Tahiti, the largest of 118 islands that make up French Polynesia, has always been associated with the exotic – pristine beaches, beautiful blue waters, secluded hide-aways, friendly people, and more. No wonder the likes of painter Paul Gauguin and author James Michener were enchanted with Tahiti and its surrounding islands. It’s time to take a closer look at what makes Tahiti so enticing:
Papeete. While many may pass up staying directly on Tahiti for Bora Bora or even Moorea, don’t miss out on exploring the Tahitian capital of Papeete. Here, take time to visit the Marche de Papeete – the main marketplace – where you can find handicrafts and souvenirs, taste the local food, and just take in the ambience of Tahiti. Don’t miss the Robert Wan Pearl Museum where you can see how black pearls are made. You can also explore the Parc Bougainville and the grounds of the Presidential Palace.
The Circle Road. Take an opportunity to explore the Circle Road, which is a 120 km road around the island. During your trip, stop to see the botanical garden and waterfalls at the Grotto de Marea, which rumor has it was one of Gauguin’s favorite swimming spots. A little further along the road is the Gauguin Museum to learn more about his time in Tahiti and French Polynesia. If you love to surf, you may want to stop at Tahiti Iti, where the waves rival those in Hawaii. Don’t miss the Arahoho Blowhole, where the force of waves crashing against the rocky shoreline creates a natural geyser-like phenomenon. And if you are a fan of the Mutiny on the Bounty stories, stop by author James Normal Hall’s Home to find out more about his life as an author.
The Belvedere. For a spectacular view of Tahiti and its signature mountains, the Belvedere overlook is not to be missed. From this vantage point, you can even see Moorea island! While, you’re there, have lunch at Le Belvedere restaurant (French, of course!).
Mount Aorai. If you are looking for a bit of adventure, consider hiking up to the summit of Mount Aorai, the third highest peak in Tahiti. While it’s a challenging and dangerous climb, it is one of the most rewarding. The complete hike is about 11k, but it is recommended that you do it in two stages, staying at one of the refuge huts along the way.
Papara Beach – Plage de Taharuu. A visit to Tahiti wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Plage de Taharuu – one of the best black sand beaches on the island!
Bora Bora. If you’re looking for paradise, don’t miss visiting neighboring Bora Bora. Whether it’s hiking, bicycling, spending time on the beach or visiting the famous Bloody Mary’s restaurant, Bora Bora is a relaxing distraction that you won’t forget.
Moorea. Moorea, the Magical Island, is just that, and needs to be part of your trip to Tahiti. Relax on the beaches, explore the island on foot or by bicycle, tour the juice factory (which makes liquors too!) and drink in the flora and fauna of the region at the tropical gardens near Opunohu Bay.
The best way to see Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea and the rest of French Polynesia is by cruise ship. Why not see Tahiti in style on a Paul Gauguin Cruise? Let us help you plan your Tahiti trip today. Give us a call at (805) 236-4437.
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