Vacation to Beautiful Tahiti with miles of shoreline, dozens of resorts, French cuisine to die for – Tahiti has all the makings of a honeymoon destination. But beach bums often pass over Tahiti’s sands in favor of Bora Bora’s ivory shores. Despite its idyllic reputation and accessibility, Tahiti is more of an off-the-beaten-path stop than a romantic getaway. However, that doesn’t mean Tahiti should be ignored.
Leafy forests sit beside sandy shores, French crêpes are served alongside Tahitian poisson cru (raw fish). If there ever was a place that embodies the beautiful duality of the French Polynesian archipelago, it’s Tahiti. Here, the quirky, often chaotic atmosphere of the island’s capital, Papeete, rubs elbows with untainted natural beauty. In fact, Tahiti – the largest of French Polynesia’s 118 islands – is often referred to as two separate islands despite them being joined by a tiny land bridge. Tahiti Nui is the larger, northern section where Papeete can be found. Tahiti Iti (the smaller half) is less accessible, although many visitors make the trek here for a taste of seclusion. Just note that spending a week on either part of Tahiti will cost you quite a chunk of change. But travelers agree that the warm waters, the lush jungles and the luxurious resorts are worth the splurge. Visit The Best French Polynesian Islands here, The Most Beautiful Beaches in French Polynesia here, or visit us on Pinterest.
Tahiti Weather – Best Time to Visit Tahiti
The best time to visit Tahiti is between May and October. Temperatures are balmy year-round, but You will enjoy less humidity in Tahiti’s winter season. Tahiti really only experiences two seasons: Winter which brings less rain and pleasant temperatures while the summertime – November through April – can be quite hot and humid (especially December), not to mention rainy. But regardless of when you travel, you can expect hotel rates to be high.
May – October
The months from May thru October is Tahiti’s dry season. Average temperatures range from the upper 60s to the mid-80s, giving travelers ideal beach weather. Plus, the humidity is at its lowest. But this is peak tourist season and hotel prices are high.
November – April
From November to April is characterized by humidity, high temperatures and heavy precipitation. In fact, December and January see an average of about 12 inches of rain each month. On average, temperatures will climb from the low 70s to the high 80s. On the up side, hotel rates do tend to be lower this time of year.
The Best Tahiti Beaches
The primary reason why so many Tahitian tourists flock to this stretch of shoreline is the sand: While many of the island’s beaches boast a volcanic black hue, La Plage de Maui dazzles in pearly white. Located on Tahiti’s southern shore, the clean, warm waters of the nearby lagoon are another draw. The water is unbelievably clear and the lagoon is shallow and calm. The beach’s snack bar serves up fresh seafood.
Want an off-the-beaten path experience? This black-sand beach is little-developed, but what it lacks in amenities, Papenoo makes up for in solitude and natural beauty. The horseshoe-shaped beach beckons surfers with its consistent break, so bring a board if you’re so inclined. Plus, nearby natural wonders, including Arahoho Blowhole and a waterfall make this a great stop on a daylong excursion.
Taharuu Beach is on Tahiti’s southern coast in Papara and characterized by its volcanic black sands, leafy green palm trees and its width. This beach is large, meaning there’s plenty of room to spread out and soak up the sun, and it’s framed by deep blue water and frothy white waves. Popular with families, locals and tourists, this beach has ideal swimming conditions and you may even see some surfers working on their skills.
Bain Lot Beach
If you’ll be visiting Papeete, a stop at Bain Lot Beach is a must. This beautiful beach is located a short walk from downtown, yet the beach retains its natural charm. Bain Lot is well-known for its unusual break, with waves crashing in both directions. That’s why it’s sometimes referred to as the “Ins and Outs” beach.
Venus Point Beach
In 1769, Captain James Cook visited the black sand beaches at Venus Point to witness the transit of Venus across the sun. Today, the beach retains much of its natural splendor that Cook experience all those years ago, and is now home to a beautiful lighthouse. The lagoon is great for swimming and snorkeling. Plus, it’s one of the best beaches for watching the sunset.
Tahiti’s well-known for its black-sand beaches, and one of the finest is Lafayette. Located just 20 minutes outside of Papeete, the capital city, the beach remains secluded and rarely draws crowds. This beach is a favorite for swimming and sunbathing. Plus, it’s located near the Pearl Beach Resort, which is home to a world-class spa.
Teahupoo Beach is the center of Tahiti’s surfing world, as surfers from around the world flock here for the legendary waves. This isn’t a beginner break, by any means. Waves regularly break at 6- to 9-feet, with some even calling it the deadliest break in the world. Even so, it’s a beautiful spot for sunbathing and each August, the Billabong Pro Tahiti surf competition is held here, a must-see for visitors.
Mahana Park Beach
On the west side of the island, you’ll find the manicured Mahana Park and its namesake beach. Although it looks like white sand, Mahana Park Beach is made up of tiny white pebbles. The beach rarely draws traffic, making it the perfect place for a quiet afternoon picnic. Plus, there’s a near-shore reef, which is home to more than 200 variety of fish.
Maeva is another beach a stone’s throw from Papeete. The horseshoe shaped white-sand cove looks out over aquamarine waters; it’s a stunning location for an afternoon of sunbathing. Maeva is also home to several resorts, offering a shore break for charter guests. Plus, Maeva offers some of the best sunset views on the island.
White-sand beaches are somewhat of a rarity on Tahiti, but if that’s what you’re looking for, head to Toaroto Beach. The beach is one of the island’s best stretches of white sand, and its protected waters are perfect for snorkeling and swimming. There’s also a nearby park, which makes this a favorite family destination.
Best Tahiti Restaurants
Urban Cafe $11 – 30
Hei Restaurant $30 & Over
Le Grillardin $30 & Over
L’O a La Bouche $30 & Over
Meherio Tahitian Bistro $11 – 30
Best Tahiti Nightlife
Le Rétro is full of attitude and atmosphere and is a great place to watch the world go by while sipping an espresso. It also serves a great selection of cocktails and juices. Telephone: 689 40 42 86 83 Web: Le Retro
Le Paradise Night
This is the classic, slightly kitsch Pape’ete bar-disco. Playing international tunes, it attracts a mixed crowd of Polynesians and French. Telephone: 689 40 42 73 05 Web: Le Paradise Night
Upstairs in the Vaima Centre is this popular spot for a drink. There’s a pleasant, loung feel. Telephone: 689 40 42 7 61 Web: Morrison’s Cafe
Les 3 Brasseurs
This congenial brewpub has excellent micro-brewed beer on tap and a constant stream of locals and tourists wanting to sample it. Cover bands perform here at the weekend and you can also chow on some good French-style pub grub for lunch and dinner. Telephone: 689 40 50 60 25 Web: Les 3 Brasseurs