The archipelago of Mangareva (sometimes called the Gambiers) lies some 1,600 km South East of Tahiti and are said to be the most beautiful islands in the South Seas. In all there are 16 islands and the largest of them is Mangareva from which the archipelago takes its name.
Mangareva is surrounded by other smaller islands: Taravai in the southwest and Aukena and Akamaru in the southeast and other smaller islands, lying also in the north.
The largest village on the island, Rikitea, is the chief town of the Gambier Islands. The highest point in the Gambiers is Mt. Duff, on Mangareva, rising to 441 m along the island’s south coast.
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The Capital city is sleepy Rikitea home to the largest cathedral in the South Seas. Some 1,100 people live here and many work in the pearl farms for it is from Mangareva that the most beautiful pearls come. A truly idyllic place someone once said that it’s motto is Deus meus haec otia fecit – God has given us this tranquillity.