Tahiti

The coastal road that circles the exterior of both Tahiti Nui and Iti is measured in pointe kilometrique markers, known as PKs. PK0 begins in Pape'ete and markers go in both clockwise and counterclockwise directions, meeting in Taravao, which is PK60 counterclockwise and PK54 clockwise.

The west coast has the most sights and the most traffic; it's wise to set out early on a driving tour to avoid peak-hour traffic. Grab a map so you know whether a sight is at PK10 clockwise or counterclockwise. While the distances are not far, there is quite a lot to see on the west coast—beaches, surf breaks, museums, gardens and an excellent golf course—and it may take much longer than you think.

Tahiti Nui also has a handful of short interior roads. While a standard car can access the roads to the Belvedere lookout, the Three Waterfalls, and the start of the walking and 4WD trails in the Papenoo Valley, it's not possible to cross the island from north to south, or south to north, without a 4WD.

The PK marker system also operates in Tahiti Iti, beginning in Taravao, the town at the isthmus. There are two roads: the north road of 18 km (11 mi) from Taravao to Tautira and the south road, also measuring 18 km (11 mi) from Taravao to Teahupoo. The southeast and east coasts of Tahiti Iti can only be accessed by boat, bicycle, or foot. There is one inland road, leading from near Taravao up onto the Taravao Plateau and Taravao's lookout, also called the Belvedere.

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  • 1. Afaahiti, Pueu, and Tautira

    Town/Village

    Pueu has a good surf break, ideal for beginners and body boarders. Taurita is the most remote of the three towns and has fantastic mountain...Read More

  • 2. Fenua Aihere

    Trail/Path

    This is the name given to the remote eastern section of Tahiti Iti, which lies between the north coast and the south coast road. A wild and...Read More

  • 3. Marae Nuutere

    Archaeological Site/Ruins

    Restored in 1994, this marae is one of several found in Tahiti Iti's interior valleys. There are remnants of altars, meeting areas, and seats...Read More

  • 4. Maui Beach

    Beach–Sight

    This picturesque beach, complete with popular café is located around PK6 along the south coast road. The Maui Cave is a short walk inland. ...Read More

  • 5. Pari Coast Trail

    Trail/Path

    If you're staying at or visiting the village of Tautira, take the 15-km (9-mi) walking track along the stunningly beautifully—and wild—Pari...Read More

  • 6. Taravao Plateau

    Viewpoint/Scenic Overlook

    Several hundred meters above the north coastal road is Tahiti Iti's lush agricultural center. Visitors will be shocked to see cattle grazing...Read More

  • 7. Teahupoo

    Beach–Sight

    Pronounced Cho-Poo, this is the big draw of the region, though people aren't coming for just the beach. Teahupoo is home to the huge left-hander...Read More

  • 8. Toahotu, Vairao, and Teahupoo

    Town/Village

    Expect to find a little more action in these three south coast villages than in the north coast towns, as they are visited by surfers making...Read More

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