Explore the evolution of Raiatea's spectacular terrain, ancient culture and local way of life during this orientation tour that navigates a course around the island.
Boarding your air-conditioned coach at the pier, you will first cross through the main town of Uturoa; the cultural and administrative center of Raiatea. Shortly after leaving town, you will see Mount Temehani, on the top of which grows the Tiare Apetahi, unique in the world. This famous flower that has the shape of an open hand, doesn't grow anywhere else and is very near and dear to the hearts of the locals.
Your scenic drive will then pass along the coastline, giving you a glimpse of Polynesian daily life before continuing on the inland road of Raiatea that connects the East coast with the South of the island. This road traverses a giant bamboo forest and along the way you will see plenty of lush tropical vegetation, with your guide pointing out various plants, trees, flowers and fruits along the way. After crossing the village of Fetuna, where the main activity is family fishing, a refreshment stop will be made and then it's on to the Marae of Tainuu (open-air temple). Here, you will learn some traditional customs from the Polynesians and about the historical significance of the marae. Time permitting, a short stop at a pearl farm/shop will be included before returning to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes limited walking, mainly at the guests' discretion during the stops. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the coach and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Light-weight clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; insect repellant; a bottle of water from the ship; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.