The Museum of Tahiti and Her Islands ("Musée de Tahiti et des Îles" in French) is dedicated to educating visitors about this beautiful archipelago. The museum is divided into four distinct sections: the first focuses on geography and natural history, the second on pre-European culture, the third on the effects of colonization and the fourth on natural wonders. If you tire of perusing the exhibits, step outside for great views of surfers tackling the ocean waves.
Recent visitors appreciated the museum's concise, easy-to-understand exhibits about the history of Tahiti and much of French Polynesia. Many were pleased that there were displays in English and French, and several travelers said the gift shop was excellent.
Bougainville Park is a tranquil, tropical oasis in the middle of the Papeete's concrete jungle. Stretching from Boulevard Pomare to Rue du General de Gaulle, it makes for a lush and cool picnic (or roulettes take-away) spot. If you're traveling with the kids there's a playground here, and there are often floral, cultural and artistic displays on the grounds.
Tahiti is known for having one of the most dangerous surf breaks in the world, Teahupo’o. Its waves are big and powerful, and it breaks right onto the razor sharp reef. Tahiti’s best waves occur during the winter months of May to October.
Tahiti is home to some of the most beautiful hiking trails in Polynesia. Stops can include spectacular waterfalls and natural pools, panoramic views, grottos, archeological sites and lava tubes. A favorite hike is to the three Faarumai waterfalls. From the car park it is a quick scramble through a forest of chestnut trees to the first waterfall, Vaimahutu. Continue on for another 20 minutes or so to reach the other to falls Haamarere Iti and Haamarere Rahi, which are almost side-by-side. With hundreds of varieties of tropical trees, plants and flowers, Tahiti also has some of the world's most beautiful gardens. Visit the water gardens of Vaipahi to experience the abundant flora and waterfalls that flow directly into Lake Vaihiria.
Maui Beach is a rare white sand beach in Tahiti. It can get very crowded on weekends, but is peaceful during weekdays. It located right on the road but has shallow swimming, making it perfect for kids, as well as deeper spots for adults and some DIY snorkeling off the reef.
The Aorai is Tahiti’s third highest mountain and peaks at 2066 metres: you will hike up to the 1st mountain hut at an altitude of 1400 metres. Of breath and a good physical condition are required for this 800m vertical drop hike.
Enjoy some breathtaking views of Tahiti, the ocean and surrounding valleys.
Close to the waterfront esplanade is this brightly coloured cathedral. It is of course named after its famous Parisian counterpart. Completed in 1875 it is not only the oldest Catholic church in Tahiti but also one of last remaining examples of early colonial architecture.
Mount Tohivea is the highest point in Moorea at 3960ft and is a dormant volcano. This mountain is clearly visible from Tahiti. Tohivea is depicted on the back of the 50f Polynesie Francaise coin. James Michener made Moorea famous, claiming that it was the most beautiful island in the South Pacific.
View a variety of marine life in the shallow lagoon waters. After a brief safety demonstration, you will be able to view these animals from an observation platform or you may choose to descend underwater for a close-up encounter with these friendly lagoon inhabitants.
Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to get up close and personal with a variety of sea life at the Lagoonarium Bora Bora. Let tropical fish surround you while sharks and rays float by your feet. The sea life is well fed and relatively harmless. Giant Rays are like little puppies as they come up to wanting to be fed little treats.
A visit to the Lagoonarium in Bora Bora can arrange via your travel agent or book through your hotel. A beautiful picnic feast prepared before your eyes come with the excursion. So once you’ve had enough swimming with the sea life, you head over to the picnic area and beach. The staff is very friendly and if you are afraid to enter the water they will do their best to show you it’s harmless.
Matira Beach is a mile of exquisite white sand at the southern tip of Bora Bora Island.
When you visit, you will understand why it is Bora Bora's most popular public beach. It stretches from Hotel Bora Bora (currently closed for renovations) to Matira Point and is framed from behind by lush palms and green hills. To each side, there are more long strips of privately owned beaches.
Often described as the most beautiful beach in the world, Matira Beach is actually the only public beach on the main island that is worth a visit. It is so gorgeous that it is in our list of the best things to do in Bora Bora! Everybody is welcome on this expanse of sand. There is a fun atmosphere that offers natural shade from palm trees, safe swimming and easy snorkelling.
Mount Otemanu on Bora Bora island is a jagged remnant of an ancient volcano that rises up to a sharp point at 2,385 feet (727 m) from the surface of a turquoise blue lagoon. The French Polynesian islands, in general, are blessed with some incredible picture-perfect sceneries but Mount Otemanu takes the crown. There is something very magical about this unique landform that can be seen from every part of the island.
Thousands of people are drawn to Bora Bora every year because it is one of the most beautiful islands on earth. Most resorts have designed their overwater bungalows to specifically face Mount Otemanu and rooms that have unobstructed views typically come with a premium price tag.
Mount Pahia is the second-highest summit on Bora Bora and the challenging hike leading up to it features steep jungle climbs on faint trails with spectacular views all around the island and lagoon. Difficulties encountered on the hike include arranging for a hiking guide, avoiding hiking during times of rainy weather (because the trail will become muddy, slippery, and dangerous), dealing with heat and humidity, watching out for rockfall while passing along the base of cliffs, and using ropes and safety gear during areas of exposure if passing beyond the summit of Mount Ohue.
The Ninamu Resort is hidden away on a private island in the southwest corner of Tikehau, just ten minutes by boat from the airport. Surrounded by pink sand beaches, abundant marine life, impeccable waves and prevailing trade winds, this secluded retreat is the ultimate paradise for every type of water sports enthusiast.
The Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort can be found on a secluded, pink beach fringed with palm trees at the southeast end of the atoll. Located fifteen minutes by boat from the airport and the main village of Tuherahera, this hotel serves as the ideal home base for any and all leisurely activities including kayaking, snorkeling and biking. It even has its own dive center on site, making it easy to arrange your daily excursions.
Venture across the lagoon with your guide to the tiny islet known as Bird Island. This bird watcher`s paradise provides the opportunity to view many unique avian species in their natural island habitat.
The Pink Sand Beach, located at the extreme southeast part of Rangiroa, is worth seeing both for the destination and for the route leading to it. Your adventure begins with a boat trip of about two hours with the ocean and an endless sky as your backdrop.
The Hotel Kia Ora Resort & Spa is located on the northern stretch of Rangiroa near the Tiputa Pass. Surrounded by a coconut plantation, the resort combines this convenient setting with a hidden seclusion. The architecture is elegant and refined, resting in perfect harmony with the natural environment.
Fakarava is one of the world's best diving destinations. There are two notable passes that feed into the lagoon. The first is the Garuae Pass, located on the north side, which is the widest navigable pass in French Polynesia.
Nobody really knows why this tiki statue is smiling for the last few centuries. It’s lonesomely located in a forest with nothing around but the occasional visitor. Nonetheless, the smiling tiki is one of the cutest statues you’ll ever see, as far as statues go.
Along the main east coast road, 45mins from apia, you will find piula cave pool located at the piula theological college in the village of lufilufi. It’s a beautiful crystal clear freshwater spring pool and cave that originated from an old lava tube. Explore the underwater cave that connects to a second cave. Day fales and toilet facilities available. Open mon-sat: 8am-4pm.
The enchanting colonial homestead will give you an insight into the life of one of the most-loved adventure authors
Despite his stories of swashbuckling adventure, Robert Louis Stevenson had been a sickly man and had contracted tuberculosis. It was while he was in his twenties someone suggested he find a South Pacific island to live on, where the warm climate would ease his poor health. Stevenson loved to travel, once saying, "I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move." But it was 10 years after that advice that he and his wife sailed to the Pacific and settled in Samoa.
TB-ridden Stevenson and his family lived in Samoa for the five years prior to his death. Known to the Samoans as Tusitala or Teller of Tales, the author of the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Treasure Island and Kidnapped was intensely involved in the lives of the local folk and their plight to reclaim their cultural identity.
The Stevenson homestead is now the home for the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum. The informative forty-minute guided tour of the mansion and Tusitala’s many authentic personal belongings is highly recommended, especially of the library where he penned 14 tomes in just four years.
The beautiful Botanical Gardens at the base of Mt Vaea and surrounding the homestead make for an informative and stunning stroll.
You don’t have to be a literary groupie to enjoy the scenic walk through lush rainforest up to the top of Mt Vaea where the famous Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson rests in peace. Just outside of Apia, the panoramic views over the city and bay are will give another perspective of the capital of Samoa.
You have the choice of two routes to the top of the hill – a 45-minute track or, take the shorter but more strenuous half-hour trail. Whichever way you chose, go early in the morning or late afternoon, as the midday heat can be stifling, especially in the height of summer. This is the kind of place you won’t want to leave in a hurry, so pack a picnic and don’t forget your insect repellent and water bottle.
Papase’ea sliding rocks are situated in se’ese’e in the faleata district approx. 15mins drive from apia. Brave mother nature’s waterslides and slide down these naturally formed rock slides, worn down by thousands of years of running water. Toilets and change rooms are available. Open mon-sat.
This spectacular waterfall in south-eastern savaii plunges from the rainforest deep into a fresh-water swimming pool.
The Afu Aau Waterfall also known as Olemoe Falls, is a spectacular waterfall in south-eastern Savaii that plunges from the rainforest deep into a fresh-water swimming pool.
Access is on a dirt road which is maintained by the village. Entrance fees are collected at the Samoan fale about 650m from the main road and visitors are encouraged to park their car here and enjoy a 10 minute walk to the pool and waterfall.
These impressive blowholes in the village of taga on south-west savaii are wave power in its purest form, as they propel a roaring jet of water hundreds of feet up into the air. They are particularly worth watching when locals throw coconuts into the holes and these are blasted into the air as well
Hot spring water combines with volcanic ash to form a mud bath pool. Mud baths have existed for thousands of years and found in spas around the world including Fiji. The mud bath treatment is used as a way to relieve arthritis. To take full advantage of the therapeutic value of the mud pools you first coat yourself in mud then stand in the sun until it drys. Wash off in the first natural hot spring pool then walk over to the next clear water pool for another cleansing. Both places offer cheap and very good massage. Pool temperatures are warm to hot.