Free Things To Do in Tahiti
- #1View all PhotosfreeLa Plage de Maui#1 in TahitiBeaches, Free, Neighborhood/AreaTYPEHalf Day to Full DayTIME TO SPENDBeaches, Free, Neighborhood/AreaTYPEHalf Day to Full DayTIME TO SPEND
The primary reason why so many Tahitian tourists flock to this stretch of shoreline is the sand: While many of the island's beaches boast a volcanic black hue, La Plage de Maui dazzles in pearly white. Located on Tahiti's southern shore, the clean, warm waters of the nearby lagoon are another draw – travelers say the water is unbelievably clear and the lagoon is shallow and calm. Meanwhile, the beach's snack bar serves up fresh seafood and is exceptionally popular among visitors.
La Plage de Maui is about 40 miles southeast of Papeete, but once you get there you'll see why so many make the trip. Be sure to drive carefully as Tahitian roads (and commuters) can be unpredictable.
- #3View all PhotosfreePapenoo Beach#3 in TahitiBeaches, Recreation, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDBeaches, Recreation, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
The shores of Papenoo – a small village located a little more than 5 miles along the eastbound road from Papeete – offer a reminder of the island's volcanic history. The Punaauai Beach (also known as the PK18 Beach due to its location on the road) features ebony sands that reach down into the clear blue waters of the South Pacific. And best of all, this beach doesn't see nearly as much tourist action as La Plage de Maui on Tahiti Iti. That said, you will have to compete for waves with the island's surfing community.
Although you won't find many amenities on the beach itself, you shouldn't have trouble finding something to nibble on in town. Papenoo, located on Tahiti's northern coast, can easily be reached by car or taxi from Papeete. You're welcome here anytime of the day, free of charge, but you'll want to make arrangements with your taxi driver for when you want to return.
- #4View all PhotosfreePlage du Taharuu#4 in TahitiBeaches, FreeTYPEHalf Day to Full DayTIME TO SPENDBeaches, FreeTYPEHalf Day to Full DayTIME TO SPEND
Taharuu Beach is on Tahiti's southern coast in Papara and characterized by its volcanic black sands, leafy green palm trees and its width. This beach is large, meaning there's plenty of room to spread out and soak up the sun, and it's framed by deep blue water and frothy white waves. Popular with families, locals and tourists, this beach also boasts ideal swimming conditions and you may even see some surfers working on their skills. There's also an on-site snack bar.
Recent visitors said Taharuu Beach is clean and picturesque, adding that spending a day here is relaxing and enjoyable. You'll find the beach about 25 miles southeast of Papeete in Papara. There's no fee to access the beach and parking is available.
- #5View all PhotosfreePapeete#5 in TahitiEntertainment and Nightlife, Shopping, Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/AreaTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDEntertainment and Nightlife, Shopping, Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/AreaTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
Papeete is the capital city of not only Tahiti but also all of French Polynesia. Inside its boundaries, which sprawl across the island's northwest coast, are opportunities to shop, to dine and to revel in the nightlife. When it comes to shopping, black pearls and island crafts are the main items to look for. The Municipal Market in Papeete is worth a visit, too, and recent visitors said it is fun to browse the local market. Filled with fresh veggies and fruits, meat and fish, flowers and artsy goods like hats and souvenirs, the market receives high praise from travelers.
The local cuisine in Papeete is particularly enticing as well: Travelers should check out the roulottes or food trucks at Place Vaiete along the coast. Speaking of food, Chinese, French and Italian cuisines are well represented in the city. But keep in mind that restaurants in Papeete are almost universally expensive, so plan your dining budget accordingly.
- #8View all Photos#8 in TahitiHiking, Natural Wonders, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDHiking, Natural Wonders, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
Faarumai Waterfalls, located in the village of Tiarei, is accessed by a short hike through the forest. There are actually three beautiful cascades to enjoy. The first is called Vaimahutu. If you walk for another 20 minutes or so, you reach the second and third falls, called Haamarere Iti and Haamarere Rahi, respectively. Recent visitors said the falls, at least the first one, are easily accessed and beautiful. Many say it's a not-to-miss sight. However, many warn of aggressive mosquitos and recommend wearing insect repellent.
Faarumai Falls sit close to Tahiti's north coast, about a 30-minute drive from Papeete via the island's main road. There is free parking and no fee to enjoy the falls.
- #9View all PhotosfreeVaipahi Gardens#9 in TahitiParks and Gardens, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDParks and Gardens, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
Situated along Tahiti's southern coast in Mataiea, the Vaipahi Gardens are a verdant paradise. Visitors will find more than 75 plant species from all over the world (marked with signs and information in English and French), exotic flowers, a lily pond and streams that wind through the area. Travelers said they were impressed with how well-maintained this natural attraction is. Many said that they loved its tranquility, the easy-to-traverse trails, the small waterfalls and the vibrant flora throughout.
The Vaipahi Gardens are located about 30 miles southeast of Papeete and entry is free. There's on-site parking available, plus companies like Viator offer guided hikes and tours of the area (for a fee; transportation included), which often include a stop at the Maraa Grotto (where visitors can see the caves and swim in the pools) as well.
Explore More of Tahiti
If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.