If you think a Tahiti vacation is all about lazing on the beach, listening to the crashing waves, think again. Not that we have anything against that approach, but the South Pacific’s ultimate paradise destination is more than just another snowbird getaway. Here are ten Tahiti ideas to get you off the beach and into an unforgettable adventure.
Bike along the reef in Bora Bora
Diving and snorkelling opportunities are more or less par for the course when you visit the world’s great island destinations. But how about cycling a living reef in an eco-friendly underwater scooter? On Bora Bora’s unique Aquabike Adventures, you won’t need a diving certification, flippers or a snorkel, as you comfortably cruise ten feet below the surface. You won’t even need to get your hair wet! Each Aquabike is topped by a transparent observation bubble, keeping your head high and dry as you explore.
Get married underwater
If you’re not content to simply visit the fish, you can always invite them to your wedding. There are countless opportunities to enjoy a traditional Polynesian wedding on the islands, but this is the only one that takes the ceremony to the lagoon floor. Sporting white helmet dive suits (which, like the aqua scooters, require no special certification or training), couples exchange their vows via waterproof audio and hand signals – though they’ll have to wait til they surface to seal the union with a kiss!
Swim with Manta Rays
Few underwater sights rival the majestic wings of a Manta Ray, and the waters of Bora Bora are an excellent place to spot, or even swim alongside these harmless giants.
Explore Moorea on an All Terrain Vehicle
The island of Moorea is something of a triple threat, having a less ‘touristy’ feel than other popular Tahitian islands, while still being both affordable, and hopelessly romantic. While an ATV ride through the countryside might not be everyone’s idea of a honeymoon activity, it is a great way to see the island, and a more relaxed side of Tahitian life. Tours typically last between two and four hours, or can be customised for a private tour.
Take in paradise from above – at 120 miles per hour!
Skydiving might not spring to mind when you think of Tahiti, but it offers an incredible way to see the islands from above. Experience all the thrills of this extreme sport while taking in sensational views of Moorea or Bora Bora. A tandem jump with an experienced instructor will have you parachuting safely into paradise, with about six to eight minutes of air time, and incredible views.
Go drift snorkelling at Taha’a island resort
Old fashioned snorkelling too sedate for you? How about riding the swift current through some of the world’s most beautiful coral systems? Guests at Taha’a resort can explore the old fashioned way, or ride the drifts right to the middle of a coral garden.
“Shoot the Pass” at the Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is a Tahiti legend, the kind that drivers must visit, that is, not the kind that doesn’t exist. You’ll find it on Rangiroa, the world’s second largest atoll, where the current rushes between the sheltered lagoon and the surrounding ocean, allowing adventurous divers to be transported amid schools of tropical fish to meet the larger species in open water. It’s called ‘Shooting the Pass’ and it has been described by some as the world’s greatest adrenaline rush. If you’re not so keen, or not certified to dive, the Blue Lagoon still offers an impressive showcase of the many species that live in Tahiti’s waters.
Have breakfast delivered to your overwater bungalow by canoe
Bora Bora has made the overwater bungalow famous, but why hurry to come ashore for breakfast? The staff at several of the island’s best resorts can deliver the most important meal of the day right to your bungalow – and they come by sea, in a traditional canoe.
Eat cheap at Les Roulottes in Papeete
On a tight budget, but still want to experience Tahiti? It can be done. Bora Bora might not be the land of the thrifty, but the namesake island, which supports most of French Polynesia’s population, offers its own delights at a fraction of the cost. No stay in the capital is complete without an evening grazing Les Roulottes, a collection of food trucks on Papeete’s waterfront that will satisfy even the most demanding culinary hipster. Polynesian and French flavours naturally star, but you’ll find cuisines from every corner of the globe served with a uniquely Polynesian twist.
Get a Polynesian tattoo
If you’re looking for a souvenir that’s both long-lasting, and quintessentially Tahiti, tattoos have been part of Polynesian tradition for centuries. A little research and local advice will ensure you’re getting the real thing. Just remember, Polynesian tattoos are shrouded in cultural meaning, so get the full story behind your choice of ink, and come away with the ultimate personal memento.
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