Marine Wildlife and Island Culture in French Polynesia

Comprised of 77 pristine coral atolls that circle aqua lagoons, the Tuamotu Archipelago is the ideal location for a Robinson Crusoe style adventure. Unlike the mountainous islands of Tahiti, Moorea, and Bora Bora, the Tuamotus are flat and ringed with pink sands and swaying coconut palms.

When to go

April - November

Experience Highlights

  • Swim with whales, tiger sharks and dolphins
  • Assist in sea turtle conservation efforts in the Tuamotu Archipelago
  • Visits to local villages & ATV exploration of deserted islands
  • Castaway experience & kayak racing

Tuamotu & Tiger Sharks

Cruise the far-flung Tuamotu Archipelago, with its swaying palms and pink sand beaches almost entirely unpeopled. Dive into its turquoise waters to explore vibrant coral reefs alive with eagle rays, bottlenose dolphins, grey reef sharks, and even hammerheads.

You’ll assist expert marine biologists in conservation efforts to preserve the species that inhabit these translucent seas. With a local dive guide, snorkel or dive among schools of sharks amid the teeming reefs. Any encounter with the mysterious tiger sharks will be recorded and used to protect their habitat and increase our understanding of their habits.

Whale Swim & Sea Turtles

Arrive between June and November in French Polynesia, and you’ve arrived in whale season. Watch out for mothers and babies in the water as you navigate past coral atolls, taking the opportunity, if you so choose, for a life-changing swim alongside them (when conditions are right).

It's well known that the Tuamotu Islands are epicentres for sea turtle reproduction. Assist in bolstering the scant research already completed and observe tracks, nests, and more on the sunny beaches of the Tuamotus. Every nesting site you discover will be added to protection databases that have a very real impact on preserving the turtle population. 

Island Culture & Castaways

Prefer some time on dry land? Jump in an ATV and explore deserted islands, getting out to reach areas only accessible on foot. And explore local cultures with visits to the few villages that are established here. Witness their traditions and listen to how they’ve managed to thrive in these isolated islands, discovering more about mankind’s remarkable adaptability.

You’ll have to adapt yourself later, when you’ll take the skills learned at your cultural visit and apply them in real life as you are stranded on a deserted island. With survival experts to guide you, you’ll cobble together a shelter and seek sustenance on its shoreline.

Learn how to build a fire and sleep beneath your shelter until you’re rescued by your yacht in the morning, just in time for breakfast. Later, try to find a rare Tahitian black pearl on a visit to a stretching pearl farm. For dinner, dine on delicious coconut crabs.

Bonfire & Racing Kayaks

Anchor off of a secluded beach. Making your way onto the silken sands, where you’ll enjoy a wild barbecue as a bonfire sends embers swirling into the clear night sky and local musicians play. Dance barefoot as the colors of the sunset unite the sea and the sky.

Back on board, you’ll assist the captain to sail carefully through the just-submerged atolls. Scale the mast for a sense of freedom with 360-degree views. Get the adrenaline racing with kitesurfing or using a wing foil, and split the calm waters while racing Polynesian kayaks.

See the huge array of underwater species from a SUP or a glass bottom canoe. Be tutored by local fishermen in how to spearfish and, if successful, bring your catch back to the vessel for your private chef to transform into a delicious dinner cooked over an open fire.

Wind down on the aft deck during these days of adventure, a specially mixed cocktail in hand. For your final night, there’ll be an onboard party thrown. Dance and drink delicious cocktails, and enjoy a fabulous meal paired with wine from a Tuamoto-based winery—Tahiti’s only label.

Looking for more French Polynesia Inspiration?

Get in touch and speak to one of our Expedition Designers to learn more about our luxury yacht charters and unique adventures in French Polynesia.