Mystical, captivating and alluring, Huahine
is truly a sight to be seen. This incredibly lush and culturally preserved haven is known as the "Garden Island," and rightfully so. Its green hillsides and thriving jungles will call to your inner explorer, while the mystery and intrigue surrounding its ancient temples will place you under its spell.
Huahine is part of the Leeward Group of Society Islands. It's a 40-minute flight from Tahiti
and close to Raiatea
and Bora Bora
. The island is divided into two parts: Huahine Nui (big) and Huahine Iti (small). These two sections are naturally connected by a sandspit, which is visible during low tide.
Huahine is home to just 6,000 friendly Polynesians.
They pride themselves on maintaining what they genuinely believe is the most beautiful of all the other islands. These friendly locals are very welcoming to their visitors, although, truth be told, Huahine is far less frequented than any of the other Society Islands. Perhaps that's what makes Huahine one of Tahiti's best-kept secrets. And for those that visit, it often becomes their favorite island.
There are two resorts on Huahine and each is as unique as the very island they call home. The first is the Te Tiare Beach Resort
. This hotel is only accessible by boat, making it a very private yet luxurious escape from everyday life. Secondly, there's the brand new Maitai Lapita Village.
This resort was built around a carefully preserved ancient village and has its own dedicated museum in the hotel lobby. If you're seeking a non-resort experience, there are also a few establishments known as 'pensions' scattered throughout the island.
Ancient Archaeological Sites
If you're an archaeology enthusiast, Huahine is your paradise. The island is home to the largest concentration of ancient marae (sacrificial temples) in all of Polynesia. Some sites are believed to date back to the original ancestors of the Tahitians, the Lapita people, around 700 AD. ...
Near Maeva village, you will find the largest stone temple with over 200 structures and many more still undiscovered. You can also climb Matairea Hill and encounter more than 26 historical sites during your trek. History buff or not, book a tour with Paul Atallah from Island Eco Tours and chances are, you will find an appreciation for the history of the Polynesian culture and their present-day efforts to preserve these ancient sites. While you'll notice the locals appreciate a slower-paced, simpler way of life, Huahine is still a very active island. There are many opportunities to invigorate your senses and get your adrenaline going. For starters, Huahine has some great surf spots. Other popular activities include guided Jet Ski excursions and adventurous horseback rides. La Petite Ferme is by far one of the best horseback riding operations in Tahiti.
We promise, Huahine will not disappoint. Should you find yourself contemplating a visit, here's a little tip: Don't just make it a quick trip. Give yourself plenty of time to not only unwind, but to also appreciate the historical value of your surroundings.