The island of Tahiti in the Pacific Ocean attracts lovers of serene recreation and exoticism. Widely known for its picturesque nature, black pearls and a cycle of paintings by Gauguin.
Tahiti is the largest island in French Polynesia. Its area is 1,042 km 2 , and its width – up to 45 km. The island of Tahiti on the world map is located in the central Pacific Ocean, being almost equidistant from the four continents. Two parts of the island are connected by a narrow isthmus Taravao. They are called Tahiti Nui and Tahiti Iti (respectively, the Big and Small). On the coast of a large Tahiti is almost the entire population (180 thousand) and is the capital city – Papeete. The island of Tahiti, which belongs to France, is its semi-autonomous part.
Volcanic origin of the island defines its characteristic mountainous landscape. The highest mountain – Orohena, reaches a mark of 2241 meters. In addition to the mountains, the local landscapes are dominated by tropical forests and many rivers. The climate of the island is divided into two seasons. In May – October, dry and cool weather prevails, and in November – April, it is warm and relatively rainy. Short precipitation spills mostly at night, and does not interfere with a full-fledged vacation. In the daytime, a fresh Pacific breeze significantly softens the heat.
The names of the local rulers are known since the XII century. The first visit of Europeans is dated by the beginning of the XVII century. Tahitian women regarded the fair-haired strangers as gods, and they became intimate with them en masse. The “gods,” in addition to children, also left the island with syphilis and influenza, previously unknown here, which greatly reduced the population.
At the end of the eighteenth century, Europeans intervened in internal strife on the side of the local King Pōmare I. English missionaries arrived and began to spread Christianity on the island, which was adopted by the next Tahitian king, Pōmare II. By the mid-nineteenth century the French had succeeded in driving the English off the island. Tahiti became their protectorate, and by the end of the century, a colony. After World War II, the island became an overseas territory of France. The gradual expansion of powers led to its semi-autonomous status as an overseas community.
Climate in Tahiti
Tahiti has a tropical climate. The rainy season begins in November, ending by late spring. In January, humidity reaches its maximum values. In August, the amount of rainfall is close to zero. The average temperature ranges from +21 to +30 degrees.
Beaches in Tahiti and water recreation
Among the beaches of Tahiti prevail covered with black volcanic sand. The best is called the white sandy beach Plage de Maui in the south of the island. Relatively close to Papeete is Punaaui beach, suitable for scuba diving. On the east coast there is a famous black beach on Cape Venus Pointe Venus, which is included in almost all local excursions because of the large lighthouse located there.
Teahupoo village in the south of the island and its bay is known to all surfers. The high, tube-like waves make it one of the most attractive places on the planet for surfers. Every year in August there is one of the stages of the world championship. The village has a surfing school that teaches beginners and provides them with equipment.
Fishing enthusiasts will be interested to know that Tahiti hosts international sport fishing competitions on the high seas. Local clubs offer tourists fishing from the shore, from a yacht, and underwater hunting.
In the Fautaua Valley, you can see several interesting places. First of all, it is – the waterfall of the same name, ranked among the steepest on the planet. The water falls from a height of about 300 meters. Within walking distance are two other smaller waterfalls, together marked on the maps of the island of Tahiti as les troix cascades. Nearby is a curious place. Three holes in the rock and one by the road periodically throw out powerful water jets.
The trail that leads to the Fautaua valley has an entrance, for which you must pay a few USD to get through on your own. It is preferable to hike with a local guide or as part of excursions organized on the island.
In Papeari, near the isthmus of Taravao, is the beautiful Harrison Smith Botanical Garden. It was founded in the early 20th century by an American teacher who lived here. On an area of 137 hectares there are numerous paths leading along the palm trees, streams, shrubs, ponds and flower beds. A walk through them allows you to get an overall impression of the Tahitian flora. The botanical garden is open from 9 to 17 hours.
Also, you should definitely visit the Arahoho. It is a hole of medium size. From which, periodically, rises a huge stream of water. There are only four such holes in the rock. You can not say that this sight is amazing, but during the tour, it is worth stopping and watching, while eating fruit from a tray nearby.
Tahiti is one of the few countries where the cultivation of black pearls. It is formed by a special kind of oyster – Pinctada margaritifera. In the Musee de la Perle Robert Wan in Papeete you can learn about the history and technology of pearl cultivation, criteria for evaluation, and its impact on the development of French Polynesia. Robert Wan’s private collection of the largest black pearls is also presented. In the boutique next door, wealthy visitors can purchase unique jewelry.
The museum is located in Papeete on Pomare Boulevard. It can be visited for free from 9 to 17 hours.
Another interesting museum is dedicated to the classic of post-impressionism – the French painter Paul Gauguin. He spent the final part of his turbulent life in French Polynesia, including Tahiti. Here he painted the pictures that later brought the painter resounding fame. Unfortunately, only posthumously… The museum displays works, documents and letters of the great painter.
The museum, located in Papeari opposite the Botanical Gardens, is open from 9 am to 5 pm.
The company Tahiti Evasion organizes several hiking routes for active tourists. These include hikes in the Fautaua Valley, along Lake Vaihiria, and a relatively difficult ascent of Mount Aorai. Wildlife enthusiasts can take part in a multi-day tour of the uninhabited east coast.
Driving tours around the island are organized by Marama Tours and Adventure Eagle Tours. Tours include visits to natural and historical sites, as well as lunch at the Gauguin Museum restaurant.
The best time for open-air off-road safaris is during the dry season (June through September). The route follows extreme dirt roads crossing volcanic craters. The trips are organized by Tahiti-Aventures and Tahiti Safari Expedition.
L’amour de la nature à cheval ranch offers horseback riding tours and Polynesia Hélicoptères offers helicopter tours.
Tahiti on the world map and how to get to the island
Russian travelers who want to visit Tahiti should prepare for a long plane trip with connections. The most popular are the following options.
- Moscow – Tokyo – Papeete. Japan Airlines flies from Moscow to Tokyo on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. From there passengers will be flown to Tahiti by flights of Air Tahiti Nui. Flight schedule: 10 hours to Tokyo, seven hours to Narita airport, 11 hours to Papeete.
- Moscow – Los Angeles – Papeete by American Airlines and Air Tahiti Nui, respectively. U.S. transit visa must be arranged in advance. After a 12-hour flight to Los Angeles, you must wait 2 hours and 20 minutes at its airport, then change and fly 8 hours to Papeete.
- The Moscow-Paris-Los Angeles-Papeete flight by Air France, American Airlines and Air Tahiti Nui takes place on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. This option is characterized by minimal loss of time at transfer airports. Total flight time is 4 hours to Paris, 11 hours to Los Angeles, and 9 hours to Tahiti. Requires a Schengen and U.S. transit visas.
- Moscow – Shanghai – Tokyo – Papeete. Chinese airlines Air Chine and Chine Eastern Airlines serve this route to Tokyo. The flight from Moscow to Shanghai takes 8 hours and 30 minutes. At Shanghai airport you should wait for a 2-hour flight to Tokyo. The flight to the Japanese capital will take 2 hours and 40 minutes. After a 4-hour wait at Tokyo airport, Air Tahiti Nui takes 11 hours to reach Papeete.
Tickets cost from 60,000 RUR .
All international flights arrive at Tahiti Faa’a International Airport 7 km from Papeete. From there you can take a cab to the capital of Tahiti for 15 USD. There are also shuttle buses to Papeete, which cost 2 USD. Finally, you can rent a car from rental shops near the airport.
Tahiti also has flights to Easter Island. A stopover between Santiago and Tahiti lands at Mataveri International Airport. The flight time between Papeete and Easter Island is 5 hours and 30 minutes.
Sea cruises visiting French Polynesia, including Tahiti, are operated from Genoa, Italy, and Santiago, Chile.
Tahiti Mount Orokhena Museum of Black Pearls Coral Atoll Tetiaroa Museum Tahiti and the Islands One Tree Hill Cape “Venus Point” Paul Gauguin Museum in Tahiti
This site contains Tahiti attractions – photos, descriptions and travel tips. The list is based on popular travel guides and presented by type, name and rating. Here you’ll find answers to what to see in Tahiti, where to go, and where the popular and interesting places in Tahiti are.
Tahiti is an island in French Polynesia that annually attracts tourists from all over the world, all of whom want to touch a piece of the pristine, unspoiled nature of this island.
Many travelers are attracted by the fact that the secret corners of this land are “islands” untouched by civilization. Vacation in Tahiti allows you to fully relax in the hotel room, go fishing or surfing and feel the amazing hospitality of the locals, ready to tell a lot of secrets of nature, local culture and life.
The island of Tahiti offers its guests not only exotic nature, but also a lot of opportunities for an unforgettable stay – any active recreation, visiting the resort capital of Papete, fashionable hotels and much, much more.
Holidays here will be remembered for a lifetime, because the amazing nature of Tahiti with its lush greenery, majestic waterfalls and extinct volcanoes will captivate its beauty forever.
Located in the South Pacific Ocean on the island of Tahiti, Mt. Orojena is the highest peak in French Polynesia. The height of this extinct volcano is two thousand two hundred and forty meters.
Climbing the mountain is quite difficult and takes about seven hours. Organized excursions to Orohena are for experienced tourists and require an instructor to accompany them. Among the sights of the mountain are the Hitiaa lava tubes – peculiar tunnels formed by the cooling of a deep lava flow. It will take you about four hours to explore the three Hitiaa tunnels.
Another tour begins at the mouth of the Waiyot River, where you can see ancient petroglyphs and mysterious hollow stones that sound when you hit them. Going up the river, you will discover many archaeological Polynesian monuments. You can explore the grotto of Vaitomoana by motorboat. After a two-hour climb up the mountain, you will reach Devil’s Pass. You will need mountaineering equipment to see the grotto of Anahieh and the grotto of the Queen, as well as to admire beautiful views of the deep gorge of Taapeha.
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Black Pearl Museum
In addition to picturesque nature and beautiful beaches, Tahiti has several interesting museums worth your attention. One of them is undoubtedly the Museum of Black Pearls, located in the center of Papeete.
Artificial pearls are the main export of French Polynesia, and there are many oyster farms on the island. A special pride of Polynesians is the famous black pearl. Pearls of this hue, produced by the mollusk pinctada margaritifera grow only in Polynesia.
In the museum you can not only admire the magnificent private collection of black pearls by Robert Wang, but also learn many interesting facts about the important place of pearls in the life of Tahiti. You will understand what influence pearls had on the island’s mythology, culture, art and religion, you will learn the basic steps of pearl cultivation on the oyster farms, you will learn how to tell the quality of a pearl by its appearance.
Coordinates : -17.54025800,-149.56845900
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Tetiaroa Coral Atoll
Among the islands of French Polynesia, Tetiaroa is the only coral atoll. In fact, Tetiaroa consists of 13 small islands located around the central lagoon. They are located 30 kilometers from the island of Moorea.
The first European to visit the atoll, according to legend, was the former captain of the rebel ship “Bounty” William Bly. In general, the history of this place is very long and interesting. The atoll belonged to the royal dynasty of Tahiti Pomare, but in 1902, Pomare V gave it to an ordinary dentist, Johnston Walter Williams, as a sign of respect and gratitude for his cured teeth. The next phase of the atoll’s history begins in 1965, when actor Marlon Brando buys Tetiaroa from Williams’ heirs. Since then, the atoll has been called Marlon Brando’s Island.
Now excursions are organized from Tahiti to Tetiaroa, and on the atoll itself the construction of an ultramodern eco-hotel is underway, which should open in the near future.
Tahiti and Islands Museum
The Museum of Tahiti and the Islands in the town of Punahouia, on the island of Tahiti, in French Polynesia, gives an opportunity to learn about the culture and life of the islanders of Oceania before the arrival of Europeans.
The museum was founded in 1974. Its ethnographic collection includes more than twelve thousand items – you can see many tools and implements made of stone, bone, wood and shells. The museum also extensively represents and arts and crafts of the peoples of Polynesia.
Fishing played an important role in the islanders’ life, and it is fully reflected in the museum’s exposition. There are a variety of fishing gear, as well as several models of ships, such as the Tatakoto canoe or the whaling ship Vahitahi.
In addition to the ethnographic collection, the museum houses a large collection of stuffed birds from the islands of Oceania, a Polynesian plant herbarium and a collection of shells.
One Tree Hill
Many places in Tahiti, besides the incredible beauty of the scenery, boast various pirate and tannish stories. It seems that these lands are the most suitable place for treasure or treasure. Indeed, merchant ships have sailed here, navigators have made their famous discoveries and corsairs have ploughed the waters. Thus, the place called “One Tree Hill” was loved by the legendary Captain James Cook.
It’s possible that if it weren’t for Cook’s imagination, which was deeply impressed by the solitary towering trees at the top of the hill, the cape would still be called Skirmish Hill. But history decided otherwise, and Cook renamed the cape. In modern times it was home to a luxury hotel that welcomed the most respectable public. Now it’s closed.
There is the only lighthouse on the whole island, magnificent beaches, a park with black sand, and all this splendor framed with tropical plants and exotic birds.
Cape Point of Venus
The Cape, named after the blue planet, is located at the northernmost point of Tahiti and is always waiting for new tourists or those who forever gave their hearts to this place on the planet. This place was named Venus Point many years ago by Captain James Cook, who watched the eclipse of Venus from here, which occurs once in over a hundred years. The cape got its name in 1769.
It was in that year that Cook, by order of Her Majesty, sailed from Plymouth to Tahiti, discovered only a few months earlier, and there he witnessed a remarkable astronomical phenomenon, when the shadow of Venus slowly drifted across the sun as a tiny black dot.
Cook and his team had the task of building an observatory on the island, with which they planned to measure the solar system. The fact is that at that time science had information about only six planets of the solar system, and knew the approximate distance to them. Venus was considered the key to the mysteries of the universe. By tracking the timing of its transit, scientists hoped to calculate the distance from Earth to Venus and other magnitudes. That’s why Cook’s voyage to Tahiti is sometimes called a cosmic voyage.
The last eclipse of Venus could be observed in May of this year, and the next one is predicted in 2117.
Coordinates: -17.49507700, -149.49430300
Paul Gauguin Museum in Tahiti
Few people have done as much to promote the beauties of the island of Tahiti to the world as the French post-impressionist painter Paul Gauguin. Tired of living in “civilization” and in search of new inspiration for his art, the artist moved to Tahiti in 1891. He leaves the overly Europeanized Papeete and stops in a place called Mataiea. Here Gauguin paints his best pictures, which later brought him worldwide fame.
The Paul Gauguin Museum in Tahiti is located on the site of his home, on the outskirts of the village of Papeari, opposite the Botanical Gardens. The museum exhibits – documents, letters, photographs, reproductions, engravings and sculptures – tell about the Polynesian stage of the artist’s life. The museum’s collection includes several sketches and drawings by Gauguin. There are also works by British artist Constance Gordon-Cumming depicting the nature of Tahiti.
Coordinates : -17.76048600,-149.36726900
The most popular attractions in Tahiti with descriptions and photos for all tastes. Choose the best places to visit famous places in Tahiti on our website.
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