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Tahiti Travel Guide

  • Photo: Peter Stuckings / Shutterstock

Plan Your Tahiti Vacation

The name Tahiti conjures up dreamy images of idyllic islands floating in azure lagoons fringed by palm trees and white sandy beaches. But few people realize that Tahiti is actually the heart of French Polynesian, a vast expanse of 118 islands stretched across the South Pacific Ocean. The island has most of the trappings of the modern world with five-star resorts, boutiques selling top-end labels,

and a bustling port city. Pape'ete, the capital of Tahiti (and French Polynesia), has 131,5000 people—around 69% of French Polynesia's total population.

Though Tahiti is usually a stopover for many vacationers heading to the outer islands, it offers many attractions to tempt them beyond a one-night stay. Its assets are its natural attractions—soaring, cloud-swathed mountains, deep valleys, rivers, waterfalls—and ancient temple ruins that dot its valleys. And while the outlying islands have more impressive beaches, Tahiti (1,043 square km [403 square mi]) offers an untamed landscape of both wild black sand beaches and quiet lagoons. Tahiti Iti, just 80 km (50 mi) from the capital, offers the opportunity to chill out completely and find a quiet spot by the beach.

While it's the busiest of the islands, Tahiti still exudes a laid back charm that's incredibly seductive: nobody rushes, races, or worries unduly. People still fish for supper in the lagoon, and amazingly, roosters and chickens can still be seen scratching around not far from the presidential palace.

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Top Reasons To Go

  1. Natural splendor Everything's big on French Polynesia's biggest island—towering mountains, giant waterfalls, and deep valleys.
  2. Surf's up, and up If you're on a quest for legendary waves you've come to the right place. Experts can tackle Teahupoo in Tahiti Iti, otherwise head to Tahiti Nui's beaches—Papenoo, Point Vénus, or Paea.
  3. Heavenly Voices Listen to the "singing Mamas," the Tahitian ladies dressed all in white wearing beautifully decorated straw hats, as they sing at the Paofai Protestant Temple on Pape'ete's Boulevard Pomare every Sunday at 10 am.
  4. Shaken & Stirred If you miss the amazing Heiva festival in July, make sure you catch a traditional dance show, complete with costume changes and fire twirlers, at one of the resorts.

When To Go

When to Go

Tahiti has two seasons: the wet (November–April) and the dry (May–October). The latter is also slightly cooler and is the high season for travel...

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Check historic weather for your trip dates:

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