Raivavae Island

With all its tiny islets etched out against the sky, where a multitude of sea birds nest, whose strident cries echo to the rhythm of the rise and fall of the surf, and to the song of the distant reef, Raivavae, almost unreal, seems to float within its emerald lagoon. It is, people say, one of the most beautiful spots in the South Pacific and in one of the most natural settings. Its mountains of dark green velvet, whose slopes are covered in ferns reach up and touch the bands of cloud rising up to more than 400 meters in the sky. Its 1,049 inhabitants have built pretty pastel colored houses in five villages where life unfolds simply and peacefully: Rairua, Mahanatoa, Anatonu, Vaiuru and Matotea which are just so many unknown names to the busy outside world. These names are given to cohesive and harmonious communities where the visitor can drop all the stress of modern life between the coming and the going of the cargo ship which is the only way of communication with the outside world. After having crossed the approximately 630km which separates these islands from the island of Tahiti, the Tuhaa Pae III which trades from island to island, ties up at the wharf at Rairua every two to three weeks. And not far from the square around which stand the Mayor’s office, the gendarmerie, the church, and the school, it unloads and then reloads cargo and travelers.

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