I must say that after having written more than forty articles on French Polynesia and in particular on the majority of the islands that we have been able to discover, we have come to ask ourselves the question: are we going to run out of subjects on the territory? Honestly, the answer is no! We still have a lot of things to discover, to do, visit, sometimes even on islands we already know, other times on new ones. Today, we have decided to simply share with you a short and sweet postcard-worthy article. We recently had the opportunity to spend a week on the islands of Taha’a and Raiatea and to visit in particular the famous Motu Céran, off the island of Tahaa.
So yes, of course, we have already written about the island of Taha’a that we had the opportunity to discover on several occasions, but we had never set foot on this superb paradisiacal motu. To tell the truth, I didn’t even know its name before that week. The most recent experience we had on the island of Taha’a was at the beginning of 2020, when we spent a few days at the famous Le Taha’a Island Resort and Spa, the beautiful 5-star hotel of the island. If you are passing by and want to enjoy yourself in a beautiful setting, this is the place to be. I invite you to read the article to get our opinion on the place.
Anyway, getting back to our story, the famous motu Céran. To set ourselves in the context in which we went there, we decided to spend the w-e on the island of Taha’a. For that, we had booked (without knowing too much) a few nights at the Pension Hibiscus. We will tell you more about it below. So, there was this small excursion possible for one day, the occasion for us to spend a Sunday in the sun, in a dream setting. We said “come on, let’s go! ».
For those who don’t know it yet or if you are simply preparing your trip to French Polynesia, the island of Taha’a shares the same lagoon as Raiatea. A large number of motus are found around the island of Taha’a, especially in the north of the island. The motus are those famous sandbanks that you can see on TV shows, the ones on postcards that you dream of! These motus are actually coral sand islets located on the reef of the island. The motus have formed in places where sand has generally accumulated and deposited (behind a reef, on the edge of a pass, etc.). Vegetation slowly took over and voila, you get a beautiful white sand island. This is exactly what you see when you arrive on a Tuamotu atoll. Between the motus, you generally have (but it is not the case here) what we call in French Polynesia “hoas”, a channel of communication between the water of the lagoon and the ocean. By experience in French Polynesia, this is where you find the most beautiful waters!
There, you know everything! I will give you practical information on how to get there, from where, where to eat, etc. at the end of the article, as usual.
We embark at 9am from the very beautiful pontoon of the Hibiscus Pension, at the end of the Ha’amene Bay, from Taha’a. The weather is fine, a few clouds that will be good for the pictures, it’s perfect. We quickly leave the bay after 10 minutes by boat and gradually arrive on this famous turquoise blue area, meaning that we are getting closer to the reef and the famous motus. We can already see quite easily the two motus around the Toahotu pass, the bigger one the motu Adger and the one where we are going to spend the day, the motu Céran, less known, in local language, the motu Mahaea.
Even if we are used to arriving by boat on motus, I am always amazed by the color and clarity of the water on arrival. The water is really crystal clear and as I often say, this is our pool for the day! The white sandy ground before the motu clearly brings out the color of the water! We are going to be quite good here.
We set our feet on a mini wooden pontoon installed on the edge of a beautiful white sand beach, taking care to bring down all our belongings for the day: our meal (prepared by the guesthouse), our bags for the day, my camera bag, our two children (haha), and the stroller to spend the day. Téo is only 3 months old at the time of the ride and it’s still a pain not to have anything to put him down otherwise.
The guide of the boat basically tells us that we can settle where we want and suggests us a small corner under a braided straw parasol, the kind of small parasol you get in cocktails! The picture is posed, we are going to be in paradise or almost for the day. I say « or almost » because it is necessary to say that the place is full of mosquitoes, which is a bit of a shame, but we quickly forget that detail.
We take our marks in this idyllic setting, taking care to protect the children (because the sun hits hard), to protect Téo who is sleeping in his stroller with a mosquito net and cream. Knowing that the motu is private (more about that below), you have access to tables, chairs and of course deckchairs to relax in front of the turquoise blue of the lagoon.
We take advantage of this early morning on the motu, because there is hardly anyone except the Tahitian family with whom we came by boat and some locals of Taha’a or Raiatea who came to spend the day. It’s now time to go and plunge our heads underwater on the coral potatoes located a short distance from our beautiful private beach. Unfortunately, there is not much to see except a few small tropical fish that roam around and a few clams. It would be necessary I think to go to the drop offs on the other side of the motu to see more (but we will be lazy today!).
For my part, I take advantage of Téo’s nap in the middle of the morning to walk around the motu (I had seen in photo that it was not big, haha). I have to say that with the beautiful morning light, the place is really sublime and there is enough to enjoy yourself in photography and take a lot of pictures. For social media fans, there are a lot of Instagrammable coconut trees, you know the kind that stretch out above the water, superb.
The place is really beautiful and I could have spent a few hours taking pictures on this little motu. The tour will take me let’s say 15 minutes with the photo breaks, it’s to tell you that it’s not very big.
We have our lunch under our small parasol, we are really in heaven. We could have brought something to make sandwiches but to tell the truth, we preferred to ask the guesthouse to prepare us raw fish with coconut milk and rice for 3 persons for lunch. We are delighted. Some fruit for dessert, fresh water in the cooler given to us by the guesthouse, everything is perfect.
We leave the premises at about 4 p.m., delighted with our day in paradise. The light of the late afternoon is always as beautiful and the place is as magical as when we arrived. Just look at the color of the water again.
As always, here are all the practical things you need to know for spending the day on the islet. As mentioned above, we stayed 3 nights at the Pension Hibiscus. While the opinions online were mixed, we decided to give it a show and I must say that we were not disappointed. The welcome was very good (with a little punch), the bungalow is spacious and clean and the meals very good in the evening (we opted for half board). Personally, we recommend without concern. We were alone at the guesthouse and it was very cool. For reservations, you can look at the promotions directly on their website.
In short, we went out to the motu with the guesthouse for only 2000xpf (17€). It’s not expensive at all knowing the prices in French Polynesia, where everything is generally expensive. But it is also possible I think to visit this islet if you go out in the lagoon of Taha’a (even if we didn’t see any tourists the day we were there). The guesthouse charged us 2000xpf for the meal, which is really cheap, so clearly, I recommend it too. We had been advised that we could also bring our own food, but considering the price offered, we might as well not bother.
In the end, it made us want to come back to Taha’a from time to time, especially on these famous northern motus. Apart from the mosquitoes, it’s a very beautiful island and it’s really the kind of little outing that I recommend to all people interested in taking their time, enjoying a nice quiet day to relax, read and take pictures. The spot is also great for families since there is a lot of shade, so no worries there. For 2000xpf the day, we can hardly do better!
I won’t repeat again how to get to Taha’a. I invite you to read the article with the link at the beginning of the article which explains everything in detail. If you are in the area, I invite you to read our article on Raiatea, an island that I find myself liking more and more each time I go back there. By the way, I just updated the article so feel free to check it out!
I hope you enjoyed this little stroll on the islet? We’re also thinking of writing more small light articles like this one, hoping you’ll like it and it makes you dream!
See you soon