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Visitors come to Rurutu primarily for humpback whale encounters (Jun-Oct), where the shallow, safe waters provide a perfect environment for mothers to give birth and nurse their young calves.

Whale watching here is on a small scale and restricted to snorkelling only. Great visibility and the cooperative nature of humpback whales make for a memorable encounter, and we recommend spending a few days here to enhance your opportunity of an incredible interaction.

The island is surrounded by a fringing reef and features unusual looking mountains created by volcanic activity, great for hiking. The cooler climate offers lush vegetation and here you’ll find coffee, pineapple and lychee plantations. The population is just over 2,000 people who are famous for creating unique table mats, hats and plenty more with their basket weaving skills. Accommodation is in family pensions, a great way to experience the Polynesian way of life.

There are regular flights to Rurutu from Papeete.

Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: humpback whale