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Tahiti Island

Tahiti Island travel Guide

Tahiti island travel Guide

Tahiti is the Queen of French Polynesia

Tahiti, the biggest of the 118 islands that make up French Polynesia, is frequently referred to as two different islands even though they are actually connected by a thin land bridge. Papeete is located in the larger, northern region of Tahiti Nui. Despite being less accessible, many tourists make the journey to Tahiti Iti (the smaller side) to experience tranquility.

  • Tahiti Nui, which is home to the country’s capital and main city, Papeete
  • Tahiti Iti is smaller, quieter, and less populous.

Best Hotels in Tahiti

Arriving in Tahiti

All visitors from abroad arrive in Tahiti at the Faa’a Airport, read also our guide about how to get to Tahiti. The Tahiti-Faa’a Airport, located 5 kilometers from Papeete in Tahiti, is French Polynesia’s busiest airport. The building, which spans 10,300 square meters, features two terminals, one for domestic flights and the other for international destinations, as well as a VIP lounge and Duty-Free shop.

Tahiti-Faa’a Airport offers two drop-off stations in front of each terminal, as well as 600 paid parking spaces divided into three zones. A bank, a travel agency, a baggage hold service, an internet zone, and many restaurants are also available at Tahiti-Faa’a Airport.

Passengers flying from Faa’a International Airport to Bora Bora, Moorea, and other inter-island locations will do so.

Getting around

Tahiti is accessible by Faa’a Airport, which is located about 4.3 miles (7 kilometers) northwest of the island’s capital, Papeete. Because Faa’a is French Polynesia’s only international airport, all other islands in the country, including Bora Bora, Tahaa, and Maupiti, may be reached via Tahiti.

Within the island, you can travel by rental car or the local bus system, which is well-developed and takes visitors to the island’s most important attractions.

Take note of the bus colors: green-and-white buses travel east, red-and-white buses travel west, and orange-and-white buses travel to Tahiti Iti, for example. The iconic Le Trucks only drives on occasion.

The 8 best attractions on Tahiti Island

The market in Papeete

A trip to the market in Papeete is a requirement for any trip to Tahiti. However, it’s also worthwhile to see Papeete’s City Hall and the Notre Dame Cathedral.

More about the market in Papeete »

The Tomb of King Pomare

Even now, a sizable number of people visit the tomb of the final ruler of the illustrious Pomare dynasty. Not least of all due to an odd legend that surrounds his urn.

More about the Tomb of King Pomare »

Pointe Venus and Lighthouse

On a stunning black basalt beach, the 25-meter-tall lighthouse overlooks Matavai Bay, where James Cook first set foot in 1769.

More about Point Venus and Lighthouse »

Museum of Paul Gauguin

Unquestionably, the most well-known refugee from Tahiti is Gauguin. The French painter’s original correspondence, photographs, and some of his sketches are kept in the museum that is devoted to him.

More about the Museum of Paul Gauguin »

Museum Te Fare Manaha

The Te Fare Manaha Museum is a good place to go if you’re interested in learning more about Tahiti and the other 118 islands of French Polynesia. Numerous exhibits pertaining to the Polynesian culture, environment, and history are housed in the ethnological museum.

More about the Te Fare Manaha Museum »

Falls at Faarumai

Even without a guide, it is possible to spend a pleasant day excursion exploring the island’s three most accessible waterfalls.

More about the Faarumai Waterfalls »

Arahurahu and Marae Mahaitea

Marae, which are remnants of the Polynesians’ ancient civilization, can be found in Tahiti. The Marae Mahaitea and the Marae Arahurahu are two notably well-maintained sites of worship.

Vaipahi Gardens and Lake Vaihiria

The area surrounding Mataiea is the ideal place to view Tahiti’s entire scenery at once. The lush green Vaipahi Gardens and Lake Vaihiria, Tahiti’s sole lake, are located here.

More about the Vaipahi Gardens »

Birthplace of the Polynesian culture

Tahiti is regarded as the birthplace of Polynesian culture. Various museums on the island attest to its cultural heritage, making the largest island of French Polynesia the first port of call for culture-seekers. Aside from anthropological collections and art museums, there are ancient marae (places of worship) and burial sites to be discovered all across the island.

Driving inland from the populous shore reveals that Tahiti is an island of contrasts. In the interior of Tahiti Nui, two massive mountains stand side by side, separated by wide valleys and enormous waterfalls.

  • The Orohena (2241m) and the Aorai (2066m) provide beautiful hiking trails.
  • Many hiking trails are clearly marked here, and the ascent can be attempted without the assistance of a guide.

Get a taste of the Tahitian cuisine

If you’re searching for where to eat in Tahiti, check out our restaurant listings, which include suggestions for dining outside of the hotels and resorts.

There are many restaurants to choose from throughout The Islands of Tahiti. You can sample everything from mouth-watering Polynesian cuisine at food trucks to US comfort food – served with a Tahitian twist.

Looking for nightlife, Tahiti is the place to be

Tahiti is essentially merely a stopover for many vacationers on their way to another South Sea island because depending on the type of vacationer (diver, nature lover, honeymoon, wedding, etc.), other islands like Moorea and Bora Bora in the country may be better suited for travelers looking for a more quiet location.

However, if you want a lot of variety and not just peace and quiet, and also want to go out in the evening, Tahiti is the place to be.

Beautiful landscapes & a wide range of accommodations

Here, urban life coexists with a one-of-a-kind natural landscape (best to discover by guided sightseeing tours), and dark beaches, as well as other cultural facilities, draw visitors. Unlike on many of the smaller South Sea islands, the tourist infrastructure is substantially established.

Also, the accommodations range from the absolute 5-star luxury hotel to the family-run tiny pension, leaving no demand unfulfilled.

Natural beaches and water activities

Natural beaches in Tahiti are constructed of black volcanic basalt rock and may be found primarily along the west coast. Hotel operators have primarily built Tahiti’s white, fine-grained South Sea beaches for their customers.

However, whether on a white or black beach, Tahiti offers a conventional beach vacation and a variety of water activities like whale watching, boat excursions and jet ski rentals.

Diving for beginners, surfing for pros

While diving experts are better placed on islands like Tikehau or Tahaa, which have more advanced dive sites, the diving locations off Tahiti are better suited for beginners and acquiring a certificate.

On the other hand, Surfers are well-versed in Tahiti because of the annual Billabong surfing tournament. This happens at Teahupoo, which has tunnels and large waves that expert surfers should only surf.

The locations at Papenoo, Taapuna, and Papara are more suitable for beginning surfers.


Short Facts

  • Capital: The capital of French Polynesia is Papeete, which is located on the northwest coast of Tahiti. Papeete is the largest city in French Polynesia and is home to a number of government buildings, businesses, and cultural attractions.
  • Language: The official language of Tahiti is French, but many people also speak Tahitian, which is a Polynesian language. English is also widely spoken on the island.
  • Religion: The majority of people in Tahiti are Christian, with the largest denominations being Catholicism and Protestantism.
  • Economy: The economy of Tahiti is primarily based on tourism, with many visitors coming to the island to experience its beautiful beaches, resorts, and natural beauty. Other important sectors of the economy include agriculture, fishing, and the production of pearls and vanilla.
  • Geography: Tahiti is located in the Society Islands of French Polynesia and is the largest island in the archipelago. It has an area of about 1,042 square miles (2,700 square kilometers) and is surrounded by a coral reef. The island is mountainous, with a number of peaks reaching over 2,000 feet (600 meters) in elevation.

Frequently asked Questions

The heart of the island is densely forested with soft ferns, with waterfalls flowing into natural rivers and streams to produce stunning ravines, as well as flat coastal areas with taro farms and tropical plants.

Tahiti is made up of two main island groups: Tahiti-Nui (large Tahiti) and Tahiti-Iti (little Tahiti), which are united by the Plateau of Taravao, a narrow isthmus.

The larger, Tahiti-Nui, is harsh and mountainous, with Mt. Orohena, at 7,339 feet, and Mt. Aorai, at 6,786 feet, as its highest peaks. Tahiti-Iti is a low, narrow mountainous strip of land with a 4,341-foot highest peak, Mt. Roniu.

Tahiti Iti, the smaller section, is quite rural, with a lot of lush, natural beauty and small communities. Read more about French Polynesia geography.

On the island of Tahiti, visitors will find black sand beaches on the east coast and white sand beaches on the west coast, as well as a variety of activities such as diving, surfing, and land tours.

Papenoo Valley, with lush jungles and an infinite array of waterfalls, is located in the middle of the island.

French Polynesia, which includes Tahiti, is a large French territory in the Pacific Ocean made up of 118 volcanic and coral islands and atolls. This vast region of the Pacific, the size of Western Europe, remains strategically important for France.

The official language of the Tahiti Islands is French. Tahitian is generally spoken at home by islanders, but French is widely spoken in schools and businesses.

However, English is widely spoken at restaurants, resorts, and other tourist places after you arrive on the islands. It is also regarded as a third language.

Tahiti is a more developed island, and while its beaches aren’t as well-known as those in Bora Bora, it has fantastic shopping, nightlife, cultural events, and outdoor activities.

When you think about paradise, the image that comes to mind is Bora Bora. It’s a smaller, more exclusive island.

Tourists can feel protected in Tahiti, but pickpockets can occur in the capital city Papeete. Most visitors quickly learn that Tahiti is a friendly and inviting place for foreigners. Read more at safety tips and health and medical care in Tahiti.

We usually recommend that clients stay at least three nights on each island on their itinerary. Travelers who stay for less than three nights are likely to feel pressured. After all, you’re going there to rest at the very least. No matter how long you will stay in Tahiti, make sure you should know about souveniers.

The weather on the island is pleasant for most of the year, and there is no season that is inconvenient for a visit or holiday there. The weather is tropical, but the trade winds keep the temperatures cool and mild.

The average daytime temperature varies from 28 degrees Celsius in the “colder” months to over 31 degrees Celsius in the “warmer” months, with nighttime temperatures ranging from 22 to 24 degrees Celsius.

The temperature of the sea is 27-29 degrees Celsius. The months of November to April are the hottest, most humid, and wettest, especially January and February, whereas the months of May to October have little rain and are less humid, but the winds are stronger. Read more about the best time to travel.

See what people say about Tahiti

Based on 1820 reviews
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Lightning FLightning F
20:34 08 Nov 22
Nice views, lovely hotels and beaches, only bad thing was this geezer complaining about terminal lumbago and his friend complaining about faith, such a bad way to end the holiday, avoid those geezas at all costs. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My friend was obsessed about the plan to visit Tahiti last summer. We finally made it, and with some faith and money we had a great experience.Happy to comeback next time with John. Hope his wife don't mind.
The Man With the PlanThe Man With the Plan
01:53 18 Oct 22
I came here to avoid some rich oil tycoon and some detectives hell bent on destroying my family. But my friend has finally shut up about his so called "plans" 10/10 in my books, it has nice mango farming and it lacks the presence of a certain rat
Ryan MoirRyan Moir
21:26 13 Oct 22
I came here to cure my friends terminal lumbago but I didn’t think I had the money or faith but after one last big score I made it out here and now my friends terminal lumbago is cured.
Panda QuestPanda Quest
11:13 08 Oct 22
It's a very nice place the only bad things were some guy talking about a plan and a old guy called uncle complaining about lumbago and their were a lot of Outlaws but good place
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