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Fakarava, astounding aquarium

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The lagoon of this island in the Tuamotu Archipelago is a UNESCO biosphere reserve to safeguard its wealth of flora and terrestrial and marine wildlife.

Since 2006, Fakarava and a handful of neighbouring atolls belong to UNESCO's World Heritage of natural biosphere reserves. It consists of small islets, sand spits, white and even pink in places, stretching into the vast Pacific, hemmed by a lagoon worthy of the finest aquariums. Nature lovers bless the magnificence of Fakarava — on land and underwater.

Unfrequented by tourists, although Henri Matisse visited in the 1930s, the island's environment, untouched by pollution, hosts birds, turtles, crustaceans, many endemic and rare fish, and countless trees and plants. Divers of all levels come to admire the splendour of the underwater world, the most seasoned venturing into the Garuae Pass, off more than a kilometre and a half from the coast, densely populated with colourful corals, triggerfish, sharks, and majestic rays.

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