Tahiti (Papeete), French Polynesia

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Main port photo for Tahiti (Papeete), French Polynesia

Tahiti is not just an island - Tahiti has always been a state of mind. The bustling capital of Tahiti and her islands, Papeete is the chief port and trading center, as well as a provocative temptress luring people to her shores. Immortalized in the novel "Mutiny on the Bounty," who could blame the men of "HMS Bounty" for abandoning their ship in favor of basking in paradise? And what would Modern Art be without Tahiti's influence on Gauguin and Matisse? Today the island is a charming blend of Polynesian "joie de vivre" and Gallic sophistication. But venture out from Papeete and you find a landscape of rugged mountains, lush rainforests, cascading waterfalls and deserted beaches.

Contrasting with other French Polynesian ports, Papeete's coastline initially greets you with a vista of commercial activity that graciously gives way to both black and white-sand beaches, villages, resorts and historic landmarks.

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  • Island Drive Island Drive

    A drive of Tahiti is the best way to see the outlying sights and a bit of old Polynesia away from Papeete's bustle, including Tahara'a Hill, Point Venus, Arahoho Blowhole and the Faarumai waterfalls.

  • Tahara'a Tahara'a "One Tree Hill"

    Historical site of a lone tree with brightly colored flowers used by Captain Cook as a navigational landmark, this promontory offers spectacular views of the surrounding area.

  • James Norman Hall's Home James Norman Hall's Home

    The American writer and co-author of the "Bounty Trilogy" lived in Tahiti for over 30 years. The museum is an exact replica of his house and stands a few yards from the sea overlooking Matavai Bay.

  • Point Venus Point Venus

    Explorers Bligh, Wallis and Cook anchored their ships at Point Venus. It was here that Cook's expedition observed the transit of the planet of Venus across the sun in 1769.

  • Museum of Tahiti Museum of Tahiti

    Considered one of the best museums in the South Pacific, the museum tells the story of Tahiti and her islands featuring exhibits on Polynesian history, culture, environment and ethnology.

  • Tomb of Pomare V Tomb of Pomare V

    The last king of Tahiti, Pomare V, is buried in this tomb constructed from coral slabs and lava rocks in a tower-like shape that resembles a Grecian urn.

  • 4WD Excursion 4WD Excursion

    Some of Tahiti's most beautiful spots are accessible only by 4WD. Journey into the island's heart as you travel unpaved trails up the Papenoo Valley crossing rivers with photo stops of the numerous waterfalls on the island.

  • Faarumai Waterfalls Faarumai Waterfalls

    The valley of Faarumai is home to Vaimahuta, one of the most photographed and breathtaking waterfalls on Tahiti.


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