We love Maupiti. You cannot get more relaxed than cycling around this beautiful little island. Maupiti is so remote with only a small airport, and such a small airstrip that you feel you will land in the lagoon. By sailboat the pass can be difficult to enter with big waves and strong current, so you need to check the conditions well before leaving Bora. But once you are in, what a lagoon…all the colours of turquoise and blue and very few sailboats.
- Surface area : 10 sq km (4 sq miles)
- Circumference : about 10 km (6 miles)
- Highest peak : Mount Teurafaatiu (372 m = 1,220.5 ft)
- Districts : Vaiea (main village), Petei, Farauru and Pauma.
- Population : 1,286 (2017)
Maupiti has always fought against mass tourism, so the majority of accommodation is in small bungalows and home-stays, which is really nice as it’s just so friendly. The pace of life is so ‘tranquil’ that you get the impression everyone is on holiday.
The climb up Mount Teurafaatiu will give you the best view in all the South Pacific. It’s about a two hour hike up to the summit at 380 metres. The best time to go is early morning, it gets hot! The colour of the lagoon is best in full sunlight. We have been for sunset too, but it gets dark on the way back down…and as we didn’t think to take a torch, it’s a bit creepy hiking downhill in the dark, the locals thought we were completely mad, especially with Juliette in the backpack!
The trail is unmarked, but everyone on the Island knows about it and will point you in the right direction. It starts just opposite the Tarona Restaurant sign post. There’s a nice view of the town half way up and as you get closer to the top there’s a few sections where you need to climb up rocks. It is quite steep, but there are ropes to help you climb up. When I say quite steep…its shaky knee steep if you don’t have a head for heights…but well worth the effort. When you reach the top the 360 degree panorama is out of this world. Do it…you won’t regret it!
Polynesian friendliness is in abundance here. We spent an unforgettable New Year’s Day on the Island one year when returning from Maupelia. We took with us, on the sailboat, friends from Maupelia to make a surprise visit to celebrate with their family in Maupiti. They have a New Year tradition of spraying you with perfume and flour. Everyone walks around the Island going from door to door wishing each other good health and prosperity for the New Year, getting whiter and whiter and smelling stronger and stronger.
We have very good friends on the Island, especially on the outer motu where we have been treated as family and made so welcome. They sent to Raiatea by plane two magnificent, enormous necklaces of white Tahiere flowers as a surprise wedding gift that made us feel very special.
Our daughter’s umbilical cord is buried here under a little fruit tree given to us by friends in Raiatea as we sailed away. It’s Polynesian custom to bury the whole placenta….but placentas don’t travel well!
It’s just the perfect spot for snorkelling with manta rays, kitesurfing in pefect conditions, canoe trips between motus. You can even walk at one point right across the lagoon to the outer motu on the reef. Here we learn’t how to fish Varo (A type of crayfish with scissor pincers) from little holes in the sand.
You shouldn’t miss a trip to Maupiti if visiting the Leeward Islands. It’s THE place to go on holiday when you are already living in paradise, that’s just how great it really is.
- Maupiti Village – It’s the perfect place to stay on the motu by the pass of Maupiti. On one side of the Island you can watch the ocean waves breaking on the reef and on the other you can kitesurf from the beach into the beautiful calm lagoon. Ondine is a wonderful cook and will look after you as part of the family. Tel: (689) 40 67 80 08
- Maupiti Residence – Here there are two bungalows on the beach. It’s situated on the main island and has everything you need for the perfect holiday. Canoes, windsurf, bikes, quadbike. They have a super BBQ spot. It’s heavenly. Tel. (+689) 40 67 82 61 email@example.com
- If you are arriving by sailboat you can contact Gerald on (689) 40 74 58 76, who lives in Maupiti and is the owner of the ferry ‘Maupiti Express’ (which no longer goes to Maupiti, but still serves Raiatea, Ta’haa and Bora Bora). He will be able to tell you the condition of the pass and whether it’s possible to get in.