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Surfing picture in Tahiti
Duncan Rawlinson / Flickr

Details

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

  • Value
    3.0
  • Atmosphere
    4.5

Read about how we rank Things to Do.

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 "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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Fautaua Waterfall picture in Tahiti
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Papenoo Beach picture in Tahiti
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Plage du Taharuu picture in Tahiti
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Entertainment and Nightlife, Shopping, Sightseeing, Neighborhood/Area Type
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Surfing picture in Tahiti
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James Norman Hall Home picture in Tahiti
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#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 ... Read more » stocksharm / Getty Images

#2 Fautaua Waterfall You may actually prefer visiting Tahiti during its rainy season for the Fautaua Waterfall alone, as more rainwater makes the waterfall even more dramatic. Located in the verdant Fautaua Valley ... Read more » viavado / Getty Images

Manheanuu Allain / Flickr

#4 Plage du Taharuu 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 ... Read more » HMeli / Getty Images

#5 Papeete 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 ... Read more » Remi Jouan / Wikimedia Commons

#6 Moorea Moorea, Tahiti's sister island, is more rugged. Its landscape features a jagged outcropping called Magic Mountain, which is covered with lush foliage. Travelers can take ATV tours (and enjoy ... Read more » M Swiet Productions / Getty Images

#7 Museum of Tahiti and Her Islands The Museum of Tahiti and Her Islands ("Musée de Tahiti et des Îles" in French) is dedicated to educating visitors about this beautiful archipelago. The museum is divided into four ... Read more » Tahiti Tourism

#8 Vaipahi Gardens 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 ... Read more » dany13 / Flickr

#9 Surfing 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 ... Read more » Duncan Rawlinson / Flickr

#10 James Norman Hall Home James Norman Hall, a World War I army pilot, made a fortuitous friendship with Charles Nordhoff shortly after the war's end, and the pair began collaborating on novels together ... Read more » Courtesy James Norman Hall Home

La Page de Maui picture in Tahiti
Fautaua Waterfall picture in Tahiti
Papenoo Beach picture in Tahiti
Plage du Taharuu picture in Tahiti
Pape'ete picture in Tahiti
Moorea picture in Tahiti
Museum of Tahiti and Her Islands picture in Tahiti
Vaipahi Gardens picture in Tahiti
Surfing picture in Tahiti
James Norman Hall Home picture in Tahiti
La Page de Maui picture in Tahiti
Fautaua Waterfall picture in Tahiti
Papenoo Beach picture in Tahiti
Plage du Taharuu picture in Tahiti
Pape'ete picture in Tahiti
Moorea picture in Tahiti
Museum of Tahiti and Her Islands picture in Tahiti
Vaipahi Gardens picture in Tahiti
Surfing picture in Tahiti
James Norman Hall Home picture in Tahiti

stocksharm / Getty Images

This stunning waterfall cascades 985 down into a pool of water below. viavado / Getty Images

Manheanuu Allain / Flickr

HMeli / Getty Images

Pape'ete is a great place to explore Tahitian culture via the city's food, shopping and nightlife opportunities. Remi Jouan / Wikimedia Commons

Moorea is considered Tahiti's sister island, located just to the northwest.  M Swiet Productions / Getty Images

Tahiti Tourism

The verdant Vaipahi Gardens are filled with flowers and various plant species. dany13 / Flickr

Tahiti is a great place to learn how to surf or perfect your skills. Duncan Rawlinson / Flickr

Courtesy James Norman Hall Home

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