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5 things you must tick off your Tahiti bucket list

There is nowhere in the world quite like The Islands of Tahiti. Signature Luxury Travel & Style lists the top five things to do when visiting this untouched corner of the world.

A virtually untouched sanctuary of 118 islands with black, pink and white sand beaches, azure waters, reefs teeming with life and relatively few visitors compared to most other holiday destinations, The Islands of Tahiti is the perfect place for a socially distanced getaway once borders reopen.

Whether you prefer lazing on the beach on your very own private island, immersing yourself in local culture or exploring the lush outdoors, there is an island for you. Here, you can be as active – or inactive – as you like.

No matter what type of getaway you’re dreaming of – and let’s face it, we’re all dreaming of an international getaway – you’ll find it in Tahiti. Here are Signature Luxury Travel & Style’s top five picks of what to do while visiting Tahiti.

1. Explore the most turquoise water you’ll ever see and help protect the creatures that live in it

The waters of Tahiti are some of the clearest and bluest you will ever see, and while you’re visiting, you’ll most likely spend more time with your head under the surface than above it. The warm waters are teeming with life, from clownfish and humpback whales to colourful corals, so snorkelling or diving have to be at the top of your agenda. Above the water, traditional outrigger canoes, surfing and sailing are part of everyday life in Tahiti, and travellers have the chance of experiencing sunset cruising, kayaking, jet skiing and more.

If you are interested in lending a hand to this beautiful ecosystem, while also learning more about its importance and major threats, visit the Moorea-based Coral Gardeners, whose aim is to create a world where “the reef no longer needs us”. The company does this through reef restoration, education and technology. Visiting travellers can assist with planting corals on nursery tables in the lagoon, which will be cultivated and then planted on a reef, ultimately aiding in building up the fragile habitat.

Canoeing in Tahiti
© Tahiti Tourism

2. Immerse yourself in the culture of the islands and feel Mana for yourself

Tahitians inherited a rich and vibrant culture from their Mā’ohi ancestors, and to this day still have strong ties with Polynesian mythology and sacred traditions.

When visiting Tahiti, one soon becomes acquainted with the word Mana, which loosely translates to “life force”. Tahitians believe in the enigmatic and fundamental truth of Mana – a spiritual energy and healing power which can exist in places, objects and persons. Perhaps, during your visit, you will feel Mana within yourself.

While the Polynesians have always revered the sea, and the majority of tourists visiting Tahiti plan their stay around it’s incredibly blue lagoons, it is the land that holds the key to much of its cultural lore. To truly connect to the history and belief systems of the destination, families can take a hike to find one of the ancient sites spread across the islands, otherwise known as the marae, which used to be places of sacred worship and open-air temples of ancient pagan rituals. Today, most marae are ruins, but before the arrival of Europeans in the 18th century, they were centres for social, political and religious activity. For a truly in-depth experience, book a tour with a local guide.

Culture rich Tahiti
© Gregory Boissy

3. Rest up in an overwater bungalow

The birthplace of the overwater bungalow, Tahiti’s iconic style of accommodation is still among the best in the world. Lofty two-storey presidential suites, plunge pools elevated above the crystal-clear waters of the Pacific Ocean, and spacious decks that allow you to plunge straight into tropical waters before breakfast (delivered by canoe, if you will) are all here for the taking. Offering everything you need for a luxe holiday, you won’t have to step a foot outside your resort to experience incredible food and wine, indulgent spa treatments, and a long list of water sports – although it might be hard to pass up the chance to enjoy a private island picnic for two.

Bora Bora
© Lei Tao

4. Satiate your inner thrill-seeker

If an active getaway is what you need to clear your mind, reset and refresh, The Islands of Tahiti offers many – sometimes unexpected – ways to discover the outdoors. From hiking excursions in inland valleys and horseback riding in upstream rivers to off-road 4WD adventures and skydiving above turquoise lagoons, Tahiti offers endless adrenaline-pumping opportunities – all set against breathtaking natural beauty.

© Stéphane Mailion Photography

5. Rent a private island

With much fewer visitors than most destinations around the world, The Islands of Tahiti rarely feel crowded, making it the perfect place to disconnect to reconnect. From lazing on beautiful beaches from dawn until dusk to lagoons that call for an afternoon of floating around, doing nothing in Tahiti is as stunning as it is easy.  Many resorts offer kids’ clubs so that parents can take a break, whether this entails a romantic candlelit dinner, an afternoon getting pampered or simply reading a book on the deck while listening to the gently lapping waves.

Want to truly get away from it all? Take it one step further and rent an entire island – you even have the choice of more than one. Vahine Island Resort & Spa is the perfect location for an isolated extended family holiday, with only nine rooms available. While Motu Teta in Rangiroa takes ‘private’ to the next level, available only for exclusive rentals and accommodating just six adults (plus four children). The island also comes with a private chef, excursion guide and a fleet of five motorboats – should doing nothing become a little too exhausting.

Fishing in Tahiti
© Grégoire Le Bacon

This article was produced with content supplied by Tahiti Tourism and is a Signature Luxury Travel & Style digital exclusive. Be the first to see more exclusive online content by subscribing to the enewsletter here.