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Pape'ete, Tahiti

Local Reading

Tales of the South Pacific
Written while stationed in Vanuatu as a lieutenant commander in the US Navy and set in the Coral S...

Noa Noa: The Tahitian Journal
Having fled "filthy Europe" in 1891, the famed artist records his keen observations of Tahiti and i...

South Sea Tales
View on Originally published in 1911, a collection of eight compelling stories drawn fro...

Read More about Pape'ete, Tahiti



As the main island of French Polynesia, Tahiti is famous for its stunning beauty, with mountains, jungles and reefs, and a lively but chic island culture.

Sunny Tahiti is called the Queen of the Pacific because it's the main island of French Polynesia and the largest of its 118 archipelagos in the South Pacific. Its main city, Papeete, is the beating heart of the island and also the capital of French Polynesia, which is an overseas territory of France.

Tahiti Nui is the populated northwestern region of the island. Many visitors get around this region by taking a ride from a friendly local, but it’s also easy to rent a car and travel the coastal freeway. The southeastern section of the island is called Tahiti Iti and is only accessible by boat or on foot.

Learn about the history of the famous South Pacific black pearls at the Pearl Museum in Papeete, or go jewelry shopping at Quartier du Commerce. Find tropical fruits and handicrafts at Marché Municipal.

Tahitian cuisine mixes flavors from France and the South Pacific. Nothing comes cheap on the island, but downtown you’ll find some of the best local dishes at roulottes, the food trucks, for a few francs. Try the poisson cru, fish cured in lime juice and coconut milk, and then visit waterfront bars or attend the Les Ateliers “Te Oro” dance workshops.

See more of Tahiti’s natural charm with a hike through tropical forests to Mont Aorai, or join a jeep safari to Mont Marau. Watch waterfalls in the Faarumai Valley. Go to Paea to visit Marae Arahurahu, an ancient Polynesian temple, which hosts the Heiva I Tahiti festival in July.

Travel Tips

No vacation destination suggests paradise more than French Polynesia. The Islands of Tahiti offer miles of private beaches, crystalline waters, and soft breezes long celebrated by artists and travelers alike. Sleep above the turquoise lagoon waters in your thatched-roof hideaway with all the amenities and service of a first class hotel room.

The temperature in the Islands of Tahiti averages 79 degrees Farenheit year round. The ocean and lagoon waters average 80 degrees year round. In summer (November through April), the climate is slightly warmer and more humid. During Winter (May through October), the climate is somewhat cooler and dryer.

Flight Times

  • 7.5 hours from Los Angeles
  • 15.5 hours from New York (via Los Angeles)

Unlike any other properties in the world, the resorts in the Islands of Tahiti offer the perfect combination of experiences, service, dramatic views, cuisine, ambience, and accommodations. Lodging types range from rooms and suites with ocean views to thatched roof bungalows on stilts perched above the water with glass floors and a private deck with a ladder to the water.

Must-see sights

  • Pearl farms, the warm lagoons of many of the islands are perfect for producing pearls because of the temperature, density, salinity, light, and pure climate.
  • Island interiors, many islands’ inland areas are sites of ancient Polynesian villages

Things to do

  • Indulge in a luxury spa treatment - the Islands of Tahiti have quickly become one of the world's leading spa destinations. Most spas are open-air and located in garden areas facing the blue lagoons.
  • Dive or snorkel - Divers and snorkelers are amazed by the density of large marine life. Regular encounters include manta rays whose gigantic wingspan eclipses the passing diver
  • Shop for pearls - The warm lagoon waters of the islands and atolls is Mother Nature's choice for the cultivation of the world's purest and most sought-after gem: the Tahitian Cultured Pearl.

Classic Vacations offers a variety of transportation options throughout Tahiti in order to make your Tahiti vacation truly spectacular. Classic Vacations can arrange for VIP welcome at the airport, complete with deluxe lei greeting and private car to either your hotel, the ferry terminal, or cruise ship pier. Luggage handling and personal assistance is available. Shared transport is also available.

While traveling in Tahiti we recommend :

  • Private transfers at time of booking - All transfers include a meet-and-greet by English-speaking drivers, luggage assistance, and bottled water in modern vehicles to and from all points of entry.
  • A scenic helicopter transfer between Papeete and Bora Bora or Tahaa and Bora Bora.
  • Catamaran Service – It is convenient round trip service between Papeete, Tahiti and Moorea is available several times a day.


The currency is the Euro; however, French Pacific francs (XPFs) are also acceptable.

  • Most visitors exchange money at the airport upon arrival.
  • Exchange rates vary with economic seasonality.
  • Most credit cards are readily accepted in tourist areas.
  • ATMs are available on the populated islands.

Time Difference

  • The Islands of Tahiti are in the same time zone as Hawaii.
  • The Islands are two hours behind Pacific Standard Time.

Local Videos

Scuba diving with manta rays | Bora Bora
Island Landscapes or Sauer Among the Polynesians
Tahiti Premium Vanilla

Entry Requirements

  • A passport is required when traveling outside of your country. If any passenger carries anything other than a Passport supplied by your home country, please contact the Consulate of the country(s) you are visiting to verify document requirements. If you do not have appropriate documentation, you will be denied entry. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months beyond your return trip for international travel.