Top 8 things to do in Tahiti

This page has been translated automatically.

The main island of French Polynesia, Tahiti is also the largest and has plenty to offer: from tropical rainforests to turquoise lagoons, there's a whole host of different activities to keep you entertained while you discover Tahiti!

The island, which is home to the capital of French Polynesia, Papeete, is made up of 2 parts: Tahiti nui, also known as Greater Tahiti, and Tahiti iti, or Little Tahiti, also known as the Taiarapu peninsula. It offers a beautiful variety of landscapes between sea and mountains, and therefore by extension a lot of things to do: in this article, you'll find the Top 8 things to do in Tahiti, apart from the unmissable visit to Papeete and lazing around on its heavenly beaches. Pack not only your swimming costume and sunglasses, but also your walking shoes and rucksack for some unforgettable outdoor activities!

1 - Surfing in Tahiti

surfing in Tahiti
ITINUI Surf School

Who doesn't think of surfing when you think of things to do in Tahiti? The island is home to one of the most impressive waves in the world, the Teahupoo wave, which you can see on anot-to-be-missed boat trip from West Taiarapu to watch the world's greatest surfers battle it out. Of course, Tahiti also offers other exceptional surf spots, accessible to all levels: Ahonu beach and Papenoo to the north, Papara to the south-west, and Taravao to the south-east of Tahiti nui. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced surfer, you're sure to find the perfect surf course in Tahiti to help you master the superb Polynesian waves!

2 - Discover canyoning in the heart of Tahiti

abseiling waterfall canyon tahiti
Natura Exploration

Although it's not usually the first thing on your mind when you're planning a holiday in Polynesia, canyoning is a must-do activity in Tahiti! In the heart of the island's tropical rainforest, there are a number of canyoning routes running alongside rivers and even passing through lavatubes: from the Vaipurau canyon and the Putoa canyon in the Papenoo valley to the lava tunnels of Hitiaa, there are a number of canyoning routes in Tahiti to keep you fit and refreshed in an exceptional natural setting. Between swimming, jumping, abseiling and sliding, you'll have an extraordinary time in the Tahitian jungle!

3 - Flying over Tahiti in a helicopter

helicopter flight in Tahiti
Grégoire Le Bacon / Tahiti Nui Helicopters

With some of the most impressive landforms in Polynesia, including Mount Orohena at an altitude of 2,241 metres, Tahiti is also worth discovering from the air. Spectacular panoramas will unfold before your eyes from the sky, between lush green forest and a turquoise lagoon whose contrast will amaze you. With explanations of the island's history and geology as you fly over it, a panoramic helicopter flight is one of the best things to do in Tahiti. Get your camera ready and immortalise Tahiti's most incredible landscapes from an aerial angle!

4 - Take a boat trip and go snorkelling in Tahiti's lagoon

snorkelling in the Tahiti lagoon
Mobydick Tahiti

Boat trips in Tahiti are a must-do all around the island, allowing you not only to admire its landscapes from the sea, but also to discover its underwater flora and fauna during snorkelling breaks in the lagoon. Whether you're looking for a family outing or a romantic getaway for two, there are plenty of boat trips in Tahiti, even to the Tetiaroa atoll in the north of the island for a day out!

5 - Paragliding from To'a Rohu Rahi (837 metres above sea level)

paragliding flight over the Punaauia lagoon
Tahiti Parapente

Unlike a helicopter flight, paragliding offers the experience of flying with your hair blowing in the wind, alone with the pilot, who will even offer to do a few acrobatics if you wish, for added adrenalin. Departing from To'a Rohu Rahi at an altitude of 837 metres, this unmissable experience will take you over Punaauia and its lagoon, offering you breathtaking views of the Matatia valley and its waterfall, the Punaauia lagoon and the island of Moorea in the background. An unforgettable spectacle awaits you on this paragliding flight in Tahiti, one of the most beautiful activities in Tahiti!

6 - Discover Tahiti's underwater world on a dive

diving to a wreck in the Tahiti lagoon
Eleuthera Diving Tahiti

Scuba diving is an activity that is accessible to experienced swimmers via exploration dives, as well as to those who have never dived before via a baptism. It is undoubtedly one of the things to do in Tahiti. Whether in the lagoon or offshore, diving in Tahiti allows you to admire the incredible fauna and flora of Polynesian waters, renowned the world over for their richness: colourful lagoon fish such as clownfish and surgeonfish, sea turtles, stingrays and eagle rays, blacktip sharks and many other species can all be found here.

And if you're still undecided about which island to go diving on for the first time, take a look at this article on the best places to go diving in French Polynesia!

7 - Whale watching in Tahiti

whale in Tahiti
Tahiti Iti Diving

Present from July to November in Polynesian waters, whales are one of the things to see in Tahiti! These majestic animals will offer you an unforgettable spectacle if you're lucky enough to meet them, and on some excursions you'll even have the chance to get into the water and swim close to them with the utmost respect. The guides will tell you all sorts of interesting and surprising facts about these cetaceans during your outing at sea, and you may even get the chance to see some dolphins during the research phase! So if you're heading to Polynesia between July and November, don't miss the chance to take part in awhale-watching tripin Tahiti!

8 - Hiking in Tahitian nature

waterfalls in the heart of Tahiti
Grégoire Le Bacon / Tahiti Nui Helicopters

As with any destination with a wealth of landscapes to discover, hiking is one of the activities to be enjoyed in Tahiti, and without moderation! Hiking is accessible to all, and can take you to trails in all four corners of the island: the Vaipahi water gardens, the Maroto waterfall, the Fautaua valley, the Onohea valley, Mount Aorai, Mount Orohena, and many more. Whether you decide to go it alone or follow a local guide to learn more about Tahiti's nature, history and culture, your hike will remain an extraordinary experience of your stay on the island!

And if you're looking for something a little different, don't hesitate to hire a mountain bike from Taravao: there are many different routes from those on foot, including the Taravao lookout, a must-see on the Taiarapu peninsula!

And many more activities to do in Tahiti

jet skiing with dolphins in Tahiti
Tahiti Jet Ski

Of course, there are many more things to do in Tahiti, all offering exceptional experiences that will make your stay a wonderful journey. On the water, a jet ski excursion from Faaa will delight those looking for thrills on the water, while on land, quad biking in the heart of Tahiti will delight adventurers looking for a change from walking. And there's even more in the air, with the chance for the more adventurous to take part in an introductory aerobatic flight!

There's still a long list of things to do in Tahiti, so be sure to check out our article on the best things to do in French Polynesia to ensure a successful trip to this South Pacific paradise!