Island of Raiatea
As legend has it, Raiatea and Tahaa were originally one island. That is until a giant eel swallowed a young girl. The eel, possessed by her spirit the enrage, created a brake through the surface of the earth causing the sea to gush. The impact of the water cut the island in two, and Raiatea and Tahaa were created.
Raiatea is the bigger of these two islands. It has a larger population and is more developed. The two islands share a common coral foundation and protected lagoon. Tahaa is approximately 20 minutes north of Raiatea by boat. Raiatea has the only navigable river in French Polynesia. The Faaroa River is considered the original source of migration by the Maori. The Faaroa has great historical significance to Polynesians, as well as Mount Temenani, the birthplace of Oro, one of the principal Polynesian gods. Mount Temenani is also home to the tiare apetahi, a white gardenia endemic to the mountain ecosystem.
> Click here for a map of Raiatea & Tahaa