Raiatea Island

The island of Raiatea, which is in the center of French Polynesia, is a hidden treasure. Raiatea, often known as the “Holy Island,” is renowned as the spiritual and cultural hub of French Polynesia. The island is home to numerous historic marae (temples) and is still rife with mythology. For anybody wishing to experience the allure of French Polynesia, Raiatea Island is a must-visit location because of its breathtaking natural beauty, fascinating history, and dynamic culture.


flying planeGetting to Raiatea Island

French Polynesia’s Raiatea Island is one of the most stunning islands, and although being somewhat out of the way, it is still relatively simple to get to. Several routes can be taken to reach Raiatea Island, based on your preferences and financial situation.

Flying into Tahiti is the first stage if you are traveling from abroad. The primary international airport serving Tahiti’s capital city of Papeete is served by airlines from all over the world. You can then take a subsequent journey to Raiatea from there. The primary airline operating within French Polynesia, Air Tahiti, provides daily service from Tahiti to Raiatea. The flight takes around 45 minutes, and the price changes according to the demand and the time of year.

Alternatively, travelers can take a ferry to get to Raiatea Island. The primary ferry service between Tahiti and Raiatea is operated by the Aremiti ferry, which leaves many times per week. If you have more time to spare and would rather take a more beautiful route, the ferry trip, which takes about four hours, is a terrific choice.

The welcoming and hospitable residents on Raiatea Island will welcome you. The primary town of Uturoa is where the airport is located, and transit options include taxis and rental automobiles. For an extra price, the majority of the lodgings also provide airport transportation.

Top Attractions on Raiatea Island

There are natural marvels, cultural landmarks, and activities on Raiatea Island to suit every taste. Here are a few of the top sights that tourists should not skip when in Raiatea Island.

Taputapuatea Marae: This historic temple is regarded as a UNESCO World Heritage site and is one of French Polynesia’s most significant cultural landmarks. For more than a thousand years, the marae served as the religious and cultural hub of the Polynesian people and is thought to have served as a gathering place for the Maohi people. Visitors can explore the marae’s ruins, discover old Polynesian customs and culture, and take in the amazing history that surrounds this location.

The sole navigable river in French Polynesia is the Faaroa River, which is a great spot for tourists to explore the island’s diverse species and rich scenery. In their natural settings, tropical birds and other creatures can be seen on a boat cruise down the river, which is available to visitors.

Coral Gardens: A stunning lagoon and coral reef encircle Raiatea Island, providing fantastic chances for diving and snorkeling. One of the most well-liked snorkeling locations is the Coral Gardens, which are found on the island’s southern side. Visitors can view sea turtles, tropical fish, and other aquatic life.

Mount Temehani: If you’re searching for a challenge and want to explore the island’s natural beauty, Mount Temehani is a terrific alternative. The 2,385-foot mountain gives breathtaking views of the island and the surrounding seas. The two-hour trek to the mountain’s summit rewards hikers with stunning views of the lagoon and the island’s verdant landscape.

Vanilla farms: Visitors can take a tour of a vanilla farm to learn about the growing process and sample the aromatic pods. Vanilla is one of the main crops on Raiatea Island. The Vanilla Valley Farm, which is situated in the center of the island’s rainforest, is one of the most well-known vanilla farms on the island.

Raiatea Island’s History and Culture

The Polynesian way of life is closely entwined with the rich history and culture of Raiatea Island. The island served as the spiritual and cultural hub of the Polynesian people, and the Maohi people greatly valued their connection to the island’s historic marae. With a variety of activities and events, tourists may experience the real Polynesian way of life on Raiatea Island today as it continues to honor its cultural history.

An excellent approach to become fully immersed in Polynesian culture is to watch a traditional dance performance. The Polynesian dance is renowned for its dynamic and energizing motions, and tourists can see local dance groups performing to display the island’s distinctive dance style. On Raiatea Island, a lot of the resorts and lodging establishments provide traditional dance performances, which frequently feature a Polynesian feast and fire dancing.

Studying the island’s history and customs is another opportunity to experience the Polynesian way of life. Since the Taputapuatea Marae served as the Polynesian region’s religious and cultural hub for more than a thousand years, it is a great location to start. Visitors can discover more about the customs, beliefs, and way of life of the Maohi people.

Visitors can also see the distinctive crafts and artwork of the island at the local market in Uturoa. The market offers jewelry made of shells and pearls as well as traditional Polynesian wares including woven baskets, hats, and mats. It’s a terrific spot to find gifts and souvenirs that highlight the island’s diverse culture and history.

A trourist canoeing togetherActivities on Raiatea Island

Every traveler’s interests and tastes are catered to by the variety of activities available on Raiatea Island. There is something available to meet your requirements, whether you’re seeking excitement or leisure. The best things to do in Raiatea Island are listed below.

For those who enjoy snorkeling and diving, Raiatea Island’s lagoon and coral reef are a paradise. Diverse marine life, such as vibrant tropical fish, sea turtles, and sharks, is visible to visitors. Throughout the island, there are many places to go diving and snorkeling, including the Coral Gardens and the Avatoru Pass.

Outrigger Canoeing: Outrigger canoeing has been a customary Polynesian pastime for many years. The stunning lagoon and coastline of the island can be explored during a guided outrigger canoe cruise. It’s a wonderful opportunity to take in the island’s natural beauty and discover its extensive cultural history.

Tour of a Vanilla Farm: Visitors can take a tour of a vanilla farm to learn about the growing process and sample the aromatic pods. Vanilla is one of the principal crops farmed on Raiatea Island. One of the most well-known farms on the island, Vanilla Valley Farm provides a variety of excursions and activities for tourists.

Hiking: The lush forests and rocky terrain of Raiatea Island provide fantastic hiking options. One of the most well-known walks on the island is Mount Temehani, which provides breathtaking views over the lagoon and the island’s luxuriant greenery. The Faaroa waterfall, which is situated in the center of the island’s rainforest, is also reachable via hiking.

Beaches: Raiatea Island is home to some of French Polynesia’s most stunning beaches. Tourists can enjoy the sun on the white-sand beaches or engage in watersports like paddleboarding and kayaking.

Where to Stay on Raiatea Island

Visitors visiting Raiatea Island have a choice of lodging alternatives, including both luxury resorts and guesthouses. The best hotels in Raiatea Island are listed below.

A secluded islet off the coast of Raiatea Island is home to the five-star Le Taha’a Island Resort and Spa, which features opulent bungalows with private pools, spa services, and a number of dining options. Couples and honeymooners looking for a romantic holiday will find it to be the ideal location.

The beautiful Raiatea Lodge Hotel has cozy rooms with breathtaking water views and is situated on the edge of the island’s lagoon. Families and vacationers on a tight budget might consider it.

On Raiatea Island’s southern coast, the eco-friendly Opoa Beach Hotel provides bungalows with private terraces and beach access. It’s the ideal location for tourists seeking a quiet, isolated vacation.

In the center of Uturoa, at Pension Te Maeva, you may find reasonably priced lodging with shared amenities. Budget and backpackers alike will love this option.

Villa Ixora: Perched on a hilltop above Uturoa, this exclusive residence provides breathtaking views of the lagoon and the nearby islands. It’s the ideal location for tourists seeking a posh and exclusive hideaway.


For tourists looking for a distinctive and genuine Polynesian experience, Raiatea Island is a delight. Raiatea Island has much to offer every traveler, from its vibrant cultural legacy to its breathtaking natural beauty. For your next tropical vacation, Raiatea Island is the ideal location, whether you’re seeking for action or relaxation.

Our Top FAQ's

Raiatea Island was the religious and cultural center of the Polynesian world, and its ancient marae played a significant role in the Maohi people’s lives. Today, visitors can experience the authentic Polynesian way of life through various activities and events, such as traditional dance shows and learning about the island’s history and traditions.

Raiatea Island offers a range of activities that cater to every traveler’s interests and preferences. Some of the top activities include snorkeling and diving, outrigger canoeing, visiting a vanilla farm, hiking, and relaxing on the island’s beautiful beaches.

Raiatea Island offers a range of accommodation options for visitors, from luxury resorts to guesthouses. Some of the top places to stay include Le Taha’a Island Resort and Spa, Raiatea Lodge Hotel, Opoa Beach Hotel, Pension Te Maeva, and Villa Ixora.

Visitors can experience the Polynesian culture on Raiatea Island through various activities and events, such as attending a traditional dance show, learning about the island’s history and traditions at the Taputapuatea Marae, and visiting the local market in Uturoa to see the island’s unique crafts and art.

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