Tahiti, the largest island in French Polynesia, is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant marine life. While many visitors come to Tahiti for its idyllic beaches and luxurious resorts, the island also offers a plethora of hiking trails that showcase its natural beauty and provide opportunities for active adventures. From towering peaks to lush valleys and cascading waterfalls, here are some of the best hiking trails in Tahiti that will reward you with stunning views and unforgettable experiences.
The Fautaua Valley Trail is a challenging but incredibly rewarding hike that takes you deep into the heart of Tahiti’s lush interior. The trail begins near the capital city of Papeete and ascends through dense rainforest, passing by ancient banyan trees and vibrant flora. As you make your way up, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of the valley and the majestic Fautaua Waterfall, which cascades down a sheer cliff face from a height of over 985 feet (300 meters). The trail’s approximately 6.2-mile (10-kilometer) round trip offers a variety of terrains, from muddy sections to rocky paths, adding to the sense of adventure.
This hike not only tests your physical endurance but also rewards you with glimpses of Tahiti’s unique biodiversity. Along the trail, you may spot colorful bird species, such as Tahiti Monarchs and Pacific Swiftlets, as well as native plants like the Tahitian chestnut and Tahitian gardenia. The sound of birdsong and the gentle rustle of leaves in the breeze create a serene ambiance as you ascend further into the valley.
As you approach the waterfall, the air becomes misty and the roar of cascading water grows louder. Finally, you reach a viewpoint that offers an awe-inspiring vantage point of Fautaua Waterfall. Its powerful torrent of water creates a mesmerizing spectacle against the backdrop of lush greenery. Take a moment to soak in the view, appreciating the raw beauty of nature.
Descending from the waterfall, you’ll have a renewed appreciation for the untouched wilderness of Tahiti. The Fautaua Valley Trail is a challenging adventure that will leave you with a deep sense of accomplishment and memories of stunning natural vistas. (hiking trails in Tahiti)
For those seeking a more challenging adventure, the hike to the summit of Mount Aorai is a must. Standing at 6,088 feet (1,856 meters), Mount Aorai is the third highest peak in Tahiti and offers breathtaking views of the island and its surrounding lagoons. The trail starts in the lush Papenoo Valley and gradually ascends through dense rainforest, crossing streams and rocky terrain.
The approximately 9.3-mile (15-kilometer) round-trip hike to the summit of Mount Aorai is not for the faint of heart. It requires a good level of fitness and hiking experience. However, the rewards are well worth the effort. As you climb higher, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic vistas of the valley below and the stunning peaks of the surrounding mountains.
The trail to Mount Aorai is a journey through a diverse range of ecosystems. As you ascend, you’ll pass through dense vegetation, including fern-filled forests and stands of tall trees. The higher you climb, the more the landscape transforms, giving way to rugged slopes and alpine vegetation. The air becomes cooler, and you’ll feel a sense of tranquility as you’re surrounded by the pristine wilderness.
Reaching the summit of Mount Aorai is an exhilarating experience. Standing atop the peak, you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views of Tahiti’s majestic landscape. On a clear day, you can see the turquoise lagoons, coral reefs, and neighboring islands dotting the horizon. Take a moment to absorb the beauty of nature and the sense of achievement that comes with conquering such a formidable mountain.
It’s important to note that due to the challenging nature of this hike, it’s recommended to hire a local guide who is familiar with the trail and can ensure your safety throughout the journey. (hiking trails in Tahiti)
Three Waterfalls Hike
Located on the northeast coast of Tahiti, the Three Waterfalls Hike is a moderate trail that showcases the island’s natural beauty in all its glory. The trail starts in the small village of Tiarei and winds its way through lush vegetation, passing by three magnificent waterfalls along the way.
The hike begins with a gentle ascent through dense tropical forest, alive with the chirping of birds and the occasional glimpse of colorful butterflies. As you make your way along the trail, you’ll be enveloped by the sights and sounds of nature, feeling a sense of serenity as you disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
The first waterfall, known as Vaimahutu, is a stunning 115-foot (35-meter) cascade that plunges into a clear pool, inviting hikers for a refreshing swim. The sound of rushing water and the cool mist that envelops the area create a tranquil atmosphere. Take the opportunity to cool off in the rejuvenating waters and feel the weight of the world wash away.
Continuing along the trail, you’ll encounter the Haamaremare Iti and Haamaremare Rahi waterfalls, both equally mesmerizing and surrounded by picturesque scenery. These hidden gems offer secluded spots to rest and take in the beauty of nature. Be sure to have your camera ready to capture the magic of these cascades and the vibrant greenery that surrounds them.
The Three Waterfalls Hike is a journey that immerses you in Tahiti’s natural wonders. From the tranquil pools to the lush vegetation and the invigorating sounds of water, this hike is a true escape into paradise. (hiking trails in Tahiti)
Arahoho Blowhole Trail
For a unique hiking experience that combines stunning coastal views with a touch of adventure, the Arahoho Blowhole Trail is a must-visit. Starting near the popular surf spot of Teahupo’o, the trail follows the rugged coastline, offering breathtaking vistas of the azure ocean and dramatic cliffs.
The approximately 2.5-mile (4-kilometer) trail takes you along a narrow path that winds its way through coastal vegetation and provides access to several viewpoints. As you walk, you’ll be captivated by the turquoise hues of the Pacific Ocean contrasting with the rugged black lava rock formations that line the shore.
The highlight of the hike is the blowhole itself, a natural phenomenon created by the forceful waves crashing against the rocky shoreline. As the waves surge into the narrow opening, they shoot up through the blowhole, creating a spectacular display of water jets that can reach impressive heights. The power of the waves and the thunderous sound they generate are a testament to the raw forces of nature.
Take caution and maintain a safe distance from the blowhole, as the power of the waves can be intense. Observe from a vantage point where you can marvel at the spectacle without putting yourself in harm’s way. The Arahoho Blowhole Trail is an exhilarating hike that will leave you in awe of Tahiti’s raw beauty and the powerful forces that shape its coastline. (hiking trails in Tahiti)
Located on the island of Moorea, just a short ferry ride from Tahiti, the Opunohu Valley Trail is a scenic hike that offers a glimpse into the island’s lush interior. The trail takes you through a verdant valley, surrounded by towering peaks and vibrant tropical vegetation.
The approximately 3-mile (5-kilometer) trail starts near the Opunohu Bay and meanders through a landscape of lush greenery. As you walk, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the valley and its picturesque surroundings. The towering peaks provide a dramatic backdrop, creating a sense of awe and wonder.
The trail is relatively gentle, making it suitable for hikers of all levels. As you make your way along the path, you’ll encounter peaceful streams, charming waterfalls, and hidden pools. The sound of trickling water and the melodious songs of birds create a peaceful ambiance, transporting you into a world of natural serenity.
Along the way, keep an eye out for local wildlife, including colorful birds and perhaps even glimpses of wild boar or the famous Polynesian fruit bat. The Opunohu Valley Trail is not only a feast for the eyes but also an opportunity to connect with Tahiti’s rich natural heritage.
In conclusion, Tahiti’s hiking trails offer an array of experiences for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. Whether you’re seeking panoramic views, breathtaking waterfalls, or coastal vistas, Tahiti’s diverse landscapes will captivate your senses and leave you with unforgettable memories. From challenging treks to more leisurely walks, these hiking trails provide an opportunity to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Tahiti and discover its hidden gems. So lace up your hiking boots, grab your camera, and embark on an active adventure through the stunning trails of Tahiti. Book Far and Away Adventure’s latest packages to explore these 5 best hiking trails in Tahiti.
Our Top FAQ's
Some of the best hiking trails in Tahiti include the Fautaua Valley Trail, Mount Aorai, Three Waterfalls Hike, Arahoho Blowhole Trail, and Opunohu Valley Trail.
The Fautaua Valley Trail is considered challenging due to its steep and muddy sections. It requires a good level of fitness and hiking experience.
The Mount Aorai hike is a challenging adventure that rewards hikers with breathtaking panoramic views of Tahiti’s landscape. It involves ascending through rainforest and rocky terrain to reach the summit.
Yes, the Three Waterfalls Hike is considered a moderate trail suitable for hikers of various fitness levels. It offers stunning views of waterfalls and lush vegetation.
The Arahoho Blowhole Trail combines coastal views with the spectacle of a blowhole created by powerful waves crashing against the rocks. It offers a thrilling experience in Tahiti’s raw beauty.
The Opunohu Valley Trail is located on the island of Moorea, accessible via a short ferry ride from Tahiti. It provides a scenic hike through a verdant valley surrounded by towering peaks.
Yes, one of the highlights of the Three Waterfalls Hike is the opportunity to swim in the clear pools near the waterfalls, providing a refreshing and memorable experience.
Yes, guided tours are available for many of the hiking trails in Tahiti, including the Fautaua Valley Trail and Mount Aorai. Hiring a local guide can enhance safety and provide valuable insights about the trails.