There's nothing better than arriving in Tahiti Saturday evening and then waking up bright and early (like 4:30am) early and heading straight out for the only excursion I booked for our entire trip to French Polynesia. Yes, I also realize that is the longest run on sentence ever.
Where is Tetiaroa Atoll?
At the very last minute, I decided to book a day trip to Tetiaroa Atoll, a set of islands about 3 hours via catamaran away from Tahiti. This Atoll is currently being leased by Marlon Brando and has a beautiful resort used by celebrities and politicians. If you decide to take a day trip here, you will get to visit a bird island!
I booked this trip with Poe Charters and left out of Pape'ete. It cost us about $175 USD per person and included breakfast and lunch.
What did we do?
We left bright and early at 6am on a large catamaran. There were about 20 guests (normally they can book 40+ guests). We had a lot of space and didn't feel crowded. Breakfast included coffee, tea, fruit and some pastries.
As we were traveling to Tetiaroa, we were allowed to hang out on the front nets (sit in the middle to avoid getting wet). It was very relaxing.
At about 9am we anchored off shore and then we're taken via dingey on shore in groups of 2 and 3. It was so fun to watch the dingeys speed through the water and navigate around the coral.
Once on shore, our guides took us on a scenic walk through bird island and gave us some history on the island. We then ended up in a beautiful beach where we got to spend about two hours. We were told about the various stakes along the beach and had to walk along the outside of them to avoid disturbing the birds and bird nests.
You guys. The water here was amazing. Super clear, shallow and warm! We saw so many birds and even a reef shark!
Back on board the catamaran, we were provided an amazing lunch! This was our first experience having the Polynesian staple poisson cru. It is a raw Tuna marinated in coconut milk served with cucumbers, tomatoes and carrots. I would have to say this was one of the best poisson crus we had on the trip.
We then got another 1.5 hours to snorkel, swim around the catamaran or just relax.
The journey back started around 2:15PM and got us back to Pape'ete by 5:15PM. The crew was amazing, friendly and made sure us non-French speaking folks were kept informed as well.
Travel Tip: When you get back to Pape'ete, eat at the food trucks "Roulettes" that are right next to the Poe Charters meeting point.