Tahiti is a popular vacation destination and a hub to the French Polynesia, the South Pacific archipelago. Despite not being as dreamy as its outer islands like Bora Bora, its black-sand beaches, lagoons, waterfalls and extinct volcanoes deserve a few days of exploring. If you are in transit and only have a day, is how to do it with hiring a car.
FROM EAST TO WEST.
Papeete. There’s no better way to start your day in this vibrant city, enjoy live music, wonder around the streets to spot local street art, and stock up on some souvenirs from the little local market. Don’t forget to have a bite to eat at the Waterfront roulottes (food trucks) in the evening on Vaiete Square.
Pointe Venus. On the tip of the peninsula, the Pointe Venus and its lighthouse are a nice halt to make with the black-sand beaches and the artisanal local market near by.
Trou du souffleur. Pretty impressive stop to make to photograph this powerful geyser-like eruption. Watch out the waves if it is raining and windy.
Teahupoo beach. This stunning long pitch black sandy beach is stunning and contrasts with the green peaks in the background. It is also home of the world famous professional surfing competitions like Billabong Pro.
Water Gardens Vaipahi. A 30 min walk in this delightful botanical garden dedicated to a wide range of local Polynesian plants and flowers.
Mara’a Grotte. Located in a park along the coastal road and easily accessible it is worth stopping to have a look and wonder around.
Marae Arahurahu. Arahurahu is a mystic place with the largest Mare (ancient temple or meeting place) in Tahiti worth visiting to understand better the Polynesian culture.
How to get THERE?
French Polynesia is the furthest place you can go if you are traveling from Europe, so flight tickets can be very expensive. Sometimes a ticket around the world trip ticket with a stop to Tahiti might be cheaper than a return flight ! But thanks to the low-cost airline French Bee you can fly now for less than half of what you would pay with other airlines. In our case, we bought a combined ticket from New Zealand to Uruguay with a stop in Tahiti and Easter Island for about 800 Euros. It was part of our trip around the world.