Path of the Polynesians

Path of the Polynesians

This whirlwind 15-day adventure follows the Path of the Polynesians throughout the Pacific. Discover the hot spots of this storied culture at Easter Island, their ancient roots in the Marquesas Islands and the Maori of New Zealand’s North Island on this journey selected by National Geographic Traveler as one of the 50 Tours of a Lifetime.

Suggested Itinerary-at-a-glance:

Itinerary Description:

Begin your journey in one of the most isolated inhabited islands in the world, Easter Island, or Rapa Nui. Perhaps most famous for its massive stone statues called moai, Easter Island holds a wealth of archaeological and anthropological wonders. The explora en Rapa Nui luxury lodge is not just a hotel on one of the world’s most mysterious islands; it is the perfect base from which to discover the culture and history of this mystifying Polynesian location. Spend two days experiencing in-depth the early and contemporary culture of the island. From the moai and other fascinating ancient structures to white sand beaches, visitors enjoy a plethora of activities including surfing and diving.

Fly west across the Pacific to picturesque French Polynesia and spend an evening on Tahiti at the InterContinental Tahiti Resort before heading to the volcanic Marquesas Islands. Considered the birthplace of the Polynesian heritage, the Marquesas are home to several ancient religious sites that date as far back as 300 AD. Start on Hiva Oa at the Hanakee Pearl Lodge, a hillside retreat where your private terrace overlooks the stunning surrounds. Visit the relaxed villages, have lunch in a local home and see the cultural center named for Post-Impressionalist painter Paul Gaugin who lived out his life on the island.

Continue to Nuku Hiva, the largest of the Marquesas Islands, and the peaceful Keikahauni Pearl Lodge. Nestled in a tropical garden and overlooking the village of Taiohae, the lodge is just 50 stairsteps away from the black sand beaches of the bay where adventurous divers can share the waters with hammerhead sharks and manta rays. Embark on a boat tour and hike to a majestic waterfall for a picnic lunch - a perfect way to see the verdant and diverse terrain of the island.

Spend one more night at the InterContinental Tahiti Resort and pack up for the last leg of your journey in New Zealand, home to the Maori and a culture that has meshed with the history of European influence. En route to your accommodations at Kauri Cliffs you will visit the place where more than 500 Maori chiefs and representatives of Queen Victoria signed the Treaty of Waitangi, the original founding document of New Zealand. You will also explore the region by helicopter, visiting many beautiful and significant locations while learning more about the Maori lifestyle. End the trip at the Treetops Lodge in New Zealand's geothermal hot spot. From here you will explore the culinary history of the Maori and visit the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute in Te Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley, a locale rich in impressive flora and fauna. Your local guide will step back in time with you in the village of Ohinemutu, the region's original tribal village amidst the steam and geysers of the area.

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