Nestled in the heart of the Austral Islands, Rurutu is a superb destination for lovers of nature and adventure. The island’s spectacular caves attract underground exploration enthusiasts from all over the world. With about thirty caves, there’s a lot for them to explore in Rurutu.

The geological particularity of Rurutu is its limestone cliffs, dotted with caves. There are about thirty for you to explore and here’s a quick guide to some of them.

Troglodyte island

The eventful geological past of the island of Rurutu can clearly be seen in its many abrupt limestone cliffs. The cliffs are dotted with caves and many of them can be explored, including ‘the Mitterand cave’, named after the French President who visited the island. With its huge stalactites and stalagmites, the inside of the cave has a cathedral-like atmosphere. Ask your Tahitian Guesthouse to organize a guided visit to the cave and you’ll discover the many legends and tales that surround it.

Another cave you should visit is Ana Taupe’e. Situated on the side of a cliff, you must be accompanied by a guide when you visit. It is known as the ‘the jaws of the monster’ because of the unwelcoming look of the cave entrance. However, once inside, it ioffers magnificent views over the Pacific Ocean. In the mating season from July to November, you can even watch whales swimming in the waters below.

Explore the heart of Rurutu

Rurutu has many other caves for you to visit, including Ana Eva, which means the ‘weeping cave’. It was once inhabited by the islanders. Each cave has its own legends, such as the story of Hina, the wild, cannibal ogress, whose cave floor was covered with woven mats. There is also Tupumai cave near the airport. The cave is on two levels and the walls are incrusted with seashells, bearing witness to its formation over a hundred thousand years ago.

Rurutu has a multitude of other attractions as well as its caves. Diving enthusiasts and whale watchers will delight in the possibilities offered by ‘whale island’, as it is known. The magnificent coral reefs also offer the chance to observe an incredible variety of marine life. But perhaps the greatest asset of Rurutu is the local population. Just ask, and these warm and welcoming South Sea islanders will be delighted to share their culture and traditions with you.

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