Welcome to the Gambier Islands. Situated to the southwest of Tahiti, this archipelago consists of five islands and a dozen motu, all sharing the same magnificent lagoon. A 3hour, 40 minute flight from Papeete takes you to this preserved island paradise of white sandy beaches and lush green mountains.
The richness of the Gambier Islands
Most of the inhabitants of the Gambier Islands live in Mangareva, which is also where you’ll find most of the accommodation. There are no hotels on the islands, so you’ll stay in a Tahitian Guesthouse, which will add to the authenticity of your experience. The people of Mangareva are famed for their sense of hospitality and your hosts will give you a warm welcome. You’ll be able to try different local dishes, such as korori (the muscle of the pearl oyster) and fresh fish of all kinds. The islands are magnificent for hiking, especially Mangareva, which you can tour on foot before walking to the top of Mount Duff, the island’s highest point at 1,400 feet. The view over the lagoon from the top will take your breath away.
There are two peaks on Mangareva, Duff and Mokoto, and you can hike to the top of both on the same day. At 1,380 feet, Mokoto is slightly less high than Duff, but the views from both are superb. Another visit not to be missed in the Gambier Islands is to the vestiges of the catholic missionaries, who began their work of converting the population of French Polynesia in these islands. The famous St Michel’s Cathedral in Rikitea is a magnificent piece of architecture built of coral stone in 1839.
Pearls and other treasures
The Gambier Islands are famous for their pearls of an exceptional quality. You can visit a pearl farm to learn about their cultivation and why it is that jewelers come from all over the world to buy them. After your visit, go to one of superb beaches in the bay of Rikitea for a swim in the pure, clear turquoise lagoon.
The Gambier Islands have lots of other treasures besides pearls., and some of them are the magnificent motu dotted around the lagoon. Their beaches of soft white sand and clear turquoise waters are teeming with tropical fish, and are an invitation to spend the day swimming, snorkeling and basking in the warm sun. From your boat, you’ll get views of the steep cliffs on the islands. Visiting the Gambier Islands you’ll discover one of the most beautiful lagoons in The Islands of Tahiti.