- Our recommended itinerary
for hikers (A must = Tahiti and the Marquesas)
Stopover 2 or 3 days
Tahiti, Moorea day trip by ferry
Raiatea, Moorea, Tahiti
Marquesas, Raiatea, Moorea, Tahiti
The islands of French Polynesia make it possible for hikers to enjoy their passion with superb excursions. It is however recommended that you hire a guide as trails are not always marked. Several experienced and professional gudes are available. Some excursions can also be done on mountain bikes or on horseback.
Starting from "Bain Loti", 2.5 km from the center of Papeete, a 3 or 4-hour hike takes you up the Fautaua Valley then to the "Diadème" (tiara) mountain.
Mount Aorai, the 3rd highest summit of the island (2,066 m - 6, 780 ft) can be done without a guide as the trail is well maintained, some spots however are difficult and delicate (The Devil's Rock, a hillcrest trail for experienced hikers only). Shelters are there for hikers, even to spend the night, so you can enjoy the sunrise. Expect a 5-hour hike.
Mount Orohena is an excursion reserved to very experienced hikers. 7 hours are needed to reach the summit, the presence of a guide specializing in this hike is indispensable.
Starting at PK 3.9, a trail for 4-wheel drive vehicles leads to a dam where you find the start of a hike to the Hitiaa lavatubes. Lavatubes are some sort of tubular spaces created when deep lava cooled off. Plan on 3 hours to visit the 3 tubes, bring flashlights.
Starting in Tautira, you can go by speed-boat to the mouth of the Vaiote river. Discover petroglyphs, cross the Vaiote river, find hollow rocks that sound when you hit them. You can walk up the Vaiote river and discover many archeological sites. You can then swim in the Vaitomoana Grotto after a 10-minute boat ride. Then after a 2-hour hike on a corniche trail, you reach the Devil's Pass. You need ropes to pass along the cliff. You can then discover the Anaihe Grotto half an hour later and, through a more dangerous trail, the Queen's Grotto. The very deep Taapeha Valley is 10 minutes away on foot.
Two short hikes lead to the Afareaitu waterfalls. You can get there by car followed by a 30-minute walk.
A 2-hour hike, starts in Vaiare, brings you to the crest between Mount Tearai and Mount Mouaputa, then goes down the valley to reach Paopao in Cook's Bay. Beautiful view points are found along this trail, especially to Tahiti and pineapples plantations.
Another, but very tiring hike is the Three coconut trees trail opening on breath-taking panoramic views on the 2 bays separated by Mount Rotui and on a clear day, all the way to Tetiaroa.
Another excursion closer to rock climbing than hiking, reserved to trained climbers and defintely to do with guides, is the climb to Mount Rotui by the North crest.
The Temehani Plateau should be seen with a guide.
A horseback ride is also feasible not far from Uturoa
Mount Pahia requires 5 hours round-trip and a very difficult hike, to be done with a guide.
A foot trail crosses the Marae of Maeva.
Another 3-km trail reaches the road across the island near the Belvedere viewpoint. This is an easy hike for walkers or horseback riders.
A short loop about an hour long can be done starting in Parea
An easy hike takes you from Patio to Haamene for 7 km, at the Vaitoetoe Passdiscover a beautiful view over Haamene Bay.
The climb to Vaiea and Farauau features beautiful panoramic views. It is better to go with a guide as the trail is not marked.
The climb to Teurafaatiu is magnificent but a guide is indispensable.
In Ua Huka, many horseback rides are feasible: Vaikivi Plateau, Vaipaee-Hane, Vaipaee-Haavei; regarding hikes with a guide, a great one leads you to the Vaikivi petroglyphs (a 3-hour hike).
In Ua pou, horseback rides are possible and there are many hikes.
In Hiva Oa, horseback rides and hikes, easy walks to the Tehueto petroglyphs and Jacques Brel's grave.
In Fatu Hiva, from Omoa to the Bay of the Virgins, a 4-hour hike (if the ground is not too muddy) horseback or 4X4.
In the Austral Islands
In Rurutu, climb to the island's three peaks.
In Tubuai, climb to Mount Taita (4X4, then rock climbing).