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Tahiti Blog

Tahiti Blog

The Islands

The Society Archipelago

The Society Archipelago includes the windward islands of Tahiti (the largest of the society islands), Mehetia, Tetiaroa, Moorea and Maiao as well as the leeward islands, Huahine, Raiatea, Tahaa, Bora Bora, Tupai, Maupiti, Mopelia, Motu One and Manuae.

The islands in the Society Archipelago are typically high and mountainous, surrounded by lagoons and coral reefs.

Tahiti

Tahiti is the largest of the 118 islands and atolls that comprise French Polynesia and flights to Tahiti arrive into its international airport, Faa’a. Papeete is the capital city and the commercial hub of French Polynesia. Papeete has a colourful market offering local food, handmade crafts and souvenirs as well as a range of pearl shops, bars and restaurants. There is so much more to Tahiti than Papeete - majestic valleys, rich archaeological sites, striking volcanic peaks and a stunning turquoise lagoon.

Our Must-Dos in Tahiti:

  • Browse the many pearl shops of Papeete and find your own precious Tahitian Black Pearl.
  • Wake up early to witness the locals selling their fresh fish and vegetables at the Papeete central market … then stick around to do some souvenir shopping of your own!
  • Visit Taravao plateau on the Presqu’île - named Little Normandy due to its unique microclimate.
  • Hire a car and drive around the island - there’s only one road so you can’t get lost!
  • Visit the museum of Tahiti and discover Polynesia’s mythical past.
  • Take a hike in the Papeeno valley and discover hidden waterfalls and amazing views.
  • Enjoy a sunset cocktail at the Pink Coconut bar at Marina Taina with gorgeous views across to Moorea.
  • Mix with the locals in the Paofai Gardens and watch the Va'a canoeists training in the lagoon.
  • Venture down the stunning South-West to Teahupoo known for its surf break and heavy, glassy waves offshore.
  • Eat at the local food vans, Roulottes, located at the waterfront in downtown Papeete.

Moorea

A few minutes flight from Tahiti, or just 30 mins on the high speed ferry, lies Tahiti’s sister island, Moorea.

Cook’s and Oponohu Bays are surrounded by the lush green heights of striking mountain peaks and hidden craters of pineapple plantations. The island’s lagoon waters are crystal-clear and home to the famous shark and ray feeding demonstrations.

When you're in Moorea, you'll  notice the pace is a little slower. The island is an attractive destination because it is easily accessible, is less touristy and more affordable than others.

Moorea is known as the activities island and offers a full range of water and land based activities from horse riding to quad bike riding, from snorkelling to jet skiing, from massage to hiking… it is all on offer in Moorea! 

Our Must-Dos in Moorea:

  • Feed the reef sharks in the lagoon and experience a kiss from a stingray!
  • Taste a tiare flower flavoured ice cream at the Agricultural College.
  • Wind your way up to the Belvedere lookout for magnificent views of the mountains, bays and lagoon.
  • Go on a Motu Picnic and learn how to make the famous Tahitian raw fish - poisson cru.
  • Surf at Haapiti - one of the world’s most consistent breaks.
  • Have a close encounter with the dolphins at the InterContinental Resort.
  • Cycle around the island and discover your own private piece of paradise… it’s only 60km!
  • Take a horse ride through the pineapple plantations and majestic valleys.
  • Play a round of golf at the lagoon-side Moorea Pearl Green Golf course.
  • Enjoy a freshly squeezed pineapple juice picked straight from the plantation.
  • Scuba Dive – Moorea is well known for encountering Lemon sharks.

Bora Bora

Only a 50 minute flight from Tahiti you will find the stunning island of Bora Bora, undoubtedly the world’s most beautiful lagoon. It is known as the Romance Island and home of the famous overwater bungalows. Your first glimpse of the amazing colours of the Bora Bora lagoon are on arrival at the Motu Mute airport which is located on a motu, a small sandy island. The majority of hotels and resorts are built on motus in the lagoon surrounding the main island, with Mount Otemanu peak as its centrepiece. The array of blue colours in the lagoon is mesmerising and the waters are warm and clear. Bora Bora truly is a paradise!

Our Must-Dos in Bora Bora:

  • Snorkel or dive with the lemon sharks, outside the Bora Bora reef.
  • Take a 4WD tour of the main island and learn about Bora Bora’s WW2 history.
  • Enjoy a romantic beach dinner.
  • Take a jet-ski tour around the island - one of the best ways to see the blues of Bora Bora’s lagoon.
  • Hire a bike in the main village of Vaitape and discover the roadside snack bars and trinket shops.
  • Take a snorkelling trip to the Coral Garden to witness an amazing abundance of fish.
  • Have your breakfast delivered in a canoe to your overwater bungalow.
  • Drop in for a drink at the famous sandy - bottomed Bloody Mary’s Restaurant.
  • Visit Matira Beach with its turquoise, shallow waters and white sand.
  • Stay in an overwater bungalow and watch the fish life through the glass.

Tetiaroa

Tetiaroa is located 60 km northeast of the island of Tahiti and is surrounded on all sides by the great blue expanse of the South Pacific.

Tetiaroa is completely private with its own airfield. It is accessible by a short flight of approximately 20 minutes from a private terminal at Tahiti’s Faa’a International Airport. The island was purchased by Marlon Brando in 1966 and houses the luxury The Brando resort. It is surrounded by a vibrant reef that is impenetrable to marine navigation.

Tetiaroa is an atoll composed of twelve separate sandy islets, motus and is a haven for marine and birdlife:

  • Onetahi. The Brando Resort is located on the island that was once the favoured retreat of Tahitian royalty.
  • Honuea. Venture the short distance by outrigger canoe to explore white-sand beaches and a shallow, crystalline lagoon.
  • Tiaraunu. The largest of the motus with an abundance of coconut palms.
  • Tauini, Tauroa & Hiraanae. The northernmost cluster of motus are separated only by little hoa (breaks in the coral reef) and the location of lemon shark nurseries.
  • Oroatera. An island paradise with spectacular beaches and a lagoon along with a seahorse-shaped pond which spawned an ancient legend.
  • Aie. The smallest of the 12 motus.
  • Tahuna Iti & Tahuna Rahi. A sanctuary for birds such as red-breasted black frigates, phaetons, brown gannets, and other petrels.
  • Reiono. The only motu that has preserved its primitive, original rainforest. Reiono also serves as the wilderness home for Kaveu (coconut crabs).
  • Rimatuu. The first of these motus to be inhabited by Europeans, Rimatuu was once a coconut plantation islet with its own village and dock.

The highest points of all of the motus are the tops of the coconut trees! We love the pristine waters and thriving natural habitat of Tetiaroa. It is not only home to the fabulously chic The Brando resort but it is a popular day tripping destination, with a variety of companies in Tahiti offering 1 or 2 day Catamaran trips to the island. Day trippers do not have access to the Brando resort and indeed visit distant motus away from the private resort areas. Tetiaroa will suit those travellers staying on the island of Tahiti and looking to experience a pristine paradise atoll for the day or of course those travellers looking for the ultimate in five star luxury on offer at the private resort, The Brando.

Eco-Friendly Luxury

It was never Marlon Brando’s intention to interfere in the island’s environment. In fact, he was known to nurture the biodiversity of Tetiaroa and did not build until he could create a sustainable kind of luxury.

His wish was granted in 2014 when The Brando opened its doors with a goal to maintain the surrounding natural habitat. And this we really did feel during our time there. With aims to become 100% energy independent, the resort boasts a sea water Air Conditioning system, a huge number of solar panels, a coconut oil power station, low-energy water independence and an innovative wastewater management system for irrigation. There is also an on-site team of ecologists who will teach you all about their job to preserve the atoll.

To protect the reef, the only way to reach the island is via The Brando’s 8-seater private plane operated by Air Tetiaroa which departs from its dedicated terminal at Faa’a International Airport.

One thing that stands out at The Brando is the sheer privacy of the villas. With only 35 on the resort, each villa has its own private plunge pool and secluded beach area. They are so spaced out that you could easily spend your entire stay without seeing your neighbours! Treats include a bottle of Ruinart champagne on arrival, one bicycle per person, an outdoor bath!) and a well-stocked mini bar with unlimited wine. Note that if you choose The Brando’s all-inclusive option, drinks are free-flowing, all meals are included, and 1, 2 or 3 lucky people get to indulge in a 50-minute massage per day depending on whether they are staying in a 1, 2 or 3-bedroom villa. Bliss!

Breakfast is table-served in the Beachcomber Café (either indoor or on the beach) with an abundance of tropical fruits, fresh bread and pastries to start and anything you desire to follow. Both restaurants are à la carte to avoid food wastage and maintain The Brando’s eco stance and don’t forget that if you want your own space, all meals can be served in the privacy of your ‘quarters’.

Taha’a

Often called the Vanilla Island, Taha’a is also known as Raiatea’s sister island, as they both share the same lagoon.

Taha’a is located 230 km to the west of Tahiti and flights to Taha’a actually land on Raiatea. You are then transferred by boat to the nearby island of Taha’a. Vanilla growing is the main activity on Taha’a and wherever you go, to the top of Mount Ohiri, around the winding island road or in to secluded bays, the sweet aroma of vanilla lingers heavily in the air. Taha’a produces more than 80% of Tahiti’s world famous vanilla.  We love the picturesque sandy islet motus scattered around Taha’a’s stunning lagoon. There are an array of pensions with white sand beaches and turquoise lagoon waters lapping at their bungalows! Taha’a is also home to the stunning five star Relais & Chateau Le Taha’a Island Resort & Spa.  Taha’a will suit those travellers looking for an island that has retained its authentic charm. Her attraction is her motus and the turquoise waters that surround them. The lagoon is teeming with marine life and snorkelers will revel in the clear and warm lagoon waters. Taha’a is a giant aquarium and you will delight in the abundance of fish, sharks, eels and coral on display.

Raiatea

Raiatea is the second largest island in French Polynesia and is located a quick 40 minute flight to the northeast of Tahiti island. Regarded as French Polynesia’s most sacred island, Raiatea is full of legends and was the cultural, religious and royal heart of ancient Polynesia. The legends create a mysterious and magical atmosphere in many places on the island. The ancient Marae, Taputapuatea is the largest in Polynesia.  The island is also full of natural wonders with many waterfalls, lush valleys and surrounding mountains, and Raiatea is home to one of the world’s rarest plants, the Tiare Apetahi, found high in the mountains. You will also find Tahiti’s only navigable river, the Faaroa on Raiatea. The island shares her turquoise lagoon with Taha’a allowing you to easily experience the two islands. Raiatea is the sailing hub of The Islands of Tahiti and you will find many yacht charter bases in Uturoa, the island’s main town.  We love the powerful cultural history of this island as well as her preserved natural beauty. Whilst tourism is present on the island, it is mainly small hotels and family pensions so you still have that sense of solitude. Raiatea will suit those travellers looking for a cultural discovery as well as an accessible lagoon playground. She offers a range of both land and nautical activities. We recommend you combine a stay on Raiatea island with a stay on Taha’a, her sister island, to create the perfect beach and culture holiday!

Huahine

Wild and enticing, Huahine is often referred to as the Garden Eden due to her lush vegetation, abundance of tropical fruit trees, untouched beaches and idyllic secluded lagoon waters.

The island is just a 40 minute flight from Tahiti making it the perfect island getaway. Huahine also houses some of the most extensive and best preserved archaeological remains in French Polynesia. With only eight small villages scattered around island, tourists are welcomed with a smile and genuine kindness. The island is often a port of call for passing sailboats given her luminous blue lagoon. Each October Huahine hosts the departure of Tahiti’s largest and most prestigious outrigger canoe race, the Hawaiki Nui and her population increases dramatically!  We love that there is so much to do on Huahine! You can hire a car and drive around the island, horse ride along the beach, cycle into the village centre, swim, snorkel, surf some of the best waves in Tahiti, dive, picnic on heavenly lagoon motus, visit the authentic village markets, go fishing, be baffled by the sacred blue eyed eels, discover legendary sites or simply do nothing at all and soak up the tiare scented air and watch the stunning island sunsets. All of this in a picture perfect setting!  Huahine will suit those travellers looking to connect with the Tahiti of old, where locals wave and smile when you pass them and where life moves to a slower pace. With a range of both hotels and pensions on the island, all accommodation preferences can be met and you can be as connected or as remote as you please. Huahine is quite simply a utopia!

Maupiti

Maupiti is a small island at the tip of the Society Archipelago, about 300 km west of Tahiti.

Maupiti is serviced by air by Air Tahiti, with her airstrip being located on a sandy islet motu, making for a spectacular arrival. There is only one reef pass that allows access to the lagoon and it can be a bit of a hairy entry when the swell is large! Maupiti is a hidden gem of an island with an exceptionally beautiful lagoon. The island is often referred to as the Preserved Island and it is nature that is the absolute ruler as there are no hotels and only a few scattered family Pensions. The preserved serenity and untouched nature of the island attracts sea turtles who lay their eggs on the white sand beaches. Maupiti lagoon is also home to Manta rays and we recommend you experience the unforgettable opportunity of snorkelling with them – simply magic! The island has a striking mountain peak and if you are keen you can hike up to the top to be rewarded with stunning views of the lagoon and even the island of Bora Bora in the distance.  We love the stunning lagoon colours in Maupiti. You feel completely relaxed as you leave behind the hustle and bustle of city life to reconnect with the untouched natural beauty of the island. Although it’s only small you can still keep busy with hikes, bike rides, snorkelling, fishing and of course lazing around in the warm jade waters of the lagoon. Maupiti will suit those travellers looking to disconnect for a while and be happy to stroll along at a different pace. You will need to be love the simplistic pension accommodations and although you may be far from the amenities of a large hotel, your tastebuds will not be missing anything as the local cuisine is fantastic! Maupiti is perfect for those who are searching for an untouched paradise eager to find their own postcard paradise.

Tupai

Tupai’s unique heart shaped form is best appreciated from the air and indeed it is by air you will arrive as it is only accessible by helicopter! Tupai is a small atoll of only 11 km² and is located about 20 km north of Bora Bora. Tupai has no permanent residents apart from some workers in the coconut plantations and there are no hotels nor pensions on the atoll, making it a day trip destination from Bora Bora. Tupai is a private island and can only be accessed by pre-approval. Tupai’s broad coral reef encloses a shallow sandy lagoon fringed with white sandy beaches and coconut palms.  We love the romance of Tupai … after all it is shaped like a heart so how can we not! Tupai’s impossibly soft white sands and turquoise lagoon waters offer a fairy-tale setting to share with that special someone. Helicopter tours are available from Bora Bora and of course it makes for the perfect wedding location!  Tupai will suit those travellers looking for the ultimate romantic experience. It will allow you to leave your footprints in the sand knowing they will be seen only by the passing hermit crabs and nesting birds. A unique paradise location.

The Tuamotu Archipelago

The The Tuamotus comprise 78 sandy atolls over several hundred kilometres. It includes Rangiroa, the largest atoll and a mecca for scuba divers; Tikehau, with its stunning pink sand beaches; Manihi, famous for its pearl farms; Fakarava, an untouched paradise and Makemo, with its amazing

Tikehau

Tikehau is located 300 km north east of the island of Tahiti and flights to Tikehau take just 55 minutes from Tahiti. Tikehau is one of the most beautiful atolls in French Polynesia, it forms an almost unbroken circle, 26 kilometres across, creating a unique ecosystem and the highest concentration of fish of all the atolls. It attracts the majestic Manta Rays who come to the lagoon waters to be cleaned by the little cleaner fish! Tikehau also had a fabulous snorkelling coral garden site as well as many fabulous dive sites where you will see reef sharks, barracudas, dolphins, sea turtles and many more species.  The pink sand beaches take in many bird colonies that have sought refuge in the small islands scattered in the lagoon, including the aptly named Island of Birds, well known for its red-footed gannets and brown noddies.  Tikehau will offer you the opportunity to enjoy the traditional Polynesian way of life, exploring the lagoon, the Island of Birds or the villages, by kayak, foot, bicycle, or sailboat.

Manihi

Manihi is located 200km from Rangiroa and flights to Manihi take 1 hour and 40 minutes from the island of Tahiti. The oval shaped atoll is about 27 km around and 8 km across. The lagoon of Manihi is dotted with coral which attracts an amazing variety and abundance of fish! Manihi offers the experiences of a tropical island, in a heavenly setting where palm trees line the white sand beaches. The lagoon waters are warm, clear and inviting and are well known among snorkelers and divers for their beautiful and diverse marine life. Manihi also has ancient marae sites located at the north and south ends.  The main activity in Manihi is black pearl farming, with more than 60 farms which produce some of the most perfect pearls you can find due to the exceptional climate and environment of Manihi. We love the untouched beauty of many of the motus in Manihi. The fish life is unbelievable and the snorkelling some of the best we’ve done!  Manihi will suit those travellers looking for a quiet, remote and unique experience in a paradise setting! There are no hotels on the atoll and just a scattering of small pensions, allowing you to immerse in the Polynesian way of life.

Rangiroa

350 km north east of the island of Tahiti lies the largest atoll in French Polynesia, Rangiroa. It is the second largest atoll in the world with more than 240 motus in the lagoon and is so large you can fit the entire island of Tahiti in the middle of it! Flights to Rangiroa take just an hour from Tahiti. Rangiroa is the most visited atoll of the Tuamotu archipelago. Thanks to its infinite lagoon, Rangiroa offers a good range of water activities, from line or drag fishing, to visiting black pearl farms or fish parks. Rangiroa is not only blessed with divine beaches and a turquoise lagoon but it has a vibrant underwater world and is a mecca for the world’s divers.  Pensions are in abundance in Rangiroa and are a great way to connect to the locals and benefit from their inside knowledge of the best places to visit! If you are looking for touch of luxury then the Kia Ora Resort enjoys a breathtaking location lagoon-side including Overwater Bungalows.  We love that Rangiroa’s lagoon is teeming with marine life, the diversity is astounding! It is not uncommon on a snorkeling tour in the Tiputa pass to see dolphins, sharks, sea turtles, rays, and of course schools and schools of fish! Rangiroa will suit those travellers who love diving and snorkelling as it offers some of the best diving in the world with lagoon, pass, reef and ocean drop off dive sites. It is also a perfect destination for those seeking a turquoise lagoon a little more off the beaten track than the Society Islands.

Fakarava

Fakarava is the second largest atoll in French Polynesia, is located 450 km from Tahiti and takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes to reach by plane. Like her big sister, Rangiroa, this atoll is famous for its exceptional dive sites, especially the north pass, which at 800m is the widest in Polynesia. The island offers a range of small, family run pensions scattered across the vast lagoon with the majority of the population centred around the village of Rotoava in the north of the atoll and about 4km from the airport. The atoll draws most of its income from pearl farming. There is neither bank nor ATM on the atoll so it’s best to take cash when visiting. Fakarava is a biosphere reserve of UNESCO and home to a diverse range of flora and fauna including rare crustaceans. We love the natural, untouched beauty of the Fakarava atoll and you can’t go past the wooden tables erected in the warm lagoon waters – a perfect place to enjoy a cooling refreshment, feet in the lagoon! If you’re keen to pedal then try the 40km paved road that was constructed to welcome a visit by French President Jacques Chirac… who never actually ended up coming! It’s a quirky and unique attribute of Fakarava!  Fakarava will suit those travellers looking for a rustic & remote getaway to a pristine lagoon. Divers will enjoy the particularly diverse ecosystem with schools of barracudas, turtles, oceanic sharks and dolphins appearing all year. A highlight from July to October is the Manta Rays!

Makemo

Makemo is a lost paradise in the Tuamotu Archipelago, situated 500 km east of Tahiti. It measures 69 km in length and about 17 km width, making it the third largest atoll of the Tuamotu Archipelago. Flights to Makemo take 1 hour and 40 minutes from Tahiti. Makemo is an atoll full of history and legends and home of Moeavo, a legendary warrior of the Tuamotus. Diving with the tropical reef fish, having a picnic on one of the motus or relaxing in the turquoise lagoon are some of the activities you can enjoy on this fabulous atoll. Despite its size, Makemo’s lagoon has only two navigable passes both of which are excellent diving sites for the diversity and richness of their underwater fauna.  There is a little restaurant, a small store and a bakery in the main village. It is also worth visiting the small church decorated in shell chandeliers. We love the exceptional beauty of the Makemo lagoon and her palette of blues and greens. Makemo will suite those visitors looking for a superb lagoon, pristine sand motus untouched by tourism. The locals will welcome you and you are sure to have a unique experience.

Ahe

Located between Rangiroa and Manihi, the Ahe atoll is the perfect destination for those that are looking for an authentic Polynesian experience. Flights to Ahe take 2 hours and 20 minutes from Tahiti, via Takaroa. There is only one pass, Tiareroa, to enter the 70m deep lagoon waters of Ahe. Surrounding the pass are numerous coral drop-offs which make the perfect spot to snorkel or dive with a diverse species of sharks, rays, turtles, napoleon fish, barracudas and more.  These days the locals live mainly from fishing, copra and especially pearl farming which has developed a lot so that Ahe is now renowned as a leader in the pearl farming industry with her pearls having exceptional colours and reflections.  The small village of Tenukupara, which can be reached by boat, is located to the southwest of the island. Ahe has no hotels and just a few guest houses, pensions. Ahe is also known for its unspoilt nature such as the rare forest Pisonia Grandis and the bird island home to a variety of rare species. We love the relaxed off the beaten track feel of Ahe. You really feel like you have left the stresses of the world behind and have nothing to worry about except what fish you will catch for dinner!  Ahe will suit those travellers looking for a unique Polynesian experience, away from the hustle and bustle of large hotels, in simple family run guest houses.

Takapoto

Takapoto is a small atoll in the Tuamotus measuring only 17 km in length and 6.4 km in width. It is located 560 km northeast of Tahiti. Floating in the sublime turquoise waters of Takapoto’s lagoon is a favourite pastime made easy by the lagoon’s high salinity …a perfect destination to relax and do not much at all!  Fakatopatere, the main village on Takapoto, is located at the southern end of the atoll on a narrow strip of land between the ocean and the lagoon. It is picturesque surrounded by the gorgeous tropical Tiare flowers. This charming little atoll, offers a protected turquoise lagoon and white sand beaches, the perfect place to relax and get away from everything.  Alongside some pearl farms, copra and fishing are now the main economic activities of the residents of Takapoto. The Aranui 3 freight and cargo ship stops regularly at Takapoto and the passengers enjoy an authentic picnic experience lagoon-side. We love that you can float for seemingly hours in the high salinity of the lagoon.  Takapoto will suite those visitors looking for an experience like no other as there are no hotels or pensions on the atoll so you stay with the locals in their house. Unique in every way!

Mataiva

Located 310 km north of the island of Tahiti lies the atoll of Mataiva. Mataiva is a natural marvel, located at the northwest end of the Tuamotu Archipelago.Mataiva means "nine-eyes island" because it has nine channels called hoa.  Mataiva is a natural aquarium and has a charming landscape. The atoll's oval-shaped lagoon is 5.3 km wide and 10 km long, and is almost completely surrounded by land. Mataiva has a unique look as when it was being formed the decaying coral in the lagoon became rocky formations between 50 and 300 metres wide, forming about 70 basins. The varying depth of these basins and the clear water gives the lagoon a dazzling blue and green geometric appearance when viewed from above. Quite a sight when you are flying in to land!  Aside from the rocky coral features, there are also several small islets located within the lagoon, covered with coconut palms, which act as a sanctuary and breeding ground for many rare maritime birds. Fishermen can indulge their passion while others will enjoy the tranquillity of the vast stretches of white sand bordering the crystal clear waters around the island.  Mataiva contains phosphate deposits estimated at several million tons, which remain untapped in accordance with the wishes of the local population. Now, most people are devoted to vanilla, fishing, copra and tourism through some guesthouses. We love the splendours and uniqueness of the Mataiva lagoon and the warmth and simplicity of the locals. Mataiva will suit those travellers looking for a relaxed, traditional getaway staying in local pensions, surrounded by a stunning palette of blues.

The Marquesas Archipelago

The Marquesas are located 1,500 km northeast of Tahiti and spread out over 12 islands, of which only six are inhabited.

The Marquesas is home to many archaeological ruins as well as rugged mountains and resplendent valleys. It is also the resting place of Paul Gauguin. The Marquesas is also known for its diving and also for it’s culture including tattoos, sculpture and handicrafts.

The Austral Archipelago

The Austral Archipelago is more than 600 km south of Tahiti and is also known for its authentic Polynesian culture and tradition, and for its archaeological significance.. The archipelago is made of seven islands, five of which are inhabited.  The Australs are a great place to observe humpback whales playing in the waters off-shore. From August to October each year, they come here to give birth. Kite and Windsurfing are also popular in the Australs.

The Gambier Archipelago

The Gambier Archipelago is located more than 1700 km east of Tahiti and are remote, rugged and charming. Mangareva is the only inhabited island and produces the most beautiful pearls in all of Polynesia. Places to visit include the convent of Rouru and the tomb of Maputeoa, the last king of the island, located in the hills above the village, The mother-of-pearl engraving centre, the island of Taravai, with the "ghost village" of Agokono, the church of Saint Gabriel and many other ruins. The village of Rikitea, site of the newly renovated cathedral of Saint Michel de Mangareva, whose altar decorated with pearls and mother-of-pearl is also a special place. On Mangareva you can also visit pearl farms and tour the island by road or by boat.

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