Head for the Tuamotus. It’s the dream South Seas snapshot: the 77 atolls, narrow coral rings encircling turquoise lagoons; that make up this stunning archipelago are flung over an immense stretch of indigo-blue ocean.
Life in the atolls is equal parts harsh and paradisiacal: hardly anything grows so there’s little fruit and vegetables, and the only drinking water is collected from the rain. Yet the silence, starry skies, coral beaches, blue lagoons, idyllic motu (coral islets) and languid pace of life captivate nearly everyone who makes it here. Most tourists visit Rangiroa, Tikehau, Fakarava and Manihi, which have the bulk of tourist infrastructure, but it’s also possible to explore lesser-known beauties such as Ahe and Mataiva.