Raiatea is the second biggest of the Society Islands in French Polynesia. The main town on Raiatea is Uturoa, administrative hub for the Leeward Islands. The islands of Raiatea and Tahaa are both enclosed by the same coral reef, and may once have been a single island. Raiatea means "faraway heaven". It is considered the most hallowed of the Polynesian Islands and 1,000 years ago was the first island to be settled consequently creating the religious and cultural heart of Polynesia. It is said that any marae (temple) on another island had to incorporate a stone from the ancient Marae Taputapuatea on Raiatea. Raiatea is a huge mountainous volcanic island, second only in size to Tahiti. Its lush green interior makes it the perfect place for hiking or horseback riding. There are a good number of well-maintained trails there.
Take a very informative and historic trip to
Marae at Taputaputaea. It is the biggest and most vital religious site in
Polynesia, and features the ancient temple area positioned on the edge of a huge
Take a scuba diving trip the best kept secret within the Society Islands is Raiatea/Tahaa. There are over 20 dive sites and all within a 15 minute boat ride of the dive center.