Tahiti is a tropical paradise located in the South Pacific Ocean, known for its beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters, and rich Polynesian culture. As the largest island in French Polynesia, Tahiti is home to the capital city of Papeete and is a popular travel destination for those seeking a taste of paradise. If you are considering a trip to Tahiti, here is a comprehensive guide with all the information you need to plan your trip, including travel time, transportation options, and top things to do and see.
The travel time to Tahiti depends on your location and mode of transportation. If you are traveling from the United States, the flight time from Los Angeles to Papeete is about 8 hours. From New York, the flight time is about 11 hours. If you are traveling from Europe, the flight time from Paris is about 18 hours. It’s important to keep in mind that these travel times do not include layovers or connections, so the total travel time may be longer. It’s also a good idea to allow for some extra time in case of delays or other unexpected events.
Transportation Options in Tahiti
Once you arrive in Tahiti, there are a variety of transportation options available to get around the island. The most popular way to get around is by rental car, which allows you to explore the island at your own pace. Renting a car is a convenient option, as it gives you the freedom to go wherever you want, whenever you want. There are several rental car agencies located at the airport and in Papeete, and you can also book a rental car online in advance.
If you prefer not to drive, you can take public buses or hire a taxi to get around. Public buses in Tahiti are inexpensive and run regularly, but they may not go to all the places you want to visit. Taxis are also available, but they can be expensive, especially if you are traveling long distances or during peak times.
Ferries are another transportation option in Tahiti. There are ferries that operate between the islands of Tahiti and its surrounding atolls, allowing you to explore the smaller islands and experience the beauty of the lagoon. Ferries are a great way to see the islands and visit remote villages, and they are typically inexpensive and reliable.
Tahiti is a paradise with an abundance of things to do and see. From exploring the island’s stunning natural beauty to immersing yourself in the local culture, there is something for everyone in Tahiti. Here are a few top things to do and see during your visit:
Visit the black sand beaches: Tahiti is home to several beautiful black sand beaches, including Matavai Bay, which was visited by Captain Cook in the 18th century. The black sand is created by volcanic activity, and it’s a unique and striking contrast to the turquoise waters of the lagoon.
Explore Papeete: The capital city of Papeete is a vibrant and bustling hub of activity, with a mix of modern amenities and traditional Polynesian culture. There are several markets in Papeete where you can shop for souvenirs, taste local foods, and experience the local way of life.
Visit the Museum of Tahiti and Her Islands: This museum is a great way to learn about the history and culture of Tahiti and the surrounding islands. The museum is located in Papeete and features exhibits on Polynesian culture, history, and art.
Go snorkeling or diving: Tahiti’s crystal clear waters and abundant marine life make it a great destination for snorkeling and diving. The lagoon surrounding Tahiti is home to a variety of colorful fish, coral reefs, and other marine life, and there are several snorkeling and diving spots located around the island. If you are a beginner, there are several tour operators that offer guided snorkeling and diving tours, so you can safely explore the underwater world of Tahiti.
Hike to the top of Mount Orohena: If you are an avid hiker, consider climbing to the top of Mount Orohena, the highest peak in Tahiti. The hike takes about 5-6 hours round trip and offers stunning views of the island and the surrounding lagoon. Be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen, and wear sturdy shoes, as the trail can be slippery and steep in places.
Go on a lagoon tour: One of the best ways to experience the beauty of Tahiti is by taking a lagoon tour. There are several tour operators that offer lagoon tours, which typically include a visit to a small island, snorkeling or diving, and a traditional Polynesian lunch. These tours are a great way to see the beauty of the lagoon and learn about the culture and history of the islands.
Visit the Marae Arahurahu: The Marae Arahurahu is an ancient Polynesian temple located on the island of Raiatea. The temple is a sacred site for the Polynesian people and is an important part of the island’s cultural heritage. Visitors are welcome to explore the temple, but it’s important to respect the cultural customs and traditions of the island and the temple.
Go surfing: Tahiti is known for its great surf breaks, and there are several spots around the island where you can catch some waves. If you are a beginner, there are several surf schools that offer lessons and rent equipment, so you can safely learn to surf in Tahiti’s warm waters.
Take a cooking class: If you love to cook or are interested in trying traditional Polynesian dishes, consider taking a cooking class in Tahiti. There are several cooking schools that offer classes, where you can learn how to prepare authentic Polynesian dishes using local ingredients.
Visit the Paul Gauguin Museum: The Paul Gauguin Museum is located in Papeete and is dedicated to the life and work of the famous French artist, Paul Gauguin, who spent several years in Tahiti. The museum features a collection of Gauguin’s paintings, prints, and sculptures, as well as exhibits on the artist’s life and work in Tahiti.
Overall, Tahiti is a beautiful and unique destination that is rich in culture and history. With its stunning natural beauty, warm and friendly people, and abundance of things to do and see, Tahiti is a perfect place to relax and unwind. Whether you are looking to spend your days lounging on the beach, exploring the island’s natural wonders, or immersing yourself in the local culture, Tahiti has something for everyone. So, if you are planning a trip to Tahiti, be sure to consider all the travel options, top things to do and see, and cultural customs to make the most of your visit to this tropical paradise.
The transportation options available in Tahiti for getting around the island and visiting the surrounding atolls include rental cars, public buses, taxis, and ferries. Rental cars are a convenient option for exploring the island at your own pace, while public buses and taxis are less expensive but may not go to all the places you want to visit. Ferries operate between the islands of Tahiti and its surrounding atolls and are a great way to see the smaller islands and visit remote villages.
Some of the top things to do and see in Tahiti include visiting the black sand beaches, exploring the capital city of Papeete, visiting the Museum of Tahiti and Her Islands, going snorkeling or diving in the lagoon, hiking to the top of Mount Orohena, taking a lagoon tour, visiting the Marae Arahurahu, surfing, taking a cooking class, and visiting the Paul Gauguin Museum.
Tips for planning a trip to Tahiti include allowing plenty of time for travel, considering different transportation options, researching the best times to visit based on your interests and budget, and being aware of cultural customs and traditions. It’s also a good idea to book accommodations and activities in advance, as Tahiti can get busy during peak tourist season.
When visiting Tahiti, it’s important to respect the cultural customs and traditions of the island. This includes being respectful of religious and cultural sites, such as temples and marae (ancient Polynesian temples). It’s also important to dress modestly and avoid taking photos of people without their permission. Additionally, it’s customary to take off your shoes when entering someone’s home or a place of worship, and it’s considered rude to point with your index finger.