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Disappointment Islands: One of the World's Last Paradises Unspoiled by Tourists Because of Their Unfortunate Name

Located nearly 1,000km from Tahiti’s capital, Papeete, Napuka is one of the most isolated islands in French Polynesia.

The name Disappointment Islands was given to this place more than 250 years ago. A hidden paradise in French Polynesia were visitors are scarce and the locals are friendly.

It is like a mirage in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, surrounded by endless stretches of blue and white sand beaches. Its aptly given name has sheltered it for many years from unwanted tourist attention. 

Andrew Evans traveled to Disappointment islands and wrote about his adventures over at BBC Travel:

And yet, 254 years after Byron’s attempt, the Disappointment Islands still proved difficult to access. Flights to the larger atoll of Napuka are not even listed on Air Tahiti’s international website. I spent three weeks making cold calls before I got hold of an agent.

“You can fly to Napuka in February,” she explained in French, “but then you have to stay a full month.” And so I travelled in the better weather of May, when scheduled flights still gave me a minimum eight-day stay. Located nearly 1,000km from Tahiti’s capital, Papeete, Napuka is one of the most isolated islands in French Polynesia, and a quick stop on a larger circular air route. Once I stepped off the plane, I would have to stay.

Images: Andrew Evans


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