Raiatea - huge mountains and waterfalls everywhere

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Oceania » French Polynesia » Raiatea
September 28th 2018
Published: November 6th 2018
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I'd read that most people skip Raiatea because it isn't known for white sand beaches, but I'm really glad I included it. It reminded me a little bit of Kauai with mountains with huge/dramatic cliffs, waterfalls everywhere, and more green that I think I've ever seen. It's also the site of the Taputapuatea marae - maraes are old religious/political sites where the living interacted with ancestors/gods - this complex was once considered the central temple and religious center of Eastern Polynesia, and was recently made an UNESCO world heritage site.

A separate island, Tahaa, sits right next door to Raiatea and shares the same lagoon - Tahaa is well known for it's production of vanilla beans (vanilla is an orchid, and apparently a moody/high maintenance one).

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