Over one thousand miles southeast of Tahiti are the
The cradle of Catholicism during the nineteenth century
following the arrival of the first missionaries to the
region, hundreds of stone buildings from that era survive
including churches, convents, schools, and watch towers.
Mangareva, the largest island of the region, is home
to most of the population and the center of the region's
pearl industry. The island's only small family pensions
are located here in the town of Rikitea.
In Rikitea, you will found the St Michael's cathedral dating from 1848 richly decorated in pearls.
The lagoons of Mangareva are known for their pearl oysters. The largest and most famous pearl farms are located here.