Explore this dramatic landscape of volcanic coastline and colossal mountains to discover charming seaside towns and ancient ruins.

Trek through thick forests and marvel at one of the oldest temples in French Polynesia on Raiatea. Enjoy spectacular views over the Pacific Ocean or join a fishing charter around the deep natural lagoon.

Base yourself in the capital of Uturoa on the island’s northeastern coast. This quiet town has souvenir shops and excellent cafés and restaurants. Watch boats going to and from the harbor. Enjoy a dinner of fresh fish, accompanied by a spectacular sunset.

With so much rugged terrain just a short distance from the town, Raiatea is a great place to have an adventure hike. Mount Temehani is an extinct volcano that rises out of the northern side of the island. As you begin the ascent, look for pretty tiare apetahi flowers with pleasant aromas. This is the only place on earth where these tiny white flowers grow. Reach the summit to enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view. Gaze over the neighboring island of Tahaa to the north or farther to the sparkling reefs and green hills of Bora Bora.

Head to the southeastern part of the island to admire the untouched remains of the Marae Taputapuatea. Set on a tranquil area of coastline, this is a large outdoor temple. Admire this magnificent structure and see sculptures and statues carved from thick volcanic rock.

With the shimmering Pacific Ocean encircling you, organize a boat trip across the lagoon that forms a ring around the island. Catch tuna and mackerel or just enjoy stunning views back toward the island from the deck.

Raiatea is the second largest of the Society Islands located in central Polynesia. Uturoa has several hotels as well as private villas. Fly to Pape'ete on Bora Bora. From here, take a separate 45-minute plane transfer east to Raiatea. July and August are the busiest months for travel but expect warm weather year-round.

Guide to Exploring Raiatea

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