Raiatea, French Polynesia

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Main port photo for Raiatea, French Polynesia

Considered the second largest island in French Polynesia, Raiatea is situated approximately 120 miles northwest of Tahiti. For the Polynesian "Maohi," ancestor of today's Tahitian, Raiatea was known as "Sacred Havai'i" and was the center of royalty, religion, culture and history. The principal village is Uturoa, with a population of over 10,000. This bustling port town features a colorful market and arts and crafts shops along the waterfront. Raiatea is currently undergoing a renaissance, with special attention being given to preserve the island's rich culture and heritage.

Raiatea's importance as both a religious and historical center for all of Polynesia is complemented by a wealth of archaelogical sites, tropical scenery and reef fringed lagoons.

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  • Polynesian Marae Polynesian Marae

    Raiatea is the most sacred of the Polynesian islands and formerly the religious center of French Polynesia. It has many archaeological ruins called maraes, its most important is Taputapuatea.

  • Lagoon Activities Lagoon Activities

    Raiatea and Tahaa share a protected lagoon enclosed by a single barrier reef that boasts world-class scuba diving, along with snorkeling, swimming, jetskiing, kiteboarding and more.

  • Aquatic Adventures Aquatic Adventures

    Raiatea and Tahaa are idyllic destinations for all kinds of water excursions, from sport and deep-sea fishing to shark and ray feedings, to sailing, kayaking and lagoon cruises. Even a motu picnic.

  • Tahaa Tahaa

    Located between Bora Bora and Huahine in the Society Islands, the islands of Tahaa and neighboring Raiatea are enclosed by the same coral reef, and may once have been a single island.

  • Black Pearl Farm Black Pearl Farm

    To the Polynesians, the black pearl is a symbol of purity, and the Polynesian islands are the world's leading exporter of fine black pearls with several pearl farms based on Raiatea and Tahaa.

  • Vanilla Plantation Vanilla Plantation

    Admiral Hamelin introduced the first vanilla plants to Polynesia in 1848 and efficient cultures emerged in 1880. Today Tahaa, the "Vanilla Island," produces over 70% of French Polynesia's vanilla.

  • 4WD Excursion 4WD Excursion

    Discover the sacred Mt. Temehani Plateau. Explore the interior of the only island in Polynesia with a navigable river, the Faaroa, on a 4WD safari. Traverse its canyons, trails and waterfalls.


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