This dream vacation was not possible without Scott’s Cheap Flights. I’m giving my sister, @spinraverepeat, 85% of the planning credit. Although we had a few layovers, we purchased our tickets for $485 per person. I highly recommend signing up for their premium account. It’s $50 a year and has already saved us over $1500 on our Tahiti flight.
- Rent a car. We used Hertz.
- Backpack; do not pack blow dryer, curling iron etc. I’m a hairdresser and didn’t use them once.
- Pack converters and chargers.
- Pack lots of bug spray and use it. Dengue Fever is a real thing. Both my husband and sister tested positive upon return to the states.
- Buy Duty Free liquor before boarding your flight to Tahiti.
- Pack your own snorkel.
Tahiti’s currency is CFP. One CFP equals almost one penny. It was easier to figure out prices this way. We ended up getting currency at the airport once we arrived on the island. I will be referring to some prices in US dollars and CFP. Their currency is so pretty.
We landed ay 6:30 am after fabulous 8 hr flight on AirFrance from LAX. Our Airbnb was Coconut Paradise. Early check in was available since we landed so early. The house was awesome. Tahiti doesn’t have many road signs so your directions go by landmarks. Our bedrooms each had AC so we were comfortable at night but the entire side of the house opens up so you can take in all of the Tahitian air! I immediately walked out to the bay and saw a mommy stingray and her baby swimming. The property offered kayaks, fully stocked kitchen, fire pit and washing machine. They hang dry everything so that fresh Tahitian air in your cloths was the best. I could still smell it in my clothes when I arrived home.
Plage Vaiava beach was close to our house. Our host recommended Happy Market near by, so on our way to the beach we stopped to get lunch and water. We enjoyed sushi and their specialty poisson cru; raw fish with tomatoes, cucumber, onion and coconut milk. This was the first of many. Our Airbnb provided small coolers and ice to help keep our water cold. The beach was stunning with plenty of places to lay out. Snorkeling was really great here. It came in handy to have our own as we didn’t see any place to rent.
On our way back to the house, we stopped at Happy Market to stock up the house. We bought juices for drinks, Hinano beer for the boys and snacks. We found wasabi flavored Pringle type chips… yum!
Our host offered lots of places to eat but we found the food trucks weren’t open on Sundays and Mondays, I’ve listed them at the bottom under extra stops. For dinner and happy hour, we went to Manava Resort. Happy hour is the way to go! The pina coladas (1150 CFP during happy hour 5-7 pm) at Taapuna Bar were fantastic. The appetizers were really small and expensive but yummy. We ate dinner at Vaitohi. We were the only 4 people there for the first hour. I ordered the trilogie de thon (2700 CFP); it included poisson cru Tahitien, tartare & sashimi. Oh and if you don’t like fish, raw or cooked, don’t travel here.
Our Airbnb supplied coffee and coconut sugar, so my sister and I had our coffee with the sunrise which is around 5 am and headed out on the kayaks. Watching the sun come up over the hills was so calming. It was windier that morning so we didn’t go far since we had to go against the current to get back.
Today was island adventure day, which was to drive around the entire island. There is really only one road to take so its not difficult. We packed lots of water, sunscreen and bug spray. Not far from our place was Grotte de Mar’aa. Unfortunately you can’t go into the falls/pools anymore but they are pretty to look at with gorgeous flowers and little waterfalls.
Next up was the black sand beach, Taharuu Beach. This sand was unlike anything I have ever seen. No one else was on the beach, so we took the opportunity to do our photoshoot and write in the sand. Alcohol wasn’t allowed on the beach so we didn’t stay long.
I could’ve spent hours at Vaipahi Water Gardens. The florals and waterfalls and lush greenery was out of a movie. We had a few sprinkles that morning so the humidity was high and my body fighting it. I was so puffy in the face, hands and feet…looks like I need more water. Close by was the Faarumai Waterfall. It was chilly up there but the walk away absolutely stunning. Locals were selling fresh fruit so we bought some fresh papaya for 200CFP. Right at the end of the road you turn on to the waterfall was a small inlet with another gorgeous black sand beach with the beautiful flowers that fell off a tree.
Be sure to stop at the Arahoho Blowhole. I was so cool to see the big waves. The blowhole is created with bigger waves and goes off sporadically. I didn’t get it on camera but a huge wave came over the break wall and soaked my sister. We were able to walk on the slippery rocks and check out the tidepools. We didn’t see much but I found these little blue fish!
Tahiti has “second circle” that you can drive to the southwestern coast and take the road to head to Teahupoo. This area is known for its surf break and heavy waves. They hold the annual Billabong surf competition here. The waves are pretty far out so its hard to gauge how big they actually are. The snack place wasn’t open so it a quick photo opt stop!
Our mission from the beginning was to find floral crowns so we stopped at Papeete Market. It wasn’t very busy as it was later in the day and most vendors had left. The market has fresh fish, pearl shops and fresh floral. Stop in Hinano life. Its the Tahitian beer company and they have really cool stuff. We found the cutest coffee shop/bakery, les Reves de Lucie. It means Dreams of Lucie. We ordered some amazing macaroons. They had the most gorgeous floral wall too. I’m not a big beer drinker but we did stop at Les 3 Brasseurs. They had a nice selection of beers and other cocktails. Just walking around the city, you will find little gems and amazing artwork.
On our way back to the Airbnb, we stopped at the market to pick up a few things. Next to it was Patisserie D Hilaire. Wow did it smell amazing in there. We purchased a few “flatbreads” with bacon, onion and cheese, along with awesome madeleines and croissants. No joke, we purchased 3 baguettes over 2 ft long and crushed them on the car ride back. It was so delicious.
Tahiti as a whole is the most populated island and offers a variety of things to do. We missed a few things like some awesome food trucks. It was hard to find their hours and most aren’t open on Sundays or Mondays. I’ve listed below a few more ideas of where to stop at.
*Jungle Bar * Kai’ Lani food truck *Shinetari Restaurant *Blue Banana