The Islands of Tahiti have a well-deserved reputation as one of the most beautiful places on earth.
But Tahiti also deserves a reputation as a destination for adventurous and cultural activities of all sorts, as I discovered during my whirlwind trip there in late January/early February.
I attended Parau Parau Tahiti 2023, a conference where tour operators meet the islands' vendors. After the conference - which I wrote about here - everyone went on different familiarization trips.
But while in Papeete, we took a daylong excursion with Nani Travels, a wellness company that designs tours meant to share the Tahitian culture and people with visitors in a sustainable way. Our tour included a hike to a waterfall and then a walk up to the marae, a sacred, open-air temple for meditation (my group nixed a yoga session!).
The dreamy meditation session was followed by another hike up a running river with a rocky bottom - yes, my too-delicate feet protested, although the young Tahitian women who guided us leapt along with nary a pause. When we came to rest on large boulders, the guides showed us a traditional Polynesian beauty routine with balms and scrubs made of coconut, avocadoes, sea salt, and other natural products.
After flying to the neighboring island Raiatea - the domestic airline Air Tahiti with ATR prop plans is a delight - and taking a boat to Tahaa, we toured a vanilla plantation and the Love Here Pearl Farm. Our resort, Le Tahaa by Pearl Resorts, has an underwater coral garden made for snorkeling with little effort as the current carries you along.
After a short flight the next day to Rangiroa, I enjoyed a full-day lagoon excursion with Pa'ati Excursions. After an hour-long boat ride, we walked to a motu where we ate fish cooked over an open fire, viewed timid black-tip reef sharks, snorkeled, rejoiced in a pod of dolphins, and walked through waist-high, crystal-clear water.
This is just a small sample of the adventure tours and cultural activities available on these islands.
Of course, make sure to leave some time for relaxing poolside or on the beach!
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