The Secluded Pearls
The remote archipelago of the Gambier is located southeast of Tahiti, secluded close to the eastern Polynesian border. The islands are enclosed by the same coral reef which makes this archipelago unique. The main island, also called Mangareva, is made of high mountains rising on the blue lagoon and on the smaller islands. The legend tells that the demi-god Maui lifted the Gambier from the ocean.
The small population, around a thousand, live today a peaceful and very traditional lifestyle. A deep Catholic faith, a rich heritage and a friendly population make the journey to these islands a one in a lifetime experience.
Mangareva – Rikitea
Mangareva is the biggest island of the Gambier.
Rikitea is the main village and administrative centre of the archipelago.
Back to the 19th century the arrival of the catholic missionaries deeply changes the locals’ way of life. Churches, schools, and all sorts of constructions are built to welcome the new inhabitants. These beautiful structures made out of coral and mother of pearl are still visible today and witness the long and rich history of the archipelago.
The islands are known today for the pearl farming, main activity that takes place in the lagoon of Mangareva. The islanders’ skills to carve the pearls and the shells make this activity the number one resource.
Travelers visiting this area will feel privileged to be welcomed by a simple and warm community who will be happy to share its culture, natural treasures and make this experience unique.