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Polynesia - Manihi (Paeua)

Manihi is a relatively large elongated atoll. Its oval-shaped lagoon measures about 10 km (6 mi.) across and 20 km (12 mi.) long, and is ringed by innumerable islets. The lagoon is well-known among snorkelers for its beautiful and diverse marine fauna, including, among other species, the manta ray. There is only one pass to enter the lagoon, located close to the atoll's southern end. It is known as Passe de Tairapa.

Manihi Atoll is today home to a great number of pearl farms, and is the original home of the highly prized Polynesian black pearls. There is now a five star resort on Manihi, called the Pearl Beach Manihi resort, which has overwater bungalows in the lagoon

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If you have been to MANIHI. perhaps you feel nostalgic this video. - Courtesy of The Atoll of Manihi in the Tuamotu Archipelago of French Polynesia is truly a getaway from the real world, but only a short flight from the island of Tahiti. Black Pearls, a cornucopia of marine life and true relaxation are just a few of the reasons to visit. - Courtesy of Courtesy of

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History: Manihi is the least developed of the four main Tuamotu islands and at 520 km (325 mi) from Tahiti, the farthest away. It was first inhabited around AD 600 and the remains of an ancient coral marae (ancient temple), the Kamoka, are located on the southern edge, between two of the only three pensions on the island. Dutch explorers Jacob le Maire and Willem Schouten sighted the island in 1615. Today Manihi is a major center of black pearl production with about 60 farms dotting the lagoon whose emerald waters are said to provide the perfect temperature, density, and salinity for pearl cultivation. The first farm in French Polynesia was established here in 1968. Divers come to Manihi to explore the Tairapa Pass, where they drift dive with gray sharks, turtles, and huge fish; another favorite spot is a coral garden called The Circus.
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Dave D. wrote about St. Maarten/Martin:

"Back in 2011 my wife & I visited St. Maarten/Martin as part of a Royal Caribbean Cruise. We were blown away by the beauty of the island. Here's an excerpt of a blog post about our day on the island:

The beach was absolutely beautiful, with the white sand and the teal tinged water, not to mention the great view of the mountains off to the right of where we were resting. The weather couldn't have been better either, with a few clouds to break up the hot sun. We went from laying on the beach chairs to soaking in the Caribbean Sea back to the beach chairs and beers. I could get used to this! The best part was that the beach wasn't overly busy, so it was nice & quiet and you could swim around in the water without bumping into people.

What a great day on St. Maarten. We had such a great time during those few hours while our cruise ship was docked, that we went back to St. Maarten for a full week later on in the year.


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