France, French Polynesia, Society island archipelago, Raiatea island, east coast, Marae Taputapuatea
BARBIER Bruno/© BARBIER Bruno
A visit to this national monument in Opoa is key to understanding the soul of Raiatea. This marae—the most sacred communal place to ancient Tahitians—consists of three large stone platforms as well as shrines and expressive tikis. The tales told by local guides here bring 1,000 years of Polynesian history to life. In early 2016 France requested that Taputapuatea be recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.