This morning National Geographic Orion arrived at the beautiful island of Makatea. This uplifted coral island is a geological rarity, and its exposed cliff walls are topped with lush green vegetation. This island was once the site of a booming phosphorus mining operation with a couple thousand people residing here but is now home to under 100 islanders.

After landing via our Zodiacs, local trucks took us up to an amazing overlook of the island and sea. We then hiked down to a cave entrance where hidden below was the most amazing grotto. Our undersea team used their lights to brighten it up and we had a swim in the refreshing waters. The hotel team from National Geographic Orion had a picnic lunch waiting for us near the beach under the coconut trees. It was a perfect day exploring this hidden gem of an island in French Polynesia.