Favorite Travels: Basking in Blue in Tahiti

This post is part of an ongoing series of all time favorite trips.

I’ve been to a few nice beach destinations in my life, but oh my goodness… Tahiti. What can I say? Don’t you want to dive in?

French Polynesia is the tropical paradise of your dreams. Consider the most magical color saturated island destination of your imagination, and let me assure you, Tahiti is it. I never knew the ocean could take on so many hues of crystalline blue… turquoise, azure, cobalt, and aquamarine.

I arrived on the main island (Tahiti) from Los Angeles very late at night and went straight to bed, having no clue what was beyond the hotel room. But when I threw open the curtains first thing the next morning, this view from Le Meridien Hotel greeted me. What a proper welcome!

Before arriving for this 7 day trip, I had grand plans for exploring top to bottom as I tend to get island fever after a few days.

But settling in after just one morning, I threw my agenda out the window. Instead, I let the surrounding blue pull me in, and I spent the most luxurious time lounging in the water and enjoying every second of it. The Tahiti waters are truly special, and I wanted to take full advantage of them.

The hotel offered le truck (open air trucks with benches in the back) shuttles into downtown Papeete, and one day I pulled myself away from the ocean to visit there. I found tree-lined promenades, cafes, historic buildings, and of course a little touch of local color.

Visiting right after Christmas, I got such a kick from hundreds of lamp posts decorated with inflatable Santas, flapping in island breeze against a backdrop of tropical ferns and clear sky.

One highlight of Papeete was the Marche Municipale (Municipal Market), a bustling place where vendors sell fragrant flowers, vegetables, local specialties, and island beauty products. Forget about simple coconut oil for the skin or hair. The secret to Tahitian beauty can be found in exotic Monoi, Tamanu, and Tiara Flower oils.

While I certainly enjoyed the hustle bustle of Papeete, I couldn’t wait to get back to the ocean for the most serene and ethereal time of day. Can you blame me?

My trip to Tahiti was several years ago, but even now when I’m feeling stressed at night and cannot sleep, I mentally plunge myself back into that water. I imagine myself swimming in the warm ocean, and I am instantly relaxed.

There’s so much more to say. Coming posts will be devoted to the Tahitian island of Moorea and of course, the delicious cuisine of French Polynesia. Stay tuned!Β For airfare and hotel deals to Tahiti, check out Air Tahiti Nui. They offer constant specials for different budgets.

Have you ever thrown your travel agenda out the window once you arrived in a place? What guided you instead? Do you enjoy beach vacations, or do you tend to get antsy?




29 thoughts on “Favorite Travels: Basking in Blue in Tahiti

  1. Mary- I’ve never actually thrown my travel plans out the window, but seeing those Tahiti pictures makes me think I would if I ever went there! Beach vacations always make me want to just go to the beach and take naps listening to the surf… I don’t know what it is, but that seems to make it to the top of the priority list. πŸ™‚

    • maryrichardson

      Dear Ryan,
      Yes, something about that water just makes me go all contemplative and inert! Hope you’re having fun with your travel plans!

  2. Hi Mary…first let me say these are incredible photos. That water looks amazing! My sister has been to Tahiti a couple of times and is now on her way to Fiji. When my wife and I went to Bali several years ago we had a plan of what we wanted to do and where we wanted to go but threw all that out the window once we found a driver who ended up being so awesome at showing us stuff off the beaten tourist path. He took us to his favorite local places to eat which were just incredible. While we still went to some of the more popular temple complexes he showed us smaller less popular ones that were equally as nice.

    While I do enjoy beach vacations I prefer something where I can hike through a jungle, climb a mountain so I guess I tend to get antsy.

    • maryrichardson

      Dear Matt,
      Usually I find it’s a person who tempts us to drop our original plans and just go with the flow. Glad you found someone who could do that… and lucky you! I LOVE recommendations for hole in the wall restaurants from locals. The food is so good off the track, isn’t it?

  3. My goodness, these photos are BEAUTIFUL! I love anything tropical (of course :)). And such a great idea to revisit past favorite travels…(also, while that Santa photo may not have blue, it’s pretty priceless too!)

    • maryrichardson

      Dear Jude,
      Thanks, though I’m sure you’re well accustomed to blue and tropical! I know Xmas is celebrated all over the world in climates that are sunny and tropical, but something about Santas and reindeer in those places always gives me a laugh!

  4. Ashley

    If I ever went to Tahiti, I would most definitely want to swim in those palettes of blue! It would be amazing!
    Yes, in fact I have thrown my plans completely out of the window, a few times. On a trip to Sweden with friends, a few years back. We landed at the airport and went through the usual routine. Then after checking into our hotel, we began on our agenda. While visiting a museum, I just happened to wander down an alley, and found a street market. It was like a hidden corner of the city to me, yet everyone else seemed to know it. Called my friends, and we explored. I found a shop that sold the most delicious bread rolls ever! The baker, was an old man, and he didn’t speak a word of English, but somehow he managed to tell me to follow him. I did, and he took us and his young granddaughter on one of the most amazing tours of the city. The places he showed us weren’t even mentioned in the guidebook we brought!

    • maryrichardson

      Dear Ashley,
      That sounds like an amazing time- when I stumble onto “secret” places when I travel, it’s such a rush! I’ve found that lots of locals are willing to give tours and show off their cities. I’m so glad that you were open to it and had a great time… what was that bread like? (Huge carb lover here)

      • Ashley

        Oh, thank goodness you asked! It brought back the taste!
        Sweet and delicious and oh so filling, he even gave us some to take back to the hotel. When we had it with coffee….we still haven’t forgotten the taste!

  5. bombaybeauty

    I always thought of it as a magical place, and your pictures confirm this! Really on my list of places I wash to go (a long list…) xo bb

  6. Oh how glorious!! I’ve never been to Tahiti but your photos make me want to jump on the nearest plane RIGHT NOW!!! πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. πŸ™‚

  7. Yes, my travel agenda in Nicaragua went right out the window when we arrived in Granada. We had been studying spanish for just over two months, backpacking around, paying for internet to contact home, and were drained. When we got to our hostel and found a swimming pool and free internet, we promptly settled in and left only to forage for food. As a result, I can only tell you about the hostel in Granada and how nice looking the public square was!

    • maryrichardson

      Dear Claire!
      I love it! Like you, I’ve been completely wiped out by some travel experiences abroad- even more when they’re totally fun! Sometimes a swimming pool is just what we need, right? I sort of collapsed myself after traveling in Egypt for a few weeks, and while there was no pool at the hostel, there was a KFC right around the corner, and that was enough for me!

  8. It looks amazing there! My husband and I had tried to get over to Tahiti on our honeymoon, but given the fact that it’s quite pricey and we were traveling for three weeks, we opted for Borneo instead. I still have Tahiti fever, though!

    • maryrichardson

      Dear Kristin,
      Yes… the one downside of Tahiti is that is expensive for a stay longer than a week. I did manage to cut some costs by eating from a grocery store and opting out of some excursions, but the hotel adds up! Hope you make it there soon!

  9. Mary,

    I have not been to Tahiti, looks wonderful! I should visit.

    I have been to Puerto Rico, Bahamas and Hawaii Islands and they have wonderful memories of our travel in my mind. Now with kids our travel are more local or close by.

    • maryrichardson

      Dear Preeti,
      I’m sure when I start my family, I’ll take beach trips closer to home as well… hope you get to take lots of local trips with your kids!

  10. That’s lovely! πŸ™‚

    I have a personal and long time love affair with Tahiti (made my decision to marry Mr G there, Tahitian wedding ceremony later and several holidays). We’ve been there on several occasions to Moorea and Bora Bora. Papeete itself doesn’t impress me but oddly enough, I stayed at the same hotel as you during the overnight stay! πŸ™‚

  11. Pingback: Favorite Travels: Feeling the Love in Suzhou « World Curious Traveler

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