Tahiti & Moorea

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Measuring 403 square miles and with a population of over 178,000, the island of Tahiti lacks some of the glamour of its more remote neighbors. But you need to land here to get there. Many travelers spend a single night before moving on to more picturesque islands, but those interested in culture and history can find plenty to keep them on Tahiti for a day or two. Moorea, on the other hand, is sleepy and nature-blessed, an island of rugged beauty, pineapple plantations, and just 16,000 people – a destination in its own right.

Tahiti & Moorea Islands and Regions

Tahiti

Home to a half dozen resorts, Faa’a International Airport and the capital city of Papeete, Tahiti is French Polynesia’s heart of transportation, government, and commerce. Most of the population lives in and around Papeete on the northwest coast, which offers great views of nearby Moorea.

Papeete

The capital of French Polynesia (pronounced Pa-pay-yet-tay) has a ramshackle colonial charm and is home to its main cruise port, largest market (Le Marche), and the nightly harbor-front food court of vendors selling everything from sushi to crepes from wheeled carts known as “roulottes.”

Tahiti Iti

Tahiti is shaped like a frying pan and Tahiti Iti is its handle. Extremely undeveloped, it is not even visited on most circle-island tours, but surfers know it for the famed break at Teahupoo.

Moorea

Just 10 nautical miles from Tahiti, this 80-square-mile heart-shaped island has some of French Polynesia’s most-photographed peaks, two of its most dramatic bays, one main road, and no village larger than a few blocks long.

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