Although it lies between Moorea and Bora Bora, Huahine (pronounced Hu-a-hee-nee or Wha-hee-nee) isn't on the tourist circuit just yet, but it should be. Its near-deserted roads and villages and wooded hills entwined with jungle vines beckon those looking for a little R&R.Huahine is two islands (Huahine Nui and Huahine Iti) joined by a bridge. What passes for action takes place in the main town of Fare (pronounced far-ay) on Huahine Nui, the northern and bigger island. View more
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Explore the marvelous sites and landscapes of Huahine Nui and Huahine Iti in a 4x4 vehicle. A knowledgeable and experienced driver/guide will take you on a cultural "eco" tour, with visits to sites of unique cultural and historical interest. Following are some of the highlights on your excursion:
Your first stop will be to view the ancient stone fish traps that are more than 400 years old and still in use today. They provide an important food source for the villagers.
Your tour will continue to Maeva. Known for its maraes (ancient temples), the village of Maeva was once the royal residence and has been the object of extensive archaeological research. In ancient times, coronations of kings and queens as well as human sacrifices were among the rituals performed at this national marae. According to legend, the marea was built on the place where Princess Hutuhiva first set foot on Huahine after she fled from Raiatea.
After arriving at the village of Faaie, a short boat transfer will take you to the black pearl farm grafting station, built on stilts in the lagoon and surrounded by fish basins. Here you can learn about the process of raising and the art of the famous Polynesian black pearls.
A steep uphill drive through lush tropical forest takes you to the lookout point for a breathtaking view over the crater.
The smaller of the two islands is mostly agricultural. Here you will be introduced to some of the significant flora as well as plantations of vanilla, flowers and pineapple.
Discover the west coast with views of Raiatea, Bora Bora and Tahaa en route to Fare, Huahine's main village. Here you can view one of the village's special attractions, its astonishing blue-eyed eels.
Please note: This tour invovles a moderate amount of walking, however guests must be able to manouvre in and out of the vehicle. The ride may be rough at times and guests will experience bumpy, jerking motions. It is not suitable for guests with back/neck issues.
Your excursion by "Le Truck", French Polynesia's famous local style bus, starts with a friendly introduction from your expert anthropologist/archaeologist guide, who has first hand experience working on the sites you will visit. Your first stop will be to the Maeva village. This village is considered to be one of French Polynesia's most important archaeological areas and is home to the largest pre-historic habitation site in Polynesia. During your walk through the village, you will explore the archaeological sites along the lake shore and the Fare Pote'e Museum. During your tour you will learn about Polynesian origins, traditional society, religion, botany, history and artifacts.
You will continue on to Mata'ire'a hill, just above the Village of Maeva and home to more than 200 stone structures, including marae, agricultural terraces, house foundations, fortification walls and burial platforms.
Continue your tour to a local family run vanilla plantation where you will have the opportunity to purchase various vanilla products. Continuing on, you will stop to see and learn about the 500 year old fish traps that thanks to restoration work are used again today by the people of Maeva Village.
Your return journey to port, will take you through the village of Faie where your guide will feed the island's giant blue-eyed eels that swim in the stream, before enjoying a photo-stop at the Belvedere Lookout, for panoramic views of Huahine Iti and beautiful Maroe Bay
Please Note: This tour requires a moderate amount of walking, approximately .6 miles (1 kilometre) on uneven ground. This tour is not recommended for guests with limited mobility or those who utilise a wheelchair. This tour operates in a 30 seat traditional truck used in Polynesia. This vehicle does not have air conditioning. Guests whould hear a bathing suit under a cover-up and suitable water shoes and bring sun protection and towels from the ship. The minimum age for participation is 6 years old.
After boarding you boat, begin your tour with a snorkeling stop in the unspoiled beautiful lagoon of Huahine. After enjoying the peaceful beauty of the lagoon, continue your tour to the pearl farm. An iconic product of Tahiti, spend time learning how pearls are cultivated. After this fascinating stop, continue on to snorkel among the Coral Gardens of Huahine. These stunning formations lie below the surface of Huahine's magnificent turquoise water. After this second snorkel, a buffet BBQ lunch will be served on a motu ( a very small island). You will have time for beachcoming and swim before returning to the ship.
Please note: This tour involves a moderate amount of activy. Guests must be proficient sqimmers. Swimsuits should be worn under beach-type clothing. Please remember to bring your sunscreen, hat and towel. Although minimal walking is required, guests must be able to manoeuvre in and out of the snorkel boat. Waterproof cameras are highly recommended. Guests may not snorkel if they have consumed alcohol.