How to Spend 3 Days in Tahiti
Three days in Tahiti are enough time to enjoy its natural and cultural riches, as well as go a bit farther afield to Moorea. Whether you want to totally chill out or add some activity to your island getaway, there’s plenty to see and do. Here’s how to make the most of a 72-hour stay on French Polynesia’s largest island.
Day 1: Check out the capital
As many travelers fly into Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia, it makes a handy base for exploring Tahiti. Spend your first day learning about the local culture on a walking, cycling, or Segway tour of the city. Wander the Municipal Market, the Black Pearl Museum, pretty parks and gardens, and European-style churches. In the early evening, take a romantic sunset cruise, then eat your fill of affordable local delicacies at the food trucks that set up along the waterfront from about 6pm. If it’s a weekend night, enjoy the live open-air music while indulging in local rum punch or wine made from grapes grown on a neighboring atoll.
Day 2: Get to know the island
Tahiti is a curiously shaped island, made up of two volcanoes that look like conjoined twins from the air. This means there’s plenty of coastline and forested interior to explore. Rent a car or join a tour, then visit a 19th-century lighthouse, a local marae (meeting house), and natural attractions such as a blowhole and a grotto. Or, just pick a beach and spend half a day soaking up the sun. Most of Tahiti’s beaches are made up of black volcanic sand, with a few white-sand ones here and there. Whichever direction you head from Papeete, you really can’t go wrong, as there’s beauty around every corner on this tropical island.
Day 3: Visit Moorea
Round out your visit with a day trip out to Moorea, Tahiti’s closest island neighbor, just 27 miles (43 kilometers) across the water. Easily reached by ferry from Papeete, this lovely island offers white-sand beaches, secluded bays, first-rate snorkeling, vanilla and tropical fruit plantations, and much more. To see and do as much as possible, rent a scooter or join a guided tour. Otherwise, choose a beach and hang out there for the day, savoring the tranquil island life.