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Visit our special pearls section to learn all about French Polynesia's most famous little treasures: the enchanting BLACK PEARLS of TAHITI...

Or, follow the links below to buy them direct from our expert partners at Pearls of Joy.com.

Baroque Pearl Necklaces
Baroque Pearl Necklaces


Pearl Earrings

Pearl Earrings


Black Pearl Necklaces
Black Pearl Necklaces



Mens Jewelry
Men's pearl jewelry


From our pearly pages, you'll learn what to look for when choosing Tahitian black pearls, tips on caring for them, interesting pearl legends, history, facts, and much more.

tahiti black pearls


Customize a Sailing Tour...

Check out the Tane Cat!
Experience the magical shared lagoon of Raiatea and Tahaa onboard a 46 foot catamaran.

Snorkel, picnic on a motu, swim, relax, have a great day!

Choose from daysailing charters to multi-day experiences.

SEE OUR WEBSITE FOR ALL THE DETAILS.



Basecamp International

Raiatea.com, Tahaa.com and Tahiti Sun Travel are Basecamp International members.

Discover more fascinating travel and tourism destinations around the globe by visiting the Basecamp International homesite or by clicking on the links below:

> Mildura, Australia
This region is known for its wineries & river-centered recreational opportunities.

> Puno, Peru
The folklore capital of Peru lies on the shore of Lake Titicaca.

> Chiclayo, Peru
Peru's fourth largest city is an archeological treasure chest.

> Piura, Peru
South America's oldest Spanish city and the Piura region.

> Gustavus, Alaska

Your gateway to Gustavus and magnificent Glacier Bay Park.

> Burkina, Africa
Guide to the fascinating Country of Burkina Faso.

> Patan, Nepal
Visit one of the 3 Royal cities in the famous Kathmandu valley.

> Bhaktapur, Nepal
One of 3 of Nepals "Royal cities" and a cultural gem popular with travelers.

> Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands
The famous island known for its pivotal role in WW2- the Battle of Guadalcanal.

> Krumlov, Czech Republic
Traveler's info for the UNESCO world heritage site Cesky Krumlov.

> Tokelau, New Zealand
A non-self-governing territory consisting of three coral atolls in the South Pacific.

> Tulcea, Romania
One of the larger cities in Romania located at the mouth of the famous Danube River.



The Uturoa waterfront of Raiatea

When you first arrive to Raiatea or Tahaa islands, you'll be faced with the tough choice of figuring out what you want to see and do.

Both islands have a number of great sightseeing opportunities.

A good percentage of visitors to these islands try to experience at least one or two of the following interesting things in the relatively short period of time they are here.

TST makes sightseeing and island exploring options easy! If you want MORE choices, simply check out our other "To SEE" pages: ATTRACTIONS & UNIQUE ACTIVITIES and ARTISTS, CRAFTSMEN & OTHER SPECIALISTS.

Wan't more? Be sure and explore our "WHAT TO DO" section for even more activities, adventures, relaxation, shopping ideas and other things to do and see!


Pearl Farms

Come and visit a pearl farm!Take an interesting and educational tour of one of the many Black Pearl farms on Tahaa.

In French Polynesia, the black pearl has always been synonymous of purity and wizardry. Nowadays, in fact, the Tahiti-Polynesian islands are the leading exporter of fine black pearls in the world.

There are many pearl farms scattered throughout the lagoons of both Raiatea and Tahaa. Black Pearls!

It's now possible to enter the world of outstanding and enigmatic beauty of black pearls by taking tours of these various farms and observing the chronology and evolution and grafting of their oysters, and finally, the beauty of their crop.

Several options to choose from include:

On Tahaa

Tahaa island has 3 black pearl farms open for public touring. They are:

VAIPOE PEARL FARM AND TOURS
B.P. 104, Haamene- TAHAA
Telephone and Fax- (689) 65.60.83,
Pearl Farm and Family Run Pension and Restaurant featuring daily pearl shows, lagoon pearl and vanilla tours, motu picnics, and snorkel tours. Also, wholesale black pearls and pearl handicrafts can be purchased in our giftshop.

POERANI FARM
Hameene Bay
PO Box 100-98734- Haamene- TAHAA
Telephone/ Fax- (689) 65.60.25
Tahaa black pearl farm.

MOTU PEARL FARM
Faa'aha -Teuri
PO Box 246, 98734 Haamene- TAHAA
Tel. (689) 65.66.67, Fax (689) 65.69.18 Tahaa black pearl farm.

...and several professional pearl farm tours and guided options. (often combing a pearl farm visit with several other attractions and sights on either island.)

Tahiti Sun Travel Recommends:

Take a tour with us!L' Excursion Bleue

Office: BP.123, 98 735 RAIATEA
Telephone/ Vini/ Fax: (689) 66.10. 90
Contact: Mr. Bruno FABRE
E-MAIL & Reservations

 
L' EXCURSION BLEUE is the ultimate Taha'a day tour!

Away from the crowds, tourism hype, and hotels, L'excursion Bleue specializes in bringing a "personalized Polynesian experience" to each of its clients. Click to enlarge photo!

They take great care in all aspects of their excursions: Traveling comfortable, visiting all areas of interest to you along with comprehensive comments and information, enjoying rich and excellent local meals, and at the end of the day giving you a lovely photo report of your experiences- at no extra charge.

Your guide Bruno is a "master tourism crafter". Among many things, he helps you manage your reservations and organize your day, drives you around, provides helpful comments and answers to your questions, etc... He leads you all around Tahaa island showing you working pearl and vanilla farms, a motu with a sea fauna park, and the best snorkeling spots including the famous coral gardens of the archipelago.

A full day with him includes a full circumnavigation of Tahaa, a hearty local meal, and a dvd full of the photos he shoots of your experiences...

US cruisers never miss him; they often directly reserve this excursion by way of the famous and well trafficked forum known as www.cruisecritic.com, thereby proving this excursion to be one of the highest levels of quality tours available in all of French Polynesia.

COME VISIT OUR WEBSITE FOR ALL THE DETAILS NOW!



And the rest of the listings:

WEST COAST CHARTERS
BP. 1109 Uturoa- 98735 RAIATEA, Marie and Tony, Tel./ Fax- (689) 66.45.39, Cell- (689) 79.28.78
Tour Tahaa's vanilla plantations and pearl farms. Also, snorkeling, visiting turtles, and circle island tour of Raiatea including Faaroa river tour, Taputapuatea marae, and visiting botanical gardens.

LOLITA TOURS
Mrs. Tearere ARIITU-MOROU,
P.O. Box 184 Haamene- TAHAA
Tel. (689) 65.61.06, Fax (689) 65.65.65
Circle island touring, pearl and vanilla farm explorations, 4x4 expeditions, and more.

HAINANUI TOURS
Vaipiti Bay, Mr. Philippe PAOAAFAITI
P.O. Box 155 Haamene- TAHAA, Tel. (689) 65.61.90
Circle island touring, pearl and vanilla farm explorations, 4x4 expeditions, and more.

TETUANUI TRANSPORT SERVICES
Uturoa quay- RAIATEA,
Telephone- (689) 65.62.42/ or cell (689) 72.09.60
Circle island touring, pearl and vanilla farm explorations, 4x4 expeditions, and more.

ON RAIATEA

Although Raiatea does have a few pearl farms of its own, none of them are open for public touring so the following listed companies visit the Tahaa island farms (listed above) on combined island tours of both islands.

WEST COAST CHARTERS
BP. 1109 Uturoa- 98735 RAIATEA, Marie and Tony, Tel./ Fax- (689) 66.45.39, Cell- (689) 79.28.78
Tour Tahaa's vanilla plantations and pearl farms. Also, snorkeling, visiting turtles, and circle island tour of Raiatea including Faaroa river tour, Taputapuatea marae, and visiting botanical gardens.


Vanilla growers on TahaaVanilla Plantations

Discover the aromatic pleasures of Tahiti- Polynesia's "Black Gold"- Vanilla. Polynesian Vanilla has the worldwide reputation as being the best that can be found.

Raiatea, Tahaa, and nearby Huahine grow almost all of French Polynesia's vanilla crop. The plantations are interspersed throughout the lush green valleys, along with Pineapple and Coconut orchards.
the amazing vanilla bean
Known locally as "Vanira", the vanilla plant is a member of the Orchid family and, although it is not native to Polynesia, the Raiateans and Tahaans have made it quite plentiful and one of the most important exports in all of Tahiti- Polynesia. It is used as a delicious flavoring to numerous products and to add a special aroma to coffee, sugar, rum, and some fruit juices.

There are several guided tours of different vanilla plantations on both Islands, or you can discover them by yourself as you travel throughout the Islands. As you enjoy the fresh vanilla perfumed breezes, you will learn all about the growing, cultivation, and traditional cultural uses of this wonderful crop.

On Tahaa

The Island of Tahaa grows 80% of all the Vanilla in Tahiti-Polynesia, and is known as the "Vanilla Island".Not surprisingly, therefore, almost all the tours that visit the Vanilla plantations center around and highlight Tahaa.

Here's a few companies combining vanilla farm visits with various other tours and activities on the island of Tahaa:

Tahiti Sun Travel recommends:

Come see our website for all the information...L' Excursion Bleue

Office: BP.123, 98 735 RAIATEA
Telephone/ Vm/ Fax :(689) 66.10. 90
Contact: Mr. Bruno FABRE
E-MAIL & Reservations


L' EXCURSION BLEUE is the ultimate Taha'a day tour!

We'll take a small group in our spacious motorized dugout canoe- roomy, covered, and comfortable and experience Taha'a- the vanilla island.The beam of the dugout is astonishingly stabile, splitting each wave and slipping over them without the shocks and rolling other boats have. Visit our site to learn about the vanilla tours...

A fireworks of emotions and experiences await you! On l' excursion bleue you will: discover a vanilla plantation, experience a pearl-farm, meet with marine tortoises and observe frightening stonefish in a water park, and have a delicious picnic with locally prepared fresh fish on a small private island.
r
We will also take you to the islands best snorkeling spots and discover the fantastic universe of the coral gardens. (underwater photo portraits included)

On the return along the west coast of the island, we'll cross an area where we often see dolphins. All this while sipping fresh fruit drinks (with and without alcohol) and a full delicious Polynesian meal included...

This is a day to remember- a guaranteed highlight of your French Polynesian vacation!

COME VISIT OUR WEBSITE FOR ALL THE DETAILS NOW!


And the rest of the listings:

VANILLA TOURS
Mr. and Mrs. Alain and Christina PLANTIER
P.O. Box 124 Haamene- TAHAA,
Telephone- (689) 65.62.46, Fax- (689) 65.68.97
Climb the hills of Tahaa to fantastic viewpoints aboard a comfortable 4x4 vehicle as we learn about the local flora and agriculture. We'll take a special interest in Tahaa's fantastic vanilla plantations.

HAINANUI TOURS
Mr. Philippe PAOAAFAITE, Telephone- (689) 65.61.90/ 78.22.09
PO. Box 155- 98 734 Haamene- TAHAA
Half and full day 4x4 excursions of Tahaa island. Botanical and cultural knowledge shared, pearl farm, vanilla growing, etc.

TAHAA PEARL TOUR - (Option- see link above)
Apu Bay, next to Marina Iti Hotel, Mr. Bruno FABRE
P.O. Box 142 Haamene- TAHAA, Tel/ Fax (689) 65.67.80
Outrigger canoe lagoon excursions with stops at pearl farms,
vanilla plantations, etc.

POERANI TOURS
Mr. Teva EBB, PO. Box 100- 98 734, Haamene- TAHAA
Telephone/ Fax- (689) 65.60.25
Full day 4 wheel drive excursions of Tahaa island. Botanical and cultural knowledge shared, pearl farm, vanilla growing, picnic on a motu, swim, etc.

VAIPOE TOURS
B.P. 104, Haamene- TAHAA, Telephone and Fax- (689) 65.60.83
Contact: Mrs. Patricia AMARU
Tahaa Lagoonside Pearl Farm and Family Run Pension and Restaurant 4 wheel drive tours of Tahaa including vanilla plantations.

REMUNA TOURS
Mrs. Remuna TERIIPAIA, PO. Box 82- 98734 Haamene- TAHAA Telephone/ Fax- (689) 65.63.28 or try 72.93.28
Half and full day 4x4 excursions of Tahaa island. Botanical and cultural knowledge shared, pearl farm, vanilla growing, etc.



Although there are quite a few Vanilla plantations on Tahaa, not all are open to the public. If you're so inclined, (and you're not with one of the listed tour companies above), here's an excellent choice for self touring:

LA MAISON DE LA VANILLE
PO. Box 140- 98734, Haamene, TAHAA,
Contact: Mr. Gustave MATIMO & Mr. Philippe BRILLANT, Tel.- (689) 78.70.02/ 65.67.27, Fax- (689) 45.12.02
Large vanilla plantation (1000 vines) between Haamene and Hapu bays. Learn about vanilla tahitensis and its pollination, cultivation, and pod drying process. Open Monday thru Saturday morning. Admission is free.


On Raiatea

Raiatea has less vanilla growing than Tahaa, but since it has a larger population in general, there are still quite a few touring companies that can show you the vanilla. (Most of these ALSO go to Tahaa) Here's a few companies combining vanilla farm visits on Raiatea with various tours on both islands:

HINERANI TOURS
PO. Box 809-98 735 Uturoa- RAIATEA
Contact: Mr. & Mrs. Lysis and Heiariki TEROOATEA
Telephone/ Fax- (689) 66.25.75/ 72.49.66
Half day 4x4 excursions on Raiatea island, including an educational stop at a vanilla plantation.

JEEP SAFARI RAIATEA
Mr. Petero MOU KAM TSE, P.O. Box 51- 98 735, Uturoa- RAIATEA
Tel. (689) 66.15.73/ 78.23.73, Fax (689) 66.19.79
Half or full day 4x4 excursions of Raiatea with picnic on a motu, and other sightseeing highlights, including vanilla farms.

RAUVINE SAFARI TOURS
Mr. Josia BORDES
P.O. Box 1175- 98 735 Avera- RAIATEA,
Telephone/ Fax. (689) 66.25.50
Half or full day 4x4 tours of Raiatea, cultural sightseeing,
and picnics, vanilla farm, etc.

RAIATEA 4x4
Mr. Gerard DUVOS, Mrs. Maria COWAN
P.O. Box 705- 98 735 Uturoa- RAIATEA, Tel./ Fax (689) 66.24.16
Half day 4x4 excursions of the island of Raiatea, including Taputapuatea Marae , vanilla plantations, and other sightseeing highlights of the island.

TYRINA (WEST COAST CHARTERS)
PK 16, Tevaitoa, BP. 1109 Uturoa- 98735 RAIATEA, Contact:Marie and Tony TUCKER, Tel/ fax. (689) 66.45.39/ 79.28.78, Locally built 27 ft. unsinkable fiberglass motor boat, minimum 6, maximum 12 passengers.
Touring Tahaa's vanilla plantations and pearl farms, snorkeling, visiting turtles, motus, and circle island tours of Raiatea including Faaroa river tour, Taputapuatea marae & visiting botanical gardens.

TUMATAHI
Based out of the gare maritime, RAIATEA, Telephone/ Fax- (689) 66.25.17, Cell- (689) 79.62.41, Contact: Mr. Jean Luc Tetuanui,
Half & full day powerboat tours of Tahaa and Raiatea. Visiting vanilla and pearl farms, coral garden snorkeling, botanical and cultural knowledge shared, Faaroa river tours, Taputapuatea, etc.


To visit yourself: (if you're not with one of the tour companies listed above.) One excellent, fragrant, and tourism friendly Vanilla farm on Raiatea is:

LA VANILLERE
Otopu Valley, Faarao, (very close to Marae Taputapuatea), PO. Box 892- 98735, Uturoa, RAIATEA,
Contact: Mr. Alain ABEL & Mr. Michel PISSOL, Tel./ Fax- (689) 66.15.51
A unique vanilla plantation under shade. Guided tour on Vanilla tahitensis, cultivation techniques, growth cycle, flower pollination, pod drying. Small admission fee charged.



Enchanting Harbor

Stroll the Uturoa Harbor (Fisherman’s Wharf) and it's outdoor cafes. Here you will find a variety of businesses catering to both traditional and modern needs. The waterfront feeling is inspiring and enchanting.

Sip ice coffees, relax, and enjoy the view of the lovely harbor as you breathe in the fresh South seas air. Businesses on the wharf include a travel agency, many curio shops, an electronics store, and a terrific French owned grocery store. Businesses open daily.



Come see the Uturoa market!Colorful Market

Visit the colorful market of Uturoa, Raiatea's largest city. See the fresh fish catches of the day, sample polynesian foods, discover local treasures and enjoy the atmosphere.

This classic daily bustling market will excite your taste buds with unusualfruits and delicious pastries, among many other goodies. There's also many non food items like assorted arts and crafts from the local artisans to be amazed by. An exciting yet relaxing way to start off your day!

The market starts at sunrise daily, and is located on the main drag in Uturoa near the harbor. Wednesdays and Fridays are the busiest, as those are the days when the Tahaa vendors come in to sell their wares.

Get there early on all days for the best and freshest choices of products. (On sundays, the whole thing is over by 7:00 A.M.!)



Beautiful flowers all over"Circle Island" Touring

There are a few different types of "Circle island" tours of Raiatea and Tahaa, although that generalized description can be quite confusing... The most popular of these are land or boat tours of the island of Tahaa.

Because many visitors only visit Tahaa for a short while, they usually want to see as much as possible in a single effort. Typical tours include lagoon cruising and picture taking, visiting pearl farms and vanilla plantations, having picnics on lovely white sand beach motus, and stopping at giftshops to buy pearl jewelry.

Also, on Tahaa, there is a turtle sanctuary many will stop and visit for a while. Catamaran sailboats, comfortable cruisers, and pirogues take you via the lagoon whereas 4x4's, passenger vans, and tour buses take you by land...
      
Because the touring phrase "circle island" is rather generic, (but very popular and often used), we refer you to these separate pages for details and differences on "circle island touring":

LAGOON CRUISES BY CRUISER, CATAMARAN, OR PIROGUE: See the ISLAND FUN page.

LAND TOURS BY 4X4, BUS, OR MINI VAN: See the RELAXATION page.


SIGHTSEEING ON THE OTHER ISLANDS
What sights will you seen on the islands?
An Internetwork of Travel & Tourism Guides
for the Main Islands of Tahiti Polynesia.




 


An interactive bulletin board covering a diverse array of Tahitian subjects.

Ask questions, get advice, meet people, be crazy!

It's fun, easy, and informative!



Discover the
TAHITI OF
YESTERYEAR
Tahiti of Yesteryear
132 black and white photographs of Tahiti, Bora bora, Moorea, Huahine, and Taha'a in 1957

...BEFORE The Bounty movie, before the tour boats, before the commercialism...

Author signed, limited edition books are a Tahiti Sun Travel exclusive offer.




 


...with our EZ Print Internet Coupons for activities, lodging, car rentals, and many other things travelers (and locals) spend money on in French Polynesia.*
   
EZ print coupons SAVE YOU MONEY in TahitiRemember: French Polynesians don't "negotiate" or barter with their published prices...

These coupons are worth cold, hard cash!

*For a quick glance at our vendors, see our COUPON FINDER now!



 


Find out Who's Who and Where -
On the Tahiti Sun Travel Network.

Also, are they a Coupon Program participant?

We have many different linking members throughout our pages so far and are adding more regularly...

This handy quick reference saves time when you don't have time to explore the network. (Members are listed alphabetically and categorized per/ island site.)



Get
L' Excursion Bleue
Check out this awesome Tahaa Tour!
On l' excursion bleue you will: discover a vanilla plantation, experience a pearl-farm, meet marine tortoises and observe frightening stonefish in a water park, and have a delicious picnic with locally prepared fresh fish on a small private island...

IT'S THE ULTIMATE
TAHAA DAY TOUR!


Learn all the details


Check out our online store for the most interesting Polynesian products on the planet.

Books, travel guides, maps, Polynesian music, videos, gifts, pareos, soaps, oils, lotions, perfumes & clothing are just a few of the items available.

If you sell Polynesian products: We'd like to sell your products in our store!

See the details here
and let's get something going...

We'll bring you the traffic, you sell the products!



 


(Oooooooooooolala)

The Society Islands are the perfect setting for the ultimate in romantic getaways for newlyweds or newly found romances.
Popular activities include Tahitian weddings and renewing wedding vows using interesting traditional Tahitian methods.

honeymooners on beach


Island Hop >>>   Tahiti & Papeete | Bora Bora Island | Huahine Island | Moorea Island | Raiatea & Tahaa | Tetiaroa | Tuamotu Islands