Answers from Our Experts (1)
Tahiti boasts an incredible diversity of things to do. We think you'll find that spending a few days on the island is a nice way to balance out your trip to French Polynesia. Forbes Travel Guide’s editors recommend the following things to see and do while in Tahiti:
1. Visit Le Marché. This marketplace in downtown Papeete is one of the best spots in Tahiti to experience the culture and interact with the locals. It's also the most affordable place to buy everything from vanilla beans to Tahitian black pearls—meaning you'll want to stock up on souvenirs while you're there.
2. Eat at Les Roulottes. To experience Tahiti like a local, head to Vai'ete Square after the sun goes down. This waterfront promenade comes to life every night when Tahiti's gourmet food trucks, Les Roulottes, open their windows to serve a range of affordable meals, including Chinese food, French crépes, fresh fish and pizza.
3. Circle the island on a guided tour. This is a great way to see everything in one day. You'll learn about the history of Tahiti as you travel to various points of interest around the island. Stops include the historical Point Venus, the Museum of Tahiti and Her Islands, the Paul Gauguin Museum and the botanical gardens.
4. Explore the island's interior. Beyond the hustle and bustle of the downtown area, Tahiti is actually a very lush island with tropical gardens, cascading waterfalls and soaring mountains. This part of the island is often the least explored, but it's also the most beautiful. To discover the island's interior, we recommend a guided hiking tour. If you're feeling up to it, climb to the top of Mount Aorai and you'll enjoy some of the best panoramic views of the island.
5. Go surfing or take lessons. Tahiti is one of the greatest surfing destinations in the world. If you're a surfing aficionado, chances are you're familiar with the island's renowned surf spot, Teahupo'o. To witness these infamous waves, you'll need to visit the small part of the island known as Tahiti Iti. If you're a beginner, you can take surfing lessons and learn how to ride some of the smaller waves on the island.