First populated island of the Polynesian triangle, Raiatea claims to be the center of the migratory flow. True cradle of the Maohi culture, the island offers the greatest diversity of activities. Although there are no endless white sand beaches, it can nevertheless, you should definitely explore its green mountains and lush vegetation. Besides, the heart of the island is ideal for hiking, horseback riding, quad biking and 4×4 excursions.
Accessible in about 4 hours, the Mount Temehani is probably the most famous of all for its viewpoint but also because it is the only place where you can find the famous tiare ‘apetahi, an endemic species that refuses to grow anywhere else. Your efforts will be rewarded all along the trail with short breaks at the three gorgeous waterfalls.
Fun fact, Raiatea is the only island in Polynesia to have a navigable river, the Faaroa. Bordered by lush vegetation and prolific nature, it offers a lovely walk in the heart of a charming botanical garden.
Moreover, since Raiatea shares the same lagoon as Taha’a, why don’t you stop on the sister island to snorkel in the coral garden, visit a pearl farm and explore a vanilla plantation?