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How expensive is Fakarava/Rangiroa?

Discussion in 'The Pacific Islands' started by kneptoon, May 10, 2015.

  1. kneptoon

    kneptoon Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Glendale, CA USA
    Over the past 18 months I have made 3 trips to the Tuamotus Islands. The first was a combination of Fakarava and Rangiroa. Then just Fakarava and the third trip just Rangiroa. The diving is really spectacular on both islands, but there are also some "samey samey" dives. Such as, South Pass in Fakarava; yes it is a wonderment of sharks by the hundreds, but after 20 dives it pretty much doesn't change. I will dive it again I'm sure. North Pass is less predictable, with a strong current operators won't dive the pass, which makes good sense. If the current is safe the North offers more variation than the South. There is a lot to see on both islands. I did a solo trip to Rangiroa this past February logging 2 or 3 dives a day. The cost of the trip was around $3000. The costs split roughly in thirds: air fare/ lodging & food/ diving. Comparatively I spent almost $2000 for a trip to Cozumel in January. Though I love Cozumel it doesn't compare to the Tuamotus. A fair diving comparison might be Indonesia or Palau. A trip to dive Komodo would cost around twice what my trip to Rangiroa cost. I haven't done Palau, so I will leave the cost comparison to those who have. I did my own booking as I like doing it myself. I have no idea if I saved money doing it on my own. So French Polynesia is expensive but compared to what? Take a look at the new prices for liveaboard diving in Raja Ampat. You're looking at 10K vacation.
  2. qwimjim

    qwimjim Contributor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Canada
    You flew to Fakarava for $1,000? How? :)

    How does Rangiroa/Fakarava compare to Palau and Komodo? Those are my top three choices for our big first diving trip and having a hard time deciding
  3. Big-blue

    Big-blue Registered

    # of Dives:
    Hello, just a detail, the dive shops dive also with strong currents, what they don't do is to bring divers without experience in this kind of conditions, they will adapted the dive depends the real level of the divers . If they think that you have a good level to go, they will bring you, if the weather conditions are also ok, of course. Your age, phisical health, etc.. is also important, and they take care also about that.
    but like you say the best dives is when the current is soft because we can take the time to apreciate the faune, and all the sharks are there, close and easy to see. Slack tide in the north pass of fakarava is just amazing !. I like also the south but the north there is more activity and probablity to see differents things ( manta, marlins, big sharks like hammer or tiger).
    have a nice dives !
    Wingy likes this.
  4. Cali_diver

    Cali_diver ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: California
    I don't think I would ever compare Fakarava/Rangi to Komodo or any place in Indonesia. For us in California it is far easier to get to FP then Indonesia, but by far you are getting more bang for your buck in Indonesia. You will never see a Rhinopia, Blue Ring, Wunderpus or mimic, or 99% of the different nudibranchs that inhabit Indo (sometimes all in one dive). The fish populations and diversity of such populations are off the chart. If staying on land food and beer will cost a fraction of what it costs in FP. I understand that Fakarava and Rangi are a little cheaper than the Society Islands but still expensive. I have been to all the mentioned places and none of them are very comparable. I think the liveaboard prices in Raja or Komodo are expensive because you are getting quality and quantity. When you break it down to meals, gas, board, service (ratio of crew to guest is sometimes 2-1) and diving. It not that far off. I kind of think the guides in Indo are usually working a bit harder to find you stuff than the guides in FP. I mean who can't spot the shark?

    That being said I love FP and the North Pass of Fakarava even when the current is ripping!!
  5. qwimjim

    qwimjim Contributor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Canada
    Thanks divegirl, you replied to my question in another thread, I guess it sounds like Indonesia is especially amazing for people who like critters and macro and those "you won't find these anywhere else" type species. I guess I'm not at that stage of diving yet, haven't done enough :) It's like going on Safari and not being able to appreciate seeing some super rare monkey if I've never even seen an elephant, lion, zebra or rhino yet. I actually did go on safari and our guide pointed out a rare monkey up high in a tree but I couldn't really appreciate it, he was very excited though. But when four female lions tried to kill a baby elephant and then the elephants got real angry and chased away the lions right in front of our jeep, like 10 feet in front of us. It was like a freight train, the elephants were howling and shaking their heads back and forth with their ears flapping all over the place... WOW. Maybe I just like spectacle :) Which is why I wonder if Rangiroa/Fakarava might not be a better fit as it seems to offer a lot of spectacular huge biomass accumulations in clear water.. I guess similar to Palau which everyone raves about? But instead of staying in a hotel in Koror with crowded dive sites and long boat rides every day, can relax on a nice beach in a bungalow with short boat rides to uncrowded dive sites? Sounds a little more appealing if the diving is similar and just want to dive, read/swim, eat, sleep.
  6. kneptoon

    kneptoon Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Glendale, CA USA
    Several times a year there is a LAX-Tahiti special for $999. Most of us have a few air miles at any given time so that can take some of the pain away. Regarding comparing Komodo to FP, I tilt to Komodo. I haven't been to Palau so will not offer an opinion.
  7. qwimjim

    qwimjim Contributor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Canada
    What puts Komodo on top?
  8. mikeycanuk

    mikeycanuk Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: GTA Ontario
    $999 fares? Just Kayaked some flights for June $1800cdn!!!! Lax-ppt x the 3 of us = Forget it.

    As far as points go, South Pacific just blows, no thanks to Air New Zealand's stingy release of award Space to fellow Star Alliance members!

    Indo is a breeze, especially in biz class. FP will just have to wait.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
  9. Kevster

    Kevster Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Perth, Australia
    This is an interesting post.
    Before i started to research my trip i had always thought of FP as a super expensive location.

    Flights- Tokyo-Tahiti approx $4500 business class return (I did not pay for my ticket).
    Hotels- Hotels in regular tourist hotspots e.g. Bora Bora are very expensive >$300 per night , however hotels in Rangiroa/Fakarava were ok. Approx $150-250 half board basis. thought this was very good value.
    Diving- Typically 80-100 Euros per dive, depending on dive package. This is expensive compared to Indonesia/Palau but is on par with Solomons/PNG/Australia.
    Food- generally more expensive , meals typically $25-50, however quality was generally very good.
    Domestic Flights - I had several domestic flights and they were ok price.

    Perhaps with the weakening Euro , FP is not as expensive as it once was. I guess it all depend on cost of Flights to get there.

    Indo/Palau are very different destinations compared to FP.

    Indo best place for macro
    FP best place for sharks, large marine life.

    Excluding International Flights
    Indo can be a cheap place to dive, 1 week accom/ dive package can be <$1000 budget resorts, or >$5000 for top resorts/ liveaboards.
    Palau is approx $2000 for 1 week accom/dive package
    FP is typically >$2500-3000 for 1 week accom/dive package
  10. wico6768

    wico6768 Registered

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: denver, co
    sometimes they will run those fare sales, but most often when they do the nights are limited. (like no more than 10 nights, sometimes 5) And, the dates they apply and the dates you can purchase during, limited like most fare sales. We did take advantage of a fare sale last July to take our youngest daughter though. but just to Moorea, so she could dive in more a beginner location but we could still enjoy FP, plus there's no flight necessary and a lot to do there for families/kids. And, we did stay in pensions to cut the costs. Except our last night in Tahiti, where we splurged and got a OWB just to let her experience that for a day. The AC and availability of ice was nice! Snorkeling off bungalow was a lot better than we expected too. Usually we don't stay in Tahiti at all, but this time that's how the flights worked out.

    When it's just us, going to tuamotus, we always stay much more than that.

    The flights are generally about $3,000 for two, economy class.

    Then, you add on the flights to the atolls on top of that.

    Willingness to stay in a pension istead of a resort can cut both your lodging and meals cost though. But they are still not anywhere close to 'cheap'

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