After having tasted the delights of Tereia Beach, it is time to turn inland. The island is indeed very mountainous and hiking in Maupiti becomes as much a must as diving with manta rays. Several mountain ranges cross the island and give travelers the opportunity to reach their peaks to enjoy an extraordinary view of the lagoon. Climbing Mount Teurafaatiu is one of the best things to do in Maupiti. It may not be the highest point, but it is a magnificent hiking experience in to have there and it has a breathtaking finale.

An Awesome Excursion: Climbing Mount Teurafaatiu

To reach the top of Mount Teurafaatiu and to come back down, it is necessary to count with a maximum walking time of 2h30 (without stops). With more than 360 m of difference in altitude, the excursion can be considered relatively difficult.

The departure of this hike in Maupiti is from the village of Vaiea, on the west coast of the main island. About 200 m north of the city hall, a shaded trail leads quickly to a communication antenna post that you will have to bypass on the left. There, a sign indicates the beginning of the hike.

The ascent is composed of different levels more or less spaced from each other. The first one is easily reachable from the starting point and gives a very nice view on the village and the lagoon. As you go up, the path becomes steeper and steeper. On the last stretch to the summit, the terrain becomes more vertical. The slope can sometimes be so steep that some rocky passages must be crossed with the help of ropes.

The view from Mount Teurafaatiu Ponton de la pension Tautiare Village Maupiti” par peterfatson is under license CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

At the top, the panorama is just fantastic. It is a 360° view on the lagoon, the ocean and the neighboring island of Bora-Bora. If the visibility is good, you can see the distant islands of Raiatea and Tahaa on the horizon. The color gradations are sumptuous and the “postcard” effect is spectacular. Sitting on the rocky pebble of Mount Teurafaatiu, the contemplation of the islands takes all its meaning. Take many photos before going back down to the village.

Our Recommendations Before Hiking In Maupiti

A Difficult Last Section

If the ascent from the village of Vaiea remains on the whole relatively accessible, the last third of the trail with ropes is much more problematic. Some very steep passages are quite technical, so that the route to the summit is not recommended for young children under 10 years old. Still on this last third, people prone to vertigo may have difficulties to continue the ascent, or even to come down afterwards. On the other hand, the summit is quite windy and not secured.

Therefore, this hike requires a normal physical condition. It is also necessary to have good walking shoes. Nevertheless, the youngest or less athletic hikers can still enjoy a magnificent view at the first level, which remains accessible to all.

Considering The Weather Conditions

Before hiking in Maupiti, it is important to keep in mind that the hot temperatures are often more challenging than the walking itself. In other words, travelers must learn to live with the time and pace of Polynesia. Between May and August, the sun rises around 5:30 am and even before 5 am in June. This is why it is preferable to start your excursions around 6 am. This way you will enjoy the freshness of the morning and a purer light. This will also allow the best photos. In addition, leaving before 7am has the advantage of meeting fewer people during the ascent and possibly being alone at the peak.

A view on the Maupiti lagoon

But even if you leave at a very early hour, you will not be able to avoid the heat which rises very quickly from 8 am. Therefore, it is imperative to bring enough water for each person in the group. Of course, one should think of taking with him a headgear (cap, hat) as well as a solar protection. You should also remember to bring a small snack.

If it is raining or if it has rained during the night, it is better to give up the hike. The ground would be slippery and the undertaking would become too dangerous. In any case, ask your hosts in the pensions of the island.

A Complementary Alternative: The Tour Of The Island

Hiking in Maupiti can take on a whole new dimension when you undertake a walking tour of the island. This walk on the coastal road is a peaceful experience to meet Maupiti and its inhabitants. It will be the occasion to discover some curiosities like the strange Sea Palace, a house covered with coral and shells. On the south coast, you will find several archaeological singularities, such as the royal marae of Vaiahu. The remnant of the  stone throne is still visible.

A few hours are enough, although this experience can be enhanced with breaks for swimming, eating or contemplation. Along the way, there are drinking fountains at regular intervals. This hike is both an excellent alternative and a superb complement to the ascent of Mount Teurafaatiu.

Want to hike up the mountains?

Exceptional excursions are possible on some of the other islands of the archipelago. Extraordinary and unforgettable panoramas await you on Moorea and Bora-Bora: the adventure is not over and the journey has just begun. Contact us to discover our personalized advice and our selected itineraries in French Polynesia.