No one comes to French Polynesia looking for big city buzz, but there are at least a day’s worth of distractions to be had in its compact capital Papeete, on the island of Tahiti.
Any exploration of the city starts at the waterfront, where locals and tourists promenade at an island pace, day or night. Stalls selling fresh fruit and French pastries typify the mix of cultures here. Two relatively new squares, Vaiete and To'ata, are part of the authorities’ efforts to improve seaside facilities.
From the waterfront, take any of the streets leading inland. You’ll inevitably end up at the Marché de Papeete, and your wanderings are also likely to take you past the charming yellow cathedral and the wide verandas of the Mairie (city hall). The Musée de la Perle is one of the best indoor attractions in Papeete.
Fun and informative jeep tour with knowledgeable Tahitian local who spoke excellent English. Saw tons of waterfalls and vista points, stopped for a swim in a fresh water river, went to small restaurant in the interior of the island where we could purchase lunch-it was beautiful. We enjoyed it!
Voyage extrêmement intéressant pour mon mari et moi. Paysages magnifques. Guides bilingues très cultivés et documentés. Repas correct.
The guide made this trip. I cannot pronounce his name, but he was a man who grew up in the forest, a true bushman. The trip into the interior of Tahiti was fascinating...we learned which plants and flowers were medicinal, how those living in the bush made utensils and the history of the forest people including a visit to the site of 1400 year old mummies! Our 4X4 climbed through amazing terrain surrounded by craggy peaks and we ended up at what appeared to be a delapidated hotel in the middle of nowhere. They had no guests but us and we had a phenomenal gourmet French lunch on the veranda overlooking the lush valley (lunch not included in tour). The other 4 people on our tour became friends which made the trip that much more enjoyable. Worth every penny!!!!
Papeete is on the northwestern coast of Tahiti, a short drive from Faaa International Airport. Most of the city’s sights are concentrated on the waterfront and a few adjacent blocks.