A sacred island for all Polynesians, Raiatea is said to have appeared first, and it has retained its authenticity and mystical aura. Birthplace of the Ma'ohi civilisation and once seat of political and religious powers in all of Polynesia, the island is home to large number of marae between Mount Temehani and its natural beaches. Discover the remains of various places of worship that tell of an unknown part of history. Among them, a true witness of this prestigious past is the royal marae of Taputapuatea, the largest Polynesian sanctuary, is a vestige of this glorious past. It still stands, facing the sea, with its rows of engraved coral slabs.
It brought together senior dignitaries from archipelagos near and far, their large canoes taking the sacred Ava Moa pass to cross the lagoon. To commemorate their cultural roots, Hawaiians, New Zealanders and Cook Island inhabitants still perform the pilgrimage to the archaeological site, which Polynesians revere.