Private Faaroa River Boat Tour to Taputapuaeta
Raiatea, French Polynesia
- Faaroa River: Cruise down the only navigable river in French Polynesia; enjoy views of the mountains among wild hibiscus, bamboo groves, chestnut, mango, coconut, and banana trees.
- Taputapuaeta Marae: Visit the most sacred marae (open-air temple) in Polynesia, founded by the legendary King Hiro – the site of human sacrifices to the war god and the launching point to discovery journeys to other islands.
- Iriru motu: Stop and relax on this beautiful, tiny island, where you can enjoy fresh fruits and other refreshments, kick back and sunbathe, or use the included snorkeling equipment and go exploring in the water.
- Private group = more personal: Share your experience with people you know; enjoy the luxury of deeper interaction with your guide and a more flexible itinerary.
- Roundtrip transportation: Hotel pick-up and drop-off from most local hotels is included; a small fee may apply at some locations.
About This Raiatea Tour
Many tours can take you down a river or to a pretty little island. But this tour makes a stop at a rather unusual destination: the birthplace of a god.
His name is Oro, and in French Polynesia he's the god of war (unless there are no wars, in which case he lays down his spear and becomes the god of fine arts). He was the special guardian, protector, and supporter of those who worshipped him.
Oro is said to have been born at the edge of Opoa Bay, where the marae known as Taputapuaeta was built to honor him. This marae became the most sacred and most important of all such worship sites in Polynesia; it was here that major tribal meetings and ceremonies took place, and where the ancient explorers who populated Polynesia launched their journeys.
During normal times, Oro was satisfied with the sacrificing of pigs; but in times of war, he demanded human sacrifice. In 1777, Captain James Cook witnessed one of these sacrifices. The prisoner was held tightly on the ceremonial platform while the priest chanted and prayed. He then grabbed a mace and ended his life.
You probably wouldn't want to be in the front row.
As the god of fine arts, Oro inspired a cult called the Aeroi, whose members are still renowned performers and entertainers.
War and fine arts. That makes Oro quite a diverse god. And you get to see his birthplace.
In the beginning
The name Raiatea, meaning "faraway heaven" and "sky with soft light," is not the original name of this island. Polynesians believe that this is the place where their culture began; it was the center of their religion and society 1,000 years ago. Before a young queen decided to rename the island to honor her mother (Rai) and her father (Atea), this island was the legendary Havai'i, also known as Hawaiki.
We pick up and drop off at any of these locations: All hotels and pensions except Opeha or from Fare Vai Nui (extra charge). Tell us your preferred location at checkout to confirm. Look for our representative with the tour's name on a sign.
Be careful not to touch or step on the coral reef, and avoid touch any underwater animals for safety and environmental reasons. Wildlife sightings are likely but never guaranteed.
Itinerary and order of the visited sites may change without prior notice according to weather conditions or other circumstances.
This tour involves a moderate amount of walking, some of which is over gravel, sand and dirt paths that can be kind of natural. The nature of the terrain makes it unsuited to travelers with limited mobility and those who use a wheelchair.
Private Tour, Adventure, Wilderness/Wildlife, Beach, Water Sports
12-seat covered speed boat
Refreshments and fresh fruits, snorkeling gear (mask & snorkel only)
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Suitable for travelers 3 years of age and older.
Special Medical Restriction
All travelers must be able to swim and maneuver in and out of the boat. If you have knee or hip problems, have recently suffered an injury, or you are pregnant, this may be a challenge for you.
Any swimming is at each participant's own risk.
Non-refundable if canceled within 7 days of requested services.
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