There are so many ways to discover the outdoors in The Islands of Tahiti, and so many opportunities for hikes and excursions in island valleys or over hilltops where the breathtaking views encompass a full 360-degree panorama of mountains, bays, lagoons and on the horizon, the immense Pacific.
From canoeing to paddle boarding to soaring over the sea on a paraglider, you’ll never find a shortage of things to do in the great outdoors in The Islands of Tahiti. Explore your options here.
Whether it’s surfing, stand-up paddle or bodyboarding – Polynesia is a paradise for surfers of all levels, both beginners and professionals. It provides a multitude of locations, ranging from the waves on the beach to the most dangerous waves over coral reefs and passes. The island of Tahiti alone has more than thirty surfing spots, of which three are world-famous: Teahupo’o, Taapuna and Maraa. In the southern winter (May to November), the best waves unfurl over the north coast while the south coast takes the waves for the rest of the year. Finally, there are still secret spots in the islands frequented by pros and locals, mostly in the Tuamotu and Marquesas Islands.
Surfing in The Islands of Tahiti
Learn about the best Tahiti surf spots in the Islands of Tahiti, Moorea and the rest of The Islands of Tahiti as well as information about surf seasons, wave heights and breaks. Learn more about surfing The Islands of Tahiti.
Whether it’s kitesurfing, funboarding or windsurfing – in Tahiti and in the islands, even the smallest breath of wind and a hint of the sun are enough to bring out the kiteboards and windsurfers. These sports are very popular and it’s easy to see why. They are 100 percent ecological and they open up new horizons for lovers of nautical adventures. The Islands of Tahiti combine all the ingredients that let you fully appreciate these disciplines, whatever your level. Go water sporting on calm, safe waters – learn on the lagoons to start with, then increase speed and cover distance, and then on waves for surfing and jumping. And all this, together with a tropical climate, warm, crystal-clear water and breathtaking landscapes.
Whether it’s outrigger canoeing or sailing – the lagoons with their calm waters offer tons of opportunities for sailing and anchoring. So, everything from the traditional outrigger canoe to the racing course pirogue, from the great sailing ship to the simple kayak navigates over this marine paradise. These boats can be hired in most of the islands, including Taha’a and Raiatea.
Hiking in French Polynesia, you’ll discover many popular hiking trails that lead to amazing panoramic views, winding through wild valleys and undergrowth, in the shade of banyan trees, mape trees (Tahitian chestnut trees) as you search for the mysterious marae or religious places. If you crave a challenging hike, try Mt. Aora’i on the island of Tahiti. Explore the islands’ natural pools and lava tubes for an easier, closer to sea level hike.
The mountainous rainforests naturally lead to epic Tahitian waterfalls, many of which are accessible by trail. Two popular main island of Tahiti waterfall hikes are Papenoo Valley and Fautaua Valley. Fautaua Valley’s Fautaua Waterfall is one of the tallest in the world with more than 980 feet of water falling from volcanic cliffs into a shallow pool. Qualified guides can be of great service on these tough treks to help you hike safely. And definitely don’t forget to bring hiking boots and bug spray!
Across spectacular landscapes with the valleys and the plateaux of the Marquesas islands, rich in archaeological remains, or along the white sand beaches (Tahiti, Huahine, Moorea and more), with the sun setting as a backdrop, or even going upstream from the rivers, crossing dense vegetation (Raiatea, Tahaa and more).
While a normal bike is ideal for the flat ring road, you’ll want a mountain bike for making your way into the interior of the islands. Many hotels offer them for hire.
Excursions in off-road vehicles make it easy to effortlessly explore the mountainous inner isles. Cars, scooters, “fun cars” and quad bikes are also available for hire in certain islands.
It is a playground in the trees! Self-guided aerial adventure parks that provide hours of thrills and challenges for all ages and abilities. Options range from a kids’ course, through mid-level trails, all the way to expert level. Tackle as many obstacles as you want! The adventure parks offer a series of platforms in the trees connected by ladders, bridges, ropes, ziplines and obstacles of every kind, all situated in lush mountainous terrain.
Free-fall for an unforgettable experience as you enjoy the view above the lagoons of Moorea, Bora Bora or Tahiti. Skydiving jumps take place in tandem with a professional skydiving instructor. You can find skydiving tour operators on Moorea, Bora Bora and Tahiti (at sunset).
Find yourself amazed by the turquoise waters. This is a novel way to enjoy the view from the sky, solo or in tandem, towed by a cable up to 900 feet long. Flying 600 feet above an improbable palette of turquoise is an experience you’ll remember forever. This activity is offered by Mahana Parasail in Bora-Bora and Moorea.
If you’re a thrill-seeker, then aerobatics are for you. After taking off from Tahiti-Faa’a airport with a pilot-instructor, you’ll have the opportunity to improve your flying skills high above the lagoon. Lessons are offered at every level, from beginner to pilot’s license. Just want to kick back and enjoy the view? Discovery flights around Tahiti are also available on request.
Take a completely safe tandem flight over The Islands of Tahiti and get a bird’s eye view of steep-sided valleys, lush plateaus and turquoise lagoons. Paragliding is an affordable sport that is available to all ages with no particular physical fitness requirement.
Scenic flights will allow you to have an incredible experience over some of the most beautiful lagoons in the world. Whatever circuit you choose, you will enjoy a panoramic view, and you will be amazed by the shades of blue that will dazzle your eyes. These flights are opportunities to take exceptional photos or videos for unique and unforgettable memories. You will fly comfortably and safely aboard an aircraft captained by an experienced pilot who knows the area perfectly.
Wild valleys and lush terrain are waiting to be explored.