Mangareva is the central and most important island of the Gambier Islands in French Polynesia. Mangareva is surrounded by smaller islands: Taravai in the southwest, Aukena and Akamaru in the southeast, and islands in the north.
Mangareva, the main island of the group, is approximately 8 km (5 miles) long and, at 18 km² (7 mi²), it comprises about 56% of the land area of the whole Gambier group. It has a high central ridge which runs the length of the island. It has a large lagoon 15 miles in diameter containing reefs whose fish and shellfish helped ancient islanders survive much more successfully than on nearby islands with no reefs. The population is about 1,000.
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.