Surfing picture1 of 2
Surfing2 of 2
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Details

Natural Wonders, Recreation, Sports Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
3.9

scorecard

  • 3.0Value
  • 0.0Food Scene
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Tahiti's two distinct surfing seasons allow both inexperienced and expert surfers to take advantage of the varying swells. Travelers can head to several surf spots on the island: Papara, Papenoo and Taapuna are for the beginner to intermediate crowd, while Teahupoo on Tahiti's southwestern coast is for experts only. Teahupoo is undeniably the most challenging spot for surfers to catch waves in Tahiti, producing serious swells (with waves up to 25 feet high) that break over a shallow coral reef. It's often compared to Hawaii's Pipeline, for those familiar with the film "Blue Crush," and it hosts the Billabong Pro surf competition annually.

If you haven't surfed before and you're interested in learning, you're in luck – there are a few surf schools in Tahiti. Ecole de Tura'i Mataare and Tama He'e surf schools offer instruction for first-timers, beginners, intermediate and advanced surfers. Lessons can be private or held in small or large group settings; all equipment is provided and some packages are available that extend through a week or include lunch and other activities. Prices vary depending on the season, time length and type of lesson. For more information on the surf schools, visit the companies' websites. Visitors also say even if you're not inclined to grab a surfboard and get out in the waves yourself, heading to one of these beaches to watch the surfers navigate the barrels is a treat.

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More Best Things To Do in Tahiti

La Plage de Maui1 of 13
Fautaua Waterfall2 of 13
Type
Time to Spend
#1 La Plage de Maui

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. 

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