The birthplace of Polynesian culture. The ‘sacred’ island, Raiatea, is in the Society Islands in the western part of French Polynesia. Formerly called Havai’i, it is considered to be the birthplace of the gods and houses numerous archeological treasures (marae, petroglyphs, etc.) which tell the history of a unique people and their culture. The first island in the region to be inhabited, it is also home to the most spectacular and important marae in the Polynesian Triangle, the marae of Taputapuatea, which was once the center of religious and political power in all of Polynesia, including Hawaii, New Zealand Easter Island and the Cook Islands.
Raiatea abounds with natural treasures, such as its magnificent lagoon, rocky mountain cliffs and lush, unique vegetation. An ideal destination for lovers of nature and anyone interested in history. Although less famous than its illustrious neighbors Bora Bora and Moorea, Raiatea will surprise and delight you by the strength of its mana and the beauty of its scenery.
What makes it so special
Why visit Raiatea?
Aquatic universe to explore
Raiatea and Taha’a are sister islands which share the same lagoon. Situated to the southeast of Bora Bora, the turquoise lagoon houses a multitude of motu with beautiful white sandy beaches.
It is a popular destination for surfers and diving enthusiasts, attracted by the multicolored coral and myriads of tropical fish. The idyllic setting of the lagoon is a veritable arena for all types of watersports.
A rich nature
Raiatea’s luxuriant natural scenery is home to many endemic species of plants, among which is the rarest in the world, the tiare apetahi. A truly magnificent hiking trail takes you to the top of Mount Temehani, which is the unique home of this beautiful and precious flowering shrub.
Raiatea also possesses the only navigable river in Polynesia, which offers an exceptional outing by kayak , paddleboard or outrigger canoe. A local guide will add color and security to your adventures of discovery in Raiatea.
Not to be missed
What to do in Raiatea
The island of Raiatea abounds with activities for the adventurous, the romantic and lovers of nature. Whether you’re a couple, a family or on your own, take an excursion to the marae of Taputapuatea and plunge into the very heart of Polynesian culture. Discover the endemic natural vegetation, waterfalls and rivers on the island. Or opt for a day on the motu with a picnic enjoyed while sitting in the shallows admiring the view over neighboring Bora Bora. If paradise is a place on earth, it might well be called Raiatea.
Three days in Raiatea
Raiatea means ‘distant sky’ or ‘sky with soft light’ in Tahitian. This green, mountainous island is the most sacred island in French Polynesia. The dive sites in the passes have very clear water, so you can observe the marine life from a distance and see down to the seabed.
You’ll also enjoy
Activities in Raiatea
Looking for adventure? There’s a large choice of hiking trails for you to take, preferably with a local guide. Whether on foot, bike, quad ATV, four-wheel drive or horseback, you’ll find the trail to suit you. The turquoise lagoon which Raiatea shares with Taha’a is a playground for watersports lovers. Take a day trip on a boat to explore the lagoon and admire the island from the sea. Or if you prefer, explore the beauty that lies beneath the waves – you can even dive down to a shipwreck, The Nordby, which sank in the lagoon in the year 1900. If you’re seeking thrills, opt for a flight in a helicopter or light airplane to get a bird’s eye view of the island.
Vacation packages for Raiatea
Book your trip
Find all our inclusive travel offers which include the island of Raiatea
Vacations in Raiatea
There is a vast choice of accommodations on offer in Raiatea. Whether you want a hotel on a private island, a Tahitian Guesthouse, or a vacation rental, you’re sure to find the place you’re looking for.
Getting there and getting around
To get to this little corner of paradise, you can either catch a 45 minute flight from Tahiti or take a boat from the ferry terminal in Tahiti. The voyage takes from 5 to 8 hours, depending on which company you choose. The airport is in the capital of Raiatea, Uturoa, where you’ll find taxis and car rental offices. We recommend that you reserve in advance with your accommodations provider. Motor scooters and bikes are also available for hire. There are taxi-boats and ferries for getting around on the lagoon, or you can take one of the many excursions that are available.
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.