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Harrison W. Smith Botanical Garden
A testament to the work of American botanist Harrison Smith, the Botanical Gardens at Papeari teem with footpaths where visitors can view its acres of well-cultivated plants, and feature bamboo, bananas, palms, hibiscus and mapes (an indigenous chestnut tree).
Dedicated to the work of Paul Gauguin, the Gauguin Museum features exhibits and memorabilia from the late painter himself, including sketches, documents (mostly in facsimile), block prints, reproductions and a handful of original creations.
Situated at the waterfront, the four-level Vaima Center has everything from banks and boutiques, to bookstores and restaurants. With its heavy concentration of businesses and services, Vaima Center is one of Tahiti's busiest shopping districts.
Musée de Tahiti et ses Isles (Museum of Tahiti and her Islands)
A visit to Tahiti would be incomplete without a stop to the Musee' de Tahiti, which has been judged one of the finest and most modern museums in the South Pacific. The museum features a broad range of exhibits on Tahitian culture, history and geology.
Cathedral of Notre Dame of Papeete
Located in the center of Papeete, the majestic Cathedral of Notre Dame is one of Tahiti's most awe-inspiring structures. A red-tiled spire offsets the exterior's modest grey façade and indoors, the church features gorgeous original stained glass dating back to 1875.
Divers of all abilities will appreciate Tahiti's many world-class dive sites, which give visitors the opportunity to glimpse sunken planes, wrecks, exotic fish and sharks. Some sites even offer night diving.
The surf is always up in Tahiti. Surfing is especially good during the winter months, when the swells break strong along the reefs, resulting in larger, "tubular" waves. Both the northern and southern coasts of Tahiti offer good surfing.
Adventurous travelers will love the exciting guided hiking tours that lead them on explorations of Tahiti's rugged interior. Stops can include spectacular waterfalls and natural pools, mountain peaks with panoramic views, archeological sites and more.
Four-Wheel Drive Tours
Looking for spectacular views, but not on foot or horseback? Then try a four-wheel drive journey to Mount Marau, where the lookout point offers panoramic vistas of surrounding valleys and peaks.
For the horse enthusiast, Tahiti has a number of first-class riding stables. Experienced riders can saddle-up the island's New Zealand and Marquesan horses, while private lessons are available for the beginner. Rides often include picnic lunches.