Huahine

Least explored of the Society Islands, Huahine is a happy, peaceful place, where the traditional Polynesian way of life continues in spectacular scenery that rivals any on Moorea or Bora Bora. Lush with vanilla plantations, banana groves, and taro fields, Huahine is actually two islands basking in one lagoon, encircled by a coral necklace. On its shores, coconut palms sprout in untamed profusion, separated from the sea by a narrow band of powdery white sand.

Considered to be the cradle of ancient Polynesian culture, Huahine is home to many of Polynesia 's most important archaeological sites. Fascinating artifacts can be found here, at Maeva, a former royal village, with its restored marae (sacrificial temples). In a nearby sacred lake, 300-year-old stone fishing traps, still in use today, can only be removed by descendants of the Tahitian royal family.

Fare, the main town, is a sleepy port which springs to life for the arrival of inter-island ferries. Then truckloads of copra, pigs, taro, bananas, and melons are brought to the quay for market day. Local people mingle with arriving passengers, all enjoying the bustling activity along the waterfront.

With some of the most hospitable people in the Pacific, Huahine is a tranquil paradise which retains the best of old Polynesia.