A black sand beach in Papeete, Tahiti
BLACK SANDS, BOLD CULTURE

Cruise to Papeete, Tahiti

Papeete is the lively capital of Tahiti — a figure-eight-shaped island formed by the eruption of two volcanoes, it's become a go-to spot for tropical adventure. A bustling urban center, Papeete feels more French than anywhere else in Tahiti. Head to the center of the city to see the vibrant Municipal Market, where you can pick up coffee and chocolate croissants, sample fresh produce or shop for hand-carved Tiki statues. See the waves crash against the volcanic black-sand beach at Plage du Taharuu. Cruise to Tahiti and hike through the verdant jungle at Fautaua Valley — don't miss the dramatic waterfall that cascades almost 1,000 feet down into a natural pool.
National Language French
Currency Accepted CFP Franc (XPF)

Things To Do in Papeete

The lush landscape of the Paofai Gardens in Papeete, Tahiti

Gardens Galore

The lush landscape of the Paofai Gardens in Papeete, Tahiti

The lush landscape of the Paofai Gardens in Papeete, Tahiti

Gardens Galore

Escape the city heat at the botanical gardens of the French Polynesia Assembly Complex. Stroll past an herb garden, tiki statues and a tranquil moss-covered pond, where Queen Pomare of Tahiti used to bathe every morning. Or head to the beautiful Paofai Gardens, where the trails take you past the bay and through ornamental fish ponds.

Up close view of a fish swimming while snorkeling in Papeete, Tahiti

Everyone Gets a Beach

Up close view of a fish swimming while snorkeling in Papeete, Tahiti

Up close view of a fish swimming while snorkeling in Papeete, Tahiti

Everyone Gets a Beach

Papeete is lined with picture-perfect beaches for every hobby. Go surfing at black-sand Papenoo Beach. Play a game of beach volleyball at Plage du Mahana Park. Or go snorkeling alongside tropical reef fish at Plage de Toaroto.

Black pearl farming in Papeete, Tahiti
Black pearl farming in Papeete, Tahiti

The Real Black Pearl

Head to the Robert Wan Pearl Museum to learn all about striking black pearls. The museum takes you through how black pearls were first created and what makes them so special. After learning about the process, you'll have the opportunity to take one of these Tahitian beauties home.

Traditional raw tuna salad in Tahiti
Traditional raw tuna salad in Tahiti

Local Cuisine

Lining the waterfront, you'll find an array of restaurants serving a mixture of Tahitian and French cuisine. Cruise to French Polynesia and taste the national dish of poisson cru — chunks of raw fish marinated in coconut milk. Make sure you also try coconut crab, a rich dish of salty seafood and sweet coconut.

Closeup of colorful Pareus hanging on store rack in Tahiti
Closeup of colorful Pareus hanging on store rack in Tahiti

Shopping

There is only one place you should be going to shop in Papeete: The Marche de Papeete is the hub of the city and the best place to buy delicacies and souvenirs during your Tahiti cruise. In over two stories, you'll find vendors selling exotic fruits and vegetables, intricate wood carvings, shark tooth pendants or pareos, the colorful sarongs unique to Tahiti.

Insider's Tips
Insider's Tips
1 Rush-hour sees traffic jams on the road, so leave plenty of time to get back to the port.
2 The Municipal Market is a morning affair, so be sure to visit there first.

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