Raiatea, Society Islands, French Polynesia
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Approximately 3½ Hours
From Raiatea, board a boat and start your excursion gliding over the tranquil lagoon towards Raiatea's sister island of Taha'a. An ancient legend says that Raiatea and Taha'a were originally one island, until a giant eel swallowed a young girl. Possessed by her spirit, the enraged creature broke through the surface of the earth, causing the sea to gush. The impact of the water cut the island in two and Raiatea and Taha'a were created.
Upon arrival on Taha'a, board a 4-wheel-drive vehicle and head to the valleys and mountains of the island. Your guide will point out sights along the way. You'll stop at a beautiful viewpoint and learn the traditional uses of local plants and trees. Sample various local fruits and learn tamure -- typical Tahitian dancing.
The island of Taha'a is often called 'the Vanilla Island' and you will learn about this fragrant spice while visiting a small family-owned vanilla plantation. You will also visit a black pearl farm and discover how these treasures of the sea are raised and harvested. These small cottage industries are part of this small island's economic structure.
Finally, board a motorized outrigger canoe for an enjoyable ride across the turquoise waters of Taha'a en route to a motu (islet) for some snorkeling.
Two boats are used for the transfer -- parties may be split. The boat is not wheelchair accessible. Not advisable for guests with mobility limitations. Waiver must be signed and medical conditions disclosed. Wear your swimsuit under your clothing; bring a towel, sunscreen, a hat and insect repellent. Guests participating in water activities must be competent swimmers and be able to cope with occasional currents. Depth of water is not guaranteed, due to currents and sea level variation. Do not to touch or step on the coral reef, or touch any underwater animals for safety and environmental reasons. Wildlife sightings are likely but are not guaranteed. Sailing on board a boat requires vigilance; guests must be physically and mentally alert to the boating environment and fit enough to negotiate steps and the vessel layout. Boat may be wet; personal belongings should be stored with caution. Tour operates rain or shine; no weather-related refunds are offered. However, the tour operator reserves the right to cancel the tour if weather conditions could lead to safety issues. Itinerary and stops may be reduced or may vary dependent upon weather conditions.