Ready for the best day ever? This was our second time driving around the island of Tahiti. I included details from both trips! Other Tahiti info can be found on my Best of Tahiti blog! For the best guidance I have linked my google maps HERE so you have an exact itinerary! We always recommend renting a car when visiting the islands. It allows for a more organic trip. Rentals are small and cost roughly $650 for the week. We used Hertz but Avis is also present. This trip will take you roughly 3.5 hours to a whole day but it all depends on how much time you spend at each location.
The Hilton Tahiti just opened in 2021 so everything is new and amazing. It is located right next to the Aremiti port and the heart of Papeete. This honestly is the perfect starting and ending point of the road trip. I recommend leaving early in the morning to avoid the tour buses and other tourists.
The first time we visited it was roped off, the second time it was open. We didn’t get into the pool but it was cool to see. Surrounded by ferns and other lush greenery, its a fun area to walk around!
The most gorgeous black sand beach you will step on! A fabulous place for photos and to lay out and soak up some vitamin D! Just be aware the sand get super hot so wear shoes!
Water Gardens Vaipahi
We enjoyed the smaller loop of the gardens, which is a sacred place because of its purifying sources. The gardens contain over 75 different plant species! We spent about 30 mins here and took so many photos.
Harrison Smith Botanical Gardens
Very well maintained paths are easy to walk to enjoy the gardens. They offer signs to educate yourself on the plant life. Depending on how long you take to walk, plan around 30 mins to enjoy.
Tepano Food Truck
This was an accidental amazing find. We were super hungry and found this food truck set up along the side of the road. It had a covered tent with lots of chairs and tables. Honestly this was one of my fav memories. We ordered our burger, shared a coke and right as the burger arrived, we had the perfect South Pacific rainstorm. The smell, the breeze and the sound will forever be in my memory. The burger was honestly one of the best I’ve ever had and the fries were delicious too!
Adding this spot on will add another hour to your road trip depending on the time of year you go it may or may not be worth it. The day we visited the waves weren’t huge and hard to see but Ryan was able to take a fun photo!
Sadly these are private property so you can miss them when driving by. We were able to see them from afar and snap a great photo! Please do respect the locals and do not go across the fence.
Le Cascade de Pape’ana’ana
This was a tiny waterfall but no one was there when we arrived. Its quick stop to enjoy nature and snap some photos.
Plage de Tiarei
A stunning beach to relax and soak up the sun. The waves can get really big here as well. We took a few photos and enjoyed the black sand!
This is the waterfall of all waterfalls. It was so big this time since we were ending rainy season. There is free parking and you have about a quarter mile walk to get to the waterfall. You can get in the water but its cold! There are also locals selling fresh fruit! we enjoyed this amazing papaya!
Depending on the time of day you visit, this is a cool spot. There is a small hole in the rocks where when the tide is high enough, water sprays out like a whales blowhole. The first time were were able to enjoy and laughed so hard when my sister got drenched. The second time was just air. The parking lot is small and is shared with the beach goers. I recommend walking along the path to check out the waves and rock formations.
Other spots to check out:
Les 3 Brasseurs: We stopped at this brewery for a beer and walked around Papeete!
Place Vai’ete: Depending on the time of day you end up here food trucks start at 6 pm. This is a great spot for local fare!
Manava Resort: They have an amazing happy hour and view of the ocean. We had the best pina coladas on ice here!
Hinano Store: If you aren’t drinking this Tahitian beer while you are here, I am sad for you. Ryan and my brother in law were obsessed! They have a store in downtown Papeete with some awesome swag. Just be sure to check out their store hours!
Even if you don’t make all of the stops, Tahiti is such a gorgeous island that you soak up so much of her beauty just when driving. I hope you get to experience Tahiti and all of the beauty it offers! I recommend visiting the island of Moorea too! My Hidden Gems blog has all of the details!