Slightly off the beaten track because it doesn’t have an airport, Taha’a is one of the jewels of The Islands of Tahiti. Life is lived at a slower pace in this simple and natural island, surrounded by a host of idyllic motu. There are numerous vanilla plantations on the island and the sweet smell of this exotic spice will perfume your visit. It would be a shame not to visit Taha’a during your vacation in The Islands of Tahiti. Here is our suggested itinerary for a four day break.

Day 1

Round island tour

By car, motor scooter or bike, you’ll find Taha’a a peaceful and beautiful island. It is reputed for its large bays, the most impressive of which is the biggest bay in French Polynesia, Haamene. As you go round the island you’ll be able to admire the two neighboring islands of Raiatea (which shares the same lagoon) and Bora Bora to the northwest. If you take the cross-island road (la traversière) from Haamene to Patio, you’ll have truly splendid views over the lagoon and its many motu.


Day 2

Part 1

Vanilla Valley

It won’t take you long to understand why Taha’a is known as vanilla island. Sold all over the world, this award winning vanilla is a major source of revenue for the island and its sweet scent perfumes the air. Some of the plantations welcome visitors and we recommend that you go to the Vallée de la Vanille (Valley of Vanilla) on the east coast. You’ll learn all the secrets of growing vanilla and even get to see the beans growing on the vines. At the end of the visit, you can purchase some vanilla directly from the grower at a very advantageous price.

Taha'a vanilla © Gregoire Le Bacon
Taha’a vanilla © Gregoire Le Bacon

Day 2

Part 2

Visit to a rum distillery

The other visit you shouldn’t miss when you’re in Taha’a is to one (or both!) of the two rum distilleries. The Pari Pari distillery has won several awards at the Paris agricultural fair and produces one of the best rums in French Polynesia. You can visit the distillery and discover all the stages of production, from harvesting the sugarcane to ageing the rum in barrels. At the end of the visit, you can even taste a glass of the delicious elixir. Then afterwards, just a short distance away, you can visit the Mana’o distillery and taste another glass!

Day 2

Part 3

Visit to a pearl farm

If your head’s not spinning too much after the rum, visit one of the island’s pearl farms. You’ll be shown how the Tahitian cultured pearls are cultivated and at the end of the 30 minute visit, you’ll get the chance to buy some at a good price, directly from the producer.


Day 3

Part 1

Explore the beautiful lagoon

A day spent on the magnificent lagoon in Taha’a is a day very well spent indeed. You can take a boat trip or go on a jetski, paddleboard or kayak excursion. You’ll stop at some superb sites for snorkeling and visit some superb beaches on some of the many motu.

Taha'a Lagoon © Tahiti Tourisme
Taha’a Lagoon © Tahiti Tourisme

Day 3

Part 2

Snorkelling

Along with vanilla plantations and idyllic motu, Taha’a is also reputed for its magnificent snorkeling sites. One of the very best is the coral garden. You glide over a bed of multicolored coral on a current that sweeps between two motu, from the reef into the lagoon. Accompanied by myriads of tropical fish, it’s like swimming in an aquarium. For a completely different sensation, there’s a spot on the east of Taha’a where you can swim in crystal clear water, among inoffensive, but nevertheless impressive, blacktip sharks.

Snorkeling © Grégoire Le Bacon
Snorkeling © Grégoire Le Bacon

Day 4

Explore the island of Raiatea

Raiatea, the sacred island, is only a few minutes from Taha’a by boat. The two islands share the same lagoon and it would be a pity not to make a detour to visit the marae of Tapuatapuatea. Classed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, it is the birthplace of Polynesian civilization and the home of the mana which inhabits all of French Polynesia. The island’s main town, Uturoa, is also worth visiting, especially the colorful market.

Vue aérienne sur l'atoll de Tetiaroa © Tahiti Tourisme

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