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When it comes to tropical island vacations, it doesn’t get much better than Tahiti! This is an island in French Polynesia in the Pacific Ocean and a perfect place to slow down the pace of life and enjoy a little adventure. Since many travelers have Tahiti on their island vacation bucket list, here is an overview of the best things you can do while on your trip.


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Simply Relax on the Beach Tahiti

Simply Relax on the Beach

What Is It? Tahiti is known for its beaches more than anything else, so most travelers plan to spend a lot of their time simply relaxing and soaking up the sun. Taharuu Beach on the southern coast is a particularly popular beach that’s popular with locals, tourists, and families.

Why Do It? Taharuu Beach has unique black volcanic sands and lots of room to spread out under the sun. The beach is clean, picturesque, and doesn’t cost anything to visit.

Good to Know: Swimming and surfing are popular at many Tahitian beaches, including Taharuu Beach. La Plage de Maui is another popular beach and one with white sand. It is on the southern coast and a great place for swimming, snorkeling, and enjoying a snack at the beach bar.

Go Sailing on the Beautiful Water Boat in Cooks Bay with Moua Puta mountain in the background on the tropical pacific island of Moorea, near Tahiti
Boat in Cooks Bay with Moua Puta mountain in the background on the tropical pacific island of Moorea, near Tahiti

Go Sailing on the Beautiful Water

What Is It? Boat tours are always popular in Tahiti, and there are lots of tours to choose from that involve sailing, snorkeling, meals, and amazing sunsets.

Why Do It? It is relaxing and enjoyable to see the Pacific islands from a boat, while you let a local guide do all the work and tell you about Tahitian life.

Good to Know: Catamaran sailing cruises really highlight the area’s natural beauty, and some boat tour experiences are even under $100 and include drinks, snacks, and all the gear you need.

See the Impressive Waterfalls Waterfall, Tahiti island
Waterfall, Tahiti island

See the Impressive Waterfalls

What Is It? Tahiti is also known for its amazing waterfalls, including Faarumai Waterfalls in Tiarei. You can get here on a short forest hike and enjoy multiple cascades. Keep walking and you’ll find even more falls to marvel at.

Why Do It? Faarumai is an easily accessible waterfall and stunningly beautiful. Better yet, the falls are only about 30 minutes from Papeete by car.

Good to Know: Bring mosquito repellent when you come out for this hike because bug bites are common here. For easy transportation, book a half-day or full-day tour to get out into nature with a local guide.

Marché de Pape'ete (Pape'ete Market) Shell necklaces for sale in Marche de Pape'ete
Shell necklaces for sale in Marche de Pape'ete

Marché de Pape'ete (Pape'ete Market)

What Is It? This is an indoor market hall that is a commercial and social hub worth checking out during your time in Tahiti. You can browse the stalls for produce, handicrafts, and much more at this local landmark. Popular things to buy are wood carvings, baskets, quilts, and works of art.

Why Do It? In addition to tasting delicious foods and finding fun souvenirs, the market is a great place to learn about local life in Tahiti. The market is also a short walk from the local attractions and the port.

Good to Know: Stop by any day of the week in the morning or afternoon. The freshest foods are available first thing in the morning.

Go Snorkeling for an Undersea Experience Woman snorkeling in clear tropical waters
Woman snorkeling in clear tropical waters

Go Snorkeling for an Undersea Experience

What Is It? Many people who travel to Tahiti spend just about as much time in the water as they do on land. This is because there are so many amazing underwater adventures that you can have on a trip here. For example, one epic experience involves feeding the local sharks and stingrays while you get photos of your interactions. Guided scuba diving and snorkeling tours are also available.

Why Do It? Undersea tours help you appreciate the wildlife diversity of Tahiti and really tune into the nature that surrounds you.

Good to Know: If you want to interact with marine animals, it is best to book a guided experience so that you don’t harm yourself or the beautiful sea creatures.

Hike Around Moorea View from the mountains of the north-west coast of Tahiti with Moorea island in background
View from the mountains of the north-west coast of Tahiti with Moorea island in background

Hike Around Moorea

What Is It? Moorea is a nearby island that is rugged and perfect for hiking. Magic Mountain is a popular destination here. You can hop on a ferry from Papeete, Tahiti to get here and then get around Moorea by bus or by renting a car. Other popular landmarks are the Belvedere Overlook and the Opunohu and Cook’s bays.

Why Do It? Moorea is a great place to hike, take an ATV tour, scuba dive, and snorkel because of the varied terrain and recreational opportunities.

Good to Know: When you’re here, you can see colorful fish and even sharks and stingrays. Temae Beach is a lovely local beach that’s clean and quiet to visit in the area.

Stay in an Overwater Bungalow Tahiti overwater bungalows
Tahiti overwater bungalows

Stay in an Overwater Bungalow

What Is It? Sleeping in an underwater bungalow is an essential part of any first-time visitor’s experience in Tahiti. You’ll find lots of thatched-roof hut accommodations on stilts that are picture-perfect and will get you in the mood for a true vacation.

Why Do It? These traditional Tahitian accommodations are festive, private, and romantic. You’ll love being able to snorkel from your own private deck, see colorful fish down below, and listen to the flowing water to lull you to sleep.

Good to Know: Overwater bungalow accommodations come in a wide range of budget options, so do your hotel research early to find the best deal for the level of luxury you’re looking for.

Learn About Black Pearls Black pearls of Tahiti
Black pearls of Tahiti

Learn About Black Pearls

What Is It? Tahiti is also famous for its black pearls, which are precious, unique, and stunningly beautiful. Pearls harvested here also come in other colors besides black, such as blue, bronze, and green. You can shop for pearls sold by local vendors or even visit a pearl farm to learn more about them.

Why Do It? Pearls are classic and timeless, and they make wonderful souvenirs for yourself or someone else back home.

Good to Know: The cost of pearls vary greatly depending on their size, luster, and symmetry. Shop around at a few different places to get a better sense of pricing before buying some pearls to take back home.

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