Answering the most common travel questions regarding the French Polynesian islands and atolls, we help you plan a trip to Tahiti to discover their beauty.
Embrace the warm and welcoming spirit of Tahitian culture, lounge on immaculate beaches, unwind at accommodations that float above the sea, and explore lush stretches of wilderness that unveil waterfalls and coves. Tahiti vacations are the ultimate tropical escapes, allowing you to relax and appreciate the French Polynesian islands.
Here, we discuss how to plan a trip to Tahiti to experience the best of the island.
Tahiti and greater French Polynesia are open to American travelers.
Restrictions are contingent upon decisions by the French Polynesia government. A Zicasso travel specialist can provide you with the most up-to-date information should anything change between the planning process and departure.
Updated entry requirements and helpful information can be found on Where Americans Can Travel Now.
Learn more: Plan Your Trip to Tahiti
The best time to visit Tahiti is during the island’s winter months of May through October, due to the island's position in the Southern Hemisphere.
The winter months coincide with the dry season and boast cooler temperatures than summer. Although also falling within Tahiti’s peak season, traveling during the earlier or later months of this window should ensure you avoid the crowds.
Vacations during Tahiti’s winter will allow you to explore the outdoors comfortably, take advantage of the island’s beaches in the best weather possible, and enjoy experiences you wouldn’t be able to in the rain.
Learn more: Best Time to Visit Tahiti
With so many beaches, water activities, and cultural connections, you should spend between seven and 10 days in Tahiti and greater Polynesia.
One week to 10 days can give you plenty of time to visit Tahiti and other islands, such as Bora Bora or Moorea. It is possible to visit Tahiti in five days, but this timeline does limit your visit to one island and its highlights.
With so many opportunities to swim, hike, visit local communities, or island hop, you can experience the beauty of Tahiti within seven to 10 days on a honeymoon, romantic getaway, senior or family trip.
Here is a list of the seven most-popular places:
These places offer different experiences for every type of traveler, from sightseeing or gourmet dining to beaches and hiking. Depending on your timeline, you can see them all or choose your favorite activities.
Whether you are visiting the French Polynesian island for a honeymoon or with family, here are a few of our recommendations of things to do:
Our list highlights some of the best things to do in Tahiti and greater French Polynesia, but there are more opportunities for you to experience with our Top 5 Things to Do in Tahiti.
Tahiti is part of the country of French Polynesia.
The islands are part of the autonomous overseas country of the French Republic, with a long-established relationship with France.
The country is approximately 1,544 square miles, with a total coastline of around 1,569 miles across 118 islands. Tahiti is the largest of French Polynesia’s islands.
Tahiti is famous for its stunning lagoons, overwater bungalows, and turquoise waters. The combination of big waves, rainforest treks, and Polynesian culture and heritage have made it a sought-after destination for travelers looking for the perfect tropical escape.
Tahiti is the main and largest island of French Polynesia. It also has the largest airport in the archipelago, requiring all international travelers to stop on the island when arriving in French Polynesia. As its central hub, it is easy to visit what are known as the other Society Islands when traveling from Tahiti:
You can enjoy French Polynesia in Tahiti or when island hopping. Find how to create the right trip for you by visiting our sample itineraries on our Tahiti Vacations. You can also visit more destinations in the South Pacific region from Tahiti, including Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji.
Tahiti has a number of remarkable beaches. There are long stretches of black sand with incredible turquoise waters, stunning lagoons, and a captivating coastline blanketed with lava stone. This is our list of the five most popular beaches:
Tahiti has unique wild and marine life that thrives in protected waters, rainforest terrain, and along quiet shores. Below is our list of what you can see and where to spot it:
The best way to travel around Tahiti is by car or bicycle. The island is too large to walk around, but small enough to enjoy on a cycling excursion, especially when traveling along the coastline.
A car makes it easy to circle the ring road or venture inland along the rougher jungle terrain that can lead to foothills and mountains.
If you wish to visit the islands of greater French Polynesia, the best way to reach them is by air. Ferries are available, but take much longer to travel between ports. If you have a short schedule and wish to visit more than one island, flying in small airplanes between the islands is best.
With stunning waterfalls, unforgettable beaches, and opportunities to trek into the mountains or dive into the South Pacific, Tahiti is a fantastic destination for families with children of all ages.
You can snorkel along colorful reefs, visit local communities with a long history that demonstrates ancient Polynesian heritage, or enjoy the markets before a family-friendly cooking class.
Enjoy an adventure with small children or embrace the tropical beaches with teenagers, explore Tahiti and French Polynesia by watching fish pass beneath your overwater bungalow, or looking for birds in the dense tropical jungle.
Tahiti is perfect for relaxing experiences or adventures that you can take at your own pace. Seniors of all ages prefer to view the rainbow-colored sands of the coastline, visit the popular market of Papeete, or relax in overwater bungalows.
Hike the interior rainforest, cycle along the coastline, or snorkel the coral forests. You can cruise the outer islands, travel between Moorea and Bora Bora, or indulge in seafood that demonstrates generations of culinary tradition.
Couples can enjoy the seductive nature, secluded accommodations, and romantic ambiance of Tahiti during a getaway or honeymoon.
With a combination of emerald jungle landscape and views of turquoise waters lapping against a rainbow-colored coastline, Tahiti is a dream destination for couples. Indulge in experiences that create unforgettable memories as you enjoy a beach dinner under the stars, hike beneath the canopy until reaching a panoramic view, or take part in a traditional welcome ceremony.
Find more ideas for your romantic experience with our sample Tahiti Honeymoon Packages that are perfect for newlyweds, anniversaries, or couples.
Tahiti and French Polynesia’s cuisine is shaped by the sea, tropical foliage, and over a century of French influence. Gourmet and family-run restaurants celebrate an intricate ecosystem that demonstrates generations of Polynesian culinary traditions, in addition to international ideas that establish the five most popular dishes you can try:
Tahiti is very safe. As with any international vacation, you should always be vigilant as petty theft is possible in crowded areas. While rarely occurring in Tahiti, be particularly careful around busy parts of Papeete.
The weather can vary during the wet and dry seasons, bringing significant downpours or hot and humid conditions. You should carry an umbrella, wear plenty of sunscreen, and be mindful of moray eels that hide in crevices in coral reefs.
French and Tahitian are the official languages of Tahiti and French Polynesia.
French is the most commonly spoken language across the islands, but others include Tahitian, a Polynesian language often used at home or amongst friends. English is common in popular tourist venues such as restaurants and resorts, and among tour guides.
You should not experience any language barriers, but if you do, a guide can help navigate any challenges when traveling through small villages or towns.
A list of mandatory or recommended vaccinations can be reviewed in the CDC French Polynesia Vaccination Information.
Depending on where you go, you may wish to speak with a travel nurse or your physician for further information on suggested vaccinations or those they strongly recommend.
The best airport to fly in and out of when visiting Tahiti is Papeete’s Fa ’a’a International Airport (PPT), the only international airport in Tahiti.
When traveling to Tahiti or French Polynesia from the United States for fewer than 90 days you do not need a visa.
If traveling for reasons other than tourism, or for longer than 90 days, you will need to apply for the appropriate visa ahead of your arrival in Tahiti.
The national currency of French Polynesia and Tahiti is the CFP Franc (₣)
The US dollar is not widely accepted in Tahiti or French Polynesia, making the CFP Franc the best option. You can exchange your currency for local tender at the airport, a bank, or ATM.
Major credit cards are also widely accepted across the islands. with tourist infrastructure making it easy to pay with American Express, Visa, and Mastercard. Smaller islands often only accept cash in local currency. ATMs are available across the archipelago.
You can plan your trip design, secure your accommodations, and book your tours for Tahiti with the help of a Zicasso travel specialist. With inspiration from our Tahiti Vacations, you can start building an idea of how you would like to experience one or several islands.
When you are ready, complete a Trip Request where you can share additional details, information, set a rough trip budget, and outline the duration of your vacation. Once submitted, a member of our Travel Care team will be in touch to discuss your ideas in more detail. They can use your insight and their wealth of experience planning Tahiti trips to match you with a French Polynesia travel specialist capable of fulfilling your requests.
Your top French Polynesia travel specialist will work with you to create a custom trip or a personalized plan based on a trip you have found in our collection. They will handle accommodation and tour bookings on your behalf and be available for the duration of your vacation should you need to contact them with questions, suggestions, or emergencies.
Learn more: How to Plan Your Zicasso Trip in 4 Easy Steps • How to Plan Your Zicasso Trip Budget in 3 Easy Steps
Discover Tahiti’s tropical beauty, admire the island’s wondrous wilderness, and spend your days lapping up seaside luxuries around your pristine accommodations.
Turn your dream vacation to Tahiti into a reality today with sample itineraries from our Tahiti Vacations that are customizable to suit your travel needs. If you want to learn more about Tahiti, the islands, or French Polynesia, check out our Tahiti Travel Guide.