Now known as French Polynesia, Tahiti has a long history. The islands were originally settled by Polynesian immigrants in 500 BC. Over time, the island has changed. However, it remains one of the most popular travel destinations for tourists. According to Travel Pulse, the islands of Tahiti welcomed 218,000 visitors in 2022. 

Due to its climate, Tahiti is the perfect destination for a late fall or winter getaway. When it’s cold in the US, Tahiti has mild, refreshing temperatures to help you escape the chill. Next time you visit the island, check out these seven cultural experiences to have before leaving Tahiti.

Explore The Marché de Papeete

Photo credit: Krisztina Papp

For the ultimate Tahiti market experience, travelers should explore the Marche de Papeete. The two-story marketplace has a little bit of everything. From fruits and vegetables to handcrafted artisan goods, Papeete has something for everyone. The marketplace gives a picture-perfect view of Tahitian culture and life. While many tourists visit the marketplace, it’s also a great way to spend time with locals. 

Bask In The Beauty Of The Faarumai Waterfalls

About 45 minutes from Papeete near the village of Tiarei, the Faarumai Falls are a true beauty to behold. It’s made up of three majestic waterfalls—Vaimahutu Falls, Haamarere Iti, and Haamarere Rahi. Swimming in the water holes surrounding the falls is forbidden due to the dangers of falling rocks. However, there’s plenty of natural beauty to see. Beyond the waterfalls, there’s plenty of brush to hike through, the Arahoho Blowhole, and bridges covered in tropical vegetation. 

Take A Ferry To Moorea

Photo credit: Burak The Weekender

Moorea is another island in French Polynesia that isn’t too far from Tahiti. There’s much to do on the island including beautiful beaches, lagoons for swimming, and plenty of natural landscapes to see. However, island hopping in French Polynesia can be expensive. Luckily, ferry rides from Tahiti to Moorea are relatively inexpensive. Travelers can expect to pay between $11 and $15 dollars for a ride to Moorea. 

See Paradise In Vaipahi Gardens

Considered by some travelers as paradise, Vaipahi Gardens is a nature haven located about 30 miles from Papeete. Admission into the gardens is free. Visitors can explore a vast natural landscape where 75 plant species and wildlife grow and thrive. There are guided hiking tours travelers can book or they can explore the tropical paradise on their own. The gardens are open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

Surf Against the Tahitian Tide

Photo credit: Pixabay

For those looking for water sports, travelers will find Tahiti’s surfing community near Papenoo. This small beach village is perfect for surfing. Papenoo has ebony sand brushing against crystal blue water along the shore. The tide is great for watersports and the village isn’t super popular so you won’t have to worry about overcrowding. 

Tour The Wine Cellars

For 40 dollars per person, travelers can take a tour of a Tahitian wine cellar and try delicious wines along the way. Dominique Auroy’s Vin de Tahiti is the only winery in French Polynesia. During the tour, travelers will be able to try Rangiroa Wine, as well as experience Mana’o, a rich rum made from sugarcane. The tour takes guests through the wine cellars and throughout the winery as they learn the history of wine-making on the island. 

Take A Traditional Dance Class

Photo credit: Michael Zittel

The history of Tahitian dance culture has been passed down orally through generations. Travelers can immerse themselves in this culture by taking dance classes that teach them traditional moves. Visitors will learn how to sway to the ancient rhythm of Tahitian drums and ukulele. There are a few traditional Tahitian dances. However, the most popular are the fast-paced Oritahiti and the slow, sensual Aparima.