You can spend a few hours wandering around Rotoava, a typical Tuamotuan village of about 450 residents, and a few more hours looking at black pearls. Pension Havaiki operates a pearl farm on the southern end of the village. Hinano Pearls, 3km (2 miles) north of the Maitai Dream Fakarava (tel. 98.41.51), also welcomes visitors and will pick up resort guests who call ahead. Neither charges admission to visit. You will have a chance to buy pearls at both, but bear in mind that French Polynesia's wholesalers usually scarf up the cream of the crop before you get a chance to see them. I wouldn't buy set pearls here.
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