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Blick auf Maupiti, Bild: DronaVision / shutterstock

Maupiti – the enchanting atoll in French Polynesia

Maupiti is one of the still unknown holiday regions and is perfect for a dream stay away from the usual tourist crowds. Even the geographical location of the atoll sounds magical. Maupiti is one of the Society Islands and is located in the center of the Leeward Islands. The affectionate nicknames also describe this magical island excellently. Maupiti is also called the preserved, the natural, or the untouched.

Also full of magic is the legend about the history of the island’s origins. The neighboring islands of Raiatea and Tahaa were once said to have been of enormous jealousy for the beauty of Maupiti. So the sisters’ island have chased away the small island so that they will no longer be dazzled by its beauty.

How to get to Maupiti Island

Maupiti can be easily reached by plane from Bora Bora, Papeete or Raiatea. The island is located about 280 kilometers northwest of Tahiti. Maupitis Airport is located on the Motu Tuanai. Maupiti Island can also be reached via express ferry several times a week by express ferry.

On the island itself, the infrastructure plays only a subordinate role. The island in the Pacific Ocean has an area of only 11 km². The island therefore has only one road and cars are hardly started. By moped, bicycle and also on foot, all routes can be made on Maupiti. Do as the locals do and explore the islet in a relaxed way.

Maupiti is surrounded by 5 motus. Motu are the only so-called reef islands in Polynesia , which are located off the coast of an atoll. You can visit these motus comfortably by boat.

Living and vacationing on Maupiti

Even though Maupiti visually resembles the island of Bora Bora, it is absolutely not comparable to this island in terms of tourism. Maupiti is almost untouched and pristine. It is not a glamorous island, but offers peace, serenity and pure privacy. Here you can experience the fauna and flora of French Polynesia up close and also get to know the country and its people intensively culturally and socially.

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If you are looking for a South Seas feeling, a Robinson Crusoe island and a holiday for body, mind and soul, then Maupiti is the right place for you. Here, the slowness of being is celebrated and this decelerating flair will surround you in no time.

The island itself is the sight in itself. Here you don’t have to prepare for a sightseeing marathon, but can explore the natural beauty of the island at your leisure.

The highlights on Maupiti Island

Maupiti Mountains
Dreamlike nature in the middle of the ocean, Image: Tibor Scholz / shutterstock

Of course, Maupiti is a highlight for nature lovers. Divers, snorkelers, mermaids and sun worshippers in particular get their money’s worth here. The coral reef with the five moti that nestle around the island scores with a breathtaking underwater world. Other water sports such as kayaking or canoeing are also very popular here. Fishing trips are also available.

But adventurers are not neglected on Maupiti either. The highest elevation on the island is Mont Teʻurafaʻatiu with its height of 380 meters. In Vaiea you can start and hike the highest mountain on the island. About every 100 meters above sea level, a fabulous vantage point awaits you. It offers spectacular views of the island and the ocean. From the summit you can admire the lagoon and the Moti and, on a clear day, you can even see Bora Bora and Raiatea on the horizon.

For climbers, a trip to the Hotu Paraoa Steep Rock is recommended. This towers majestically above Vaiea and is a remarkable 165 meters high. Lush flora lines the path and you will be accompanied by blooming hibiscus and chestnuts. Here, too, you can overlook the upstream Moti from the highest point. However, you should do the climbing tour with a local guide.

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By bike you can also visit the historical sites of the island. To the valley of Haranai you follow a magical path. From the Mormon Church north of Vaiea, all you have to do is follow the course of the river. Stones with carvings and tikis can be seen and the pirogue of the god Hiro is also worth seeing.

The Marea Vaiahu is also a cultural site of the island. This separate square was once used for important ceremonies and cultural gatherings. The Marae Vaiahu is located in the south of Maupiti and its temple is dedicated to the four gods of fishermen.

The most beautiful beaches of Maupitis

Maupiti Beach
Of course, Maupiti also offers beautiful beaches, Image: Piotr Gatlik / shutterstock

The most beautiful beach on the island is Terei’a Beach. It seduces with its powdery white sand and invites you to enjoy sunbathing. From the lagoon you can walk through the shallow water to the offshore motu. The romantic sunsets here are also breathtaking.

But as soon as you are by the sea, you have already reached a true dream beach. Maupiti is a dream beach and where you put your beach towel in the sand, you can enjoy the sun of the South Seas.

Don’t miss the five upstream motus, which are laid out like a ring around Maupiti. From the boat, you can admire the colorful variety of fish in the crystal-clear, turquoise lagoon. Here you will discover small leopard rays and manta rays and the colorful fish of the reef.

The motus themselves can be explored on foot. On Pitihahe, for example, you will find the Moon Goddess, an endemic flower called Tiare Hina, which is exclusive to the site. The Motu Paeao is the smallest of the islands and, in addition to a dream beach, is also home to what is perhaps the oldest cultural site in French Polynesia.