The sound of rain falling out of the sky on a thatched roof, the once living palm fronds dampening the sound so it lacks the sharpness of a tin roof, yet it remains just as rhythmic. The sun tumbling down upon the shallow bays turning them into the most amazing hues God has ever created. The volcanic remnants that jut from the earth, jagged, steep demanding your attention. All these are reasons to visit Tahiti and her islands, but as with the person you love, physical beauty was just the attraction, underneath you will find many more reasons to fall in love with the Tahitian Islands and her people.
Tahiti and her Islands are located some 10,000 miles from Metropolitan France, yet remain an eclectic mix of French and Polynesian culture. These islands cover a huge ocean surface of some 4 million square kilometers, which is the same area as Europe and comprise 118 islands in 5 archipelagos (an island group). Each archipelago has its own character.
The iconic name “Tahiti” not only identifies the main island, but also describes the groups of islands that make up French Polynesia.
Taihit’s Main Islands:
Tahiti and Her Islands were settled by Polynesians coming from Tonga and Samoa between AD 300 and 800. The islands were first spotted by a Spanish ship in 1606 but it took another 160 years till the islands were officially discovered by Samuel Wallis, an English sea captain. Wallis was followed in April 1768 by the French explorer Louis-Antoine de Bougainville.
The Tahiti’s Queen Pomare ruled Tahiti until 1847, when she finally accepted French protection of the islands of Tahiti and Moorea. The island remained a French protectorate until 1880, when King Pomare V was forced to cede the sovereignty of Tahiti and its dependencies to France. In 1957, all the islands of Tahiti were reconstituted as the overseas French territory called French Polynesia. In 1984, a statue of autonomy was implemented and, in 1998, French Polynesia became an overseas country with greater self-governing powers with their own assembly and president.
Not to be missed is a four-wheel tour of the interior of the island of Tahiti. Snake your way
up to Mount Marau for an incredible bird’s eye view of Punaruu Valley, once a French fortress. Heading up further you will be inspired by a magnificent panorama of the island’s highest peaks: Orohena, Aorai, Tetufera and Teamaa.
You continue your day tour to the Tiarei Arahoho Blow Hole, located roadside at the base of a steep cliff. For eons the surf has undercut the basalt shoreline and eroded a passage to the surface beneath the road. When waves crash against the rocks, the result is a geyser-like plume of sea water that rains down on those nearby.
You will see waterfalls amid the lush rainforest where a short walk will bring you to two of the most beautiful: Haamaremare Iti and Haamaremare Rahi. Of course you and your loved one will have time to cool off in the pristine water. You will fall in love.
Les Roulottes is the Papeete Food Night Market, a collection of trucks set along the Waterfront Esplanade. The variety of local food amidst an atmosphere that is Tahiti, you will find as many or more locals as oppose to tourist – remember you are in Tahiti, not Hawaii.
Diverse offerings include everything from the local catch, Asian dishes and to die for French crepes sweet and savory. You will find plenty of tables to enjoy your food as well as local performers to provide live entertainment and the prices are most reasonable.
If you love diving or snorkeling, Tahiti is truly paradise found. Come on, jump right in ! You will see some of the most diverse fish that you have ever seen outside of aquarium, most quite large by Caribbean standards.
Have a fear of water and what lies beneath? A great first time snorkel experience is the natural lagoonarium at the beautiful Intercontinental Tahiti Resort- salt water and fish, and nothing scary in sight. A few hours practicing with a snorkel is often all you need to gain that bit of confidence that will make you comfortable gliding through the calm water almost effortlessly.
Once you get your feet wet, venture out into the open ocean, which is clear, calm and shallow simply perfect for discovering all the magnificent fish and coral. Perhaps you want to dive in and earn your PADI Scuba certification where you can venture out further and deeper. You soon will be so enthralled with the miraculous world under the surface, you will forget any fear and remember only the peace that surrounds you while diving and the wide-eyed child-like joy that comes with each new discovery.
Looking for more water adventure?
- Stand-up Paddle boards
- Waverunner Tours
- Swimming with Sting Rays
- Whale Watching
- Snorkeling with Manta Rays
All these and so much more can be part of your magical vacation.
Did you know?
Tahiti is in the same time zone as Hawaii.
The local currency is the Pacific Franc, CFP or XPF. It is linked to the Euro. $1 is about 90 CFP.
It is an 8 hour flight from Los Angeles to Papeete, Tahiti.
While those dreamy overwater bungalows can be a budget buster, a week in Tahiti can be comparable with a week at a 5 star resort in Mexico!
Fun Fact: More people visit Hawaii in 10 days then visit Tahiti in a year!
To plan your dream Tahitian Vacation, or honeymoon call Kansas Cities most experience South Pacific Travel Specialist, and an Advanced Open Water PADI Diver, and the only travel agent Aussie, New Zealand, and South Pacific Specialist.