Even though Blue Lagoon is an hour from Avatoru by boat, many travelers wouldn't miss it. It's there that the coral reef has formed a natural pool where visitors swim and snorkel. Accented by a white-sand beach fringed with coconut trees, Lagon Bleu is postcard perfect. (Closer to Avatoru -- five minutes by boat -- is Green Lagoon. It's smaller than Blue Lagoon and is in the middle of a residential area, but it's the next best thing if you don't have time to make it out to Blue Lagoon.)

When people talk about Rangiroa, they'll no doubt tell you about the gorgeous pink-sand beach they visited. That's Sables Roses near Motu Vahituri. It's a two-hour boat ride from Avatoru. While pink sand is intriguing, this particular beach is eroding, so depending on when you visit, you may not see as much sand as expected.

Some of the highest-quality black pearls come from Rangiroa, so visit a pearl farm like Gauguin's Pearls (689-93-11-20). This is one of the largest black pearl farms in French Polynesia and is located on Motu Avatoru.

For something that's decidedly off-the-beaten-path, spend some time at Dominique Auroy Estate (689-54-99-40). This is the only vineyard you'll find in the Tuamotu Islands. That's right, vineyard. To access the winery in Avatoru, you'll need to take a short boat ride, followed by a 4x4 trek.

If ocean mammals are your thing, get out on the water, and visit some wild bottlenose dolphins. Rangiroa Activities (689-77-65-86) offers a two-hour dolphin-watching tour.

Sportsmen favor tours with a bit more adrenaline, and deep sea fishing expeditions definitely fit that bill. Local guides are available at the pier.