A tour round Raiatea will give you the opportunity to appreciate the island’s natural beauty. You’ll discover the untamed and unspoiled countryside, with majestic mountains and a breathtaking coastline. It’s quite a large island and the round tour will take most of the day, especially if you stop off to admire the scenery. Visit the main town, Uturoa and its market, and admire the street art on the walls, the work of both local and international artists during the Ono’u street art festival. If you feel like some exercise, you can hike to the site known as the three waterfalls. It will take you an hour or so and the countryside is simply beautiful.
The most important site in the whole of Polynesia for both tourists and Polynesians alike, is the marae of Taputapuātea. More than a thousand years old, the marae is classed as a world heritage site by Unesco and is the cultural and spiritual heart of Polynesia. It is the biggest marae in The Islands of Tahiti. Feel free to walk around the site and immerse yourself in the powerful mana which still emanates from the sacred archeological vestiges. Please remember that it is a sacred site and should be visited with respect. Just next to the car park is the entrance to a path which leads up to the top of the hill opposite the marae, from where you have stunning views over the lagoon.
A relatively easy hike through fields and forest that takes about an hour. The trail plunges into a forest of ferns and mape trees (Tahitian chestnut trees) whose fruit when cooked is a snack much appreciated by the locals. You can buy some from roadside stalls or at the market in Uturoa. At the end of the trail, you arrive at the three waterfalls where you can jump in the pool to cool yourself off.