It’s hard to imagine that a paradise on Earth is hiding just 8 hours away from Los Angeles, hidden between California and Sydney, deep in the natural beauties of French Polynesia. Travelling to Tahiti has been an incredible adventure ever since the Spanish navigators discovered it in the 17th century. Tahitian culture and ways of life have been inspiring many researchers and adventurers for centuries, which is why Tahiti today is one of the most visited islands of French Polynesia.
Since Tahiti is divided into two islands, one being mostly covered in volcanoes and the other holding the city center, you need to come well prepared and equipped with a travel plan in order to get the best Tahiti experience. Here are some tips on where you should go and what you should do.
Listen to the sound of Tahiti
The moment you set your foot on Tahiti land, it’s quite possible that you will be overwhelmed by music, and in a completely enjoyable way. The sound of the ukulele is a trademark of Polynesia, and Polynesians traditionally endure most of their everyday activities alongside music. You might be shocked to discover that it seems like everyone on the island has musical talent, and this is because Tahitians take music as an everyday necessity which they can’t imagine living without. With the influences from Western music, you can enjoy a truly intriguing funky mix.
You can even try learning to play the ukulele yourself and feel the Polynesian music firsthand. With only four strings, you will catch on a few chords in no time.
The bungalow experience
When we think of Tahiti, the image of bungalows comes straight to mind. It’s no wonder that this is the case, since this type of bungalow was actually invented in French Polynesia back in the 1960s. The legacy can be traced back to the Californian Bali Hai Boys, who have transformed a former vanilla plantation into a tourist village. This can be also considered the blooming point of Tahitian tourism.
Staying in a cozy Tahiti overwater bungalow is an experience you shouldn’t miss out on. With bungalows located just above the surface of the beautiful, completely blue and transparent water, only a couple of steps are keeping you away from taking a swim. There are several bungalow packages to choose from, so you can find one that suits your needs perfectly.
Take the view from above
Although you can see a lot of Tahiti beauty from the ground, a truly mesmerizing experience can be brought to you by viewing it from the top. The domestic airliner Air Tahiti provides you with the service of flying from one island to the other, and this enables you to see most of Tahiti from the highest tops. A view of the volcanoes and the ocean blues will most definitely stick with you forever. Just make sure to take the left window seat while flying to the city capital Papeete in order to get the best shots.
Taste the island
We can’t imagine visiting a new location without a taste of the local cuisine. The Tahitians call their food Maa’a and they enjoy eating it in bigger groups. Tahitian families would gather on Sundays and feast on the meals cooked in a traditional ground oven. Although they most commonly eat fish, you can find lots of meals prepared with pork and chicken, too.
Since Tahitian cuisine has been influenced by Western ways, you can find classic French dishes that are topped with special Polynesian spices. As for the more traditional food, you mustn’t miss trying the local raw-fish poisson cru dish, specially prepared with coconut milk.
The cruise of a lifetime
Besides seeing Tahiti from the sky, you should also see it from the water. One of the most exciting and luxurious attractions of Tahiti are the floating hotels, which will leave you with a completely unforgettable memory of the island. You can also go on a boat ride and take on the adventure of investigating some of the 118 islands Tahiti has to offer, each one more beautiful than the last.
Theme cruises with fishing and surfing are also available for the more active among you. Be sure to make your reservation on time, because nearly 50,000 visitors every year book some of these fascinating cruises.
Don’t be disappointed if you don’t have enough time to experience it all, because no one can do so during their first visit. Whichever way you decide to experience Tahiti, one thing is certain – it will stay with you for a lifetime.