Makatea, the only raised atoll in the Tuamotu Islands, is a popular destination because of its unique geology. The only way to get there is by boat.
Getting around in Makatea
The atoll is only 14 square miles and there’s only one small road on the island. There is no car or motor scooter rental. If you’re staying at a Tahitian Guesthouse there are usually bikes available for guests, or your hosts will take you to see the main tourist sites by car. If you’re staying on a sailboat, you’ll disembark on the quay at Temao and will have to get around by foot. So a solid pair of walking shoes is a good idea. However, the local population is warm and welcoming, so if you stick out your thumb and give a big smile, the chances are that a passing car will pick you up.
If you want to get a taste of the way of life of the locals, then accompany them on a crab catching hunt, when they go out after dark to catch kaveu (coconut crabs). However, the most popular experience on the island is cliff climbing and there are well-marked trails up the cliff face to suit all levels of climber.
Try to catch a mixed cargo ferry that arrives at Makatea early in the morning, so that you can appreciate the glorious sunrise over the atoll. And make sure you know the date and time of the return trip.