Tahiti is the stuff of which tropical dreams are made, no doubt about it. This stunning archipelago in the South Pacific (also known as French Polynesia) checks all the boxes: pristine beaches, turquoise water, thatched roof bungalows over that same water, waterfalls and rainforests, friendly people. The list goes on. Plus, it’s an eight-hour direct flight from LA to paradise. Here’s why you need to go:
Those gorgeous Tahitian pearls you’ve seen are from the black-lipped oysters found around French Polynesia. Since the oysters grow to be quite large, the resulting pearls are bigger than most. The pearls you’ll likely see for sale are dark gray and brown – a true black Tahitian pearl is rare and hard to come by.
From poisson cru (ceviche with raw fish marinated in coconut milk and lime juice) to abundant tropical fruit, Tahiti is heaven for foodies. There is a decidedly French influence in the cuisine, as you would find in New Caledonia. The unique fusion of French tastes and local Tahitian ingredients make for a fantastic array of top-quality dishes. There are several cooking class options at area hotels and resorts if you want to bring some new skills home with you.
If you visit Tahiti between June and October, you’ll have the opportunity to see humpback whales in the wild. The gentle giants arrive in the area’s warm waters at this time to breed and give birth. Polynesia itself is a Marine Mammal Sanctuary, so you can rest assured that your sightseeing boat is adhering to all of the strict regulations in place to protect the whales.
In the waters surrounding Tahiti’s 112 islands and atolls, you’ll find plenty of room to snorkel. Diving, too, is popular – there are 11 dive centers in all. Float through translucent lagoons in search of kaleidoscopic marine life – there are even shark snorkeling experience available!
With little to no light pollution impeding the view, Tahiti and French Polynesia boast incredible stargazing. Look for the Southern Cross, Scorpio and The Pleiades.
Learn about Tahiti’s history and culture through the region’s art and craft traditions. The islands’ incredibly welcoming and kind people will gladly show off their music, dance, weaving, carving and tattooing skills. There are festivals happening all the time, including those devoted to dance, javelin throwing, film, fashion and more. Or, check out the Maison de la Culture in Papeete.
Imagine waking up to the gentle lapping of the water below your bungalow, sipping coffee on your private deck, then slipping into the water for a dip. Lift a glass panel in the floor and feed the fish swimming below. Then, what’s that? Your breakfast being personally delivered via canoe? This is the life.
On the northeastern side of Tahiti Nui, marvel at the Arahoho Blowhole. As the waves pound against the cliffs, a large rush of sea spray spurts out through a hole in the rocks – a great photo op! Feel like getting into the interior a bit? Take a jungle tour through Tahiti’s lush rainforests. Don’t overlook Tahiti’s many waterfalls, most of them accessible via a short hike. The most popular are Les Trois Cascades and the Three Waterfalls (also known as the Faarumai Waterfalls).
Ready to escape to paradise? Let’s chat about Tahiti vacation options.
August 4, 2023