The Best of Tahaa French Polynesia -located just north of Raiatea, and only a few minutes by shuttle boat, the fragrant scent of vanilla envelops Tahaa, giving it its nickname, “the vanilla island.” The island produces more than 80% of French Polynesia’s vanilla, and visiting a vanilla plantation here will be a blissful experience as the plantations are located in luxuriant valleys among pineapples and coconuts.
Life slows down on Taha’a island. This charming and quiet island sweeps you deep into the typical Polynesians’ easy going life. Tiny motu with luminous white sand beaches surround the flower-shaped island with a soft mountain rising from the calm waters of a lagoon.
Vanilla-scented air wafts on breezes that pour down the hillsides from the island’s many vanilla farms, and those gentle aromas ride the ocean breezes proclaiming the island’s soul long before you can see it on the horizon.
The island of Taha’a is captivating. Slanted palm trees rise above pristine white sand beaches, crystal clear waters and overwater bungalows. Le Taha’a by Pearl Resorts is among the finest resorts in The Islands of Tahiti. You can learn more about The Best French Polynesian Islands here, or the Most Beautiful Beaches in French Polynesia here, or on Pinterest.
Tahaa Weather – Best Time to Visit Tahaa
Like all Society Islands, the ‘best’ time to visit Tahaa is during the dry season (May – October). During this time, the temperature is slightly lower and most importantly – there are less rain and clouds. Average temperatures range from the upper 60s to the mid-80s, which is ideal beach weather. Plus, the humidity is at its lowest. It is peak tourist season and hotel prices are high. Keep in mind also, that during these months, the southeasterly wind blows in this direction so the lagoon might be a bit choppy (and chilly at night).
Best Things to do in Tahaa
Visit the Vanilla Valley
Tahaa is famous for its vanilla production which is among the purest in the world. There is nothing like buying vanilla directly from the island’s vanilla factories in the purest Polynesian tradition. One of them stands out: the Vanilla Valley. Located on the eastern side of Tahaa, the establishment is a small family farm, where visitors are welcome.
Drift Diving at the Coral Garden
The Coral Garden is the must-see spot for snorkeling in Tahaa. It is a shallow passage between two strips of sandy land. Carried by a weak incoming current, you will drift in the crystal clear waters above the corals of all colors. Very well preserved, these coral massifs are the natural habitat of an extremely rich and varied aquatic fauna. Hundreds of butterfly fishes accompany you next to clown fishes, parrots and many others.
Take the Coastal Road to Discover the Local Crafts
Touring it by car or bicycle is one of the best things to do in Tahaa. You will first take the coastal road before taking the cross-country road. The landscapes are enchanting. Sparsely populated, the island has little infrastructure and lives to the rhythm of eight small villages. This is an opportunity to promote small businesses, often family owned. These are one of the links in the social fabric of Tahaa. The experience itself remains above all warm and human. The hospitality and benevolence of the resident population are real.
Hiking to the Belvedere of Vaiautea
In the heart of a preserved nature, you will discover fantastic panoramas on the bays of the main island. As the hiking trails are not well marked or cross private properties, the alternative to wilderness excursions is to go up the crossing road between the villages of Haamene and Ruutia. After a two-kilometer climb with a medium gradient, you will arrive at the Vaiautea pass.
World Class Snorkeling on Motu Tautau
The real treat lies beneath the ocean’s surface. A carnival of sea life, from sharks to clownfish, inhabit the waters surrounding the island; the best views are located in the shallow channel adjacent to the motu of Tautau. Dubbed Tahaa’s Coral Garden, this snorkeling spot is easily accessible from Le Taha’a Island Resort & Spa or by boat charter. Snorkelers can expect pristine scenes of marine life and colorful coral that can sometimes be harder to spot on other Polynesian islands, where the waters are constantly churned up by tourists. The Coral Garden is best enjoyed during high tide so there’s enough water to avoid self-injury.