Tahiti’s Hidden Paradise Islands

Tahiti and Bora Bora are typically the most popular islands in French Polynesia – famous for beautiful greenscapes, luxurious white sand, and magnificent lagoons. However, the lesser known islands that surround Tahiti, sometimes known as the “Hidden Paradise Islands”, offer a unique and spectacular experience that can be unforgettably enriching for the traveller who is willing to go off the beaten path.

Friendly smiles of Tahiti
Friendly smiles of Tahiti

The “Hidden Paradise Islands” – Huahine, Rangiroa, Tikehau, and Taha’a, offer the beauty and serenity of Tahiti’s lagoons and vegetation for a fraction of the price, and in a setting that is far less crowded than you’ll find on a Bora Bora resort. These islands make a great visit for repeat visitors to French Polynesia, who loved the sights and experiences of more popular islands like Tahiti, Bora Bora, or Moorea, but are interested in trying out something different. Each of these islands are a short flight from the international airport in Papeete, making them an accessible and affordable way to extend a South Pacific vacation and experience something magical and unique.

It’s time to go beyond the typical Tahiti vacation, and we’re going to let you in on some expert South Pacific secrets. Here are four amazing hidden islands to explore in Tahiti:

Huahine, just a brief 40 minute flight from Papeete, has earned the nickname of “The Garden Island” for its tropical jungles, lavish vegetation, vanilla orchids, banana groves, and breadfruit trees. Sacred temples are hidden among the dense plant life, making for beautiful scenery that contrasts the remnants of ancient civilization with natural beauty. Travellers will want to take the scenic, mostly unpaved roads to pass through magnificent vistas, lush greenscape, and small villages like Maeva – an area rich in archaeological artifacts that date as far back as 1000 years. Huahine is surrounded by coral reef, which isolates its turquoise lagoons and sandy beaches from the sea, helping to maintain their tranquility.

Huahine is divided into two parts, the northern Huahine nui, which means big, and the southern Huahine iti, which means small. Visitors can unwind in beautiful accommodation at the Royal Huahine, a hotel that offers affordable boutique style accommodation on the secluded western coast of the island. Accessible only by boat, the Royal Huahine offers a secluded, offshore feel. The lush resort is accessible on a Tahiti cruise, and guests can stay in overwater bungalows with coral reef at their doorsteps, offering an ideal retreat for diving and snorkelling. This gorgeous hotspot has a low season promotion where guests can save 25% off for staying 5 nights or more.

Suggested Itinerary:
13-Day Tahiti and Her Hidden Islands (incl. Airfare)

Aerial view of Huahine
Aerial view of Huahine

Just 60 minutes from the Papeete International Airport, and part of Tahiti’s Tuamotu Islands, Rangiroa is the second largest atoll in the world. Rangiroa could be described as an endless lagoon, as a massive string of coral encloses a beautiful green body of water. The serenity of the lagoon makes Rangiroa one of the great dive destinations of the world. The atoll is surrounded by two bodies of water, the Moana-tea, which means Peaceful Ocean, and the Moana-uri, which means Wild Ocean.

Known for the density of its marine life, Rangiroa is a great destination for lovers of the sea. Underwater enthusiasts can purchase a dive pass, visitors can take sailing tours, go drag fishing, take motor boat trips to the nearby Tiputa Village, or enjoy endless water activities. The famous Blue Lagoon of Toeo’o is a must-see. Rangiroa also has a lot to offer on land, like the bird sanctuary on Motu Paio and the Kia Ora Resort, making this trip easy and accessible. The resort offers a low season promotion that allows guests to stay three nights for the price of two.

Suggested Itinerary:
4-Day Tuamotu Islands: Kia Ora Resort & Spa

Rangiroa's Blue Lagoon
Rangiroa’s Blue Lagoon

Included in the commune of Rangiroa is the coral atoll of Tikehau. Known for its pink sand and diverse population of fish, Tikehau is made up of two major islands and various islets, all of which are covered in coconut palms. The primary village in the atoll is called Tuherahera. The entire atoll is surrounded by an almost continuous ring of coral reef. Like most islands in French Polynesia, Tikehau has an abundance of colourful marine life. At the Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort, guests can receive a 35% discount price if they book over 120 days in advance.

Suggested Itinerary:
4-Day Tuamotu Islands: Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort

Beach Villa at Tikehau's Pearl Beach Resort
Beach Villa at Tikehau’s Pearl Beach Resort

Taha’a, located 25 minutes by boat from the airport in Raiatea, produces 80% of all the vanilla in French Polynesia, and the island has the scent to prove it. The relaxed island is home to the luxurious Le Taha’a Island Resort, located on the Motu Tautua islet, where guests can stay in stunning overwater suites and catch views of nearby Bora Bora. This resort offers a promotion where guests who book early will have a three night stay for the price of two. So, what are you waiting for?

Suggested Itinerary:
4-Day Society Islands: Le Taha’a Island Resort & Spa

Aerial view of Le Taha'a Beach Resort
Aerial view of Le Taha’a Beach Resort


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Bronwyn Hodge
Bronwyn Hodge

Idyllic Islands General Manager - Growing up in a family travel business, Bronwyn has been travelling from a very young age. Her favourite experience was 3 months spent backpacking through India and Southeast Asia. She counts many countries among her ‘favourites,’ but is especially fond of Australia for its lifestyle, Cambodia for its culture and resilience, and Japan for its contrasts. She holds the proud distinction of being Goway’s only former Bollywood star – having once starred in a Coke commercial in Mumbai.

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