Good reasons to visit
• Exceptional seabed.
• A lagoon dotted with pearl farms.
• A variety of activities including: picnic on secluded "motus", fishing, snorkeling...
Do not miss
- Pearl farms ( often closed on the week-end, please inquire ),
- the various motu (islets),
- observing marine life and colourful coral reefs.
Did you know that?
• The first pearl farm of French Polynesia was installed in Manihi in 1968.
• Five criteria are used to estimate the value of a pearl: the diameter, the shape, the surface, the luster and finally the color.
Manihi, located in the extreme north of the Tuamotu Archipelago, is also called “pearl island”. It was actually on this atoll, 520 kilometers (323 miles) from Tahiti, that the first pearl farming adventure began several years ago giving birth to the first of these precious, somber-colored jewels with gold, gray, blue or rose-tinted glints. In fact, they have always existed in their natural state but it was the start-up of farming pinctada margaritifera oysters which allowed for the development of this economic activity and has become essential for French Polynesia. Pearl exploitations are scattered around the lagoon and certain ones voluntarily open their doors to visitors to divulge some of their secrets.
Manihi is also renowned for its exceptional seabed. Line fishing, which one can partake in while on an excursion, is one of the most amusing occupations especially when the fish is cooperative and finds itself on the menu of a nice barbecue on the beach. The island overflows with motus surrounded by a crystalline ocean and invites you to bathing, snorkelling or just idleness.
The inhabitants live in Turipaoa, located near the only pass with the same name, southwest of the island. They are copra farmers, fishermen, artisans, pearl farmers but also excellent musicians. A few guesthouses welcome travellers in a relaxed atmosphere and an idyllic setting.
Things to do
- Picnic on a “motu” (islet),
- scuba-diving (provided the diving centre is open),
- snorkelling in the lagoon or in the pass,
- fishing in the lagoon.
- Visit of a pearl farm,
- visit of Turipaoa village.
- Surface area : 74 sq miles (lagoon).
- District : Paeua (Turipaoa).
- Population : approx. 816 people.
- Bank(s) : no.
- Post office(s): yes.
- Public phone(s): few public call boxes at the village
- Shop(s) : yes, but not many. Possibility of buying pearls directly at the pearl farms (often closed on week ends).
- Restaurant(s) : Outside of lodges and hotels there are very few possibilities of getting a meal. We recommend to book a lodge with full board (breakfast, lunch and dinner).
- Medical services : 1 infirmary.