Raiatea

Raiatea

General Information

  • Archipelago : Windward islands (Society islands)
  • Population : 12 832
  • Area : 175 km²
  • Highest point : Tefatoaiti (1 017 meters)

Why Raiatea ?

  • Embark on a cruise from Raiatea where the navigation conditions are the best !

  • Visit the largest and oldest sacred place of worship: the royal marae of Taputapuatea.

  • A rare and preserved flora and fauna. Discover a unique flower : the tiare Apetahi.

The Sacred Island

40 minutes of nonstop flight away from Tahiti Faa’a, Raiatea was the first island inhabited by Polynesians and the starting point of the great migrations towards the islands of the Polynesian triangle. Known in legends as “Hawaiki,” Raiatea is the birthplace of Polynesian culture.

This island is the second largest economic center in Polynesia and an important nautical base, host to many sailing boats and charter companies. It is also the only island in Polynesia to possess a navigable river: the Faaroa river.

From its past as a great spiritual center, Raiatea has kept many traces, including the famous marae Taputapuatea, the most significant of Polynesia, now a place of pilgrimage for both Maori and Hawaiians.

It is not far from this marae, on Mount Temehani, that a flower unique in the world flourishes: the tiare Apetahi. Another curiosity of Raiatea: the island shares the crystal waters of its lagoon with its sister and neighbor, Taha’a.

Natural assets favorable to nature tourism: many deep bays, an unspoilt and spectacular environment (craters, waterfalls); optimum sailing conditions; a navigable river (Faaroa) offering novel itineraries, vanilla factories, the discovery of a plant that flourishes nowhere else in the world: the strange “Tiare Apetahi”.

The birthplace of Polynesian culture: the first island, according to oral traditions, Raiatea is home to the spectacular first “Marae” Royal Polynesian “Taputapuatea”, where international investiture ceremonies and meetings were held. A site imbued with magic, this sanctuary was the center of the religious and political power in all of Polynesia.

Genuine nautical base, Raiatea establishes itself as the mecca of boating: many charter companies are located in bays and consist of a large fleet of all categories. Luxury yachts with the best comfort also offer an innovative and refined concept.

A submarine privileged space where diversity reigns: coral gardens, caves; drift diving in the many passes; exploration of the wreck of Norby, beautiful three-masted ship that sank in 1900.

Exquisite hotels, guesthouses and homestays to satisfy visitors eager to live in contact with the islanders and to discover their way of life in an authentic setting.

Daily flights and regular boat schedules (2 to 3 sailings per week from Tahiti): Raiatea is a 45-minute flight and 12 hours away from Tahiti by boat.

Our lodging selection on this island :