Tuamotu

Ruled by the rhythms of the wind and sea, the Tuamotu Archipelago is the world's largest collection of coral atolls. The largest of these is Rangiroa, with its immense 42-mile long, 16-mile wide turquoise lagoon. A diver's nirvana, this huge, natural aquarium harbors an extraordinary array of marine life. Further north from Rangiroa lies Manihi, a smaller atoll, where palm trees languish and dazzling white beaches abound.

It is here, in the pure, blue-green waters surrounding these two remote atolls, that that South Seas "gem," the rare black pearl, is farmed. Isolated and sparsely populated (Manihi has only 400 inhabitants!), Rangiroa and Manihi offer the adventurer a chance to live amid wild, untamed scenery, quite removed from civilization.