Huahine, French Polynesia

Jun 10, 2018 - National Geographic Orion


As the sun timidly rose behind clouds, National Geographic Orion arrived at one of the best kept secret of French Polynesia, the enchanted Huahine Islands. With so much publicity about the likes of Bora Bora and Moorea, Huahine is not as visited, but it will cast a spell over you from the moment you arrive. Lush forests, untamed landscape, picturesque villages, tropical beaches and colorful reefs are all part of the scenery. Relatively untouched by the modern world, the island offers the unhurried and more serene pace of old Polynesia. Huahine was one of the first islands to be colonized by the ancient Polynesians, with records dating back to the 9th century AD. There seemed to be something special about this place to the ancient Polynesians, as Huahine has the largest concentration of ancient temples, marae, in all of French Polynesia. While Raiatea is  home to the most important marae, the ones in Huahine are a lot more diverse. Once the home of Tahitian royalty, Huahine is considered the cradle of Polynesian culture. This is not surprising, as Huahine is gifted with a rich and fertile soil providing bountiful harvests and is surrounded by plentiful and generous seas. Huahine’s secluded nature and natural beauty enchanted and charmed us all.

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About the Author

Cristiana Damiano

Naturalist

Cristiana was born and raised in Brazil.  Being surrounded by natural beauty and diverse culture instilled her desire for exploration at a young age.  Her passion for wilderness, different cultures and inhospitable regions led her to pursue a career in ecology, oceanography and, ultimately, the pursuit of a Ph.D. in environmental sciences and coral reef ecology in Australia.  Her travels have taken her to the Amazon and Borneo jungles, the higher mountains of Southeast Asia, the Great Barrier Reef and Far Northern Reefs, Papua New Guinea villages, volcanoes in Guatemala and the deep seas in many remote islands around the globe. 

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