Mount Teurafaatiu is a 380 meter tall volcanic peak located on the tiny island of Maupiti in French Polynesia. This breathtaking hike offers some of the best views, hands down, in all of the South Pacific.
The 3 hour, self guided hike, will definitely stimulate all of your senses. Reaching the summit of Mount Teurafaatiu provides you with one of the most stunning and remote 360 degree views in the world. Not only can you see the whole multi-hued turquoise lagoon surrounding Maupiti, you are also able to catch a fantastic view of Bora Bora and Raiatea in the distance. If you keep your eyes sharp and you might be lucky enough to see the shadows of swimming manta rays a few hundred meters below your feet.
To begin your Mount Teurafaatiu hike you first need to make your way to the east side of the island to find the trail head, located roughly in the center of the island and north of the harbor. The trail head can be found opposite the Tarona restaurant-bar sign. If you want to grab supplies for the hike or treats for your accomplishment afterwards, the Magasin Homia snack stand is located just a little further north on the road.
The trail-head is an overgrown and unmarked section of concrete steps. From there you slowly wind uphill until you reach a small tower. Make sure to go left of the chain-link fence and up the rock behind the tower to continue on the trail. You will be heading further into the island where you want to keep left and continually upwards when the trail forks.
There are various viewpoints along the hike that make for great photo opportunities and it is cool to see your progression higher and higher. Throughout the hike painted way-markers and stacked rocks will guide your way.
Eventually you will reach the top portion of the trail, where things get a little difficult, you have 5 rope assisted sections to climb. The ropes all appear sturdy and in decent enough condition to help hold your weight but you may still need to use your hands to climb up the rocks. After the 2nd rope section you will come to another outlook area with stunning views of the lagoon. The next 3 sections of rope are a bit more steep but once you pass those you are rewarded with the Mount Teurafaatiu summit!
Upon reaching the summit you will find a flag and you will be absolutely blown away by the view. Make sure to pat yourself on the back for what you just accomplished and take some time to enjoy where you are. Realizing how truly remote this little island is, is something to cherish forever.
If you don’t have a ride, do plan accordingly. Add the time it will take to get to the trail-head and back to your accommodation. The hike itself is canopy covered, making anytime good to summit. But with the way the sunsets it is better to do the hiker earlier in the day so you don’t get shadowed views. Also do not attempt to hike if its raining. Otherwise have a great hike up Mount Teurafaatiu!
Let me know your favorite hike in the comments below! To learn more about my two months adventuring in the South Pacific visit the Destination French Polynesia page.
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