The name Tahiti conjures up dreamy images of idyllic islands floating in azure lagoons fringed by palm trees and white sandy beaches. But few people realize that Tahiti is actually the heart of French Polynesia, a vast expanse of 118 islands stretched across the South Pacific Ocean. The island has most of the trappings of the modern world with five-star resorts, boutiques selling top-end labels, and a bustling port city. Pape'ete, the capital of Tahiti (and French Polynesia), has 131,500 people—around 69% of French Polynesia's total population.
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Things You Can't Miss
Dive into the customs and history of more than a hundred French Polynesian islands at the Musée de Tahiti et des Îles.
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Hire a four-wheel-drive or get a guide to bring you to Tahiti’s wild interior, where the Papenoo Valley and an extinct volcano’s crater await.
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Crêpes and other street eats, plus ukulele players, draw tourists and residents to the roulotte caravans that line the harbor in Papeete.
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The Fautaua Falls are one of the island’s top attractions, splashing nearly 1,000 feet to a pool below. Take a tour or hike a couple hours to the top.
5 telltale signs of these formidable pests and what to do about them before they eat you out of hotel — and home.
Unfurl a towel on one of the black-sand beaches. Save the best — the tan strand of La Plage de Maui — for last and lunch at a beachside eatery.
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