Accessible by plane since 2007 only, Rimatara island could preserve its very authentic spirit remaining of the days gone. Surrounded by a narrow lagoon, this island seems to be isolated, completely lost in the very middle of the South Pacific. A trip to this island is like a time travel. People of Rimatara kept the way of life of their ancestors working essentially in agriculture and pandanus leaves weaving.
Covered by taro fields and fruit trees, Rimatara island is a real tropical garden with its grapefruit, papayas, bananas which are as sweet as honey, nonis and even pomegranates. Rimatara people will cook for travellers a real Polynesian meal with local dishes such as fafaru (slices of fermented fish), slightly spicy octopus and po’e (local pastry made from fruits).
Rimatara people often say that the biggest peak of their island is higher than 8300…cm ! Although the smallest of Tubuai islands, Rimatara has a real geological treasure, its hidden underground caves. Located close to the airport, these caves are almost invisible because of vegetation. These small caves remain of island cruel wars that took place centuries ago. Rimatara caves tour is a great opportunity to get inspired by local myths and legends and to imagine oneself being its hero.
Rimatara is also known for being home for Vini kuhlii, a local species of birds qualified as endangered. These nice endemic birds are usually afraid of humans, letting you to get closer if you are careful and keep silent.
From July to November travellers coming to Rimatara may assist at whales watching tours. Whales usually come to French Polynesia to give birth to their babies and stay for a few months. Whales jumping out of water and playing, it is an amazing show to enjoy.
Charming character of this small island with its family pensions, its fields and friendly atmosphere make Rimatara one of the rarest places in the world where authenticity is in perfect balance with comfort and hospitality of local people.