Ra’iatea and Taha’a

May 12, 2019 - National Geographic Orion

Ra’iatea is the second-largest of the Society Islands and home to one of the most sacred marae across all of Polynesia, the Marae Taputapuatea. We had the option to visit this complex firsthand, or to kayak through a lush river setting. During lunch the ship repositioned to the neighboring island of Taha’a. The scenery crossed here was gorgeous – bright turquoise waters, distant gray rainstorms, tiny green islets, an outrigger canoe, and numerous sailboats. In the afternoon, we visited a small vanilla plantation, then went to our own private motu paradise, where we snorkeled among colorful fishes in shallow, warm waters.

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About the Author

Berit Solstad


Berit grew up on the rocky shores of Marblehead, Massachusetts. In the tidal cove behind her family’s home she found horseshoe crabs, eels, and feeding frenzies of fishes and birds. Low tides exposed clam flats, crabs, mussels, and snails. She explored this marine environment through changing tides and seasons, nurturing a love of natural history and marine biology.

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