Tahiti is the largest of the 118 islands and atolls that make up French Polynesia. 467km ² area consists of mountain peaks with heights up to 2.241m forming a crown in the scattered clouds. Deep valleys covered by tropical forest and ferns, with waterfalls that spill into cool rivers flowing through fields of flowers.
Around Tahiti-Nui (big Tahiti) of 114 km road winds between the sea and mountains, and Tahiti Peninsula-I (the small Tahiti) the road continues another 20 km on both coasts. Interior road passing near dairy farms and citrus groves, for panoramic view of the Plateau Taravao – isthmus connecting two islands. Although the island of Tahiti is very attractive, large population here makes extended stay is not pleasant. Other nearby islands (Moorea, Bora Bora, Huahine) is an oasis of beauty and romance, being more suitable for holiday and honeymoon than Tahiti.
Tahiti and trips but have enough opportunities to be a pleasant location for a few days. You can visit the Harrison Smith Botanical Gardens, you can learn something about the history of the islands at the Museum of Tahiti and Islands, you can see the underwater world at Lagunariu and the Gauguin Museum you can see the artist’s paintings. The museum is open every day from 9 to 17. Activities include golf at the spectacular American land, island tours, helicopter tours, horse riding, tennis, diving, sailing, fishing, water skiing and day trips to the atoll, Tetiaroa, which belonged to Marlon Brando.
James Norman Hall Home, Tahiti
A place of reverence for the literature lovers, this historic home used to be the home of James Norman Hall, the co-author of Mutiny on the Bounty, Pitcairn’s Island and other tales of adventure in the South Pacific.
Sibani Perles Joallier, Papeete
Those with a taste for all things exquisite can pick up fine pearl jewelry, gifts, watches and more souvenirs from this shop.
Fautaua Waterfall, Tahiti
One of the tallest waterfalls in the world, Fautaua falls cascades down from a staggering height of more than 980 feet.
Museum of Tahiti and Her Islands, Punaauia
Polynesian history, culture, environment and ethnology are at display in this Museum.
Municipal Market, Papeete
You name it and this large and bustling flea market hall has it, be it local farm products, handicrafts, souvenirs or an exotic variety of sea food and other food products, all are on offer here.
Tahiti Lagoonarium, Tahiti
A unique combination of fish park and aquarium, more than 1,000 different species of marine life including sharks, moray eels, turtles and tropical fish can be seen here.
Paul Gauguin Museum, Tahiti
This museum presents educational and entertaining tableaux of Gauguin’s life in French Polynesia in the form of ancient sculptures, wood carvings, and engravings.
Point Venus, Tahiti
This historic landing site has been a gateway to Tahiti for many famous explorers such as Captain Cook and Captain William Bligh who were mesmerized by this scenic Bay located on the tip of a peninsula surrounded with black-sand beaches.
Maraa Grotto, Tahiti
Be amused by the optical illusion created by the black water lake in this cave, which appears much smaller than it actually is.
Musee de la Perle Robert Wan, Tahiti
A specialty museum dedicated to pearls is a fascinating sight for any tourists as they marvel at the precious exhibits depicting the art, history, philosophy and mythology of these beautiful gems.
Excursions of Tahiti
Harrison W. Smith Botanical Garden
Teeming with footpaths where visitors can view its acres of well-cultivated plants, the Botanical Gardens of Papeari feature bamboo, bananas, palms, hibiscus and mapes (an indigenous chestnut tree). The Gardens are a testament to the work of American botanist Harrison Smith, who moved to Tahiti in 1919 to set up the vast garden on his 137-hectare Motu Ovini estate.
Relax in the shade of the massive banyan tree at Tahiti’s Bougainville Park. Named in honor of the french explorer and navigator, Louis Antoine de Bougainville (1729-1811), this scenic park is lined with concrete benches where visitors can relax in the shade of a huge banyan tree.
Cathedral of Notre Dame of Papeete
Located in the center of Papeete, the majestic Cathedral of Notre Dame is one of Tahiti’s most awe-inspiring structures. The exterior’s modest grey facade is offset by a red-tiled spire. Indoors, the church features gorgeous original stained glass dating back to 1875.
Vaihiria River & Vaihiria Lake
Tahiti’s only real lake, Vaihiria is a vast reservoir for rain and the river water that plunges down the outer wall of the Papenoo crater. Surrounded by luxuriant, green mountains, the Vaihiria Lake area is popular for its large eels and nearby banana plantations.
Maraa Fern Grotto
These fern-covered caverns have become a must-see destination for Tahiti visitors. The site actually features three grottos – yawning holes in the cliff with shallow pools of water inside. The lush, emerald vegetation hangs over Paroa Grotto (”great wall”) like so many stalactites. The grotto gives the optical illusion of being smaller than it actually is.
Musee de Coquillages (Museum of Seashells)
Both collectors and the curious will enjoy a visit to this unique museum housed inside a handsome, white colonial-style building. The museum also features a gift shop which sells quality crafts, including woven baskets, hats, and hand-made purses.
Musee de Tahiti et ses Isles (Museum of Tahiti and her islands)
A visit to Tahiti would be incomplete without a stop to the Musee’ de Tahiti, which has been judged one of the finest and most modern museums in the South Pacific. Founded in 1978, the museum features a broad range of exhibits on Tahitian culture, history and geology. Visit the Exhibition Building and enjoy the museum’s superlative collection of paintings, prints and sculptures.
Paul Gauguin’s Home & Mataiea Village
Painter Paul Gauguin (1848 -1903) is world renowned for his earth-hued portraits of Tahiti and its natives. Located in Punaauia, just south of Papeete, visit the home where the famed painter created some his most famous masterpieces. Art lovers will also want to visit the hut at Mataiea Village, where Gauguin created more masterworks.
Dedicated to the work of Paul Gauguin, the Gauguin Museum is situated in a contemporary, Japanese-style building just opposite the Botanical Gardens of Papeari.
The facility features exhibits and memorabilia from the late painter himself, including sketches, documents (mostly in facsimile), block prints, reproductions and a handful of original creations.
With its heavy concentration of businesses and services, Vaima Center is one of the main nerve centers of Tahiti. Situated directly across the waterfront, this four-level, block-square shopping center has everything from airline bureaus, banks and boutiques, to book stores, travel agencies and restaurants.
Located in the heart of downtown Papeete, in the Vaima shopping center, the Robert Wan Pearl Museum is dedicated specifically to pearls.
Here, you will gain a full perspective into the world of pearls. From historical times to the present day, you will learn of the pearl and its relation to art, religion, mythology and even to the lives of such important figures as Christopher Columbus, The Queen of England and The Pope.
James Norman Hall Home
The James Norman Hall home, situated in Arue, a few kilometers from Papeete, looks out northwards to the famous Matavai Bay where Cook first landed in 1769. Visitors may walk around Mama Lala’s magnificent garden or relax under the terraced mango tree enjoying fresh beverages and local Tahitian pastry from the family kitchen, now a coffee and tea room.