This is an island that encourages relaxation. But if you're looking for things to do in Tahiti, you'll find a wealth of nautical activities in which to get involved. You can try your hand at everything from shark feedings to scuba diving. For something more cultural, head to the Tomb of King Pomare the Fifth, the Arahurahu Marae religious site or the Gauguin museum.
If you want a comprehensive look of Tahiti’s history and tradition, it’s hard to beat an afternoon spent at the Museum of Tahiti and Her Islands. Although this museum may take some effort to find, it’s definitely well worth the trip, thanks to its impressive displays of Polynesian culture. Explore Tahiti’s rich heritage, learn more about its similarities with neighbouring islands, and discover its amazing diversity of animal and plant life. For the best experience of the museum (and especially if you don’t speak French), hire a guided tour.
Commune with nature and be soothed by Tahiti’s lush flora at the Water Gardens of Vaipahi. Showcasing around 75 species of plants and vegetation, this botanical garden is the ideal place for taking a break from all your travels and admiring nature’s beauty. Aside from its verdant gardens and ponds, you’ll also find a small waterfall and a cave that you can explore. There are also three hiking trails provided, each with varying levels of difficulty to suit different needs. Don’t forget to pack extra clothes when you visit, since you may just decide to go for a refreshing swim while here.
As the world’s first museum dedicated solely to pearls and the Tahitian cultured pearl known locally as ‘Poe Rava’, The Robert Wan Pearl Museum is a top Tahiti attraction. Even if you aren’t a pearl enthusiast, a trip here is entirely worthwhile, simply for the things you’ll learn and the things you’ll see. Learn almost everything there is to know about pearls, from its different histories and ancient traditions to how they’re made and crafted by specialists. The highlight of the museum, however, is its display of the world’s largest Tahitian cultured pearl, which was simply named ‘Robert Wan’. This massive pearl measure 26 mm and weighs 8.7 grams, making it the centrepiece of the museum’s collection.
For those in the capital city of Papeete, a visit to the Notre Dame Cathedral is always a welcome addition to any itinerary. While it may not be the largest or most grandiose cathedral you’ll ever see, it’s a historic landmark that deserves at least a visit. Formally opened in 1875, it’s also the oldest Catholic church in Tahiti, making it a must-see for history buffs.
Among the many nature excursions that Tahiti offers, the Fautaua Valley Trail is widely recognised as one of its most beautiful. Featuring scenic views and close encounters with native plants and trees, this trail presents several natural wonders both big and small. The highlight of the trail, however, is the magnificent Fautaua Falls, where water gushes out over a cliff and falls over 300 metres. Depending on the trail you choose, you may also come across natural swimming pools and smaller waterfalls.