Answers from Our Experts (1)
Tahiti is the cultural heart of French Polynesia, and wherever you go on the island, you'll be exposed to an array of rich experiences. To appreciate the culture in Tahiti, you must first understand the island's history. Pay a visit to the Museum of Tahiti and Her Islands to learn more about the Polynesian people and their unique cultural heritage. Then, explore a rural village and get a sense of how the island has changed, and how much of it has remained very traditional.
To experience modern-day culture, head to Vai'ete Square on a Friday or Saturday night and dine at the local food trucks, Les Roulottes; then wake up on Sunday morning and visit Tahiti's marketplace, Le Marché. These are the popular local hangouts and the peak times to catch the locals out and about.
You can even discover a range of cultural experiences without leaving your resort. Some hotels provide demonstrations on how to crack open a coconut or how to wear a Tahitian wrap called a pareo. They also frequently offer live musical entertainment and traditional dance performances. For the best show on the island, we recommend the Polynesian show at the InterContinental Tahiti Resort, offered on Friday and Saturday nights.
The most authentic way to be fully immersed in the culture is to visit Tahiti during a special event or festival. During the month of July, for example, Tahiti celebrates Heiva I Tahiti, a spectacular month-long festival of Polynesian culture and dance. Take part in some of the activities and you'll feel as though you've been transported to another place in time.