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The Islands of Tahiti Receives First UNESCO World Heritage Listing

July 19, 2017 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

Just when you think The Islands of Tahiti couldn’t possibly get any more special, that’s precisely what happens. After a long and committed campaign, the Taputapuatea marae (sacred site) on the island of Raiatea was officially recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site earlier this month*.   

World Heritage Sites are those places deemed to be of special cultural or physical significance, and the Taputapuatea marae is most certainly both. An ancient sacred site where traditional ceremonies were performed, the site features hundreds of stones arranged by Polynesian ancestors – stones that are believed to hold Mana, a source of power and spiritual strength. The marae also marks the first cultural site to be recognized by UNESCO within French Polynesia.

The home of the marae, Raiatea, is just a 45-minute flight from Papeete, Raiatea is the second largest economic centre of The Islands of Tahiti and an important nautical base. The island is expected to benefit from the World Heritage listing through attracting additional visitors looking for travel opportunities that offer authentic historical and cultural experiences. A destination known for its idyllic landscapes, warm and welcoming people, and a vibrant culture, Raiatea is also already a favoured destination for hikers in particular. With a rugged coastline and mountains reaching as high as 1000 metres, the island’s scenic hiking trails offer an abundance of opportunity to discover the island’s incredible ancient civilization – which now includes a site of recognized international significance.

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