Destination

Maupiti

Good reasons to visit

  • An island with an authentic atomsphere
  • A sumptuous jade lagoon crossed by gray rays.
  • Gorgeous coral gardens where numerous fishes can be observed.
  • Magnificent beaches, especially on the “motu”.
  • A wealth of culture to discover: legendary monuments and archaeological sites.
  • Many interesting and surprising sights to be seen on guided hiking tours: caves, a sanctuary for sea birds, the cliff of 165 m (541 ft) high and large plantations of watermelons and melons.
  • An island very easy to discover by bike.

Do not miss

  • The lagoon and the white sand “motu” (islets) !
  • the royal “marae” of Vaiahu, on the lagoon shore (archaeological site).
  • the petroglyphs of Haranae valley,
  • climbing the summit of the island (Mt Teurafaatiu),
  • Tereia Beach.

Did you know that?

  • Maupiti used to be called Vaitu or Maurua in the past.

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Description

Maupiti is the smallest island of the Leeward Islands. It is located 315km (195 miles) northwest of Tahiti. The island is a miniature version of Bora Bora. Just like its big sister, Maupiti possesses impressive rocky peaks which overhang a shallow jade lagoon. According to legend, two brothers, HotuParaoa and HotuAe, were petrified on both sides of the island, thus forming the main mountains.

The inhabitants cultivate watermelon and “Tiare Tahiti” flowers on the fine sand beaches of the islets which line the translucent waters of the lagoon regularly visited by slender gray rays. Maupiti is a haven of peace, to be discovered by boat, at the mercy of the calm waves or by bicycle or foot as it only covers 4 sq miles. Still off the beaten path of the great flux of tourists since there are no hotels, life unwinds in the traditional manner.

Formerly, Maupiti was an important island, culturally speaking, where numerous chiefs gathered for nomination ceremonies. It was renowned for its fabrication of “penu”, pestles made of basalt, which it furnished to other islands. You can also appreciate the archaeological vestiges and legendary sites on the island, accompanied by a local guide who will recount the customs of yesteryear as well as today…

The airport is found on “motu” Tuanai and transfers to the main island or to the other small islands where a few family pensions are implanted are made by boat.

Things to do


Nautical activities:

  • Boat excursions,
  • ray encounters,
  • whale watching (during the whale season, approximately from July to October),
  • picnic on a “motu” (islet),
  • snorkelling,
  • scuba diving (make sure the centre is open).


Inland activities :

  • Hiking,
  • crossing the lagoon from the main island to Motu Auira wading in 50 cm (1.7 ft) of water (about 30 minutes),
  • walking or bicycling around the island with or without a guide,
  • bike rentals.

Geography

  • Surface area : 4 sq miles
  • Circumference : about 10 km (6 miles)
  • Highest peak : Mount Teurafaatiu (372 m = 1,220.5 ft)
  • Districts : Vaiea (main village), Petei, Farauru and Pauma.
  • Population : approx.1,197 inhabitants
  • Airport : is located on a motu. Lodges come to pick up their clients by boat.

 

Practical information

  • Tourism office(s) : at Maupiti’s Town Hall.
  • Bank(s) : none.
  • Post office(s) : on the north shore of the island, in Vai’ea.
  • Public phone(s) : a few.
  • Shop(s) : there are not many shops.
  • Restaurant(s) : apart from your guesthouse and a few snacks, there is no restaurant on the island.
  • Medical services : 1 infirmary.

Travel tips

Click on the links below to make sure your trip goes smoothly: