Escape to French Polynesia for these 10 unforgettable experiences

French Polynesia is a dream destination for many travelers, but there’s more to this tropical paradise than just beaches and overwater bungalows. If you’re looking for some offbeat experiences that will make your trip unforgettable, here are 10 suggestions that you won’t find in any guidebook.

Take a private island tour of Tahiti

Tahiti is the largest and most populated island in French Polynesia, but it’s often overlooked by tourists who head straight to other islands. That’s a shame, because Tahiti has a lot to offer, from cultural attractions to natural wonders. A private island tour is the best way to explore Tahiti at your own pace and see the highlights, such as the black sand beaches, the Arahoho blowhole, the Vaipahi gardens, the Marae Arahurahu temple, and the Point Venus lighthouse.

Go on a fun 4WD tour across Moorea

Moorea is one of the most scenic islands in French Polynesia, with lush mountains, turquoise lagoons, and stunning views. A 4WD tour is a great way to discover the island’s hidden gems and off-road trails, such as the Belvedere lookout, the pineapple plantations, the Magic Mountain, and the Afareaitu waterfall. You’ll also learn about the island’s history and culture from your local guide.

Explore Rangiroa’s pristine lagoon

Rangiroa is one of the largest atolls in the world, with a lagoon that’s so big it can fit an entire island inside it. The lagoon is home to diverse marine life, including dolphins, sharks, rays, turtles, and colorful fish. A lagoon day tour is the best way to experience this underwater paradise, with snorkeling stops at different sites and a BBQ lunch on a motu (small island).

Go swimming with whales in Bora Bora

Bora Bora is famous for its luxury resorts and breathtaking scenery, but it’s also a hotspot for whale watching. Between July and November, humpback whales migrate to the warm waters of French Polynesia to mate and give birth. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can join a whale swimming tour and get close to these gentle giants in their natural habitat. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you’ll never forget.

Hotels in Tahiti, French Polynesia

Cruise Bora Bora’s lagoon on a traditional outrigger canoe

One of the best ways to enjoy Bora Bora’s beauty is to cruise its lagoon on a traditional outrigger canoe. You’ll glide over the crystal-clear water and admire the views of Mount Otemanu and the surrounding islands. You’ll also stop at some of the best snorkeling spots and swim with tropical fish and coral gardens. To end your day in style, you’ll have dinner at St James Restaurant, one of the best restaurants in Bora Bora.

Hike to a hidden waterfall in Moorea

If you’re looking for some adventure and nature in Moorea, you can hike to a hidden waterfall in the Opunohu Valley. The hike is about 3 hours round-trip and takes you through the rainforest, where you’ll see exotic plants and birds. The reward is a stunning waterfall that plunges into a natural pool, where you can cool off and relax.

Take a sunset catamaran cruise in Bora Bora

There’s nothing more romantic than watching the sunset over Bora Bora’s lagoon, and a catamaran cruise is the perfect way to do it. You’ll sail on a spacious and comfortable boat and enjoy the panoramic views of the island and the ocean. You’ll also sip on champagne and nibble on canapes as you witness the sky change colors and the stars come out.

Parasail high above Moorea

For a thrilling and scenic experience, you can parasail high above Moorea and see the island from a different perspective. You’ll soar up to 300 meters (984 feet) in the air and enjoy the views of the lagoon, the mountains, and the coral reefs. You can choose to fly solo or tandem, and you can even dip your feet in the water for some extra fun.

Take a street food tour in Tahiti

Tahiti’s street food scene is vibrant and diverse, with influences from French, Chinese, and Polynesian cuisines. A street food tour is a great way to taste some of the local specialties, such as poisson cru (raw fish marinated in lime juice and coconut milk), chao mein (fried noodles), casse-croute (sandwiches), crepes, and ice cream. You’ll also learn about the history and culture of Tahiti from your guide.

Visit a pearl farm in Taha’a

Taha’a is known as the Vanilla Island, but it’s also famous for its pearl farms. You can visit one of these farms and learn about the cultivation and harvesting of black pearls, which are unique to French Polynesia. You’ll also see how the pearls are graded and processed, and have a chance to buy some jewelry at the farm shop.

ENS Editors

Learn More →