Taha’a “The Vanilla Island”
Taha’a and its sister island Raiatea share the same lagoon although are entirely separate islands. Taha’a is known as the Vanilla Island, but is also famous for its exceptional quality black pearls. Historically this island is known as “Uporu” and is about 230 km west of Tahiti. Rich with a multitude of treasures, Taha’a was once an object of rivalry between kings of Bora Bora and Raiatea during the 18th & 19th centuries. Over 40 sites and 100 structures can be found on Taha’a. The island itself is an ancient volcano dominated by Mount Ohiri with amazing views of a necklace of reefs, motus, & lagoons.
Taha’a and its famous reputation for the producing Vanilla is the result of being effectively responsible for 70% of Polynesia’s vanilla production estimated at 25 tons a year. The scent can permeate the air on certain days as the Vanilla plant is actually an orchid that grows under the humid shade of the island’s forest, and it produces a bean pod that is harvested and used to cook or make extracts we all use today. The Island’s amazing agricultural and pristine nature is only a small part of this island’s wonders and attractions but it surely worth a visit to a Vanilla Plantation
The surrounding motus and reefs are rich in marine life for diving or snorkeling, The views and clear waters offer you something you may not always get on Bora Bora where population and activity often leave the water with less fish & poor visibility within the lagoons. With 2 large islands surrounded by so many reefs and motus there are only 3 main hotels to be found and a sample of pensions on the main islands. The best is a Relais & Chateau Resort named Le Taha’a Island Resort & Spa located on Motu Tautau and is near another one of our favorite private island properties “Vahine Island”.
Less mountainous than its sister Raiatea, the island of Taha’a is only half its size and has about 4300 inhabitants. This great romantic getaway may be less traveled than other more popular islands but offers great experience, luxury, and privacy unlike no other resort. With views of Bora Bora to one side and views of the Garden Island of Huahine on the other horizon, Taha’a is an undiscovered paradise that can now be reached from most Bora Bora hotels by helicopter saving clients a half day in travel time. Ask our specialists about spending some time on Taha’a
Taha’a Hotels & Resorts
Taha’a Island Activities
There are many dive locations around Taha’a and Raiatea. Two of the best are located in Poutoru and Hipu. Many of the best sites will be located on the passes from lagoon to open ocean. Tapu Tapu, and Paipai Pass, along with the Octopus Hole & Teavapiti name a few. The Taha’a Blue Nui Diving Center is the most reputable dive operators here and works with the resort’s clients directly. All levels of scuba offered. Best snorkeling is everywhere.
Jeep Safari Tours
Both Raiatea and Taha’a have several choices for 4x4 Safari Companies. Comfortable Range Rover Jeeps are piloted by knowledgeable local guides and will take you cruising through tropical jungles, up over ridges, into pineapple and vanilla plantations, and out to hidden vista points that only the locals know about. Some tours include the famous Marae Taputapuatea as a stopping point.
Vanilla Farm Tours
These can be done on either island and many will include some botanical gardens and amazing views from the high valleys. One of the best on Raiatea is Kaoka Nui Excursions, and Vanilla Tours on Taha’a, Hainanui Tours, Poerani Tours, Remuna Tours. These tours are truly educational and a great affordable experience. Vanilla and Monoi Tiare Products from the islands are the things to bring back as each family and island makes its own.
Most Ranches are on Raiatea, but one you can go riding with is Kaoha Nui Ranch. They provide rides up the valley and along the ridgelines behind the ranch.
Sea Turtle Preserve
The Preserve is located at Hibiscus Hotel on Taha’a and admission is free. The preserve offers many species of sea turtles and Taha’a has embraced the importance of having healthy populations of turtles in and around its lagoons. Here you can visit and observe turtles in a nature preserve and sanctuary..
Deep Sea Fishing
Year round the open waters around the 2 islands offer some of the finest deep sea and light tackle sportfishing in French Polynesia. Half Day or full day cruises and charters where you will enjoy the fish, the company, and the scenery. Te Manu Ata, Luna Sea, and Sport Fishing Ruau II are some of the available charters.
4 x 4 Excursions
Travel off-road to the interior of the island that are not accessible by rental cars. This is the only way, except by foot, to view beautiful waterfalls and pineapple plantations.
Go off on your own village hopping on either island. Visit the villages along the coast of Taha’a, and see Haamene which has pearl farms and turtle preserve, North shore village of Patio for fishing and copra, and Tiva which is surrounded by vanilla plantations. On Raiatea, the villages are also small but the town of Utoroa is the largest village of its size on either island. Many shops and markets line the waterfront with art crafts and collectibles
Taha’a Dining & Nightlife
Dining Choices are limited on this island, but a few properties do cater to their own quests with a good selection of local produce and fresh caught fish. Island entertainment is generally scheduled for select nights at each hotel.
Le Taha’a Island Resort’s “Ohiri”
Located in the heart of the resort among the trees adjacent to the main restaurant Vanille, this fine dining restaurant offers rich culinary choices created by a famous chef. Ohiri is the best restaurant at any Pearl Resort
Restaurant Hawaiki Nui Raiatea
Part of the Pearl Resorts Family this small hotel on the coast of Raiatea offers beautiful views of the lagoon and its bar and lanai is a cool place to hang out for drinks and snacks. The seafood specialties and excellent cuisine have given it the reputation of best restaurant on the island. Polynesian dance shows on some nights.
Taravana Yacht Club Taha’a
Good service, great food, local fish, served local style breakfast lunch and dinner. Good Place to enjoy sunset.
Raiatea Lodge Hotel
Located on the sunset side of Raiatea, this high end, classy dining, with Raiatea’s largest wine selection. Serves French and Tahitian dishes nightly.
Club House at Apooti Marina
Located in town of Uturoa on Raiatea, this place features steak and seafood in French Sauces.
Located in town of Uturoa on Raiatea featuring Chinese Cuisine
Located on Taha’a serving mostly French Cuisine. Have hotel make reservations for you direct