Maupiti: The Hidden Gem of French Polynesia




Maupiti: The Hidden Gem of French Polynesia


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Nestled in the heart of the Pacific Ocean, Maupiti is a lesser-known treasure of French Polynesia. Often overshadowed by its more famous neighbors like Bora Bora and Tahiti, Maupiti offers a serene escape for those seeking untouched beauty and genuine island experiences.


Geographically, Maupiti is a small volcanic island surrounded by a lagoon separated from the ocean by a barrier reef.

The island’s highest point, Mount Teurafaatiu, provides a panoramic view of the sparkling lagoon and its scattered motus (islets).

The lagoon itself is a vibrant shade of turquoise, teeming with marine life and coral gardens.


Historically, Maupiti shares a rich Polynesian heritage similar to the other islands in the region.

Ancient marae (temples) can be found on the island, bearing witness to its long-standing cultural traditions and practices.

The island’s name, “Maupiti,” is derived from the Tahitian words “Mau,” meaning true, and “Piti,” meaning echo, reflecting the island’s quiet charm.


Popular activities on Maupiti revolve around its natural beauty and tranquility.

Snorkeling in the lagoon offers encounters with manta rays, while the island’s sandy beaches, particularly Tereia Beach, are perfect for relaxation.

Hiking trails lead to archaeological sites and viewpoints, offering both cultural insights and scenic vistas.


Maupiti has a small population of around 1,200 residents, most of whom rely on fishing, agriculture, and tourism for their livelihood.

When to Go

The ideal time to visit Maupiti is during the dry season, from May to October. The weather is pleasant, with less rainfall and humidity, making it perfect for outdoor explorations.

How to Get There

Maupiti is accessible by air with regular flights from Tahiti. Additionally, there are occasional boat services from Bora Bora, but they are less frequent.


Manta Ray Cleaning Station: A unique spot in the lagoon where manta rays come to get cleaned by smaller fish.

Motu Paeao: A picturesque islet perfect for picnics and snorkeling.

Marae Vaiahu: An ancient temple site that offers insights into the island’s cultural heritage.

Mount Teurafaatiu: The island’s highest point, providing breathtaking views of the lagoon and surrounding motus.

What You Should Know

Currency: French Pacific Franc (XPF).

Language: Tahitian and French.

Safety: Maupiti is a safe and welcoming destination. However, as with any travel, it’s wise to be cautious and respect local customs and guidelines.

FAQs about Maupiti

Is there accommodation available on Maupiti?

Yes, Maupiti offers a range of accommodations, from guesthouses to small lodges. However, it’s advisable to book in advance due to limited options.

Are there guided tours available on the island?

Yes, local guides offer tours that cover the island’s natural and cultural highlights, providing deeper insights into Maupiti’s beauty and heritage.

Is Maupiti suitable for families?

Absolutely! Maupiti’s calm and friendly environment makes it a great destination for families. However, it’s essential to plan activities that suit all age groups.

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