The Pink Sand Island

Tikehau encapsulates the meaning of going off the grid. This small, cherished atoll consists of countless tiny white and pink sand islets engulfed in coconut groves and hidden alcoves. In Tikehau, which actually means "peaceful landing," you will find nothing but absolute serenity on her calm and graceful shores.

The Locale

Tikehau is a small, circular atoll neighboring Rangiroa in the Tuamotu Archipelago. The lagoon, formed by an almost unbroken ring of continuous coral, resembles an immense natural swimming pool. At only 16 miles (25 kilometers) across and no more than 100 feet (30 meters) deep, this underwater aquarium is teeming with marine life. According to the legendary marine researcher Jacques Cousteau, it has a higher concentration of fish than any other lagoon in French Polynesia.

The Allure

As you can imagine, diving and snorkeling are the two main attractions in Tikehau. The best diving is found on the western shore around the Tuheiava Pass, the only navigable entry into the lagoon. You will encounter reef sharks and the occasional manta ray, but the appeal here is the enormous population of colorful fish. Some of the more common species include tuna, snapper, barracuda, lionfish, clownfish and parrotfish.


The underwater population greatly exceeds the number of inhabitants on land. Thus, fishing is the primary source of food and income for the nearly 500 local residents in Tikehau. You can visit one of the family-owned fish farms where they trap different species of fish in a maze of underwater fencing. Much of their catch is then shipped to Papeete and sold at the local markets. 

The islanders are grouped in the main village of Tuherahera at the southern side, leaving the remainder of the atoll virtually untouched. In fact, the northeastern quarter is mostly uninhabited. There is a small dirt road that encircles the main islet around the village, perfect for a scenic bike ride. Naturally adorned with colorful flowers such as hibiscus and bougainvillea, Tuherahera is one of the most attractive villages in the Tuamotu Atolls.

Tikehau also has some of the best beaches and secluded islets in the region. On the eastern side of the atoll, there is a long, curving beach covered in pink sand. You can easily wade in the water and snorkel from one islet to the next. You can also take a boat into the middle of the lagoon and visit Motu Puarua at the northeastern end. This small islet, known as Bird Island, is a natural aviary for numerous colonies of nesting sea birds.


Aside from a few pensions and guesthouses, there are two resort accommodations in this remote locale: The Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort & Spa. Located at the southeast end, it offers a selection of beach and overwater bungalows. It also serves as a great hub for any and all leisurely activities including kayaking, snorkeling and biking. It even has its own dive center, making it easy to arrange your daily excursions. Alternatively, the seven bungalow Ninamu Resort is the ultimate paradise for the water sports enthusiast. 

Final Impression

Tikehau is like something you would see on a postcard. The scenery here is especially spectacular, both above and below the water. Whether you plan to spend your days in complete isolation or prefer the interaction with friendly locals and vibrant marine life, Tikehau is your personal playground.   


Ninamu Resort

Ninamu Resort

The Ninamu Resort is hidden away on a private island in the southwest corner of Tikehau, just ten minutes by boat from the airport. Surrounded by pink sand beaches, abundant marine life, impeccable waves and prevailing trade winds, this secluded retreat...

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Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort

Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort

The Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort can be found on a secluded, pink beach fringed with palm trees at the southeast end of the atoll. Located fifteen minutes by boat from the airport and the main village of Tuherahera, this hotel serves as the ideal home base...

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Bicycle Rental

Bicycle Rental

Rent bicycles and explore Tikehau at your leisure. There is a small dirt road that encircles the main islet, making it easy to get around and visit the quaint village of Tuherahera. Bikes are available from the Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort from 8:15AM to...

from $13 pp
Bird Island Excursion

Bird Island Excursion

Venture across the lagoon with your guide to the tiny islet known as Bird Island. This bird watcher`s paradise provides the opportunity to view many unique avian species in their natural island habitat. Tour requires at least four people to operate....

from $110 pp
TopDive Inter-Island 10-Dive Pass Tikehau

TopDive Inter-Island 10-Dive Pass Tikehau

This package of 10 dives can be used by one person or shared between two people (5 dives each). The dives can be split between Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora, Fakarava, Tikehau and Rangiroa. Operated by TopDive Dive Centers. Includes free Nitrox for all certified...

from $945 pp

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