Cultural Activities in Tahiti

Discover the Pleasures of Island Life

Once you meet the locals, you'll understand why Fletcher Christian took over the Bounty and sailed back to Tahiti. In one of the most stunningly beautiful landscapes on the planet, a warm and welcoming people keep traditions alive and invite visitors to share in a simpler way of life. Take up a paddle and help propel an outrigger canoe to a deserted island. Walk among orchards of tropical fruit where nature's bounty is there for the picking. Draw inspiration from the harmonizing vocals of himene ru'au, get caught up in the movements and rhythms of otea, and feast on dishes cooked in the Tahitian oven. Going native certainly has its rewards.

Highlights

  • Best for: All travellers, watersports and spa enthusiasts and adventures ranging from soft to rugged
  • Best season to visit: Year round
  • Weather: North America's summer and early fall are the coolest and driest months in Tahiti, with temperatures ranging from 70 to 82 degrees. November to March is a bit warmer, with more chance of rain, but there is no bad time for a visit

Tahiti Information

Cultural Activities in Tahiti Overview

Cultural excursions in the Islands of Tahiti focus on both land and sea. Trips into the interior take in farms, archeological sites and traditional villages, and provide opportunities to learn about subjects such as native tattoo art and Polynesian dance. The lagoons that surround islands such as Bora Bora and Moorea become the setting for net fishing demonstrations, marine life encounters and outrigger canoe trips to small islands known as motus.

Cultural Activities in Tahiti Tips

Don't miss the chance to sample fresh local foods. Many land tours stop at orchards and farms, and guides sometimes pick wild fruits for sampling. On boat trips and visits to outlying islands, there are chances to try the Tahitian shellfish known as pahua, or enjoy poisson cru, a raw fish salad served with coconut milk.

Best Places for Cultural Activities in Tahiti

In a lagoon near the village of Papetoai, a gallery of carved stone tikis lies submerged in shallow water.  The route to Mount Tohivea passes through the pineapple fields and vanilla plantations. Visitors to Tiki Village can learn traditional skills from basket weaving and carving to hand-dying a pareo or making traditional dishes such as poe and ipo. At Bora Bora's oyster farm you can dive for your own pearl. On a small private island near Rangiroa, guest can live in Swiss Family Robinson style.

What to Pack for Cultural Activities in Tahiti

A brimmed hat and tropical-weight clothing in light colors will provide both cooling and protection from the sun. Sandals are good for everything except hikes in the woods. Add some swim trunks to the tote bag to be ready when chances arise to swim in lagoons or plunge into waterfall stream.

Specials

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The Islands of Tahiti

Hotel Kia Ora Resort & Spa

RANGIROA - 6-NIGHT 20 DIVES includes Beach Bungalow accommodations, 20 boat dives shared between two divers, free Nitrox, free use of rental gear, breakfast daily, roundtrip airport transfers and hotel tax.

Valid through 6/30/20 and 11/1/20-3/31/21. Add $197 per person for travel 7/1/20-10/31/20 (Hotel CLOSED for annual renovations 2/10/20-3/8/20
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From $2,234 per person double diver

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The Islands of Tahiti

InterContinental Moorea Resort & Spa

MOOREA - STAY 3 PAY 2 includes 6 nights Lanai Room accommodations, 20 boat dive pass shareable between 2 divers (5 days of 2-tank boat dives), free Nitrox, free use of dive gear, breakfast daily, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges. Valid 1/4/20-3/31/20.
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From $1,809 per person double diver

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The Islands of Tahiti

Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa

BORA BORA - STAY THREE PAY TWO includes 6 nights garden pool bungalow accommodations, 20 boat dives shared between two divers, free Nitrox, free use of rental gear, breakfast daily, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges. Valid 4/27/20-5/31/20 and 11/1/20-12/31/20
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From $2,435 per person double diver

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The Islands of Tahiti

InterContinental Bora Bora Le Moana Resort

BORA BORA - TWO FREE NIGHTS includes 6 nights Beach Junior Suite Bungalow accommodations, 10 boat dives, free Nitrox, free use of dive gear, breakfast daily, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges. Valid 1/4/20-3/31/20. Add $50 per person for travel 4/1/20-5/31/20, 11/1/20-12/19/20, & 1/4/21-3/31/21
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From $2,679 per person occupancy

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The Islands of Tahiti

Maitai Polynesia Resort

BORA BORA1 FREE NIGHT + FREE BREAKFAST includes 6 nights garden room accommodations, 5 days of 2-tank boat dives, free Nitrox, complimentary use of dive gear, breakfast daily, complimentary use of snorkeling equipment, outrigger canoes and kayaks, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges. Valid through 5/31/20 and 11/1/20-12/31/20
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From $1,481 per person double diver

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The Islands of Tahiti

InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa

BORA BORA - STAY 6 PAY 5 - includes 6 nights Emerald Overwater Villa accommodations, 10 boat dives, free Nitrox, free use of dive gear, breakfast and dinner daily, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges. Valid through 1/4/20-3/31/20. Less $350 per person for travel 4/1/20-5/31/20, 11/1/20-12/19/20, & 1/4/21-3/31/21 (Breakfast Only).
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From $4,881 per person double occupancy

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The Islands of Tahiti

Manava Beach Resort & Spa Moorea

MOOREA - STAY LONGER AND SAVE includes 6 nights Garden View Room accommodations, 20 dives shared between 2 divers (5 days of 2-tank boat dives), free Nitrox, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges. Valid through 3/31/20 and 12/1/20-12/31/20.
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From $1,699 per person double diver

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The Islands of Tahiti

Maitai Rangiroa Resort

RANGIROA - ONE FREE NIGHT includes 6 nights Garden Bungalow accommodation, 10 boat dives, free use of rental gear, breakfast daily, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges. Valid 5/31/20 and 11/1/20-12/31/20.
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From $1,462 per person double diver

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The Islands of Tahiti

Havaiki Lodge Fakarava

FAKARAVA - 6-NIGHT DIVE PACKAGE includes 6 nights premium beach bungalow accommodations, 20 boat dives shared between two divers, free Nitrox, free use of rental gear, continental breakfast and dinner daily, use of bikes and kayaks, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges. Valid through 12/31/20.
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From $1,936 per person double diver

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Packages

Cultural Activities
Snorkeling
All Adventures

The Islands of Tahiti

InterContinental Moorea Resort & Spa

MOOREA - BUILD YOUR OWN PACKAGE includes 6 nights Lanai Room accommodations, breakfast daily, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges. Options to add-on Offroading Excursions, Outrigger Canoe Adventures, Walking Tour and Culture Tours.
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From $979 per person double occupancy

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The Islands of Tahiti

French Polynesia Master

RANGIROA AND THE UNESCO BIOSPHERE RESERVE - Tuamoto Archipelago Rangiroa to Fakarava itinerary includes 7 nights Classic Twin Share Cabin, unlimited diving as scheduled, all meals, snacks, and non-alcoholic beverages. Nitrox, gear rental, alcoholic beverages, and port fees are additional. This 138’ (42 meters) steel-hulled super yacht has been custom designed to provide extraordinary diving experiences and luxurious liveaboard accommodations in one of the most spectacular archipelagos on Earth.
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From $4,525 per person double diver

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The Islands of Tahiti

French Polynesia Master

RANGIROA AND THE UNESCO BIOSPHERE RESERVE - Tuamoto Archipelago Rangiroa to Fakarava itinerary includes 10 nights Classic Twin Share Cabin, unlimited diving as scheduled, all meals, snacks, and non-alcoholic beverages. Nitrox, gear rental, alcoholic beverages, and port fees are additional. This 138’ (42 meters) steel-hulled super yacht has been custom designed to provide extraordinary diving experiences and luxurious liveaboard accommodations in one of the most spectacular archipelagos on Earth.
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From $6,250 per person double diver

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The Islands of Tahiti

InterContinental Resort Tahiti

TAHITI - BUILD YOUR OWN PACKAGE includes 6 nights Standard Room accommodations, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges. Options to add-on Offroading Tour, Hiking in Fautaua Valley, Whale Watching and Tiger Shark Dives.
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From $1,098 per person double diver

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The Islands of Tahiti

Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort

MOOREA - BUILD YOUR OWN PACKAGE includes 6 nights luxury gardenview accommodations, breakfast daily, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges. Options to add-on Offroading Excursions, Outrigger Canoe Adventures, Walking Tour and Culture Tours.
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From $ per person double occupancy

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The Islands of Tahiti

Maitai Polynesia Resort

BORA BORABUILD YOUR OWN PACKAGE includes 6 nights Garden Bungalow accommodation, breakfast daily, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax, and service charges. Options to add-on Offroad Excursions, Hiking Tours, Tahitian Pearl Adventure and Kitesurf Lessons.
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From $ per person double diver

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The Islands of Tahiti

Manava Beach Resort & Spa Moorea

MOOREA - BUILD YOUR OWN PACKAGE includes 6 nights Garden View Room accommodations, breakfast daily, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges. Options to add-on Offroading Tours, Cultural Tours and Shows, Hiking Tours and Spa Services.
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From $847 per person double occupancy

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Resorts

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The Islands of Tahiti

Hotel Kia Ora Resort & Spa

RANGIROA - Offering 60 Polynesian bungalows nestled in tropical vegetation among coconut groves on a white sand beach, this 5-star resort offers luxurious accommodations and the highest level of guest satisfaction from an incredible staff. TOPDIVE Rangiroa is located right onsite and provides daily dive excursions to the famed Tiputa Pass as well as Rangiroa's many exciting dive sites nearby. (Hotel CLOSED for annual upkeep and renovations Feb10-Mar 8, 2020)
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Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa

BORA BORA - A member of The Leading Small Hotels of the World and located on its own private white sand “motu” and covered with palms, this resort offers an unsurpassed view of Bora Bora’s famous Otemanu.
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The Islands of Tahiti

InterContinental Moorea Resort & Spa

MOOREA - InterContinental Moorea Resort & Spa is nestled between mountains and a lagoon on a stunning French Polynesian island. Right on the resort grounds is Moorea’s widest range of activities, which includes the Moorea Dolphin Center, tennis, kayaking, canoeing, skiing and Jeep tours. The Arahurahu Marae temple is also worth a visit.
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The Islands of Tahiti

Manava Suite Resort Tahiti

TAHITI - The Manava Suite Resort Tahiti offers a superior level of luxury service for leisure travelers, with a unique Polynesian welcome. Situated on the West Side of the island, Manava Suite Resort Tahiti boasts one of the largest infinity pool on the island, complete with the popular Taapuna Pool Bar, where a sunset cocktail is the highlight of the day, as the rich reds and oranges light up the ocean and spread spectacularly across the sky. Manava Suite Resort, Tahiti offers a wide selection of 121 luxury rooms and suites to suit every budget, including spacious garden suites and multi-bedroom duplex apartments. Each has been designed by Tahitian architect/designer Bruno Hervochon, to reflect authentic Polynesian decor, and fitted to the very highest standard to ensure your complete comfort and relaxation throughout your stay.
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The Islands of Tahiti

InterContinental Resort Tahiti

TAHITI - Located on the main island, near the airport and city shopping, this is your first stop in French Polynesia, welcoming you into a lush tropical garden, surrounded by clear, cerulean seas. With overwater bungalows, lagoon-view and garden-view rooms, accommodations provide panoramic views over beautiful Moorea, showcasing the sparkling ocean and the volcanic mountains of the sister island. Boasting two superb infinity pools and offering a diverse range of activities and top-notch facilities, with locally renowned restaurants and vibrant tropical bars, each offering their own unique ambiance. With a luxury spa, lush overwater bungalows, tropical gardens and a wide range of water sports, the InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa is the quintessential island escape, with everything you need for a true French Polynesian getaway.
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The Islands of Tahiti

InterContinental Bora Bora Le Moana Resort

BORA BORA - Beachfront privacy on dazzling Matira Point - the InterContinental Bora Bora Le Moana Resort occupies what most people say is the most beautiful site in French Polynesia. Two white sand beaches, a wide array of water sports, intriguing cultural activities and unique bungalows stationed over the water are the ingredients for the ultimate island escape.
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The Islands of Tahiti

InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa

BORA BORA - An eco-friendly jewel in the South Pacific, InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa is located between the “two hearts” of Motu Piti Aau, a coral island on the barrier reef. The Deep Ocean Spa is the centerpiece, but the resort offers lots of cultural and recreational activities to fill your days including canoeing, kayaking, snorkeling, stargazing and handicraft demonstrations
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The Islands of Tahiti

Manava Beach Resort & Spa Moorea

MOOREA - This charming "boutique hotel is a perfect blend of luxury and serenity making it an ideal destination for couples, honeymooners, divers and families...This traditional Polynesian style resort offers 94 rooms and bungalows. It features 28 Over Water Bungalows, 8 Beach Bungalows, 28 Garden Bungalows and 26 Garden Rooms & Family Rooms. Manava Beach Resort & Spa Moorea offers garden bungalows with private plunge pool, but guests may also enjoy the clear water of the hotel's infinity swimming pool, the largest one of the island. In addition, all bungalows offer a direct access to the lagoon. Premium overwater bungalows are set right above the reef drop off that allows fabulous snorkeling.
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Maitai Rangiroa Resort

RANGIROA - This beautiful resort is situated amid coconut palms and features 38 Polynesian style bungalows set among exotic gardens and palm trees or overlooking the beautiful lagoon. The resort offers a lagoon front pool, restaurant and bar serving exceptional cuisine including fresh seafood and Tahititian and French specialties. Diving services are available from either TOPDIVE Rangiroa or The Six Passengers, both located nearby and providing transportation between the resort and dive shop.
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The Islands of Tahiti

Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort

MOOREA - This luxury resort offers a wide variety of accommodations including overwater, beach and garden bungalows, all situated for maximum privacy and views. Two restaurants, a stunning infinity pool, So Spa and onsite Ia Ora Diving Center offer all of the indulgences necessary for a perfect dive escape. Combination packages with Sofitel resorts in Tahiti and Bora Bora are also available.
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Havaiki Lodge Fakarava

FAKARAVA - Located on one of the largest of the Tuamotu atolls, this small family-owned and operated resort has its own pearl farm as well as beachfront and garden bungalows, a restaurant/bar, beach snack bar and of course, black pearl boutique. Great snorkeling is available right off the pier where a lagoonarium also offers views of resident marine life. Diving services are available from TOPDIVE Fakarava with free transportation between the resort and dive shop nearby.
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The Islands of Tahiti

Maitai Polynesia Resort

BORA BORA - Located at the south tip of the main island of Bora Bora, near Matira Point and its gorgeous beaches, Maitai Polynesia is nestled on a hillside overlooking the lagoon in lush tropical gardens. A variety of accommodations from well-appointed hotel rooms to some of Tahiti's most affordable overwater bungalows are available.
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Liveaboards

Dive

The Islands of Tahiti

French Polynesia Master

RANGIROA AND THE UNESCO BIOSPHERE RESERVE - Tuamoto Archipelago Rangiroa to Fakarava itinerary includes 7 nights Classic Twin Share Cabin, unlimited diving as scheduled, all meals, snacks, and non-alcoholic beverages. Nitrox, gear rental, alcoholic beverages, and port fees are additional. This 138’ (42 meters) steel-hulled super yacht has been custom designed to provide extraordinary diving experiences and luxurious liveaboard accommodations in one of the most spectacular archipelagos on Earth.
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From $4,525 per person double diver

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Passport and/or Visa Requirements

A valid U.S. passport is required for entry into Tahiti which must be valid for 3 months beyond your date of entry. Your passport needs to have at least 1 blank page for the Tahiti entry stamp. Proof of return or onward ticket is required. No visas are required for tourist stays of less than 90 days.

Exit Requirements: There is a departure tax of 1822 XPF approx $17 U.S. which should be included in your international ticket.

Immunizations

No immunizations are required for entry into Tahiti, but we would always suggest that you check with your doctor and the Centers for Disease Control on recommended vaccinations for travel to Tahiti at Traveler's Health CDC.

Culture and Customs

Tahiti and the Society Islands loom large in our collective images of tropical paradise. These are the islands that seduced the crew of the Bounty to mutiny, inspired the works of Gauguin and Melville, and now entice celebrities, newlyweds and dreamers to escape the every day for a thatch-roofed bungalow perched over an electric-blue lagoon. As a semi-autonomous territory of France, the islands combine Continental flair with the ancient traditions of Polynesia. Evidence of this blending begins at breakfast, where a bowl of cafe au lait and a buttery croissant are accompanied by fresh papaya, mango and breadfruit, served with a spray of tropical flowers. Tattoo is a Tahitian word, and body art is considered a sign of beauty. Dance has always played an important role in island life, with performances for everything from welcoming visitors to challenging an enemy or seducing a mate. Traditions are kept alive at the annual gathering of Heiva i Tahiti, when islanders from across the archipelago gather at Papeete for celebrations that include elaborate spectacles of song and dance, along with arts and crafts fairs and traditional sporting events such as canoe races and strong man contests. A year-round staple of Tahitian culture are flowers, which grow in abundance across the islands. Bright blossoms are worn in floral crowns or as single displays behind the ears, denoting either one's availability or commitment. The same long-standing traditions of hospitality that welcomed early European explorers and subsequent generations of sailors are now lavished on arriving vacationers, who will discover not only some of the friendliest people in the world, but also some of the most seductive landscapes, where sea, sky and island come together in riotous shades of blue and green.

Electricity, Phone and Internet Access

Electricity in Tahiti is 220 Volts, 60 cycles. Hotels may use 110 or 220 Volts depending on your location, so a converter/adapter is often required for appliances you bring, including computers.

Direct dialing international calling is available in most hotels. When calling from the U.S. to Tahiti, dial 011 and then the country code of 689 along with the local number. Check with your cell phone provider to see if they have an international plan that is compatible in Tahiti for voice, text and data.

Internet access is available in many hotels and resorts.

Water Quality

Tap water is safe to drink in Papeete and Bora Bora. Elsewhere bottled water is recommended and readily available.

Language & Currency

French and Tahitian are the official languages, but English is spoken and understood in tourist areas.

The currency of Tahiti is the French Pacific Franc (XPF). Bank notes come in denominations of 500, 1000, 5000 and 10,000, and coins in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100.

Credit cards are readily accepted in most tourist destinations. Most guests exchange money at the airport upon arrival or at their hotel, but the best exchange rate should be at a local bank.

Time

There are three time zones in Tahiti. The Society Islands including Papeete and Moorea and the Leeward Islands including Bora Bora, and the Tuamotu Islands including Fakarava and Rangiroa are all 10 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (-10 GMT). The Gambier Islands are 9 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (-9 GMT). The Marquesas Islands are 9.5 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (-9.5 GMT). Tahiti does not use daylight savings time.

Location, Size and Population

Tahiti is located south of the equator halfway between California and Australia. The islands of Tahiti, known as French Polynesia, consist of 5 island groups. There are 118 islands with a total land mass of 1,544 square miles.

The population of French Polynesia is 285,699 (2016).