Location of the commune (in red) within the Tuamotu Islands
|Overseas collectivity||French Polynesia|
|• Land||7.3 km2 (2.8 sq mi)|
|• Population1 density||32/km2 (83/sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||98751 / 98783|
|1 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.|
Tatakoto is one of the more isolated atolls of the Tuamotus. It situated in the east of the archipelago, 1,182 km from Tahiti. This atoll is 14 km long and 3.5 km wide. It has one large island and 65 islets separated by numerous channels on the reef surrounding the lagoon. The islands are mostly located on its windward side (south). All the islands are flat, not much higher than the ocean level.
The main settlement is Tumukuru, and the total population was 255 in the 2002 census.
Tatakoto Atoll was sighted the same day by two Spaniards. In the second expedition of the Águila, the two captains, Domingo de Bonechea and José Andía y Varela, separated when leaving Peru and did not see each other until reaching Tahiti. On 29 October 1774 (the day of Saint Narcissus) the two disembarked on Tatakoto without meeting. They named the island "San Narciso". Historically the island was also known as "d'Augier".
Chronicler José Andía described the atoll as "extremely agreeable to the eyes by being very populated by shrubs." At the beginning of the twentieth century France established a colony and replanted the island with coconut palms, which still cover the island.
Tatakoto Airport was inaugurated in 1979.
Total Eclipse of 11 July 2010
The Solar eclipse of July 11, 2010 passed over Tatakoto atoll, and several groups of eclipse chasers traveled to the island to observe and photograph the event. Though the day began with broken clouds, thin overcast and isolated rain, all groups reported success viewing the eclipse's total phase, which began at appx 8:47am local time. The eclipse was observed (1) by the local inhabitants in the village on the NW part of the island, (2) by day-trippers to the island near the airport in the SW, (2) by three separate parties on the southern motus both in the SW and SE portions of the atoll, (3) by professional astronomers situated on the football pitch within the town limits, (4) by isolated individuals and couples on the beach in the far northeastern and far eastern portions of the main northern motu.
- Corney, Bolton Granvill The quest and occupation of Tahiti by emissaries of Spain during the years 1772-1776, London, 1913, Vol I, p.XLIII, XLVII