Popular Raiatea Shore Excursions
Just beyond Gare Maritime lies Uturoa, an easily walkable town with shops, boutiques, cafes and markets. It may seem sleepy, but believe it or not it is the second largest town in French Polynesia after Tahiti's Papeete! The Protestant church on the northern side of the town's center has a memorial stone dedicated to pioneer missionary John Williams.
Even though there are no beaches, diving and snorkeling are still top options either from a boat or motu. On dry land, horseback riding is a major draw. The Kaoha Nui Ranch, south of Uturoa, operates trips from two hours to a half-day, taking riders along ridges and valley bottoms.
Take a walking tour of the Taputapuatea Archeological Site, part of ancient Polynesia. The area's comprised of 19 marae, including Matahiraterai, Valley of the Night, Oro's Shrine and the Sacrifice Stone. Tours can be booked through Almost Paradise (66-23-64) or take a taxi to the area for a self-guided experience.