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NASA picture of Aratika Atoll
Aratika is located in French Polynesia
Location Pacific Ocean
Coordinates 15°32′S 145°32′W / 15.533°S 145.533°W / -15.533; -145.533Coordinates: 15°32′S 145°32′W / 15.533°S 145.533°W / -15.533; -145.533
Archipelago Tuamotus
Area 145 km2 (56 sq mi)  (lagoon)
8.3 km2 (3 sq mi) (above water)
Length 20.8 km (12.92 mi)
Width 10.7 km (6.65 mi)
Overseas collectivity French Polynesia
Administrative subdivision Tuamotus
Commune Fakarava
Largest settlement Paparara
Population 160[1] (2012)
Pop. density 19 /km2 (49 /sq mi)
Location of Aratika Atoll

Aratika[2] is an atoll in the Tuamotu group in French Polynesia. The nearest land is Kauehi Atoll, located 35 km to the south east.

Aratika has an unusual butterfly shape. Its length is 20.8 km2 (8.0 sq mi) and its maximum width 10.7 km2 (4.1 sq mi) . It has a land area of approximately 8.3 km2 (3.2 sq mi) . The lagoon is wide and deep, and can be entered by two navigable passes.

Aratika had 160 inhabitants in 2012. The main village is called Paparara.


Aratika appears in some maps as "Carlshoff Island". This atoll was visited by the Charles Wilkes expedition on September 3, 1839. Prior to the pearl market slump at the turn of the century, Aratika was home to about 2000 people, thereafter dropping to about 200.

Aratika has a private airfield which opened in 1998 and is owned by the Fourcade company. Much of the island's main infrastructure, including the school in 2004 and many business from Paparara village were moved there due to ease of access to and from the airstrip.

The population number has been slowly declining and halves when the children go to school from the age of 11 as there is only a primary school on the island which has one class for 3-11 year olds.


Aratika Atoll belongs to the commune of Fakarava, which consists of Fakarava, as well as the atolls of Aratika, Kauehi, Niau, Raraka, Taiaro and Toau.

Images & Maps[edit]

Image Source: ISS005-E-13941 
Image Source: Landsat S-06-15_2000 (1:115,000) 
Map Source: EVS Precision Map (1:150,000) 


  1. ^ "Population". Institut de la statistique de la Polynésie française. Retrieved 24 September 2014. 
  2. ^ Young, J.L. (1899). "Names of the Paumotu Islands, with the old names so far as they are known". Journal of the Polynesian Society. 8 (4): 264–268. Archived from the original on 10 February 2012. Retrieved 7 January 2015. 

External links[edit]