Raiatea, French Polynesia
Raiatea's importance as both a religious and historical center for all of Polynesia is complimented by a wealth of archaeological sites, tropical scenery and reef fringed lagoons. Raiatea is currently undergoing a renaissance, with special attention being given to preserve the island's rich culture and heritage.
Considered the second largest island in the Society Islands, Raiatea is situated approximately 120 miles northwest of Tahiti. It shares a sparkling lagoon with neighboring island Tahaa. Raiatea's main village is Uturoa, with a population of over 10,000. This bustling port town features a colorful market with arts and crafts shops along the waterfront.
Taputapuatea Archaeological Site
The oldest and most historic of all the ancient outdoor Polynesian temples of worship.
Engraved and sculptured symbols carved in basaltic stone found along the east coast of Raiatea.
The island of Tahaa shares the lagoon with Raiatea and is often called the "vanilla island" because of its numerous vanilla plantations.