Tahiti is not as far as you think from the US being an 8 hour nonstop flight from Los Angeles – same time zone as Hawaii… or just an extra movie!
For any vacation, you want to ensure you get the most of your time, so below I've included some tips on how to enhance your time spent on each island.
- Known as the most romantic restaurant in Tahiti is Le Coco’s. This upscale lagoonside restaurant has a gorgeous view of Moorea and the tables are set out on the lawn. Other tables are shaded by a thatched cabana that also share a great view. The cuisine is French with island influences such as shrimp marinated in lime juice and coconut milk. Try to arrive in time for cocktails at sunset prior to dinner.
- The best Polynesian dance group in Tahiti performs at the Intercontinental twice a week on Fridays and Saturdays, the “Bounty Evening buffet and show”. This was the best of all the dance groups I saw throughout Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora. Enjoy a Polynesian style dinner buffet in their open air restaurant followed by anamazing dance show performed by the Grand Ballet of Tahiti.
- If you’re in Tahiti shopping for black pearls it’s a good idea to make a visit to the Tahiti Pearl Museum to learn how to judge the value based on size, color, luster and shape. You’ll see black pearl shops all over, so best to know in advance how to get the best value!
- If you are into golf; be sure to check out the Jack Nicklaus designed course. (The only golf course on the island as well!) Certain days of the week they offer twilight golf which would be a nice alternative to save some $$ and avoid the heat of the day.
- For the adventurous, rent a dune buggy one day. There is only one road on the island so you have the ocean on one side and the mountain on the other. Doesn’t get much better than that!
- For a beautiful lookout over the island don’t miss checking out the Belvedere lookout.
- Be sure to incorporate a lagoon tour with motu beach picnic and ray feeding. As you board a comfortable, covered motorized boat and cruise along the colorful lagoons, your guide will attract schools of friendly stingrays for a feeding while you touch and play with these incredible creatures. A delicious buffet-style lunch is served with soft island music in the background. There is plenty of time for snorkeling, swimming, or just relaxing. Wonderful afternoon activity.
Local recommended restaurants:
- Mahogany French, Tahitian and chinese cuisine
- Te Honu iti French cuisine, located by the water in Cook’s Bay
- Le sud Mediterranean cuisine
- Rudy’s steak house and seafood
- Villa des Sens gourmet French cuisine at Legends Resort
- If you are into spa treatments, don’t miss the Bora Bora Pearl Manea Spa and/or the Intercontinental Thalasso Spa. Both are very unique with unforgettable treatments!
- Be sure to visit Bloody Marys one night for dinner and drinks. It’s REALLY famous and has been around forever. Very casual but is fun for one night’s dinner away from your resort.
- For an over the top dinner one night, visit the St Regis Jean George Vongerichten restaurant called Lagoon.
- Depending on where you stay; many resorts offer Breakfast by Canoe to your overwater bungalow. Very unique to Bora Bora, as you enjoy your breakfast delivered to your overwater bungalow by outrigger canoe.
- If you crave a higher-adrenaline kind of day, be sure to take part in a jet ski tour where you’ll follow your guide around on an a full island tour and stop at all the best snorkeling spots along the way. A wonderful way to get acquainted with the island from a different point of view!
- The shark and snorkel tour is one not to be missed. You’ll see a variety of exotic and colorful fish in the transparent waters of Bora Bora. You will be taken by boat to explore a place near the barrier reef where conditions provide the perfect environment to maximize coral growth. As you spend time exploring the reef, your guide attracts black-tipped sharks with bait. You get to sit back and enjoy the feeding as it happens right in front of you. Watch in the water or from the boat – either way it’s a memorable experience.
Written and contributed by Michelle Pragnell