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The absolute best things to do in Tahiti — as told be photos and a blogger who has traveled well around the world.

When my mom told me she wanted to go to Bora Bora for her 50th birthday – I was pleasantly surprised that this trip would automatically include Tahiti too! The truth is, until this trip, I hadn’t thoroughly researched French Polynesia – what a mistake!

So, you’re headed to French Polynesia, stopping in Tahiti, and wondering — what are the best things to do in Tahiti? Tahiti is the largest island in French Polynesia – a tropical paradise known for its stunning beauty, vibrant culture, and often referred to as a stopover to any other island in French Polynesia.

Located in the South Pacific Ocean, Tahiti is a popular destination for honeymooners, adventurers, and those seeking a relaxing getaway.

We made a stop in Tahiti when traveling to Bora Bora for my mom’s 50th birthday – and I must say Tahiti, is NOT just a layover! There are plenty of beautiful places in Tahiti. It has a charm of its own.

In this post, I’ll cover:

  • About Tahiti
  • Must-See Places in Tahiti
  • Best Hotels & Resorts in Tahiti

You can find more photos & videos on  @StephBeTravel.


Catch a sunset at the Intercontinental Tahiti Resort & Spa

Sunset view from the lobby of the Intercontinental Resort & Spa in Tahiti

About Tahiti


Tahiti is located in the archipelago of Society Islands in French Polynesia, approximately 8 hours by plane from Los Angeles and 5 hours from Auckland, New Zealand.


The island is divided into two main parts: Tahiti Nui (Big Tahiti) and Tahiti Iti (Small Tahiti). Tahiti Nui is home to the capital city of Papeete, while Tahiti Iti is known for its rugged beauty and pristine beaches.


Tahiti is rich in Polynesian culture, with traditional dance, music, and art playing a central role in daily life. Visitors can experience traditional performances, visit local markets, and learn about the history of the island at museums and cultural centers.


Tahiti is located on the continent of Oceania, easily accessible from major cities around the world, with regular flights to and from Papeete’s Faa’a International Airport.

Who It’s For (Everyone!)

French Polynesia is often pigeon-holed into a honeymoon destination. On one end, yes, it’s that special and it worthy of a hallmark moment. On the other end, it’s not just reasonable to, but just as beautiful to experience with anyone. I saw seniors, families with young kids, girl trips, and more while staying in Tahiti. I personally spent some time there traveling solo, and some with my adults-only family. Tahiti is a very romantic destination, its suitable for couples — and everyone else.

When to Travel to Tahiti

While Tahiti is a dream destination year-round, there are certainly pros and cons to visiting during the off-season.

Let’s start with the off-season, which typically falls between November and April. We visited during the off-season. Here are some pros and cons:


  1. Lower Prices: Off-season usually means lower prices for accommodations, flights, and activities. You can snag some fantastic deals on hotels and resorts, allowing you to experience luxury at a fraction of the cost.
  2. Fewer Crowds: One of the biggest perks of traveling during the off-season is the reduced crowds. You’ll have more space to yourself on the beaches, at popular attractions, and during tours. This can lead to a more peaceful and intimate experience of Tahiti’s natural beauty.
  3. More Vibrant Landscapes:  The upside is that waterfalls are often at their most impressive during this time


  1. Weather Risks: The off-season coincides with Tahiti’s wet season, which means there’s a higher chance of rain and tropical storms. While you can still enjoy plenty of sunshine, you’ll need to be prepared for occasional downpours. This might impact outdoor activities like hiking and snorkeling. It briefly rained twice during our trip, and we didn’t have a problem with it.
  2. Limited Amenities: Some resorts and tour operators scale back their services during the off-season due to lower demand. This could mean fewer dining options, limited spa services, or reduced tour availability. Be sure to check ahead to see if your favorite amenities will be available during your visit. We didn’t have any issues except for one hotel that we were interested in that was closed for remodeling during the off-season.
  3. Flight Availability: While flights may be cheaper during the off-season, there could be fewer options available, especially if you’re traveling from a less popular departure city or traveling inter-island. Be sure to book your flights well in advance to secure the best deals and ensure you have options for your travel dates.

In conclusion, visiting Tahiti during the off-season can be a fantastic option for budget-conscious travelers who are willing to trade off some amenities for lower prices and fewer crowds. Just be prepared for the possibility of rain and plan accordingly. Ultimately, no matter when you visit Tahiti, you’re sure to be enchanted by its natural beauty and warm hospitality.

Getting Around in Tahiti

Tahiti is a small island, nonetheless, not walkable. Visitors can arrange an airport transfer through their hotel or book a rental car, prior to arrival. Alternatively, hail a taxi cab and pay in cash. Taxis don’t take card in Tahiti. Note that a visitor can’t just call an Uber or Lyft. We booked a private driver for the duration of our stay, which for this destination was our preferred method of transportation.


Alookout from Intercontinental Hotel & Spa

Viewpoint of the sailboats from the Intercontinental Tahiti Resort & Spa 

3 Best Things to Do in Tahiti

Before I dive into the best experiences in Tahiti, I’d like to highlight that I’m assuming that you are stopping in Tahiti on the way to other islands in French Polynesia. Some activities are best reserved for other islands, and so I’m addressing experiences that are wholly unique to Tahiti. Nonetheless, you can’t go wrong where you do which activity. For example, while I took a helicopter tour in Bora Bora, I trust that one in Tahiti would be just as scenic.

With that in mind, here are the 3 “Must-Dos” of Tahiti, that are unique to the destination.

1. Fa’arumai Waterfalls and Mountains

Tahiti is home to lush tropical rainforests, majestic waterfalls, and towering mountains. The interior of the island is perfect for hiking and exploring, with trails that lead to panoramic viewpoints and waterfalls.

Fa’arumai Waterfalls, also known as the “Three Waterfalls,” is a hidden gem. Tucked away in the lush valleys of Tahiti’s interior, this series of cascading waterfalls offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life.

Waterfalls! The best things to do in Tahiti

Fa’arumai Waterfalls


Here’s an overview of Fa’arumai Waterfalls:


Fa’arumai Waterfalls is situated in the Papenoo Valley on the island of Tahiti. The waterfalls are easily accessible by car, with a short hike (aka very comfortable stroll) leading to the viewing area. It’s easily accessible from Papeete, the capital of Tahiti, making it a popular day trip destination for both tourists and locals. The waterfalls are a great place to escape the heat and enjoy the natural beauty of Tahiti’s interior.

Scenic Beauty

The waterfalls are set against a backdrop of lush tropical vegetation, creating a picturesque scene that is perfect for nature lovers and photographers. The crystal-clear waters cascade down the rocky cliffs, creating a soothing and serene atmosphere.


Waterfalls in Tahiti - Things to Do

Fa’arumai Waterfalls

Hiking Trails

The hike to Fa’arumai Waterfalls is relatively easy and takes visitors through verdant valleys and tropical forests. Along the way, hikers can enjoy the sights and sounds of the surrounding nature, including exotic birds and lush vegetation. It’s an easy walk that you can do in sandals and/or with children.

Cultural Significance

Fa’arumai Waterfalls holds cultural significance for the people of Tahiti. According to local legend, the waterfalls are inhabited by spirits known as “Aitu,” and it is believed that swimming in the pool can bring good luck.



2. The Blowhole & Black Sand Beaches

Tahiti is home to a unique geological formation known as a blowhole. Located along the coastline, a blowhole is a natural phenomenon created by underwater caves or lava tubes that release pressurized air and water, resulting in a spectacular spout of water shooting up into the air. The Arahoho Blowholeis located alongside one of Tahiti’s  many black sand beaches.

One of the unique features of Tahiti, its black sand beaches, are created by volcanic activity. These beaches offer a striking contrast to the turquoise waters of the lagoon and are a popular spot for sunbathing and swimming.

Here’s an overview of the blowhole black sand beaches of Tahiti:

Arahoho Blowhole

The blowhole in Tahiti is located on the southern coast of the island, near the village of Teahupo’o. The area is known for its rugged coastline and powerful surf, making it a popular spot for surfers and nature enthusiasts.


The blowhole in Tahiti -- amazing photo spot

Left: the divider between the blowhole and the  “no name” black sand beach,: Right: Arahoho Blowhole


  • The blowhole is formed by underwater lava tubes or caves that have been eroded by the constant pounding of the waves. When a wave enters the cave, it compresses the air inside, forcing it out through a small opening in the surface, creating the impressive spout of water.
  • In addition to the blowhole itself, the surrounding area is known for its natural beauty, with rugged cliffs, lush vegetation, and panoramic ocean views. Visitors can take in the sights and sounds of the blowhole while enjoying the stunning scenery of Tahiti’s coastline. I prefer this to the other, more famous black sand beaches of Tahiti.
  • The blowhole in Tahiti is easily accessible by car, with parking available nearby. Visitors can walk along the coastline to reach the blowhole and enjoy the views from the shore.
  • While the blowhole is a fascinating natural phenomenon to witness, it’s important to observe it from a safe distance. The area can be dangerous, especially during high surf conditions, so it’s essential to exercise caution and follow any posted safety guidelines.
  • Overall, the blowhole in Tahiti is a remarkable natural wonder that showcases the power and beauty of nature. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or simply looking to experience something unique, a visit to the blowhole in Tahiti is sure to leave you in awe.


The no-name black sand beach where locals surf


Tahiti travel and activities, French Polynesia

You’ll see this little store across from the blowhole and no-name beach. 



Venus Point

Venus Point is a picturesque black sand beach located on the northern coast of Tahiti. It is the most well-known black sand beach. The beach is named after the HMS Venus, which anchored in Tahiti in 1769 during Captain James Cook’s first voyage to the South Pacific. Today, Venus Point is a popular spot for picnicking and enjoying the stunning views of Moorea Island across the bay.


Beach Tahiti Photo Spots

The lighthouse at Venus Point



3. Adventure Activities

In addition to its natural beauty, Tahiti offers a wide range of adventure activities, including snorkeling, diving, surfing, and paddle boarding. The island’s warm waters and abundant marine life make it a paradise for water sports enthusiasts. One of the experiences that I missed, was canyoning in Tahiti. You can experience the lava tubes in Vaipurau, and while I can’t personally vouch for it, it made the top of my list after much research.


All of the places I’ve mentioned are free. I experienced these locations by booking a private driver to take us from spot to spot. Instagram message our driver here. He also has a budget Airbnb available for rent. 



The Best Resorts in Tahiti (& the Best Things to Do at them!)

Amongst the best ways to invest your time in Tahiti is just — laying back and enjoying its resorts!

Just 15 minutes from the Papeete airport are two tropical hotels: the Intercontinental Tahiti, and the Hilton Tahiti. We stay at both and I recommend both.

The Hilton Tahiti (Photos)

The Hilton Tahiti is situated on the waterfront, the resort features a private dock, offering guests easy access to water activities and stunning views of the ocean. With a focus on privacy and personalized service, the Hilton Tahiti provides a tranquil escape for travelers looking to unwind in paradise. It has excellent cocktails and the best shopping.


Hilton Tahiti Hotel - Where to Stay French Polynesia

The Hilton Tahiti dock and resort


hilton hotel in Tahiti

The pool at the Hilton Tahiti Hotel


best places to visit in tahiti - hilton hotel in tahiti

The Hilton Tahiti suite… during a late night arrival!


The Intercontinental Tahiti Resort & Spa (Photos)

The InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa is a premier luxury hotel located in Tahiti, French Polynesia, offering a larger and more bustling experience compared to some of the smaller resorts on the island. Situated on the west coast of Tahiti, the resort boasts stunning views of the ocean and the nearby island of Moorea. It has live music and a turtle sanctuary.


Intercontinental Tahiti Resort & Spa

On property at the Intercontinental Tahiti Resort & Spa


turtle sanctuary in Intercontinental Tahiti Resort & Spa

A baby turtle at the sanctuary


The Intercontinental Tahiti Resort & Spa

Suites at the Intercontinental Tahiti


Intercontinental Tahiti Resort & Spa

A walk at the beach and lagoon at the Intercontinental Tahiti

Closing Thoughts

Tahiti’s natural beauty, rich culture, and luxurious amenities make it a truly unforgettable destination for travelers seeking a tropical paradise. Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or a romantic getaway, Tahiti has something for everyone.

From exploring the beach to hiking through lush rainforests, there’s no shortage of unforgettable experiences to be had in Tahiti.

For those seeking the ultimate in relaxation and amenities, the Hilton Tahiti Hotel and the Intercontinental Tahiti stand out as top choices. Both resorts are conveniently located just a short drive from Tahiti’s capital, Papeete, making it easy for guests to explore the island’s shops, restaurants, and attractions. These resorts offer a slice of paradise that’s hard to beat.

When planning your trip to Tahiti, be sure to consider practical details such as the best time to visit, transportation options, and local customs. While the off-season may offer lower prices and fewer crowds, be prepared for the possibility of rain and limited amenities. Additionally, booking flights and accommodations well in advance is recommended, especially during peak tourist season.

Whether you’re snorkeling in crystal-clear lagoons, indulging in gourmet cuisine, or simply lounging on pristine white sand beaches, Tahiti promises an unforgettable escape from the ordinary. So pack your bags, and immerse yourself in the beauty of French Polynesia! Tahiti awaits, ready to enchant and inspire you at every turn.