Mangareva, Polynesia’s hidden treasure: a preserved paradise to explore
Mangareva is a veritable jewel situated in the Gambier Islands in French Polynesia. Nestled in the heart of the Pacific Ocean, it is about 930 miles to the east of Tahiti. A visit to Mangareva is a voyage back in time, to a land where the rich history of Polynesian civilization merges with a serene spirituality, in harmony with the island’s idyllic natural beauty. Mangareva is the perfect destination for visitors seeking adventure and discovery. A unique island which offers authenticity in its magnificent scenery, fascinating archeological remains and a rich cultural heritage.
What makes it so special
Why visit Mangareva?
A special lagoon
All visitors feel privileged when they first set foot on the island of Mangareva. The lagoon is surely the most extraordinary in all Polynesia, because it contains all of the islands in the archipelago.
The turquoise and blue water contrasts with the lush green of Mangareva’s mountains, from which you have superb panoramic views over the island, the lagoon and the Pacific Ocean.
An excursion to one of the lagoon’s idyllic motu let’s you play at Robinson Crusoe for the day. Bask on the soft white sand and swim in the crystal clear sea in splendid isolation!
Saint Michael’s Cathedral
Mangareva, the main island in the Gambier Islands, has a unique atmosphere. It is extremely pleasant to stroll around, enjoying the tranquility, chatting with the locals and admiring the architecture.
A monument that you should definitely visit during your stay is St Michel’s Cathedral, one of the most beautiful buildings in French Polynesia. You should also try some of the many hiking trails, which lead up the mountains and offer absolutely stunning views over the lagoon and beyond.
Not to be missed
Immerse yourself in the culture of the Gambier Islands by participating in traditional activities. During festive periods, watch the performances of singing and dancing; the islanders will astound you with their artistic talent.
You can also learn how to make necklaces from seashells, weave coconut palms, and even how to fish using traditional local techniques. Mangareva is rich in ancient history and it is fascinating to explore the island’s archeological remains. Among the many sites to visit is the village of Rikitea, where you’ll find handsome stone churches built by European missionaries in the 19th century. You can also explore the marae, the sacred structures used by the ancient Mangarevans for religious ceremonies and other important rituals.
You’ll also enjoy
Take a boat trip to Taravai island, which is not very far from Mangareva. An idyllic spot, perfect for those looking for a beautiful, deserted beach. Relax on the soft white sand, swim in the crystal clear water, and explore the preserved beauty of the island.
Mangareva is an ideal destination for those wishing to ‘get away from it all’. Relax, breathe in the pure ocean air, appreciate the tranquility that surrounds you, and recharge your batteries.
Visit St Michel’s Cathedral and the surrounding area
Where to stay in Mangareva
There are no luxury hotels in Mangareva, but there are several family-run Tahitian Guesthouses, where you’ll be welcomed as part of the family and will be able to immerse yourself in the authentic Polynesian way of life.
Getting there and around
The local domestic airline, Air Tahiti, flies directly to the remote paradise of Mangareva from Tahiti-Faa’a International Airport. The flight takes about 3 hours, 40 minutes and you arrive at the Totegegie airport, which is situated on a motu a certain distance from the main island. A shuttle service operated by the local authorities takes 45 minutes to get to Mangareva. You can find out more information and make a reservation through your accommodation.
As the islands are small; a bike is usually adequate for getting around. You can rent one through your travel agent or at your accommodation. However, Mangareva is an island that is best appreciated on foot. Boat excursions will take you to visit other islands from your base in Mangareva.
Plan the trip of your dreams
3 good reasons to book a travel agent
Certified Tahiti Specialist
has in-depth knowledge of the destination, enabling us to offer you unique activities and experiences.
Your customized agent
to suit your preferences and budget.
Your agent assists you
throughout your stay to make every moment of your trip a memorable one.