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The capital of Tahiti and her Islands is the bustling port of Papeete, alive with activity. Papeete contains the government offices, police headquarters, hospitals and clinics, banks, telecommunications center, airline and travel agencies, boutiques and black pearl shops. Papeete is a modern port with a population of about 70,000 people in the city and its suburbs. Enjoy Papeete’s unique cosmopolitan charms. Shopping is definitely one of them. Part of the fun of Papeete is sipping a drink and people-watching at a sidewalk cafe. Hop aboard le truck-as the locals call the open-air bus-to downtown, where an amazing selection of boutiques offers shell leis, woven hats, purses and other native handicrafts, while their neighbors feature the latest in French fashions. In the city’s many restaurants you’ll discover that Tahitians enjoy an enticing variety of native, French, Asian, and other cuisines.
Today, the beautiful landscapes and the timeless charm of Tahiti’s past remain preserved just minutes outside the bustling sea port of Papeete. From the beaches and low-land plantations to volcanic peaks and rain forests, Tahiti has a magnificent variety of landscapes and vistas to enjoy.
The island’s interior contains dense rainforests of soft ferns, waterfalls cascading into cool rivers and streams forming magnificent river valleys, and flat coastal areas containing fields of taro and tropical flowers.
Tahiti is comprised of two main island masses, Tahiti-Nui (big Tahiti) and Tahiti-Iti (little Tahiti), which are connected by an isthmus called Plateau of Taravao. The larger, Tahiti-Nui, is rugged and mountainous with its largest peak, Mt. Orohena, reaching 7,339 feet next to Mt. Aorai reaching 6,786 feet. Tahiti-Iti is a low, narrow mountainous strip of land with its highest peak, Mt. Roniu, reaching 4,341 feet.
The smaller portion, Tahiti Iti, is quite rural an abundance of lush, natural beauty with small villages.
Featured Tahiti Restaurants
Les Roulottes are mobile diners that set up shop around 6 pm each afternoon along the boat dock and serve hot meals until the wee hours of the morning. These two dozen licensed, colorful food-vans provide a variety of inexpensive but fresh and well prepared dishes, as well as a bar stool to sit and watch the waterfront scene of Papeete-by-night. The sights are almost as good as the food. Here you can order barbecue steaks, chicken and shish-kabob, served with French fries, Poisson cru and Russian potato salad. Specialty diners serve pizza cooked in a wood-burning stove, couscous, fish and chips, Tahitian food, barbecue veal and freshly worked hot delicacies from the provinces of China. Your dinner can be a veritable movable feast, with a tempting choice of crepes for dessert. No alcohol is served here, but the bars and nightclubs are just across the street.
LOCATED: 40 mn from the airport / 10 mn from the pier.