Tahiti island, the biggest island of French Polynesia, is the archipelago's number one tourist destination and the epitome of paradise. Although referred to as one large island, Tahiti is actually composed of two islands; Tahiti Nui and the smaller island of Tahiti Iti. Both islands are home to the lush scenery that make this tropical vacation spot so famous. This South Pacific vacation destination is easily accessible and a great starting point for your French Polynesian vacation. The island of Tahiti has everything to offer from its crown of mountains and waterfalls to relaxing white and black sand beaches.
The capital of the island of Tahiti is Papeete, which is home to numerous cultural attractions and serves as the center of entertainment. At the local market, Le Marche, you can purchase local crafts and food along with fresh fruit and flowers. Some of the treasures to be discovered at the market include native wood carvings, Tahitian pearls, and monoi oil. Papeete is also the center of resorts, nightclubs, and restaurants that specialize in local and international food. You can enjoy traditional Tahitian feasts accompanied by music and dancing or take a more low-key approach and purchase your dinner from a local food wagon located in Vai'ete Sqaure.
There are various attractions on Tahiti island that make it an ideal vacation spot for families and couples. Couples can choose from the various resorts that offer romance packages and remote rooms while families can participate in daily excursions and organized activities. A must-do on your Tahiti vacation is the Circle-Island tour. The tour covers over 71 miles of breathtaking coastline scenery. It allows visitors to get a true feel for the luscious island and its vistas, natural beauty and ancient culture. You can also enjoy the peaceful interior of Tahiti island on a 4x4 safari, a helicopter tour, or a hiking tour led by an experienced naturalist. Experience the lush interior, panoramic views, grottos, and lava tubes while enjoying a day in the sun. The majority of these guided tours include stops at waterfalls, mountain peaks, and natural pools.
The list of things to do on Tahiti also includes various historical sites. The Museum of Tahiti traces the development of the tropical island and the culture and tradition of the Polynesian people. The James Norman Hall Home is the carefully preserved dwelling of one of Tahiti's most famous authors. He penned numerous fables of the South Seas and also co-authored Mutiny on the Bounty. Visitors can explore his homestead, art collection, and large library. Another point of historical interest is The Gauguin Museum. Situated in the Harrison Smith Botanical Gardens, it traces Paul Gauguin's years on Tahiti and in the Marquesas. It features memorabilia from the late painter as well as sketches and reproductions of his most famous paintings. The Pearl Museum is also a unique stop on the island of Tahiti where you can visit the only museum in the world dedicated to pearls. Another historical stop on your Tahiti vacation should be Point Venus. Located on a peninsula covered with black-sand beaches, it is the historic landing site of numerous early explorers and the place where Captain James Cook observed the transit of Venus in 1769.
For those who wish to spend time in nature on their Tahiti vacation, scuba diving is an excellent choice. Diving on the island of Tahiti provides opportunities for beginner and advanced divers as it has a diverse underwater terrain perfect for any level. The shallow waters surrounding the island make it an ideal place for those learning to dive. Further out from the island, more advance divers have the opportunity to discover sunken ships, planes and oceanic drop-offs. The tranquil and shallow waters also make Tahiti a great snorkeling destination. Snorkeling is a great alternative that allows visitors to explore the world below the ocean but not at the depths of diving.
The island of Tahiti is the perfect vacation for honeymooners, couples, and families alike. The “Queen Island” boasts the largest range of hotels and resorts to accommodate the needs of any traveler. You can opt for a simpler hotel or pension in downtown Papeete or book a posh room at one of the numerous Tahitian resorts; including Hotel Tiare Tahiti, Le Meridien Tahiti and the Sofitel Tahiti Maeva Beach Resort. With the organized tours offered by resorts and local companies, the exploration of the interior of the island, and water activities your itinerary on Tahiti will be packed full. The main center of Papetee also allows vacationers to experience the culture of the Tahitian people. The various activities, beaches, and historical sites allow for a fun-filled yet relaxing Tahiti vacation for those looking to get away to the South Pacific.