Fodor's Expert Review Afareaitu
This village a few miles south of the port of Vaiare is the administrative center and contains the island's mairie (town hall) and a small, early 20th-century church. The village was headquarters of the South Seas Academy in the early 19th century, whose mission was to spread the Protestant faith. Nearby is Marae Umarea, the oldest on the island, dating back to AD 900. The two Afareaitu waterfalls, often just called waterfall 1 and 2, are inland from the village via different dirt roads. You can drive to car parks and take a 20- to 30-minute walk to each of them. Pack a swimsuit as there are rockpools ideal for swimming. Afareaitu also has the island's only hospital.