome you with open arms when you go to visit and stay at the Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort. They boast that they are family friendly and offer activities such as diving, snorkeling, kayaking, and biking. Well it’s time to start saving my pennies, because this looks like Heaven on Earth!