Here's what we have learned from talking to the locals, our personal experiences, plus doing our homework:
|Makemo, Tuamotu Islands|
The Tuamotu Archipelago has 78 islands - all but 2 of the islands are coral atolls. For sailors, they are considered the "low and dangerous" islands and difficult to spot - even with radar. These islands were avoided in the past, but new technology has made sailing through the atolls much safer. But, you still have to be alert - especially through the passes.
The Tuamotu's are the the "oldest" of the island groups. The island mass has sank completely leaving a beautiful lagoon surrounded by a coral reef. The coral reef is made up of many motus/islands.
We visited 5 of the atolls in the Tuamotu's - hope to see more next year.
|Bora Bora, Society Islands|
There are 14 islands in the Society islands and they are the most famous in French Polynesia - Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora, etc.. They are high-steep volcanic mountains and are very striking.
The Societies are the "middle-aged" islands. The islands are sinking, plus the coral reefs and lagoons have formed. It is estimated that Tahiti is sinking 4 inches a year - oh my.
We spent lots of time in the Societies and toured 6 of the islands.
|Nuku Hiva, Marquesa Islands|
The Marquesa islands are made up of 10 islands. Like the Societies, they are high-steep volcanic mountains that can been seen for 20 miles. A great place for sailors to make landfall.
The Marquesas are the "youngest" of the 3 island groups. The coral reef and lagoons have not formed yet, but will - eventually.
We only visited 2 of the Marquesa islands, but would have loved to have seen more.
All of the islands in French Polynesia have been wonderfully different - hope you get to visit them one of these days!