Tikehau, Tahiti

Ninamu Surf Resort

About 200 miles north by northeast of the main French Polynesia island of Tahiti, the Tikehau Atoll is a spectacular crown of coral and sand 16 miles long and 14 miles wide.

Overview

Overview

About 200 miles north by northeast of the main French Polynesia island of Tahiti, the Tikehau Atoll is a spectacular crown of coral and sand 16 miles long and 14 miles wide. That thin white line of coral, sand and palm trees is no more than half a mile wide, but it encircles a lagoon of pristine, otherworldly beauty – a place Jacques Cousteau visited in 1987 and found a greater variety of fish species than any other place in French Polynesia.

Tikehau is a waterman’s paradise of pristine, blue, crystal clear tropical waters, and the ocean is as alive outside the ring as inside. On the outside of the ring, Tikehau is almost entirely ringed by a coral reef, which links together the numerous motu (islets) that form the crown. Outside of that ring, the Pacific Ocean hammers the land with swell year around, energy that travels a great distance from the Southern Ocean during the Southern Hemisphere winter, but also swell that sweeps down from the other side of the equator during the northern hemisphere winter.

Hidden away on a motu in the southwest corner of the atoll, the Ninamu Resort is a watersportsman retreat that caters to surfers, divers, fishermen, kite surfers, SUPpers and anyone who loves cruising along the surface or just below in warm, tropical waters that are bursting with life and energy.

Everyone should experience a pristine atoll in the middle of the South Pacific once in their life – because it’s nice to know that isolated beauty like this still exists.

Accommodations

Accommodations

Ninamu Resort can accommodate up to 16 guests in six bungalows that can each accommodate from one to six people. The bungalows are classically Polynesian on the outside but thoroughly modern on the inside. Guests can rest their surf-weary bodies in queen size beds, and hide from the sun under thatched roofs which are themselves shaded by palm trees. When the wind isn’t providing natural air conditioning through the screened windows, coolness and comfort is available at the flick of a ceiling fan.

Bungalow 1:

Close to the restaurant/Bar with both upstairs and downstairs living areas.  Upstairs has a queen bed; downstairs on suite bathroom and pull out sofa accommodating two children – private patio.

Bungalow 2:

Very private with queen bed and on suite upstairs.  Down stairs is a covered living area with hammock and outdoor furniture.  Caters perfectly to an individual or couple.

Bungalow 3:

The most private bungalow with its own extended deck.  Queen bed and on suite downstairs with two singles upstairs.

Bungalow 4:

This large family bungalow has three separate sleeping areas accommodating 6 comfortably with two sharing a queen bed and four singles.

Bungalow 5/6:

Attached in duplex fashion these two units have separate living and private bathroom facilities.  Close to the restaurant/bar each unit accommodate a couple or individual in queen bed.

The main common building is home to the restaurant, bar, lounge area and media room.  With an open air layout, each area looks into the next with enough separation for comfort.

 

There is a lot of sun exposure on Ninamu and while guests take to the bungalows and the bar/restaurant to cool off the resort uses all that solar energy to reduce their carbon footprint and maintain the pristine environment. The resort is entirely powered by solar energy, and the hot water is solar heated. Drinking water is rain captured in tanks, while a well brings up ground water for gray water purposes.

Long days of surfing, diving, fishing and beach-combing will make you hungry and thirsty. The bar and restaurant serve the kind of healthy, high-energy foods and drinks that water people like best. Meals are served buffet style and feature fish and seafood of course, but the menu is flexible to suit the tastes of guests.

Surf

Surf

On the west side of the atoll, the pass at Tuheiava is about a quarter mile wide and has a right breaking on the north side, and a left on the south side.  The right is a more forgiving wave, a classic South Pacific reef pass good for surfers of intermediate to Slater-class.  Breaking from waist high to double overhead+ the wave hugs the corner of the pass allowing an easy shot to the channel from most positions.  The left is generally a hollower/heavier wave often not surfed over 10’ on the face.  The reef is shallower and the wave is generally a good distance from the channel making the paddle out after each wave a bit tricky on bigger days.

Contrary to what most people would expect, Tikehau is a better north swell spot from November to March/April, when swells generated in the North Pacific and off Japan sweep all the way down to 15° South.  April through October occasionally get very good when those huge South West swells that set off Teahupoo can create perfection in the pass.  The left particularly likes these swells, lining-up more like a point then a pass.

Access to the reef is a 15-minute boat ride in a 20-foot skiff powered by a 225 HP engine – but this is one of the best commutes you will ever experience, as the trip from Ninamu to the pass crosses through the interior of the atoll where the sun penetrates deep through the shallow interior bringing out every shade of blue imaginable.

Seasons & Weather

Seasons & Weather

The Society Islands have two very distinct surf seasons. The Tahitian summer is November to March when winter swells from the northern hemisphere push past Hawaii to the Tahitian reefs on the north and west coast of the island. However, it is not uncommon to receive small clean consistent south swell during these northern hemisphere winter months. This is also the rainy season, when Tahiti can be visited by the rare tropical cyclone.

April to October is winter in Tahiti and there is a distinct change in the surf with swell generated off Antarctica moving north through the South Pacific. It is these powerful swells that light up the reef passes on the south coat of each island.

The shoulder months of March through May and mid September through early November are often best combining mid size South Swell with glassy/light and variable wind conditions.

Air temperatures stay between 75° and 85° all year long. The air temperature peaks in March and then dips to its lowest point from June to September because of the southeast trade wind called the “Maraamu”.

The water temperature stays between 78° and 82° but it is highly recommended to bring booties, rash guards, hats, and consider helmets, waterproof sunglasses and even rubber, to ward off the potential dangers of coral reefs below, and relentless tropical sun above.

Activities

Activities

Romance and relaxation and good eating, but mostly Ninamu is about water sports. If the surf isn’t happening, or there are non-surfers traveling with you, the inner and outer ring of Tikehau is world class for fishing, diving, snorkeling, kayaking, kite and windsurfing and SUP.

Tuheiava Pass is also one of the best dive spots on the atoll, although surfers might not want to see the abundant manta rays, barracuda and grey and white-tipped sharks cruising in abundance along the edge of the reef.

There is also bird watching on some of the uninhabited motu, and just general walking the beach in a place that feels like one of the ends of the earth.

PRICING & PACKAGES

PRICING & PACKAGES

Package includes:

  • 7 nights accommodations
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
  • Tea, coffee, water
  • All boat transfers to surf breaks
  • Round trip airport transfers on Tikehau
  • Full use of resort facilities & equipment (snorkeling gear, spear guns, paddle boards, canoes, fishing gear etc)
  • Hotel taxes

RATES 2016 (USD)

Rates Price
Nightly Rates $450 per person per day
Weekly Rates $2,850 per person per week
Extra Day over 7 $400 per person per day
Group Bookings $39,000 flat rate up to 14 people
more than 14 people additional $2,450 per person up to a maximum of 18 people

Minimum stay 3 nights

Prices are per person based on double/twin + occupancy

Round trip air from Los Angeles to Tikehau approximately $1,600 including taxes.  Call or email one of our professionals to coordinate your land and air inclusive reservation.