Maroe Bay, Huahine Iti, French Polynesia
Huahine Iti is the smaller of two islands that make up Huahine atoll, encircled by a fringing coral reef in the Society Islands. This is the tropical paradise you imagine when someone says “Tahiti.” It is unspoiled and pristine, drop-dead gorgeous and full of interesting things to explore. Aside from the shining white beaches, vivid green forests and candy-blue waters, the island’s Fa’Una Nui area is festooned with archaeological ruins of maraes and ancient stone fish traps. There is a small museum displaying artifacts found amid the ruins. The main tourist attraction on Huahine is a bridge over a stream where sacred, yard-long eels bask in the clear running water, waiting for you to feed them. If you aren’t an eel-type person, maybe visit a vanilla-orchid farm, or find a shop and feast your eyes on brilliantly colored pareus or dusky South Pacific pearls.