Apr 262012

It seems like more and more webcams are popping up each day.  Sure, you can bookmark all of them, but then you end up with a long, cumbersome lineup of bookmarks that make it difficult to find anything.  So, we’ve come up with a solution for the webcam lovers of the world.  Now you can bookmark only one page, and it’s here at Reeftraveler.

Bucuti Beach Webcam, Aruba

We’ve compiled a list of the most amazing tropical webcams from around the world.  From Fiji, to the Caribbean, to Costa Rica to Kenya – our favorites are here on one page.

Webcam View of Peter Bay, St. John from www.villavacations.net

And here’s a little tip for webcam newbies, if you click on the link and all you see is black, it is dark in that area of the world.  Check back in a few hours.

Bora Bora Lagoon Webcam

Do you know of any tropical webcams to add to our page?  If so, Email us at reeftraveleronline@gmail.com or leave a comment on this post.

Jan 252012

The Tiputa Pass in Rangiroa, French Polynesia is legendary for several reasons.

Divers and snorkelers are in on the secret.  They know it as one of the most famed dive sites in the world. Called “Shooting the Pass”, you’re dropped off via Zodiac into the ocean side of the atoll, and you drift through the pass.  You’ll likely see many reef sharks and lemon sharks and perhaps even a hammerhead or two. Some divemasters have reported seeing tiger sharks in the pass.  You may also spot manta rays, large javanese eels, Napoleon wrasse, large titan trigger fish and even bottlenose dolphins.

Sailors may know the Tiputa Pass as 14.973°S 147.629°W or as a force to keep them waiting outside of the atoll.  There are only two passes, or entries, into the atoll of Rangiroa – The Tiputa Pass and the Avatoru Pass. These passes can only be navigated at certain times due to their strong currents, and usually this is 2 times per day (just after high tide and just after low tide).  It’s often reported to be a white knuckle ride.

Tiputa Pass at High Tide

And still others know that the Tiputa Pass is home to one of the most amazing “dolphin shows” that nature has ever produced.  And no, I’m not referring to captive dolphin shows which I think are a travesty (that’s another topic altogether, one that I may tackle sometime soon).  I am referring to the once daily occurrence when the dolphins gather in the pass to frolick in the waves produced by the strong current flowing into the lagoon.  Here you can stand and watch them jump, flip and play for almost an hour.  And what a sweet hour it is.

A Calm Moment at the Tiputa Pass

Here’s a short video, shot by Mr. Reeftraveler, that shows the Tiputa Pass in action.

And here is an underwater video by Mr. Reeftraveler of Manta Rays “shooting” the Tiputa Pass.

I read alot of trip reports on Tripadvisor and other sites.  I’ve read reports of travelers claiming to be bored in Rangiroa and those that have said three days is enough.  Each to their own, but this I can’t fathom.  Perhaps if you aren’t an ocean lover and need streets lined with glossy gift shops.  Ok, I could see then how Rangiroa may not be for you.  But oh how I long to revisit this unspoiled paradise.

Jan 162012

Last year I showed you my collection of aerial island photos.  To my surprise, that post became one of the most popular posts on Reeftraveler.  So, instead of going underwater, we’re going back into the air in today’s video.

Here we are flying over the atoll of Rangiroa in the Tuamotu chain of French Polynesia.  First, you’ll see us flying on the inside of the atoll.  Then you will see a break in the atoll – The Avatoru Pass.   And finally, we come to the ocean side of the atoll as we land in this surreal paradise.

What is your favorite aerial view?


Nov 122011

French Polynesia is a place of astounding natural beauty.

From the dramatic peaks of Moorea…

to the stunning sunsets in Fakarava…

to the eternally blue lagoons…

Photo by Mr. Reeftraveler

to the lush flora.

Photo by Mr. Reeftraveler

The people of French Polynesia are just as beautiful as their surroundings (inside and out).  The women are renowned for their gorgeous dark hair, perfect skin and beautiful smiles.

So how do they all manage to look so amazingly stunning?  Good genetics certainly helps, but is there an ancient Tahitian beauty secret that will unleash your inner Polynesian goddess?  I asked, and I got the scoop. It’s called monoi.

Monoi is a beauty oil made from pure coconut oil and the Tiare flower (Tahitian Gardenia).  True Monoi has very strict production standards.

Photo by Mr. Reeftraveler

Monoi has been a staple of Tahitian life for centuries, and it has many traditional uses.  The most popular uses today are as a skin and hair conditioner.

It comes in many scents, but I prefer the traditional Tiare scent.

Monoi can be found at many health food stores, or you can order online here.

Oct 042011

There’s something magical about staying in your own private hut over the water.  It’s exhilarating, yet calming.  For an ocean lover, there’s no better choice of lodging.  I’m referring to the overwater bungalow (OWB).

One of my favorite features of the typical OWB is the deck and stairway to the water.  As an avid snorkeler, this makes me as happy as a kid at a water park.

Many OWBs have a window in the floor, which allows you to gaze at the underwater world below.

So what if you can’t travel to the Maldives or the South Pacific, or if a luxury stay in Bora Bora isn’t in your budget?  OWBs can be found in the Caribbean as well.

These Caribbean resorts all have OWBs.

Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge, Bocas del Toro, Panama

9 Beaches, Bermuda (currently closed for renovations)

CocoView Resort, Roatan

Thatch Caye, Belize

Have you ever stayed in an OWB?  What did you like most about it?