Raiatea is the second largest of the Society Islands, after Tahiti, in French Polynesia. The island is widely regarded as the centre of the eastern islands in ancient Polynesia and it is likely that the organised migrations to Hawaii, Aotearoa (New Zealand) and other parts of East Polynesia started at Raiatea.
Located directly between Bora Bora and Tahiti, Raiatea is closely situated to all the wonderful South Pacific islands known to the world as Tahiti Polynesia.
The island has an airport, Raiatea Airport, a commercial port, two marinas and a hospital. There are also colleges which serve as the main educational location for secondary schools for students from the regional islands of Bora Bora, Tahaa, Huahine and Maupiti.
Outside of the main port town, Uturoa, the 105-square-mile island is quiet and lightly populated, yet there is much to do and see along the coast and within its untamed, rugged interior.
Natural beauty aside, Raiatea is known as the sacred isle because it was the center of religion and culture in the olden days of Polynesia
The local tourist infrastructure comprises boarding houses, two marinas, a four star hotel, The Hawaiki Nui and a port for visiting cruise ships.
There is also a fledgling local industry in the maintenance of yachts and shipbuilding.
One thing that sets Raiatea apart from all of the other islands in French Polynesia is that there are no real sandy beaches.
However, those who want to get their feet wet can take a trip to one of the motus or islets that dot the lagoons that circle the island.
Among those are Motu Nao Nao, a stretch of gorgeous white sand, and Opeha Point, known for good snorkeling.
Skirting the same lagoon and protective barrier reef is Tahaa, a tiny island even quieter than Raiatea; you can only get there by boat via ship-sponsored excursions or private tours.
Upon arrival you might see a woman fishing for the days lunch, since hardly anyone works they simply fend for themselves.
It feels a world away, even in the already far reaches of the South Pacific.