From cultural to culinary experiences, Tahiti offers a variety of unique island experiences. Don’t miss these amazing island experiences during your next trip to Tahiti.
1. Tahitians say hello with flowers and good bye with shells.
From the moment you arrive, you will have your first Polynesian experience with traditional Polynesian lei made from the fragrant Tiare flower which means “Ia Orana” or “Hello!” and “Manava” or “Welcome”. As you leave, Tahitians will share their appreciation for your visit with a traditional shell lei necklace made from tiny polished shells from the sea meaning “Nana” or “Goodbye” and “Maruru” or “Thank you!”
2. Drink & eat like Tahitians!
What could be more refreshing after a day on the beach than an ice cold Hinano, the local Tahitian beer? For a more tropical taste of the islands, pick up a carton of Tahiti Drink. This delicious blend of locally pressed fruit juices and liquors in one delicious drink is a favorite on the islands. For those looking for something more tame, nothing is more refreshing than a chilled coconut served with a straw allowing you to drink the water directly from its source.
Shall we dine at the Roulouttes? Tahitians have been offering amazing local cuisine from food trucks long before it was hip to do so. One of the best ways to experience the local culture and enjoy some delicious foods is from a local Rouloutte. These local food trucks set up in the evening in a public area used for socializing. One of the most popular is in downtown Tahiti. Each truck offers a specific specialty including pizzas made from a wood fired oven, poisson cru, Chinese stir fry, grilled steak with Roquefort cheese sauce, crouqe mosquior, and crepes with chocolate sauce for dessert. What a great way to enjoy an inexpensive meal like a local.
3. Take in a hip shaking, fire wielding Polynesian Dance show!
Polynesian dancing is a true art. Tahitians take their dancing seriously, teaching their children the traditional Polynesian dances and songs from the time they are very young. Each year during “Heiva”, a celebration of traditional Polynesian song and dance, dance troupes from each island compete for a title of best in Tahiti. Only a select few Polynesians have what it takes to learn to “dance with fire” offering another dimension to this fascinating art.
4. Dress like a Tahitian!
Tahitians enjoy blending the natural elements of the islands into their every day dress. Fragrant flowers in the hair are not only beautiful but are communicative as well. A woman wearing a Tiare flower on the left hand side is says “I’m available”, on the right means “I’m taken”, one on both sides “That is for me to know and for you to find out”. Black pearls are everywhere in the islands. From a small pendant to a full strand of these stunning gems come in a variety of colors including charcoal grey to peacock green. Whatever color you choose, it’s a beautiful way to adorn yourself like a local.
5. Stay in an Overwater Bungalow
Perhaps one of the most signature accommodations experiences in French Polynesia, a stay in the islands is not complete with a night in an overwater bungalow. From the most luxurious to the most simple, you will find a variety of excellent overwater accommodations around the islands. Looking for luxury? The St. Regis Resort Bora Bora offers the largest standard size overwater bungalow (around 1500 sq ft) in French Polynesia with large bedrooms overlooking a spacious deck offering direct access to the lagoon or with views of the sunset or the dramatic Mt. Otemanu. Glass topped coffee tables offer hours of viewing pleasure to the sea life and corals located below the bungalows at the Moorea Pearl Resort and Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort. You’ll know why the locals call it “fish tv”.