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Rapa: the most remote island in French Polynesia

The island of Rapa (40 km²) is what remains of a large volcano that currently reaches a height of 650 meters above sea level. This island is the most remote inhabited island of French Polynesia. In fact, it is located about 1,420 km south of Tahiti. The population of Rapa is made up of 482 inhabitants (2007 data) all concentrated in the village of Haurei. The first European to visit Rapa was Captain George Vancouver, who arrived there in 1791.

Rapa is characterized by a deep bay, the bay of Ahurei, which from the east coast reaches to the center of the island, at the end of the bay there is the small islet of Tapui. Along the wild northern coast there are other smaller bays, including the bay of Agairao and the bay of Akatamiro. The west coast is characterized by high cliffs, especially in the vicinity of Mount Perau (650 meters) which is the highest peak on the island. Small islets are located near the coasts especially near the eastern and southern coasts.

This island is one of the most spectacular Pacific islands. In fact, the landscape of the island is characterized by mountains, up to 650 meters high (Monte Perau) that surround the magnificent bay of Ahurei, and by jagged coasts overlooking the sea. On the island there are numerous ruins of fortifications called by the inhabitants “pa” or “pare”, they are located in particular on ridges and steep places.

About 70 km south-east of Rapa are the small uninhabited islets of Marotiri which represent the southernmost land of French Polynesia. There are 4 uninhabited islets 70 km south-east of Rapa, the highest point is a pinnacle of 113 meters on the Îlot Sud.


Unfortunately, there is no airport on the island so Rapa can only be reached with the rare freighters that depart from Papeete.

The climate of the Austral islands.

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