Raiatea is one of the Society Islands. Raiatea is unique among the Tahitian Islands. It and its little sister Tahaa are far removed from the more touristy islands like Moorea and Bora Bora. Raiatea is the administrative centre of the Western islands and so has more businesses and industry. There are places to stay and it is the place to see where the ancient Hawaiians left from to colonise Hawaii.
Use the Air Tahiti service from Tahiti or another island. You will probably have short stops at Bora Bora, Moorea and some of the other islands depending upon cargo and people.
The airport is on the island of Raiatea, about 10 min by car from the main city Uturoa. Taxis and trucks are waiting at the airport. A shuttleboat service operates between Raiatea and Tahaa twice a day from Monday to Friday. You will have to hire a private taxi-boat at weekends and holidays.
You can walk a few places on Raiatea but it will be hot and tiring. It would be better to rent a scooter for a day or to get a guided tour.
- Taputapuātea. The political, ceremonial and funerary centre of the Mā'ohi people, which together with the surrounding valleys, lagoons and coral reefs have been listed as a world heritage site. Free.
- Take a guided tour.
- The river tour is worth the time.
- The day-long excursion to Tahaa is well worth the money.
- Rent a scooter and explore the ruins of the temple where the Hawaiians left from.
- Snorkel and dive all you can.
- Relax. Life is slower here. Don't expect anyone to be in a hurry.
Food here is expensive. The best and cheapest food can be found a block off the dock in Uturoa.
Look for snack restaurants where you can have dinner for 1000-1500 F (francs).