Backpack and Snorkel Travel Guide for the six best beaches and the best snorkeling in Tahiti - Tahiti Best Beaches and Snorkeling Purple Guide
This Best Beaches and Best Snorkeling in Tahiti Travel Guide tells you what the six best beaches in Tahiti are and where the best snorkeling is and we show you photos of what you will see.
Unlike other islands in French Polynesia, Tahiti shows its volcanic origin but having predominantly black sand beaches. But fear not, there are also beaches with various shades of grey and some (almost) white sand beaches.
Tahiti has some wonderful surfing beaches, and some are protected and have very good swimming and snorkeling.
Map of Tahiti with the six best beaches
Plage de la Pointe Venus (Point Venus Beach)
The Point Venus is a peninsula that was named after Captain James Cook established an observatory, and a fortified camp called "Fort Venus", here to observe the 1769 Transit of Venus.
Point Venus Beach is a beautiful black sand beach that has crystal clear water, good swimming and very good snorkeling at the buoy closest to the northwestern side of the beach.
Between the parking lot and the beach are several monuments worth your attention. There is the Point Venus Lighthouse, the small Cook Monument that can easily be missed, a monument honoring the missionaries in French Polynesia, and a monument about the HMS Bounty.
Plage Vaiava (PK18 beach)
Plage Vaiava is a light grey sand beach, and it is one of the best beaches in Tahiti. Because of this, you will find more people here than on other beaches, but we never had problems finding good spots on the beach.
As for swimming and snorkeling, you will need to walk over stones in the water, so having water shoes is definitely helpful.
There is some snorkeling near the seawall to the south, but the best snorkeling is by the rocks under water when you walk westwards into the water for about 300 ft (90m).
The beach is good for kids as there is no strong current here and the beach slowly slopes into the water.
Plage Toaroto (Plage Punaauia, PK15 beach)
Plage Toaroto is a comparably narrow stretch of white sand between a wall or building and the water edge which often is solid rock. So, water shoes are definitely a plus if you want to go into the water.
The sand is nice and there are usually only few people here, but the, more often than not, ugly walls make this beach a less desirable destination.
On the plus side, the view on the overwater bungalows of the Hotel Tahiti Ia Ora Beach Resort to the north is beautiful, the water is fairly clear and there is fairly good snorkeling right at the rocks at the water’s edge.
The Papenoo beaches are a series of beaches in and near the northeastern town of Papenoo. These black sand beaches are very popular with wind surfers and people who are learning to surf. Because of the surf, swimming is not a good idea here.
Plage de Taharuu (Papara Beach)
Plage de Taharuu is the most popular surfing beach on the south side of Tahiti. Sunbathing here is good and there is lots of shade under the trees, if needed. The beach is large and, even on busy days, you should not have problems finding plenty of space for yourself on the sand.
Due to the waves, swimming is not a good idea. The river to the east is popular with kids for swimming and playing in the water.
Plage de Taharuu has a large parking lot, but that can fill up on busy days. There is also a good beach bar where you can eat and buy drinks including alcohol. The beach bar has restrooms and beautiful murals.
Plage de Maui
North and south of the popular restaurant La Plage de Maui, these narrow and short stretches of light grey sand are popular with locals. The water here is crystal clear and not very deep and there is no strong current. The beaches are therefore popular for families with kids.
The beaches are right next to the main road, and you will need to park off the road and then the narrow beach begins. There is no privacy here.
Water shoes are advisable as there are many rocks leading into the water.
What part of French Polynesia do you want to expolore now?
Other popular Purple Guides you may be interested in:
Like this Backpack and Snorkel Purple Guide? Pin these for later: