Good reasons to visit
- A rich and varied natural environment: spectacular natural sites (valleys, impressive landscapes, hiking trails, waterfalls), beautiful gardens, a glittering lagoon, dive and surf spots renowned worldwide.
- A remarkable historical and cultural heritage: historical and cultural sites, archaeological remains, museums.
- A wide range of activities, including many distractions in the city center, beautiful walks, inland and nautical excursions.
- Various possibilities to eat great food (French, Chinese, Tahitian, Italian, Japanese, etc..), for all budgets (“roulottes”, snacks, gourmet restaurants).
- A unique calendar of cultural and sporting events: "Heiva" festival of songs and dances held in July, Tahitian dance groups representations throughout the year in major hotels, handicraft exhibitions, the Pacific documentary film festival (FIFO), international surf competition in Teahupoo, etc.
Do not miss
- Papeete's Pulic Marketplace,
- the Assembly gardens,
- the chinese Temple in Mamao,
- the tomb of Pomare V and of the Royal family,
- museums : the House oj James Norman Hall, The Robert Wan Pearl Museum, Tahiti and her islands museum and the Gauguin Museum,
- To’ata Square, Vaiete Square, The Bougainville park,
- the Belvédère,
- the Tahara'a viewpoint,
- the Venus Point lighthouse,
- the Arahoho blowhole,
- the Faarumai waterfalls,
- parks & Gardens : the Harrisson Smith botanical garden, the spring garden of Vaipahi, the Vaima springs and the “Motu” Ovini park,
- the surf spot of Papenoo, Taapuna, Taharuu,
- Olivier Bréaud International Golf Course,
- the Mara'a caves,
- Marae Arahurahu in Paea (an archeological site where historical pageants are held as well as traditional dances),
- the Valley of Papenoo and its wonders (natural and archaeological sites),
- the lagoonarium,
- the "Heiva festival", held during July and August, and showcasing traditional dancing and singing competitions as well as traditional sports and games.
And on Tahiti Iti :
- the Taravao plateau & its panoramic viewpoint,
- the famous surf spot of Teahupoo,
- the Vaipoiri cave,
- the Te Pari cliffs an its petroglyphs.
Did you know that?
- Tahiti is the largest island in French Polynesia with 1042 km ² (402 sq. miles) in area.
- Orohena, the highest mountain on the island and throughout French Polynesia, rises up to 2241 m (7,352 ft).
- The American writer James Norman Hall (1887-1951), who moved to Tahiti in 1920 and remained there until his death in 1951, is the author, with Charles Nordhoff, of "Mutiny on the Bounty" , of "Hurricane" and many other works that have been famous films. His house can be visited in the town of Arue.
- The Venus Point bears that name because the English navigator James Cook landed in this area in 1769 as he was leading scientific observations of Venus star transiting accross the sun.
Tahiti is the biggest and the most populated island in French Polynesia. As the political and economic heart of the country, Tahiti stands out from traditional Polynesia. The capital city Papeete is very busy and rounds up many businesses, banks, hotels, restaurants, bars and discotheques.
The market downtown is a must see with its appetizing fruits and vegetables, the sweet perfume of flowers and multicolored fish on display. Handicrafts from all the different archipelagoes are represented there and can also be found in souvenir shops around town. The black pearl, uncontested mistress of innumerable jewelry shops, has one of the most instructive museums dedicated to it. Tahiti occupies a prominent place in Polynesian cultural life. It is endowed with major historical and religious sites and is the home of “The Museum of Tahiti and her Islands” which will enlighten you on the mysterious past of the ancient Polynesians. Tahiti welcomes all kinds of events year round which reach their peak during the Heiva Festival in July. This event features and pays homage to traditional dancing, singing and sports, so dear to the hearts of Polynesians. You can probably taste some local flavors cooked in a “ahimaa” (volcanic rock oven) or take great delight in different culinary specialties of the country which mix European and Asian influences.
Moving out of the urban zone, the exceptional, natural beauty of Tahiti is in store for you. Circular and massive, the big island of Tahiti Nui, crisscrossed by beautiful, deep valleys, is connected by the narrow isthmus of Taravao to the little island Tahiti Iti; equally mountainous, upon its shores break the mythical waves of Teahupoo. For curious visitors, the Tahitian mountains offer hiking in remote valleys and encounters with imposing waterfalls, mysterious grottoes and archaeological sites marked by legends. Tahiti is also surrounded by a large blue and green lagoon pierced by more than 30 passes of which the largest faces Papeete. Diverse excursions are organized mountainside as well as ocean side; and to please any diver, even down into the depths of the ocean.
Your stay would not be complete if you miss the numerous treasures that this island, which fascinated so many explorers, has to offer.
Things to do
Nautical activities :
- Dolphins & whales watching from July to October,
- scuba diving,
- deep sea sport fishing,
- kayak excursions,
- excursions on the lagoon,
- jet skiing,
- wake boarding,
- kite surfing.
- 4WD safari,
- 4WD ATV tours,
- horseback riding,
- bicyle, scooter and car rentals.
Relaxation center(s) & Spa(s) :
- Le Spa, Hôtel Radisson Plaza Resort Tahiti,
- Deep Nature Spa Tahiti By Algotherm - Hôtel Intercontinental Tahiti Resort,
- Manea Spa, Hôtel Manava Suite Resort Tahiti,
- Dhana Spa, Hôtel Tahiti Nui.
- Location : in the middle of the South Pacific, it is 4,400 km south of Hawaii, 7 900 km (4,908 miles) from Chile and 5700 km (3,541 miles) from Australia. The island is more than 17 000 km (10,563 miles) away from mainland France.
- Surface area : 402 sq. miles. Tahiti is the largest island of French Polynesia.
- Highest peak : Tahiti is the highest island in French Polynesia. Mount 'Orohena culminates at 2241 meters (7,352 ft).
- Population : 192 760 inhabitants were recorded in Tahiti in 2012, representing nearly 70% of the country's population.
- Municipalities : the island is composed of 12 municipalities. Papeete (the capital of Tahiti and French Polynesia), Pirae, Arue (associated with Tetiaroa atoll), Mahina, Hitia'a O Te Ra (including Papenoo, Tiarei, Mahaena, Hitiaa), Taiarapu-East (including Faaone, Afaahiti-Taravao Pueu and Tautira), Taiarapu- West (with Teahupoo, Vairao and Toahotu), Teva I Uta (with Mataiea and Papeari) Papara (known for its surfing spot ), Paea, Punaauia and Faa'a (with the international airport ; it is the most populated municipality of Tahiti ).
- Tourist information : at the Fare Manihini, in Papeete,
- Bank(s) : Socredo Bank, Bank of Tahiti, Bank of Polynésie, the post office bank, ATMs.
- Post office(s): available in each municipality and district.
- Shop(s): shopping areas (Vaima, Fare Tony, Moana Nui, Tamanu, etc...), souvenir shops (Papeete Market, etc...), jewellery shops, art galleries, kiosk & bookshops, ready-to-wear & surfwear shops, local printed material shops, etc...
- Restaurant(s) : French & International cuisines, Asian cuisine, Italian cuisine & local cuisine.
- Medical services: Taaone hospital, Taravao hospital, Cardella clinic, Paofai clinic, numerous private doctors and pharmacies.