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Îles Tuamotu

English speakers call this area of the world Tuamotu Archipelago or the Tuamotu Islands. In French, they are the Îles Tuamotu, officially Archipel des Tuamotu. This part of French Polynesia contains 80 islands and atolls, and forms the the largest chain of atolls in the world.

Located in the southern Pacific Ocean, this region stretches over an area roughly the size of Western Europe. However, the islands make up only 850 square kilometres (328 square miles) of land. The largest of these are Anaa, Fakarava, Hao and Makemo.

Approximately 16,000 inhabitants live in the Tuamotus. The sparse soil of the coral islands does not permit a diverse vegetation. Hence locals make the most of the few species that grow here. The coconut palm, which forms the basis for copra production, is especially important. On a few islands, people also cultivate vanilla.

Otherwise, agriculture is limited to simple subsistence. Fruit and vegetable staples include yams, taro, and breadfruit, as well as a wide range of other tropical fruits. Locals weave pandanus leaves into roof thatch as well as for other items, such as mats and hats.

This French Colectivity boasts swaying palms and crystal blue waters. Vistas promise adventure on every horizon.

Explore with Cornforth Images.