Bungalows at raiatea Island, French Polynesia
The Sacred Island

Kryssa till Raiatea, French Polynesia

Raiatea is traditionally known as ancient Havai'i, the sacred island at the center of the Polynesian Triangle from which the islands of Hawaii and New Zealand were reached. Along its eastern coastline is the ceremonial site of Marae Taputapuatea, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where ancient Polynesians held rituals for their gods and sought safety for their seafarers. Today, Marae Taputapuatea is still used as a sacred departure point for voyagers crossing to other Pacific Islands in outrigger canoes. Emerald peaks rise in Raiatea's interior, cloaked in tropical flowers, fruit trees, taro plantations and wild foliage. It's where streams trickle and waterfalls roar. With few beaches on the main island, the lush shoreline of Raiatea cedes to a vibrant lagoon hosting every shade of blue and coral reefs rife with marine life. Reef sharks, rays and sea turtles cruise through its waters. Surrounding the main island are motu, tiny islets of palm trees ringed by white sand beaches, easily reached on a lagoon tour. Cruises to Raiatea, French Polynesia set you up for an incredible day trip to the sister island of Taha'a, where life moves slow amidst the vanilla farms tucked in the foothills of the island's rolling hills.
Nationellt språk French
Valuta som kan användas CFP Franc (XPF)

Things To Do in Raiatea

Taha aerial view panorama landscape French Polynesia

Live It Up on the Lagoon

Taha aerial view panorama landscape French Polynesia

Taha aerial view panorama landscape French Polynesia

Live It Up on the Lagoon

The island of Raiatea is surrounded by a lagoon where waters range from pastel blue to deep cobalt. Venture out on a boat tour where you'll snorkel with reef sharks and stingrays, stop at a Tahitian pearl farm, witness a vanilla plantation at work and explore the tranquil island of Taha'a, Raiatea's lagoon mate.

Ancient Marae Taputapuatea temple complex on the lagoon shore

Admire Sacred Sites

Ancient Marae Taputapuatea temple complex on the lagoon shore

Ancient Marae Taputapuatea temple complex on the lagoon shore

Admire Sacred Sites

Visit Raiatea, French Polynesia, to see the ancient heart of Polynesia. It's believed that Raiatea is where voyagers migrated east in the Polynesian triangle. Walk around the stone platforms of Marae Taputapuatea, a UNESCO World Heritage Site built in 1000 A.D. It was once used to hold ceremonies for seafarers and ocean deities.

Fresh rainwater flows through a pristine rainforest on the island of Raiatea in French Polynesia
Fresh rainwater flows through a pristine rainforest on the island of Raiatea in French Polynesia

Take a Hike

One of the best things to do in Raiatea, French Polynesia, is hike the lush trails of the island's interior. No Raiatea, French Polynesia, trip is complete without taking a stroll into the superbly kept Faaroa Botanical Garden. To get misted, wander along the trail of Les Trois Cascades, where three waterfalls await. When wandering, look for the five-petal tiare apetahi, a flower that only grows on Raiatea.

Fresh Poission Cru (raw fish) in a coconut shell.
Fresh Poission Cru (raw fish) in a coconut shell.

LOCAL CUISINE

Freshly baked breads, croissants and pastries await at the brasseries of Raiatea. For lunch, enjoy a heaping plate of poisson cru, a dish made from fresh fish marinated in lime juice and mixed with coconut milk, cucumbers and tomatoes. When dinnertime comes, grab mahi-mahi smothered in a creamy sauce made from vanilla grown on the neighboring island of Taha'a.

 Tahitian Black Pearls
Tahitian Black Pearls

SHOPPING

Some of the best vanilla in the world is grown in the fertile soil of Raiatea and the nearby Taha'a. Grab a bottle of rum on Taha'a to spice with fragrant vanilla pods. In search of something special? Go to Raiatea, French Polynesia, for Tahitian pearls grown within the lagoon. Pearls come in iridescent shades of rainbow, white and charcoal.

Insidertips
Insidertips
1 Public transport is hard to come by in Raiatea, it's best to hire a guide or book a tour for day trips..
2 Pack a rain jacket for boat trips out on the lagoon to protect against sea spray.
3 The wharf at Uturoa is a hub for finding souvenirs and snacks.

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