South Seas Adventures Blog

Top 9 Things to Experience in French Polynesia...other than the beach

canoe breakfast being delivered

French Polynesia is made up of 118 breathtaking islands, most of which are well known for their beautiful beaches and sweeping ocean views. But there is much more to this island than relaxing on the sand.

Here are our top 9 picks for things to experience while in French Polynesia

1. Hiking to the Top of Mt. Otemanu, Bora Bora

mt. otemanu, bora bora

Views of this iconic Bora Bora Mountain are often taken in from one of the many 5 star resorts in Bora Bora.  Why not get the complete Bora Bora experience and hike to the top of Mt. Otemanu. Besides the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel after scaling this 2385 ft. mountain, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of Bora Bora Lagoon and a visit to Anua Cave.

2. Canoe Breakfast

canoe breakfast french polynesia

Because where else can you have your breakfast brought to you in bed via a traditional Polynesian Vaka?

3. Private Motu Dinners

romantic dinner french polynesia

What is more romantic than being dropped off on a private island in the middle of Bora Bora Lagoon with the one you love? Most resorts can arrange a private motu dinner where you will be surrounded by blazing tiki torches, sitting under millions of stars, as the surf laps at your feet.

4. Visit a Pearl Farm

tahitian pearls

Tahitian black pearls are one of French Polynesia's top exports. Take a journey to Taha'a, Huahine and the Tuamota Atolls to see how these South Pacific treasures are cultivated. Watch the pearl development procedure and learn how they go from growing in the lagoon to an adorning piece of jewelry.

5. Fautaua Waterfall

fautaua waterfall tahiti

Travel during  Tahiti’s rainy season to get the most out of the Fautaua Waterfall. The wetter the weather the more beautiful and dramatic the falls are. To see the Fautaua Waterfall, you will get to enjoy a challenging hike up the lush Fautaua Valley, where the 985 ft. fall is located. We recommend booking a guided tour to ensure safety.

6. Browse the Pape'ete Public Market

papeete market tahiti

The open air public market is the epicenter of Pape'ete’s hustling and bustling downtown. Open from dusk till dawn, the vibrant market is filled with local merchants selling fresh tropical fruits, fish, vanilla, black pearls, and local handmade crafts from all over French Polynesia. A trip to the market will not only offer the best prices on souvenirs, but also one of the best cultural experiences in Tahiti.

7. Visit the Marquesas

marquesas islands

The most remote island groups in French Polynesia, visiting The Marquesas is like taking a step back in time. These jagged volcanic islands are still very wild and pristine, untouched by modern culture. A fun way to visit the Marquesas is by boarding the Aranui, a mixed cargo/passenger vessel reminiscent of the ship used in “King Kong”.

8. Swim with Sting Rays in Bora Bora

sting rays bora bora

We’ll admit, it sounds a little scary to get into water with a school of sting rays. We promise this adventure is well worth getting over any initial hesitations to cuddle up with these loveable critters. You’ll get the chance to feed the rays, and let them “hug” you with their silky soft fins. Tours can be combined with shark feeding as well!

9. Spend a night (or longer) in an Overwater Bungalow

overwater bungalows

There is no experience like staying in an overwater bungalow. Why not indulge in the experience in the location where overwater bungalows were invented.  Your day starts by having a canoe breakfast rowed to your bungalow, followed by an afternoon swim (Off of your bungalow deck of course!). Later you enjoy watching fish swim under your glass coffee table, and finish off the day by star gazing in your overwater outdoor hot tub. Who wouldn't want to make this dream a reality?


With so much to do there is a little something for everyone in the islands of French Polynesia. If you are ready to book your getaway contact us today!

Linda  Gutekunst
Linda Gutekunst

An avid Scuba Diver and photographer since 1982, Linda has traveled the world extensively; however, her true love is the extraordinary South Pacific. Linda is founder of South Seas Adventures, where she specializes in all types of travel to the South Pacific region including Fiji, Solomon Islands, Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Cook Islands and others. Linda is a certified Aussie specialist, certified New Zealand PAL agent and a Tahiti Tiara specialist. Fiji’s friendly islands are Linda’s very favorite destination where she has traveled countless times. So if your travels call for the adventurous side of you, Linda can definitely speak your language.

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