Rurutu, The Island of Whales

(Austral Islands)


Introduction to Rurutu

The cliffs and caves of Rurutu are legendary. Here you’ll find an untouched and mysterious land where the white sand clashes with the intense blue of the lagoon. Rurutu is off the beaten path offering a truly unique experience. The island is still home to many archeological remnants, bearing witness to a well organized pre-European community of rich and cultural religious practices. Today, Rurutu is most famous for the humpback whales who make the yearly migration to mate or give birth in these warm waters from August-October.

Where is Rurutu?

Situated over 300 miles from Tahiti, you’ll take a 90min flight to get to Rurutu. Rurutu is part of the Austral Islands — which are the southernmost group of islands and as such, have a slightly cooler climate.

Map of Rurutu

Hotels in Rurutu

There are just a couple of small family run guesthouses on Rurutu. Our favorite is Le Manotel


Vaitumu Village


Le Manotel

What to do in Rurutu

The number one activity here is snorkeling with the whales. It is a must do and you’ll quickly understand why photographers & filmmakers from all over the world visit Rurutu. But while you’re here, be sure to take an island tour and discover ancient archaeological sites, and burial grounds. Of course, the most important aspect of Rurutu is her people! By interacting with the locals, you’ will discover a kind & welcoming people. Visit the mamas who spend their days weaving pe’ue (mats) and hats. They are also experts in the making of tifaifai (quilts).


Rurutu Whale