Travelers often call this spot Tahiti, but technically, it includes Tahiti and Moorea, and these two islands are part of the territory that makes up French Polynesia, explains WorldAtlas. But whatever you call it, people all over the world know to picture lovely beaches and exotic landscapes.
But you need to know more than just advice like "pack a bikini" when you begin prepping for a trip to Tahiti. Here are 11 things to know while planning your trip to this exotic island.
What To Do While Visiting Tahiti
Plenty of vacationers head to Tahiti for tropical weddings or honeymoons. But it's also an enticing place because the mountainous terrain offers plenty to explore. You can surf, scuba dive, fish, and explore the Les Trois Cascades, the resident mountain range.
There's also the Tomb of King Pomare the Fifth, from the time when Tahiti was overseen by a Pomare rather than the country of France. You can take a day trip to Mount Orohena, or visit the Faarumai Waterfall, too.
Try Out Tahiti From June To October
As WorldAtlas explains, summer in Tahiti lasts from November to April, and you probably want to skip that season. Cooler trade winds help cool things down to a reasonable level in June through August and October. Of course, if you're planning to lie on the beach, any time of year is good. Just bring plenty of sunscreen.
Stay Near The Beach While Visiting The Island
Where you stay in Tahiti depends on what you want to do while you're there. But in general, staying at a hotel on the western coast will prove the best decision. You'll be close enough to the beaches to enjoy watersports and snorkeling (or just lie out and tan), but you'll also be within a day trip of Mount Orohena for epic adventuring on land.
Of course, there are few accommodations elsewhere on the island, so the coast is your best bet anyhow.
Finding A Hotel In Tahiti Is Easy
There's no shortage of hotels in Tahiti, but not all have rave reviews. We do have some suggestions, though. If you're looking for a cozy B&B with all the amenities, check out Fare D'hôtes Tutehau in Pape'ete. It has good Wi-Fi, an onsite bar, and plenty of lush surroundings. Plus, it's under $100 per night.
If you want something a bit flashier (and with ocean views), check out InterContinental Resort Tahiti, which goes for just under $300 per night. It's a waterfront spa resort that has two onsite pools and amazing views. Manava Suite Resort Tahiti and Tahiti Pearl Beach Resort & Spa offer similarly luxurious accommodations for around $180 and $400 per night, respectively.
Tropical Dining Options On Tahiti
Since Tahiti is an island, you'll find plenty of mouthwatering seafood during your travels. There will be a lot of fresh fish and tropical fruit like coconut, pineapple, and banana, and you're more likely to find leaf wrappings instead of styrofoam containers.
You'll find fish like tuna, mahi-mahi, bonito, and grouper in Tahiti, notes Tripsavvy. You may also find fish like barracuda, plus octopus, on local menus. And of course, the national dish of Poisson Cru, a sort of ceviche made with raw tuna, is omnipresent. Food is traditionally cooked in an underground oven, too.
How To Get Around The Island
The good news is that Tahiti has an international airport, so you can fly there from almost anywhere in the world.
But while you can take a taxi to your destination in Tahiti, your best bet is to choose a central location from which to explore. Then, you can rent a bicycle and take in all the sights the way the locals do.
Renting a car is also an option. And if you decide to head to another island (like nearby Moorea), you'll need to charter a boat or hop on a plane.
Tahitian Points Of Interest
Both rainforests and high mountain peaks are highlights in Tahiti. There's everything from coral reefs (scuba dive there) to Mount Orohena at over 7,000 feet in elevation. You can check out black-sand beaches, waterfalls, extinct volcanoes, and lagoons. There are even museums (including a museum centered on Polynesian culture) and the Papeete Market for shopping.
Swimming with the sea life is another common attraction, whether you opt to scuba dive or not.
How Expensive Is Tahiti?
Sure, lots of celebs like to explore French Polynesia. But how expensive is it? Firs, the Islands of Tahiti use the Pacific franc (XPF), just like the rest of French Polynesia. But per TahitiTourisme, the exchange rate with the Euro never changes. 100 francs equal .838 Euros, which can be a benefit depending on what currency you're exchanging from.
Currently, $1USD equals 110.05 Francs. Most travelers caution that going to Tahiti (and other French Polynesian spots) can prove expensive. So, you should be prepared with some spending money just in case. Most vacationers recommend at least a few hundred dollars per week. Also, though you may be able to use USD, the exchange rate likely won't be as good as if you traded currency beforehand.
Finding Flight Deals To Tahiti
You might think that since everyone in the US is desperate to escape winter, Tahiti would be busy then. But USA Today says that travel to Tahiti during their summer season (winter in the US) is the least expensive.
You might get a bit toasty over Tahitian summer, but as long as you're lounging on the beach and dipping in the water (or the river) or hiding under the canopy of the jungle, it should be totally worth the compromise!
Get To Know Tahiti's History (And Its Locals)
Tahiti is currently an "overseas country" of France (it used to be a territory of France, notes WorldAtlas), which means the people there have French citizenship. Most of the people who live in French Polynesia are centered around Tahiti, including the capital city Papeete.
French is still the official language in Tahiti, but locals may also speak Tahitian.
Everywhere You Turn, There Are Tahitian Beaches
Tahiti is known for its black-sand beaches and epic shoreline, after all. So you can expect that anywhere you turn, you'll be met with views of the deep blue Pacific and a salty breeze.
A lot of beaches are attached to private resorts (like Tahiti Pearl Beach Resort & Spa, InterContinental Resort Tahiti, and Manava Suite Resort Tahiti), but others are publicly accessible. Plage Vaiava, for example, is an excellent spot to spend an afternoon. Public Beach Papehue is another option.
You can also head over to Moorea and check out Public Beach (yep, that's its name!).