Often referred to as Polynesia's best-kept secret, Huahine island offers turquoise waters, white-sand beaches, and eight quaint villages with hospitable islanders. Huahine is the least visited and developed island in all of French Polynesia making a Huahine vacation a true getaway. Just like its neighbor Tahiti, Huahine is referred to and thought of as a single island. However, Huahine is composed of two islands, Huahine-Nui and Huahine-Iti (Big and Little Huahine). These two islands are conveniently connected by a bridge which makes for easy exploring of the lush landscape each of the islands has to offer.
Huahine island is also known as the “Garden Island” due to the variety of flora, fauna, and scenery the island has to offer. There are hundreds of varieties of flowers, tropical foliage, and jungle scenery throughout the interior of the island. On your Huahine vacation be sure to visit either Ariiura Garden Paradise, a botanical garden, or Eden Parc to experience the beautiful greenery and tropical flowers. The Eden Parc Three Valley View Trail takes hikers along Huahine's three bays of Fiti, Maroe and Bourayne and supplies them with unforgettable vistas. The splendid beaches on Huahine also provide relaxation and sun to visitors. The large expanse of long, white-sand beaches are relatively undeveloped and give travelers the feel of being on a private beach. But be aware, it is accepted and quite common to go topless on the beaches of Huahine.
Fare Village is the largest town on Huahine island and is the starting point for the majority for many of the guided tours the island has to offer. Land and lagoon tours, historical tours, and bus tours around the island all depart from Fare Village. You can observe the local routine of fishermen bringing in their daily catch and dine in the restaurants that are favored by locals. Fare Village is also a great starting point for Huahine travel. In the village, you can rent scooters, bikes, cars, and boats to explore the island or sign up for a guided bus tour.
Although exploring the landscape could occupy a visitor for weeks, there are numerous other things to do on Huahine. The island offers various water sports, including sailing, snorkeling, and surfing. Kitesurfing is the most unique activity that visitors will find. It allows vacationers to be pulled along the water on a kiteboard while being attached to a kite. Providing a greater adrenaline rush than regular surfing, visitors can experience kitesurfing just south of the village of Parea. Jet skiing is also quite popular on the island and visitors are able to take a guided jet ski tour around both islands to discover the lagoon, bays, and all Huahine has to offer. Huahine travel would not be complete without a dive to the untouched waters surrounding the island. Less discovered than the other diving areas throughout French Polynesia, Huahine is an ideal spot for beginner and intermediate divers. Divers can observe yellow coral gardens, reef fish, and grey reef sharks while learning the basics of diving.
During your Huahine travel, be sure to visit the archaeological ruins and restored sites that are scattered throughout the island. Huahine has the largest concentration of pre-European marae (ceremonial temples) as well as many restored ancient royal sites. These marae provide insight into the ancient past of the Polynesian people and are a definite stop for history buffs. You can hire a local guide to lead you through these historical areas and explain the background of religion and the myths that surround these marae. In addition to these ruins be sure to visit the Fare Potee on your Huahine vacation It is a recreated gathering place for the community to show how it looked in ancient times. It also houses a museum that is filled with history and artifacts from the island.
Another great activity for your Huahine itinerary is a visit to one of the numerous black pearl farms that are scattered around the island. Only accessible by boat, visitors can take a guided trip and boat tour to the hanging oyster strands in the lagoon. You can learn about the history of the pearl and about the processes of cultivation and harvesting of these beautiful collectibles. But don't be fooled, most of these pearls are not a true black color as they are extremely rare to come by. The pearls that are harvested are typically silver, charcoal or are comprised of numerous different colors that give off a dark hue.
The isolated resorts and hotels that are scattered around Huahine provide tranquility and relaxation for every visitor. Offering some of the best dining options in the South Pacific, these resorts and hotels on Huahine combine gourmet food with traditional Polynesian shows and music performed by locals. Some of the most popular resorts include the Relais Mahana and Te Tiare Beach Resort where you can opt to stay in an overwater bungalow or a beachfront bungalow to wake up to the beauty of Huahine island each morning. There are also small pensions throughout the island if you are traveling on a budget.
Huahine island is a true relaxers paradise bursting with beautiful beaches, Polynesian history, and unforgettable scenery.