Ancient cultural, religious and royal heart of Polynesia, Raiatea was, according to legend, the birthplace of the gods. From here the great canoes set out for Hawaii and New Zealand, entire tribes sailing off to colonize new shores. Long ago the people called the island Havai'i ("the homeland") and believed it was the place where spirits live on after death. And it is only here, on the slopes of sacred Mount Temehani, that one can glimpse the rare tiare apetahi, a flower found nowhere else on earth.