The island was formed in an interesting way, thanks to two consecutive volcanic hot spots, which created unusual mountains circled with coral cliffs. Hence its name “Rurutu”: the gushing rock. Basaltic rocks and a limestone belt offer surprising stalactites and stalagmites around the former lagoon, now a coral reef.
The cool climate is auspicious to lush vegetation covering the island’s rocks. The curvy road will lead you through a poetic and impressive tour, combining long white sand beaches, beautiful bays and various plantations. Coffee, pineapple, wild basil and lychees abound around these rich lands.
Within this pristine environment, just 2089 inhabitants look after their traditions and organize friendly games. The feast of Tere or ‘island tour’ gathers all villages and allows the strongest to lift volcanic rocks as heavy as 150 kg (300 pounds).
You will best discover the island’s specificities with the local people, such as the māmā, smiling ladies weaving their specialty materiel all day. Their agile hands make delicate artwork such as pē’ue or mats and also fine woven hats. They are also experts in the making of tīfaifai, traditional patchwork blankets featuring exotic patterns and requiring patience and know-how.
Finally, do not miss a whale water ballet, attracting nature and whale lovers each year along with many scientists. They come very close to the coast to give birth. Adventurous snorkelers will have the opportunity to share a very special moment with these sea giants.