What’s not to love about Tahiti? It is the perfect destination for adventure, romance, and relaxation. However, if you’re going to do Tahiti, you need to do it right.
That’s why we created this guide on the best times to visit Tahiti to match your goals. We’ve also added tons of helpful tips to make the most out of your French Polynesian vacation.
Why You Should Visit Tahiti
The thought of visiting Tahiti might elicit images of lying on the beach with a tropical cocktail in hand, surrounded by white sands and turquoise-blue waters.
You’re not wrong.
Tahiti does have some of the most beautiful beaches and lagoons in the world. However, the island has so much more to offer. Let’s take a look.
Experience Art, Culture, and Cuisine
Tahiti has a deep, rich, and vibrant culture. The culture is often described as laid-back or relaxed, centered around the phrase “aita pea pea,” which means “not to worry .”
The locals have preserved many traditions from their Maohi ancestors, who inhabited the island for over 2300 years. These traditions include Tahitian dance reenactments and traditional tattooing.
Tahitian culture was also influenced by French colonization in the 18th century. As a result, French is the national language of Tahiti.
However, native Tahitian communities have preserved their ancestral language as well. Additionally, many of the local dishes have Tahitian origins but with French influences, such as the Tahitian national dish “Poisson Cru.”
The islands of Tahiti are absolutely breathtaking. Most people are aware of Tahiti’s picturesque beaches. However, Tahiti’s natural beauty doesn’t stop there.
Tahiti has an incredible backdrop of Towering mountains with dramatic peaks and harrowing cliffs. The most famous mountain in Tahiti is Mount Mou’aputa, also known as The Pierced Mountain.
It’s not the highest mountain in Tahiti, but it’s famed for its lore. The mountain contains a hole that formed when the ancient Tahitian demi-god Pai threw a spear at Hiro, god of thievery, to prevent him from carrying Mount Rotui to the island of Raiatea.
Tahiti has an extraordinary number of waterfalls throughout the island. Just in Papenoo Valley alone, there are an estimated over 160 waterfalls, although some are quite small.
Papenoo Valley also has the tallest waterfall on the island, the Fautana Waterfall, which towers at an astounding 980 feet over volcanic cliffs. Other popular waterfalls in Tahiti include the Faarumai Waterfall, Moorea Waterfall, and Afareaitu Falls.
Incredible Water Activities
Tahiti’s Rangiroa, also known as the endless lagoon, is the second-largest atoll in the world. Coral encircles the luminous, electric-blue waters, making it a diver’s paradise.
The Rangiroa Aquarium is a particularly popular spot to see colorful fish. However, there are tons of spots all over Tahiti for diving and snorkeling.
It’s best to choose your diving or snorkeling location based on whether you want to see sharks, stingrays, sea turtles, dolphins, or any of the 800 unique fish species found in Tahitian waters.
Every year from June to October, humpback whales make their way to Tahiti from Antarctica to breed, birth, and raise their young. Polynesia is a marine mammal sanctuary, and there are strict regulations to protect the whales.
However, visitors can book sightseeing boats or tours that allow them to witness the humpback whales from a safe distance while following regulations. With the right weather conditions, you might even get a chance to swim with the humpback whales.
Tahiti is popular among surfers not only for its massive waves but also for having one of the most dangerous breaks in the world.
Teahupoo is a small coastal village on the southwestern coastline of Tahiti with massive waves from typically 2 to 3 m high but can go up to 7 m. It’s the annual site of the Billabong Pro Tahiti surf competition.
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Overall Best Time to Visit Tahiti
The best time to visit Tahiti is from May to October. Tahiti is located in the southern hemisphere but close to the equator. As a result, Tahiti only experiences two seasons, Summer from November to April and winter from May to October.
The temperature doesn’t fluctuate much throughout the year. Tahiti usually experiences highs in the 80s°F (high 20s°C) and lows in the 70s°F (low 20s°C) throughout the year. Regardless of what time of year you travel to Tahiti, you’re likely to see warm sunny days.
While temperatures stay consistent in Tahiti, humidity and precipitation do not. In the winter months, from May to October, precipitation and humidity stay relatively low in Tahiti.
You can expect average precipitation from 1.8 to 3.6 in (40 mm to 90 mm). On the other hand, summers in Tahiti from November through April can experience heavy precipitation. The average rain during the summer months ranges from 5.5 to 12. 4 in (140 mm to 317 mm).
The driest months in Tahiti are August and September, and the rainiest months are December and January. Luckily, rain storms in Tahiti don’t last long and likely won’t ruin your day.
Cheapest Time to Visit Tahiti
The cheapest time to visit Tahiti is during the Summer season, from November 1 to April 30. During this time, hotels and resorts in Tahiti generally reduce their prices for the off-season.
However, special offers and discounts are available year-round, making it possible to find cheaper accommodations even in the high season. Airfare is also cheaper during the Tahitian summer months.
From November through April, flights from LAX to Tahiti are typically cheaper than flights from May to October. However, the Tahitian summer months experience both the highest and lowest priced flights, thanks to special offers and discounts.
Least Busy Time to Visit Tahiti
Tahiti usually sees most of its crowds during the winter season. During the Tahitian winter season, from May to October, the weather is warm but dry, resulting in a more pleasant experience with little rain.
Additionally, during that time Europeans and Americans have to take time off for the summer. Tahitian winters are great for anyone who likes bustling environments.
On the other hand, if you prefer a quieter time to visit, you can visit Tahiti in the Tahitian summer month of November through April.
Although the weather is hotter and more humid, The island feels more intimate, and there’s less competition for activities like surfing, diving, boating, and dolphin exploration.
Worst Time to Visit Tahiti
The worst time to visit Tahiti is from mid-December to mid-January. Although most times of year have their advantages and disadvantages, December through January seems to have all disadvantages.
December and January are the rainiest months that Tahiti experiences, with average rainfalls of 12 inches or 317 mm.
On top of this, The holiday season brings an influx of visitors to Tahiti, which results in higher prices for flights, accommodations, and activities. Even if money isn’t a concern, the larger crowds result in longer waits and more competition for services and activities.
Things to Consider
The islands of Tahiti are 118 different islands. It’s tempting to stick to the famous islands such as Bora-Bora and Moorea. However, since you are making the trip to Tahiti, you should explore the islands and experience as much adventure as possible.
You can travel from island to island with Air Tahiti or take boat transportation if you don’t mind a longer commute. Overwater bungalows are incredibly expensive. A typical overwater bungalow can cost well into the thousands per night.
If money is not a concern, then feel free to book for as long as you stay as you’d like. However, you may want to reconsider if you’re scrimping and saving to experience staying in an overwater bungalow.
Tahiti has a lot to offer, and if you spend all your vacation budgets on your room, you won’t have anything left to enjoy the unique experiences Tahiti offers.
Tahiti is indeed an expensive place to visit. Prices in Tahiti are generally higher because there’s not much production of local goods, and supplies like food need to be imported into Tahiti. However, that doesn’t mean Tahiti will always be out of budget.
There are affordable options available for accommodations, activities, and food. Accommodations can be found for as little as $150 per night. Food trucks with authentic Polynesian cuisines are pretty popular in many Tahitian islands.
As mentioned, Tahiti has way more to offer than just sitting under a beach umbrella and sipping on a tropical cocktail. Tahiti is an adrenaline junkie’s paradise.
If you’ve got the daredevil spirit, make sure to take part in the many adventurous activities Tahiti has to offer, like surfing, hiking through jungles, and swimming with dolphins, sharks, and stingrays.
Tahiti has a vibrant history and culture. The islands of Tahiti have been inhabited for over 2300 years.
They have many values, and traditions passed down from generation to generation. The ancient traditions stood the test of time and were even preserved throughout colonization in the 18th century by the French.
The Polynesian people are warm, inviting, and laid-back, thanks to their cultural values. When you’re in Tahiti, you ought to immerse yourself in the beautiful culture of the land.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are the most frequently asked questions about traveling to Tahiti.
Is Tahiti safe for travel?
Tahiti is relatively safe for Americans and other foreigners to travel to. However, traveling to Tahiti does have risks associated with it. Crime in Tahiti, including petty crimes like mugging and pickpocketing, are low risk.
However, Tahiti does have some risks associated with public transportation. Most buses in Tahiti are brightly colored, open-air, flatbed trucks, considered less safe than closed taxi cabs.
However, taxi cabs are readily available throughout the islands. Tahiti also causes a high risk to female travelers. The Zika virus is currently in Tahiti, so pregnant women are advised not to travel to Tahiti unless it is essential.
Tahitian society tends to be conservative. As a result, women can receive unwanted attention or cold soldiers if they travel solo.
Particularly when taking public transportation, Women should keep their guard up as female travelers have experienced verbal abuse, groping, and sexual assault when taking the bus.
The tap water in Tahiti is not considered safe for travelers. By consuming tap water in Tahiti, you can subject yourself to parasites or infections, like scabies or conjunctivitis.
It’s best to drink bottled water always, avoid ice when you’re not in a resort, and take precautions while brushing your teeth or showering. Avoiding raw foods such as raw fish dishes and salads is also recommended.
How long should I visit Tahiti?
The amount of time you should spend in Tahiti depends entirely on how many Islands you plan on visiting and how thoroughly you wish to explore them. If you want to explore an island, You will need at least three days there.
Alternatively, if you’re going to explore an Island extensively, you’ll probably need at least seven days on that island.
However, it’s best not to spend more than seven days on any particular island. If you’re planning on visiting three Islands in Tahiti, you want to plan for 9 to 21 days of vacation.
Which is the best island to visit in Tahiti?
There are over 118 islands in Tahiti that offer all kinds of incredible experiences. It’s impossible to single out a particular island as the best. Instead, some islands are just better at accomplishing some goals.
In particular, Tahiti is best for experiencing culture and adventures. Huahine has the best water sports and is also great for relaxation.
What kind of currency is accepted in Tahiti?
The official currency of Tahiti is the French Pacific Franc. Having some local currency on hand in a tight situation is a good idea. If you’re traveling from LAX, you can exchange your money at the airport before arriving in Tahiti.
Most major islands will have bank ATMs available. However, smaller islands may not have ATMs. It’s best to come prepared before arriving.
Typically you want to carry US$100-US$500 worth of francs per week per couple. Major credit cards like Visa and MasterCard are accepted at hotels, restaurants, and large shops on the main island of Tahiti.
However, smaller shops or remote islands may not accept credit cards or may only take them with a minimum purchase. Some places might accept American Express.
Do I need a visa to travel to Tahiti?
US and Canadian citizens carrying US or Canadian passports do not require a visa if they stay for less than 90 days.
However, suppose you are a permanent resident in either of these countries or are not from Canada or America. In that case, you will need to contact the French consulate and apply for a visa.
Do I need to tip in Tahiti?
Tipping is not a part of Tahitian culture. There is no requirement to tip while you are in Tahiti. At the same time, tipping is not considered an offensive gesture in Tahiti. If you wish to tip the service workers, you are free to do so.
So, When Is the Best Time to Visit Tahiti?
All in all, the best time to visit Tahiti depends entirely on your personal goals. If you don’t want bad weather to ruin your day, visit during the Tahitian winter season.
Book your vacation during the Tahitian summer months if you wish to escape the crowds or get a deal.
Luckily, because Tahiti is so beautiful and has so much to offer, you’d likely have a fantastic time on your Tahitian vacation, even if it’s during the worst time to visit. Happy travels!