Rurutu is a small island southwest of Tahiti in French Polynesia. The sand on it’s beaches are white. It is mainly a massive coral reef which was lifted up to form a beautiful island. It’s most famous for it’s humpback whales. Rurutu is in the path of the humpback whales migratory journey where they give birth to baby humpback whales between July and October in the warm, tropical waters of French Polynesia. There are lagoons on both sides of Rurutu where the whales can seek calm waters in case of a storm.
It offers a great experience for anyone who wants to get up close to humpback whales. There are daily tours where you can watch the majestic creatures that weigh 40 tons and their babies. If you’ve ever wanted to see the whales up close, Rurutu is the perfect spot for that.
The humpback whales are known for their singing. Out of all the animals, the humpback whales have the most complex and beautiful songs and they can sing for days. Hearing the song of the humpback whales is an unforgettable experience.
Things to Do in Rurutu.
In January, there is a ritual on Rurutu called Tere where the entire population of the island makes a tour around Rurutu stopping at ancestral spots. At the end of the ritual, there is a stone lifting competition to see who can lift the largest stone.
Steep cliffs surround Rurutu and it features many caves. The caves are another point of interest. The most popular ones are called Anaaeo and Vitaria.
Rurutu was first settled around 900 AD. Then James Cook came to the Island in 1769. France claimed it in 1889, then it was annexed in 1900.
The main economic activities of Rurutu are making woven objects such as baskets and agriculture. The locals are known for their skill in making beautiful woven baskets, hats, and other handicrafts like patch work quilts. Avocados, bananas, oranges, coffee plants, taro, and vanilla are cultivated on the small island.
The tourism industry has also boomed since word has spread about being able to see the humpback whales up close, the beautiful white sand beaches, exploring caves, snorkeling and other shopping local handicrafts. Bungalows and hotels right on the beach are available for rent to tourists.
The local people are friendly and loyal to their traditions and customs. There are a little over 2,000 residents on the island.