What to do in Tahiti

For the active honeymoon couple, Tahiti offers a wide choice of activities including diving, snorkelling, swimming, surfing and kayaking.

You also have the opportunity to play golf and tennis, hike into the jungle-clad interior of the island or bike along the many roads that skirt aquamarine lagoons. Go horseback riding, windsurfing, hook up a deep-sea fishing charter or take a helicopter excursion.

Spend a romantic day on a private motu (islet): snorkel around the island, wander hand-in-hand along the powder-white sand or nap under a grove of palm trees, then enjoy a lunch of lobster, crab, steak or chicken with traditional Tahitian foods, fruit and champagne – all prepared by your host.

Scuba diving

The best dive sites on Tahiti are located along the west coast of Tahiti Nui, from Papeete to Punaauia, and off the southern coast of Tahiti Nui.

Alternatively, see a variety of colourful reef fish swarming over coral heads at the Aquarium, located near the end of the Faa’a airport runway (also a good spot for snorkeling).

Visibility ranges from 20m in shallow lagoons up to 30m on the outside reefs with year round sea temperature averaging 26°C to 29°C. Numerous certified dive schools on Tahiti offer CMAS and PADI courses. Several live-aboard diving charters are also available.


Tahiti is famous for world-class surfing and hosts the annual Billabong Pro championships in May at Teahupoo (pronounced cho-poo) on the south coast of Tahiti Iti, just an hour’s drive from Papeete.

‘Chopes,’ as the break is affectionately known, sits off a 100m drop-off just 50m away from a half-moon-shaped reef and breaks 700m out to sea.

Read more about surfing Teahupoo

Other excellent breaks are found off the southern coast at Papara and Fishermans Point, and along the northern coast at Matavai Point and Point Venus.

Non-experts can avail of half-day surfing and body-boarding courses at several surf schools. It’s also easy to rent boards in Papeete.


Paddle the tranquil aquamarine lagoon on a sea kayak, easily available from the many resorts.

Game fishing

Hook up a charter and fish for mahi mahi (available year round), yellow fin tuna (available year round, best from May to September), barracuda and wahoo (best from July to November) and marlin (best from November to February).


Tahiti’s main island offers some of the best hiking in French Polynesia, with a range of easy walking trails leading to lush valleys, plunging cascades and a dramatic coastline.

Try the cross-island Papenoo Valley-Lake Vaihiria Trail and the track leading to Te Pari Cliffs.

Or hike to the summit of Mt Aorai (2000 m), a 10km hike with accommodation along the way should you wish to overnight and enjoy a sunset or sunrise from the mountain heights.


The relatively flat roads that circle Tahiti make for easy and scenic bike riding. Many hotels and resorts provide bikes for their guests to use; alternatively they are inexpensive to hire.


Tee-off at Tahiti’s only course, the 6944-yard, par 72 Oliver Breaud International Golf Course at Atiamono on the south coast of Tahiti Nui.

Horseback riding

Ride trails through lush jungle-clad mountains, perhaps stopping along the way for a picnic lunch overlooking a spectacular cascade.

Choose from a number of world-class riding stables, which generally offer horses to suit all levels of riding ability including lessons for the beginner.


Take a guided tour to traditional marae (ancient stone temples) located throughout Tahiti (as well as on Moorea, Raiatea, Tahaa, Huahine, the Marquesas and Austral islands, where you can discover large wooden statues similar to those on Easter Island.)


For the best buys in Tahiti, browse for gorgeous black Tahitian pearls, local handicrafts and colourful patchwork blankets called tifaifai.

Latest update: Things to do in Tahiti: 20 April, 2022