Raiatea

Travel Guide Oceania Polynesia French Polynesia Society Islands Raiatea

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Introduction

Raiatea is the second largest of the Society Island of French Polynesia. Raiatea is unique among the Tahitian Islands. It and its little sister Tahaa and far removed from the more touristy islands like Moorea, Bora Bora, and so forth. Raiatea is the administrative center of the Western islands and so has some actual businesses working and going on. There are places to stay and it is the place to see where the ancient Hawaiians left from to colonize Hawaii.

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Geography

The islands of Ra'iātea and Taha'a are enclosed by a single coral reef, and may once have been a single island. Ra'iātea is both the largest and most populated island in the Leeward Islands, with a land area of 167.7 km2 and a total population of 12,024 inhabitants at the August 2007 census. The population density is 72 inhabitants per km². The largest commune of Ra'iātea is 'Uturoa on the north side of Ra'iātea and has a population of nearly 10,000.

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Weather

Located within the tropics, the climate of Raiatea is tropical. The average temperatures are around 28 °C to 32 °C during the day and still well above 20 °C at night. The hotter months are between November and April and this is also the wet season with much more rain compared to June to September. Occasionally tropical storms hit some of the islands during this time, though certainly not every year.

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Getting There

By Plane

Raiatea Airport (RFP) offers flights with Air Tahiti to/from Bora Bora, Huahine, Maupiti and Tahiti.

By Boat

  • Vaeanu operates the Pape'ete-Huahine-Ra'iatea-Taha'a-Bora Bora return trip, leaving Pape'ete on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 5:00pm and from Bora Bora on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.
  • Hawaiki Nui also travels the Society Islands circuit, and has two departures a week (Tuesday and Thursday at 4:00pm).
  • The Aremiti 3 travels from Papeete on Monday and Friday for Huahine and Raiatea.

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Getting Around

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.

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Eat

Food here is expensive. The best and cheapest food can be found a block off the dock in the main city. Expect a can of Coke-Cola to cost $4, plan for food expense accordingly.

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Accommodation in Raiatea

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Raiatea searchable right here on Travellerspoint.

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This is version 6. Last edited at 3:53 on Aug 2, 17 by sleepBot. 3 articles link to this page.

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