Maupiti Travel Guide

May 27, 2016

Motu Auira Maupiti French Polynesia panoramic view

Picture a dream island perfectly rising out of the blue ocean, protected by a bright blue lagoon and palm fringed beaches with blindingly white sand. Pretty little Maupiti is just so impossibly beautiful. A heavenly scented flower necklace tossed around your neck is the first sign of the warm hospitality that awaits you in Maupiti. There are no resorts around here and not even an ATM! So prepare yourself for a visit you’ll never forget in one of the most magical islands in the vast South Pacific. This Maupiti Travel Guide will help you plan the trip of a lifetime, to an island that has truly succeeded in slowing down time.

About This Guide

I spent three months in French Polynesia, as part of a six month backpacking trip across the South Pacific Islands – with a full week in Maupiti. This travel guide to Maupiti was written based on my experiences, and is meant to help you make the most of this once in a lifetime destination. The Maupiti Travel Guide is geared towards independent travelers, but any visitor will find it useful.

Traveling to French Polynesia? Start your reading with French Polynesia Travel Guide, where you’ll also find similar travel guides to 11 islands in French Polynesia!

French Polynesia Travel Guide

Visiting other South Pacific destinations? Get expert advice on how to island hop in the South Pacific and check out these travel guides to the Cook IslandsSamoa, American Samoa and Vanuatu

Why Should You Visit Maupiti?

Maupiti is the kind of island where everyone looks familiar after just a couple of days. That won’t prevent locals from greeting you with a friendly ia orana and a big smile right from the time you arrive. The sheer beauty and laid back way of life, will make you wonder why on earth all the tourists get off at neighboring Bora Bora? Locals have fought long and hard to prevent Maupiti from following the footsteps of its big sister down the road. In fact, the island is said to resemble the way Bora Bora used to be before it was discovered by the package holidaymakers.

Maupiti from the air French Polynesia

Maupiti is small enough to be explored on foot. You’ll have a huge smile on your face as you’re walking along its only main road, picking fruit and tropical flowers along the way, climbing its highest peak and crossing the azure lagoon to your very own Robinson Crusoe beach. Let’s not forget the magic that lies beneath the calm waves, with giant manta rays and pristine coral just waiting to be discovered.

Of the 11 islands I visited in French Polynesia – Maupiti was by far the island that I enjoyed the most. Do not miss the opportunity to see it for yourself!

Aerial view of Maupiti French Polynesia motu and reef

What’s Included In This Guide To Maupiti?

5 DAYS IN MAUPITI

Maupiti Travel Guide Map

Click on the image to open in Google Maps. This map features all the highlights mentioned in this guide. 

Maupiti Island Travel Guide - French Polynesia

Facts & Brief History

Maupiti is the most western of the high volcanic islands that make up the Society Islands in French Polynesia. The island measures only 11 square kilometers and has a population of about 1,200 local residents living on the main island and the outer motus (small islets) surrounding the lagoon.

It is believed that ancient Polynesians settled Maupiti sometime in the 9th century AD, establishing a traditional way of life with very close ties to neighboring Bora Bora. ‘Discovered’ in 1722 by a Dutchman, European explorers started to frequently arrive a few decades later, followed by the missionaries. France eventually took over Maupiti, but life here has continued to retain a traditional feel.

Locals in boat Maupiti French Polynesia

These days islanders primarily live off farming, growing grapefruit, and noni on the main island and on the surrounding motus. Small-scale tourism is picking up, but islanders are adamant at preserving their laid back way of life and will not allow the construction of any resorts.

Islanders riding bike in Maupiti French Polynesia

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