Tahiti is the largest island in French Polynesia. It is the legendary tropical island paradise. Tahiti is a high volcanic island that was formed by two volcanoes, one resulting in (big) Tahiti Nui and the other in (small) Tahiti Iti, joined by an isthmus. Coral reef circles both islands, and black sand beaches are the norm. Snorkeling and scuba diving are excellent in the right spots. Other popular activities include surfing and spear fishing. The mountainous interior provides opportunities for hiking, trekking, and mountain climbing.
Faarumai Waterfall (right)
Papeete seems strangely misplaced—a modern European city in the middle of the vast Pacific. A unique cultural blend of Polynesia and Europe, it is one of the world’s great cities. Save some time to explore it.
Market in Papeete
The beaches on Tahiti are typically black sand, or at least dark sand. For white sand beaches, take the ferry or a short flight to the neighboring island of Moorea. Point Venus is one of the most famous beaches, and not far from Papeete. Topless sunbathing is common here and on most beaches in French Polynesia.
Black-tipped reef sharks on patrol
Go to Tahiti page 2
Interactive map of Tahiti
Books about Tahiti