Tahaa Island: What to do and see in a few days?
Are you coming to visit Tahaa Island, in French Polynesia? That’s good, I just spent a long weekend there. I can therefore give you my opinion on what can be done and seen in just a few days. Between us, I wasn’t blessed by the weather over those few days on the island, but I think I saw what I thought was interesting. I sincerely believe that Tahaa Island should be part of your itinerary in French Polynesia. I really enjoyed this island. This is not a complete guide of the island, but rather a story of the few days I spent on the island with some ideas.
At the time, there was a possibility to get there by day from Bora Bora by ULM but this activity is no longer available. Now, however, you can fly over Tahaa by helicopter which can also be cool. I’ll tell you more about it below and give you 4 recommendations of cool activities to do in Tahaa.
A small tropical island lost in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, Tahaa Island is part of the Leeward Islands archipelago. It remains an island that is still quite preserved from tourism in general and relatively isolated from tourist flows. It must be said that the island does not have an airport, which allows it to keep a certain charm.
It is often an island that I recommend to people who are looking for calm, authenticity and beautiful landscapes. The island is also very suitable for a honeymoon. It has a beautiful resort (hotel with bungalow on stilts), on one of the motus around the island. Lovers of crystal clear waters will also be happy here…
1 - The tour of Tahaa Island (or a part of it?)
If you are asking yourself what to do on Tahaa Island, I will start here. Indeed, as soon as you set foot on this small island, you are immediately surprised by the omnipresence of calm and serenity. Here, there are no Chinese buses passing through, you only meet very few people, and everything breathes authenticity.
Clearly, it is the ideal place to spend a romantic weekend, without being bothered by a mass of tourists….
I therefore advise you, as I said, to please yourself by going around the island. Ideally, do it by scooter with good weather, you have some superb views of the bays. You can also rent cars (but it’s more expensive) or bicycles (but it’s tiring!). It is up to you to choose which means of transport suits you best.
Tahaa Island, the vanilla island as it is also called, is famous for its very large bays, including Haamene, the largest in French Polynesia.
Take advantage of your island tour to admire the views of Raiatea (looking east), then onto the splendid Bora Bora to the north west of the island. Don’t forget either to stop at the island’s crossroads, which offers a splendid view of the island’s lagoon.
By taking your time and stopping to buy a small snack on the road in a store, the tour will take you all day.
2 - The vanilla museum
Tahaa Island is obviously not called the vanilla island for nothing. You will come across plantations along the roads and paths all over the island. You will also notice the greenhouses on the right and left around the island. Vanilla cultivation is indeed very present on the island and this is one of the things to see in Tahaa.
On our side, we chose to visit the vanilla museum. The place is located on the road from Haamene to the village of Poutoru.
The place is situated high in the forest. It is run by a local who presents it all with such passion. We discovered all the processes that are needed to make it possible to obtain vanilla (fertilization of the flower, drying in the sun, etc.). It’s really interesting, especially since the person who takes care of it is very friendly. We spend 2 hours there in peace and quiet. I recommend the place.
We went back to Taha’a Island in September 2020 and we heard that the vanilla museum is unfortunately no longer open. However, a new place has just opened, the vanilla valley (“la vallée de la vanille” in french), on the east coast. We were lucky to visit the place early in the morning, before the tourists arrived (which we obviously recommend). A nice explanation about vanilla and everything that concerns it is given there. You can then visit the small plantation located behind. It’s quite nice, free, and it’s worth it. Of course, you can buy many products made with vanilla extract there. A necessary stop on the island of Tahaa.
3 - Visit of the Island's Rum distillery
In the things to do and see on Tahaa Island, we were recommended to do a tour of the only rum factory on the island. We had a little visit of the place with the manager who is quite nice.
He explained how rum is made on Tahaa Island… We also got an explanation about oils. These are 100% coconut or tamanu extra virgins, of food and/or cosmetic quality. In short, a was a little visit worth a visit.
4 - Spend a day on the motu of Tahaa Island resort and Spa
You dream of a private beach, a beautiful beach restaurant, a superb lush tropical garden, a private swimming pool, a King size bed? Le Taha’a Island Resort & Spa is perfect for a romantic stay. For the record, the hotel is part of the Relais Chateaux group. So yes, I see you coming, he spent the day in a luxury hotel on a paradise island? Yes indeed! And it is even a 5-star hotel! Here is our complete article about the Taha’a Island Resort & Spa that we had the opportunity to test during a weekend! Here is their website.
No, more seriously, it’s certainly true, but there are circumstances. There is actually a shuttle boat that takes you to the island for free (as long as you eat or have breakfast!) and drops you off on the hotel deck. The arrival is splendid on an emerald sea. We spent the day on the hotel islet enjoying an excellent breakfast buffet. A real treat. Judge for yourself.
After eating our bellies out, we enjoyed the incredible location of the hotel. You can enjoy a short walk around the small lagoon behind the hotel while discovering the area and swimming with the family in a sumptuous setting.
We also visited the island’s famous coral garden, which is (to my taste) relatively disappointing. If you are a regular in the tropics (diving or snorkeling), you will probably also be a little disappointed. Anyway, it’s worth a visit knowing you’re there. Put on your mask and snorkel and go out to discover the coral reefs. You will find all the classic tropical fish and some beautiful clams. The setting is idyllic and you will enjoy a superb moment in the turquoise waters in front of the hotel while admiring the view of Bora Bora. With a little luck, you may encounter sea turtles, sharks, moray eels and of course some corals, etc. The spot reminds me of some corners of New Caledonia in particular.
You can also enjoy the hotel’s infinity pool with a view of the lagoon, paradise on earth is not far away.
5 - Walk on the beach of Joe Dassin
Finally, we ended our mini-stay on Tahaa Island, with a walk on the beach of “Joe Dassin”. For the record, the singer died in French Polynesia in August 1980.
We were recommended to go for a walk on this small beach. To get there, you have to go (by car or scooter) to the village of Poutoru. Once there, you can park on the vacant lot and simply walk along the seaside.
You then cross a coconut grove (watch your head) to reach, after 15 minutes of walking, the small beach next to a shelter. The place is very pleasant and usually there aren’t tourists. It is a good place to relax and enjoy a white sandy beach.
6 - Spend a day on the Motu Céran
This information is an addition of September 2020. We had the opportunity to go back to visit Tahaa Island and during our stay at the Hibiscus Guesthouse, the owner of the place invited us to spend a day on this beautiful white sand islet located off the island of Tahaa. I don’t show you pictures here, but rather invite you to read the article about our day on the Motu Céran, a wonder!
Other things to do and see on Tahaa Island
I talk about “other things” because they are activities that I did not do, either because of lack of time, desire or simply because we had already done more or less the same thing in other French Polynesian islands!
- Visit a pearl farm, the most famous on the island being the Champon farm
- Take a boat trip around Tahaa Island. I didn’t do it either, but the car rental company I visited offers excursions!
- Scuba diving on the island (only one centre). Note that the club offers the “Te Moana” Pass, which is one of the ways to save money in French Polynesia.
- Hiking to the island’s “belvedere”. Ask the guesthouse where you are to explain the departure (behind Haamene’s pharmacy). Apparently, it’s a very beautiful viewpoint.
- Go for a walk on the archaeological site of the island (everyone knows).
Activities in Taha'a?
As I told you before, there are some nice paid activities to do if you decided to spend a few days on the island of Tahaa. Here are (for now) my 4 recommendations!
- Explore the lagoon - Boat trip : I finally managed to find a provider who offers a nice lagoon trip from Tahaa island (it's rare!). It was a great half-day to discover the place!
- Discover Taha'a by helicopter : You have the possibility to experience the beauty of Taha'a from the sky from the neighboring island of Raiatea. A delight for the eyes!
- Discover Tahaa with a 4x4 trip : Discover the secrets of the island of Tahaa during this half-day 4x4 trip.
- Sunset boat trip : Here is a great activity to spend a good time in a dream location during the beautiful evening colors! All this with a cocktail on the water!
Check out other activities for your trip to French Polynesia
How to get to Tahaa Island?
As with all the other islands of French Polynesia, you will first have to arrive on Tahiti Island. The prices to come here at the lowest cost vary according to where you live. From the USA, the cheapest flights at the moment are still from San Francisco to Papeete, for about 500/600$ (if you are flexible).
Are you looking for the cheapest flights to visit this paradise? Come and compare airline tickets on the cheapest ones with this comparator that I have been using for more than 10 years.
Once on Tahiti Island, you should already know that there is no airport on Tahaa Island. You must therefore go to the neighbouring island of Raiatea. For this reason, from Tahiti, Air Tahiti serves the island several times a day.
From the island of Raiatea, you have two options here. The more economical option is to take a taxi when the plane arrives in Uturora (Raiatea) and ask for the shuttle dock that will take you to Tahaa. It will cost you between 500/1000 fr by taxi. Then all you have to do is take the shuttle for about 500 fr each way.
The other option is to book a private boat with a guesthouse. Generally, it is charged 6500 fr per outward journey (by boat). It will also generally be possible to find boats for a catamaran cruise from the port of Uturoa, in Raiatea.
Where to sleep in Tahaa?
On the island, you will find a few guesthouses and hotels.
For those looking for cheap accommodation, we slept in an Airbnb at Wilson and Rai, an excellent choice. Simplicity and good atmosphere is a guarantee. I know that the pension “La perle de Tahaa” offers rooms that are also not too expensive.
For information, we stayed in September 2020 at the Pension Hibiscus. Despite mixed opinions on the web, we were quite pleasantly surprised by the place. We appreciated the hospitality of the owners, the large bungalows with mosquito nets and well maintained and the place in general. We were there on half board and honestly, and the food was great. In any case, we recommend the place!
For those who want to take the time to spend a few days on Tahaa Island, and who are looking for beautiful accommodation, I offer you 3 quality accommodations.
Le Taha’a Island Resort & Spa
It is by far the most beautiful place on the island and one of the most beautiful I have ever seen in French Polynesia. The setting is idyllic, simply magical!
Let yourself be tempted to spend a few days on a motu isolated from the world, all in a splendid place
Superb bungalows on the beach in a dream environment, all at a more than fair price, excellent!
How to get around the island
The island is certainly not huge, but large enough not to be able to walk around either. There are several solutions: bike rental (often available in guesthouses or to ask for if you are staying in an Airbnb), scooter or car rental, the latter being the most expensive.
I also wrote a more general article on how to get around between and on the islands in French Polynesia.
Cycling will already allow you to do part of the island. The most motivated should be able to travel around the island. If you spend several days on the island, I still recommend at least a bike or scooter.
If you are looking for other islands for your itinerary in Polynesia, I really advise you to visit another great favorite, the island of Maupiti.
So, I hope that this little insight has allowed you to know what to do and see on Tahaa Island? For my part, I spent a good time there, a very beautiful island in an enchanting setting, still authentic, to discover without a doubt if you are in the area. So are you convinced to visit the island or not? Perhaps you are hesitating with other islands? If you need any advice, don’t hesitate to contact me, I will be happy to help you!