The Island of Raiatea and Tahaa. A comprehensive description and general information along with the most popular tours and activities on Raiatea!
Raiatea, which means "clear sky" is believed to be the sacred birthplace of the gods. It was the center of royalty, religion, culture and history. Ancient Polynesians called the island Havai'i, "the homeland". As you arrive on Raiatea your eyes are greeted with a panorama of emerald carpeted mountains, pearlescent shores and sapphire blue lagoons. The main town of Uturoa is a sleepy little waterfront town much like Papeete in years past.
There are several passes through the lagoon, which also encompasses the neighboring island of Tahaa. Because of ideal sailing and fishing conditions, Raiatea offers year-round sailing charters and deep-sea fishing. Visitors can venture up the Faaroa, the only navigable river in French Polynesia. A hike up Mount Temehani will reward the adventurous with a glimpse at the rare "Tiare Apetahi", a flower found nowhere else on earth. On Raiatea, visitors can also marvel at the Taputapuatea "Marae", considered the best-preserved and most important religious site in French Polynesia.
Enclosed within the same barrier reef as Raiatea is the small island of Tahaa, located only two miles north of Uturoa, across the lagoon. Tahaa is known as the "Vanilla Island", for its numerous plantations of this "black gold". These fragrant plants' rich, sweet aroma perfumes the island breeze. The white sand beaches, coral gardens and the secluded motu islets inside the coral reef are what seduces visitors. With only a handful of guesthouses and two small hotels, Tahaa is slowly awakening to tourism and yet it still maintains an authentic flavor of Polynesia.
Tours and Activities*
Half-Day Faaroa River Trip
Raiatea: Half-day 4x4 Raiatea Island Safari
from Taha'a: Snorkeling with guide
*Tours and activities may vary in price and content based on the individual tour operator.
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