A voyage to French Polynesia is a unique experience. It is the opportunity to relax and recover, far from the hustle and bustle of everyday modern life, in a perfect island paradise. Reconnect with the essential and feel the Mana in The Islands of Tahiti.
Responsible tourism is a way of getting back to the essential and reconnecting with the natural environment. The Islands of Tahiti is a destination committed to the development of sustainable tourism, so that visitors can continue to enjoy its rich biodiversity and discover its ancestral culture. Here are five places in the Tuamotu Islands and Society Islands that are actively involved in the protection of the ecosystem and the preservation of the ancient ma’ohi culture. They are representative of the increasing number of positive actions being taken throughout French Polynesia. Fakarava, in the Tuamotu Islands, is a UNESCO biosphere reserve. It is a paradise for diving enthusiasts, and the crystal clear waters are teeming with marine life, including a truly impressive ‘wall of sharks’.
The marae of Taputapuatea and the manta ray sanctuary
The marae is in the heart of the Taputapuatea archeological complex on the island of Raiatea. It was once the main religious and cultural center of eastern Polynesia, and it was from this site that Polynesian voyagers set off on their exploration of the Pacific Ocean. Raiatea is considered to be a sacred place and the residence of the gods, which is why it is known as ‘the sacred island’. In 2017, the marae of Taputapuatea was classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
On the island of Bora Bora, there’s a place where you can learn all about the majestic manta ray. In collaboration with the Conrad Bora Bora Hotel, the Manta Trust (an association with an international reputation), proposes educational tours with an expert marine biologist . He provides updates on the latest details of his research, and you have the possibility of swimming among these most graceful sea creatures. Remember to always stay calm and make only gentle movements, when you’re in the company of any of the large marine species. They mean you no harm, but they are easily frightened.
Bird Island and
Te Fare Natura ecomuseum
A visit to the island of Tetiaroa in the Society Islands, is a truly unforgettable experience. Plan a half-day trip on the motu Tahuna Iti, known as the ‘bird island’, where you can see thousands of tropical, terrestrial and marine birds. You will also find more than 38 native plants (including 6 very rare and coveted by botanists around the world).
Te Fare Natura ecomuseum is in Opunohu Bay on the island of Moorea. The building is an original piece of architecture, inspired by the marine environment and vegetation of The Islands of Tahiti. It is an interactive museum, and offers an immersion in the cultural, environmental, and scientific aspects of this island paradise. Sustainable development and the protection of the biodiversity are now French Polynesia’s main priorities.
Written by Celia Villarino