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How to Spend 3 Days in Tahiti

How to Spend 3 Days in Tahiti

Three days in Tahiti are enough time to enjoy its natural and cultural riches, as well as go a bit farther afield to Moorea. Whether you want to totally chill out or add some activity to your island getaway, there’s plenty to see and do. Here’s how to make the most of a 72-hour stay on French Polynesia’s largest island.

Day 1: Check out the capital

As many travelers fly into Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia, it makes a handy base for exploring Tahiti. Spend your first day learning about the local culture on a walking, cycling, or Segway tour of the city. Wander the Municipal Market, the Black Pearl Museum, pretty parks and gardens, and European-style churches. In the early evening, take a romantic sunset cruise, then eat your fill of affordable local delicacies at the food trucks that set up along the waterfront from about 6pm. If it’s a weekend night, enjoy the live open-air music while indulging in local rum punch or wine made from grapes grown on a neighboring atoll.

Day 2: Get to know the island

Tahiti is a curiously shaped island, made up of two volcanoes that look like conjoined twins from the air. This means there’s plenty of coastline and forested interior to explore. Rent a car or join a tour, then visit a 19th-century lighthouse, a local marae (meeting house), and natural attractions such as a blowhole and a grotto. Or, just pick a beach and spend half a day soaking up the sun. Most of Tahiti’s beaches are made up of black volcanic sand, with a few white-sand ones here and there. Whichever direction you head from Papeete, you really can’t go wrong, as there’s beauty around every corner on this tropical island. 

Day 3: Visit Moorea

Round out your visit with a day trip out to Moorea, Tahiti’s closest island neighbor, just 27 miles (43 kilometers) across the water. Easily reached by ferry from Papeete, this lovely island offers white-sand beaches, secluded bays, first-rate snorkeling, vanilla and tropical fruit plantations, and much more. To see and do as much as possible, rent a scooter or join a guided tour. Otherwise, choose a beach and hang out there for the day, savoring the tranquil island life. 

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9 Tours and Activities

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Tahiti Island Tour Including Venus Point, Taharaa View Point and Vaipahi Gardens

Tahiti Island Tour Including Venus Point, Taharaa View Point and Vaipahi Gardens

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128
Get an overview of Tahiti on a 4-hour sightseeing tour of island highlights with an informative guide. Walk around the black-sand beaches of Matavai Bay at Venus Point and the Arahoho blowhole, marvel at the ancient Polynesian temples of the west coast. Wander tree-lined paths past ponds and waterfalls at the botanical Vaipahi Garden and visit the Taharaa lookout known as One Tree Hill. During your afternoon coach tour, with hotel pickup in Papeete, you’ll learn about the history of French Polynesia while soaking up panoramic island views.
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  • 4 hours
From
$66.35
From
$66.35

6-hour Snorkeling & Lunch Tour - Shared Tour

6-hour Snorkeling & Lunch Tour - Shared Tour

star-5
634
Explore Moorea's lagoon in the traditional way—aboard a Polynesian outrigger canoe—during this full-day excursion. With a small group of 12 travelers or fewer, get plenty of room onboard and attention from the guides. Take in the scenery, go swimming and snorkeling, and arrive at a tiny islet for a cooking lesson (the local dish poisson cru) and a barbecue lunch.
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  • 5 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$98.83
From
$98.83

Moorea 4WD Tour Including Belvedere Pineapple Farm and Magic Mountain

Moorea 4WD Tour Including Belvedere Pineapple Farm and Magic Mountain

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317
Venture beyond the resorts on this full-day tour of Moorea, which guarantees a first-hand look at all the island’s top sights and fuss-free transport between them. Get off the beaten path and venture to viewpoints such as Magic Mountain and Belvedere Lookout, see marae (Polynesian temples) and pineapple fields, and visit an island distillery. Expert narration is offered throughout.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$56.42
From
$56.42

Papeete Inner Island Full-Day Jeep Safari

Papeete Inner Island Full-Day Jeep Safari

star-4.5
125
This full-day Jeep safari takes you through Papeete’s dense rainforest by 4WD to the interior of the French Polynesian island. Go off the beaten path of this Tahitian paradise, visiting Mount Marau, Arahoho Blowhole and the lush Cascades of Faarumai with an informative local guide. You’ll experience the majestic beauty surrounding Papeete, topped by a refreshing waterfall swim! Hotel pickup and drop-off are included.
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  • 8 hours
From
$95.55
From
$95.55

Authentic Moana Lagoon Excursion - Full Day (Motu Lunch included)

Authentic Moana Lagoon Excursion - Full Day (Motu Lunch included)

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24
Explore the island paradise of Moorea as you glide between sandy bays and glittering lagoons on this 5.5-hour boat cruise, including hotel pick-up. Dive into the crystalline waters of Cook’s Bay or Opunohu Bay, and swim among friendly stingrays and blacktip reef sharks. Drop anchor on a deserted island to tuck into a delicious Tahitian-style picnic lunch (included), then enjoy swimming and snorkeling in the idyllic Moorea Lagoon. 
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  • 5 hours 30 minutes
From
$87.54
From
$87.54

Discover Papeete by Segway

Discover Papeete by Segway

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24
Immerse yourself in the culture and daily life of Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia, on this guided Segway tour that provides a complete overview of the bustling city. You'll be able to explore more than you ever could on foot, including the city center and more than 20 landmarks and sights like Papeete Market (Marche de Papeete), Territorial Assemby Gardens, Notre Dame Cathedral, and more. Your local guide shares insider tips along the way.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$102.00
From
$102.00

Papeete Walking Tour

Papeete Walking Tour

star-4.5
15
Enjoy a half day of exploring the capital of French Polynesia with a local guide, on this walking tour of Papeete. Your guide will tell you stories about the city’s past, and you’ll get a glimpse into local life and culture. Visit places that you might miss if traveling independently. This is an ideal trip for travelers who want to learn more about the country before or after a relaxing beach vacation.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$41.28
From
$41.28

Papeete Segway Night Tour

Papeete Segway Night Tour

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1
Experience Papeete like never before on this guided, 90-minute, small-group Segway tour. Glide along the illuminated waterfront of this capital city of French Polynesia and visit many of the most popular attractions and landmark locations. See Place Vai'ete, or Vaiete Square, with its food wagons and live music. Also, visit the Marina de Papeete, Paofai Park and gardens, the Monument of Independence and more. Guided Segway training plus the use of a helmet are included. Dress in weather-appropriate clothes with flat, closed-toed shoes.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$102.00
From
$102.00

Enjoy Moorea Day Tour

Enjoy Moorea Day Tour

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126
Get an introduction to the best hidden spots in Moorea from a local on this full-day tour. Get access to a private beach, local waterfalls, mountains, and other attractions off the beaten path. Swim in a pristine lagoon and take a hike to a local waterfall that you may not otherwise find if you were simply exploring on your own. Refreshments are included along the way, and you'll have the chance to ask any questions about Moorea to your guide as you travel.
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  • 6 hours 30 minutes to 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$118.70
From
$118.70