Rurutu is one of the largest raised atolls in the South Pacific Ocean. Much of this magical island is made up of coral reef-hugging shores, volcanic mountains, sheer limestone cliffs shot with caverns, wildly fertile inland jungles and plantations. What it is best known for, however, is the annual migration of the southern humpback whales who come to these waters to mate and give birth to their young. Come July, this annual ritual attracts whale lovers, photographers and nature enthusiasts from around the planet to the beautiful bays of Rurutu. The island’s many limestone caves with their massive treasure trove of stalactites and stalagmites are also worth a visit, as are its white sand beaches. Whale watching, lagoon excursions, snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking and cruises to nearby atolls are popular tourist activities. Leisure travelers also enjoy touring the island’s fragrant coffee, pineapple, wild basil and lychee plantations.
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