Tahiti shopping is one of the big draws to this gorgeous island in French Polynesia. Tourists might originally be drawn to the idea of a trip to Tahiti after seeing aerial photos of the turquoise, crystal blue waters with lush green, hibiscus-laden islands. The enthralling natural beauty draws you in, then as you explore further, you’ll discover things to do in Tahiti like diving, surfing, shopping, dining, hiking, and clubbing.
The tourist industry thrives in French Polynesia, as destinations like Tahiti, Bora Bora, and Moorea draw droves of visitors each and every year. The island has accommodated the demand as countless Tahitian stores, hotels, resorts, bars, clubs, villas and other attractions cater to travelers to this green and island paradise in the Pacific.
Shopping in Tahiti presents a pressing question upon arrival: where to begin? In recent years, Bora Bora and Moorea have taken some of the tourist crowd from Tahiti, so it is possible to find reasonable prices on artisan goods. Tourists often go to the island to buy pearls in Tahiti, the world’s largest producer of black pearls. You can buy pearls at a Tahiti pearl market, or from a vendor on the street. However, it is advisable to do your research and purchase from a reputable dealer.
You can find well known and longstanding dealers called “bijouteries” (or jewelry shops) when shopping in Tahiti. At these places, you can find exceptional pearls. Many dealers have been around for years and only set their pearls in 18 karat gold. Others arrange the pearls in the tradition of Polynesian jewelry, while still others offer pieces that have a distinctly European influence. Most of these stores are situated in the Quartier du Commerce around the Centre Vaima.
Bora Bora beaches and Moorea resorts draw tourists from all over the world, and many will find that Tahiti shopping is unlike other shopping experiences. Besides the lucrative and alluring black pearl trade that is a hallmark of shopping in Tahiti, there are popular duty-free shops where tourists can by international high-end designer clothing and jewelry. Most of these kinds of shops are located in the capital of French Polynesia on Tahiti, Papeete. Many travelers interested in purchasing black pearls who want to gain a better understanding of the ins and outs of the business start their search for pearls at the Musee de la Perle Robert Wan. This museum, named after Robert Wan, the man who essentially introduced the pearl trade to Tahiti over a half century ago, gives tourists a better understanding of what to look for and what to avoid when shopping at a Tahiti pearl market.
Tahiti shopping is not limited to black pearls. Visitors also enjoy the opportunity to purchase local goods such as jewelry made from fine shells, wood tiki figures (very popular on the island), oils and soaps derived from local fruits and other scented natural treasures, and handmade bags, hats, clothing, and sarongs. Shopping in Tahiti offers a little something for everyone. You can take a trip to a Tahiti pearl market and come across some of the finest black pearls in the world (the better ones can be quite expensive). You can also find designer clothing, jewelry and perfumes, and locally crafted goods that will stand as a reminder of your enchanted trip to Tahiti.