Both Raiatea and Tahaa atolls offer a choice of things to do: Snorkel the shallow waters of sandy motus, explore the lush, rugged jungle-clad coast of Raiatea on a scooter or bicycle and enjoy a picnic for two on a secluded motu where the only footprints you’ll see are your own.
Later, walk in the footsteps of ancient Polynesians at a sacred marae or charter a yacht for a sunset cruise.
Choose from an array of great diving sites, including: Little Caves and the Mounts of Céran, both off Tahaa's eastern coast; off the Hawaiki Resort along the northeast coast; at Teavapiti Pass, which offers good drift diving alongside rays and gray-, white- and black-tip sharks; and drift dive Miri Miri Pass to see healthy soft corals and eagle rays.
Perhaps day or night-dive the wreck of the S.S. Norby, a three-masted Danish schooner that sunk off Uturoa in 1900.
Regarded as the best wreck dive site in French Polynesia, the Norby attracts numerous marine life including black coral and around 23 species of nudibranchs
Simply jump into the warm water from your overwater bungalow or take a lagoon excursion to a nearby motu. The calm and secluded lagoon is home to a wide variety of reef fish and plant life.
Since fish-feeding is practiced, the lagoon attracts large schools of eels, perches, triggerfish, red snappers, silver jacks, tunas, red runners and reef sharks.
For some of the best snorkelling, try the coral gardens that lie off Le Taha'a Private Island & Spa. Or snorkel beside the overwater bungalows at Hawaiki Nui Hotel, that lies perched atop a steeply dropping reef face.
Charter a yacht with or without a crew for a day or longer and explore the popular cruising grounds around Tahaa. Several well-known yacht charter companies are based here, including The Moorings and Sunsail Yacht Charters.
Follow ancient footpaths to the plateau atop Mount Temehani (792m), where you can discover the rare, five-petal tiare apetahi flower that grows only on the slopes of Mount Temehani.
Look, but don't touch – it's against the law to pick this indigenous white flower found only above 396m.
Saddle up a horse at Kaoha Nui Ranch for a half-day ride through the scenic valley and mountain ridges behind the ranch.
The best buys are found in Utoroa, the only town of size on either island, where charming shops and markets crowd the waterfront area offering a variety of handicrafts from local artisans.
Latest update: Things to do on Raiatea and Tahaa: 24 July, 2019
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