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Best things to do in Tahiti

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Where in the world: South Pacific  /  French Polynesia  /  Society Islands  /  Tahiti

Top 15 things to do in Tahiti

1. Tahiti Safari Expedition, Arue

Suggested duration: 8 hours
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2. Municipal Market, Papeete

Shop for a variety of goods including locally sourced food and handcrafted goods at Municipal Market, an attractive covered market hall. Locals and tourists flock here for their shopping needs and to enjoy the feast of colors. Dedicated vendors attend stalls selling a rich diversity of products, pearls and wood-carvings to vanilla and perfume. Take time to see the impressive floral displays used in the traditional dances of French Polynesia, and to sample the freshly cooked local cuisine on offer from the numerous food carts. Bring cash in local currency, as most vendors do not accept foreign denominations.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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3. Tahiti Lagoon Paradise

Tahiti Lagoon Paradise runs private cruising and snorkeling tours that ensure lots of chances to spot dolphins, whales, turtles, and tropical fish. It's the ideal opportunity to sightsee at your own pace, on an exclusive tour that starts and ends at your convenience. All tours include all the needed snorkeling gear, with free pictures of the experience sent to you by email within 24 hours. Visit the website for contact details, information about all available trips, and booking instructions.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
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5. Point Venus

Combine sunbathing with a bit of Tahitian culture and history at Point Venus, a public black-sand beach. Said to be the spot from which Captain Cook watched the planet Venus cross in front of the sun, the beach includes a monument commemorating the explorer, as well as a lighthouse designed by the father of "Treasure Island" author Robert Louis Stevenson. Take a dip in the shallow waters and gaze across the sea at the island of Moorea. With ample shade, the site also presents a great opportunity for a picnic.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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Tours including Point Venus:

6. James Norman Hall Home

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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7. Arahoho Blowhole, Papeete

Get splashed by the waves at Arahoho Blowhole, a strange geological highlight of Tahiti's coast. Long ago, liquid lava cut a tunnel through the volcanic rock of the coast here, which now allows seawater into its confined space. When a wave comes in, it gets trapped and is forced up and out through the "blowhole," spraying the surrounding area and looking much like a volcanic geyser. Stand on the viewing platform and get covered in the warm seawater as you snap photos of the impressive and unusual natural spectacle. Note that the attraction remains closed until early 2016.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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Tours including Arahoho Blowhole:

8. Musee de la perle et Bijouterie, Papeete

Learn about the history of pearl cultivation and its cultural importance to the country at Musee de la perle et Bijouterie, an informative and interesting set of exhibits and displays. Discover the processes of grafting, selecting, and farming pearls, and the historical and cultural context of the pearl industry in French Polynesia. The world's first museum focusing solely on pearls, the venue displays some of the finest pearls, and pieces created using them, in a relaxing and educational environment. Head to the boutique gift shop and let the knowledgeable staff assist you in finding a present or memento to take home.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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9. Paofai Gardens, Papeete

Stroll around Paofai Gardens and soak up Papeete's laid-back coastal ambiance. These well-maintained public gardens sit next to the bay and include a paved path that meanders past flower boxes and trees. Relax on the ample green space, admire the ships coming into dock at the harbor, and watch locals go canoeing during their lunch breaks. With a playground for the kids and numerous picnic tables, the gardens make a peaceful place for family activities.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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10. Paul Gauguin Museum

Suggested duration: 30 minutes
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11. Papeete Roulottes, Papeete

Indulge at Papeete Roulottes, a charming waterfront cluster of food trucks offering local and international cuisine. Locals and tourists alike flock here for the diverse selection of reasonably priced fare made fresh throughout the day. Chinese, Japanese, Belgian, French, and Italian--you have your pick of the world's most popular cuisines in the outdoor cooking environment. Browse the variety of colors, smells, and tastes before making your decision.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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12. Museum of Tahiti and the Islands, Punaauia

Learn about the history and culture of French Polynesia at Museum of Tahiti and the Islands, housing an extensive array of exhibits, artifacts, and audio-visual experiences. Examine the ethnographic displays featuring traditional tools, dress, and boats used by the island's native inhabitants, then delve into its natural history through the collections of shells, taxidermied animals, and ornithological drawings. The onsite cafe, shop, and well-maintained parkland make the museum a well-rounded place for relaxation as well as education.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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13. Notre Dame Cathedral, Papeete

Enter a bright, warm, and welcoming church at Notre Dame Cathedral, whose late 19th-century structure represents one of the last remaining examples of early colonial architecture in Papeete. With its yellow exterior and red steeple, the gentle palette of colors blends in with the locale and the atmosphere of the town. Inside, the art and design represent both European and indigenous sensibilities, creating a synthesis that feels contemporary and engaging. You're encouraged to go in and look around, but do remember that it still functions as a place of worship.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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14. Fautaua

See the stunning rush of water at Fautaua, a cascading natural wonder hidden in the Tahitian forest. Take a tour or follow the signposts to reach this secluded gem, surrounded by lush green trees and ecologically diverse woodland. Enjoy a snack from the onsite food shack, or bring a picnic to enjoy on the rocks. Read the information panels to learn the history of this popular scenic spot and take off your shoes to go paddling in the pool at the foot of the waterfall. Note that the attraction can be a little tricky to find, so plan the route in advance and keep your eyes peeled.
Suggested duration: 6 hours
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15. Scuba & Snorkeling, Punaauia

Suggested duration: 8 hours
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