As ships are moored or anchored in this port, you will be tendered ashore. most often at Tiputa Pass. Sometimes to Avatoru. Both places offer a few shops, not much more.
Map of the atol.
Watch a destination video.
Ra'iroa gets its name "huge sky" from its great length. It is the largest atoll of Tahiti and her Islands and one of the four largest in the world, with more than 240 motu (islets) separated by more than 100 hoa, small channels that make up its ring of coral and in the center of the inside lagoon is the Paio motu.
The incomparable brilliance and colors of the lagoon from jade-green to purple, completely overwhelm the visitor who discovers this long ribbon of islets way out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
On the northwest side of the atoll is Avatoru, the main village opposite the Fara motu whose lagoon is said according to the legend to have been breached by the two twins Moana-tea ("Peaceful Ocean") and Moana- uri ("Wild Ocean"). The main government buildings are to be found here, including the Mayor's Office, the Post Office, the Pearl Industry Research Center together with a mother of pearl and pearl culture Crafts Center, and two churches.
The other village of Tiputa, situated at the eastern end of the motu, near to the second main reef entry point, has houses ringed with bleached coral and fenced with flowering hedges.
A road surfaced with crushed coral or tar seal links the two villages and their neighborhoods.
Snorkeling and diving are definitely the main attraction here. Otherwise book the glassbottom boat tour.
Because of the poor infrastructure, it's best to sign up for ship-sponsored tours.
There is some form of a local shuttle, but not very regular.
Tours are also sold in the port.
Also at the port: Shuttle to the Paul Gauguin Pearl Farm. The journey is free and gives you a chance to see elements of the strip of land that makes up one of the two main population centers for this widely dispersed atoll.
It pays to compare your cruise line tours here.
Among Tahiti's most popular products are black pearls, tiare and coconut soaps, monoi oil, vanilla beans, shell leis, wood carvings, woven hats and baskets, and the colorful hand dyed pareu fabric worn by the island natives. The public market is a favorite with visitors. Shops usually open about 7:30am and close at 5:30pm (Noon on Saturdays) but there is always a long lunch hour. Except in hotels, all shops are usually closed on Sundays.
Bargaining and haggling over prices in markets and stores is not customary.
1000 CFP francs = 8.38 euros.
Official languages: French, Tahitian.
Some WiFi cafes available.
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