Rangiroa, French Polynesia

Apr 18, 2019 - National Geographic Orion

Our last day of our expedition took us to Rangiroa, the largest atoll in French Polynesia. Its name can be translated as “Big Sky,” and the name suits this place, as the vast lagoon of this atoll is so sprawling that you can’t see the other end.

Guests enjoyed the day visiting a pearl farm. Black pearls are one of the main industries on French Polynesia, and at the farm, we could see how they use surgical precision to insert the mother of pearl bead in the black lipped oysters to produce these pearls. This island has become a center for the pearl farming industry in French Polynesia, as it is the only one with a school dedicated to the teaching of this trade and the research of the species on which it depends.

We also enjoyed the lagoon’s gorgeous waters, where we set our snorkeling platform and enjoyed big numbers of fish in a coral garden. Enjoying the pristine conditions of this lagoon, our guests snorkeled among hundreds of snappers, big moray eels, and sharks.

A high point of local color, it was a perfect ending to an incredible expedition in French Polynesia.

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About the Author

Alex Searle


Born in Chile and raised in Argentina, Alex spent his childhood living in different parts of these countries and getting to know the local cultures.

About the Videographer

Steve Ewing

Video Chronicler

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Steve fell in love with the beauty of the natural world at an early age. In addition to nature, his other main passion was telling stories though the medium of television and radio. Steve studied broadcast journalism at the University of Oregon. There, he learned how to shoot, edit, and report compelling stories using digital video.

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