Sulyvann FLOHICa fan of adventures of all kinds and especially hiking, shares with us his selection of the most beautiful hikes in Tahiti that he was able to do during a short stay.
Tahiti, a paradise island
Tahiti is the largest island in French Polynesia. Located in the southern Pacific Ocean, it is part of the Windward Islands group and the Society Archipelago.
Surrounded by a coral reef, black sand beaches on the east coast and white sand beaches on the west coast, it attracts many tourists for its clear waters and activities such as diving, surfing and day trips. under the sun. Few people come to this island of volcanic origin for hiking. But the interior of the island is crowned by majestic peaks, legendary valleys, rivers, impressive waterfalls. A large majority of the population is located on the coast leaving the interior of the island almost untouched.
In short, you have understood it, everything is there to go on an adventure, a total change of scenery guaranteed, here are, in my opinion, the most beautiful hikes in Tahiti.
A few safety rules before venturing out
First of all, it must be said that going on a hike is not super dangerous, however you must still follow certain rules to avoid the error that could harm your getaway of pure happiness.
Here is a personal list that may help you:
- Locate your route on a map or an application and regularly check your position during the hike. I use maps.me a lot. Easy to use, it allows you to have your geolocation live on a background map even without connection if you have downloaded the map beforehand.
- Do not forget to charge the phone, even better, take an external battery.
- Find out about the difficulties of the route. Do not hesitate to ask advice from those who have already taken this path or to call on a guide.
- Avoid going alone if you are inexperienced. In case of trouble, your walking companions will be of great help, an ankle is quickly arrived.
- Tell your loved ones of your itinerary and your return.
- Consult the latest weather report the day before your departure and watch it during your walk, in Tahiti the weather is very changeable.
- Bring equipment adapted to your route/weather and useful items. Here is an article that will benefit you if you are a beginner: prepare your bag well for the day.
- Do not hesitate to turn around in case of doubt, fatigue, etc.
- Write down the emergency telephone number 18 or 112.
- Respect nature
Our selection of the most beautiful hikes in Tahiti
The Pic Vert or The summit of Toanui 1167m
Departure points: At the top of the Mamaia subdivision in Papeete
Duration: About 3-4 hours
Kilometers and elevation gain: 9 km and 518 m d+
Technical difficulty: Easy the first part – steep path at the end.
The start is given at the top of the Mamaia subdivision in Papeete, in order to be able to enter the subdivision, if the gate is closed, you have to wait for someone to come out or enter to be able to cross the gate. Then you can reach the start of the hike, at the edge of the forest, to attack the first undergrowth shaded by Caribbean pines. The start is not so easy to find. You have to look on a map or draw it from a hiker who has already been there, me for example. Namely that there are several possible loops, I’m only talking about the one I made.
A multi-faceted hike
Come on, we continue, little by little, the pines are rarer to give way to the typical vegetation of the high hills of Tahiti. Do not forget to stop and admire the landscape you are still on one of the most beautiful hikes in Tahiti. You then enter the humid forest where the path becomes a little slippery! Even a toboggan if you don’t have the right shoes.
Less than an hour later, you will reach the upper ridge. There you will find the old rain gauge located at 1080m with a flat surface to give you a little break. You still have about thirty minutes of ascent on the ridge, sometimes vertiginous, but not very dangerous. Little advice, the path is lined with Anuhe ferns, if you want to avoid small scratches, take pants.
During the straight line to the Toanui summit you will have a panorama from Punaauia to the point of Venus at Mahina, without forgetting the island opposite, Moorea.
A magnificent view of the Diadème and its surroundings
Upon arrival, if the weather is with you, you can admire the Tiara. On the right, the antennas of Mount Marau and below on the left the Fautaua waterfalls. The Fautaua valley which is also a very beautiful hike, I present it to you just after. A break at the top and you still have to go back. Faaitoito, good luck in Tahitian.
The Fautaua Valley
Departure points: Parking at the end of avenue Pierre Loti in Papeete
Duration: About 3-4 hours
Kilometers and elevation gain: 10.2 km and 600 m d+
Technical difficulty: easy to the Fashoda bridge, after that it climbs.
In the Fautaua valley 2 hikes are possible. Indeed you have, the basins of Fashoda (top of the waterfall), the one that I will see presented and the waterfall of Loti that I could not finish because the weather conditions were not with me, there are several passages of river, if it rains it is strongly discouraged to venture there, the level and the current of the river increase sharply, it is impossible to pass.
Pay attention to regulations
To undertake one of these loops, you should know that access is regulated, the path is a property of the Polynésienne des eaux. You have to go to the general direction of the services of the Town hall of Papeete, located on the first floor of the town hall. You will be asked 600 XPF per adult and 150 XPF for a minor child, an affordable price to achieve one of the most beautiful hikes in Tahiti.
Once you have your authorization in your pocket, you have to go to the start, at the end of avenue Pierre Loti in Papeete. On your left the Bust of Pierre Loti, you still have to continue and cross the gate shortly after it. You will arrive further at a parking lot, this is the starting point. You can’t miss it, there are several panels to present the valley and its hikes, but also the guardhouse where someone will check your right of access.
Let’s go, you are on the way. About 3km in the valley along the river, everything is very well indicated with explanations of the history of the valley as well as the fauna and flora. Arrived at the bridge, you have the possibility to take the bridge or to continue straight. For the Fashoda basins, you have to cross the bridge and climb for a good hour. At the fort, you must directly take the path to the right (after the first wall), you will find ropes that will allow you to descend to the basins in safety. After a few efforts you will be down, you just have to admire the different basins and the slide. It’s time to go back.
The Aorai, the 3rd summit of Tahiti, one of the most beautiful hikes in Tahiti
Departure points: The restaurant O Belvédère accessible from the Hamuta valley, Town Hall of Pirae
Duration: About 8-9 hours
Kilometers and elevation gain: 18km and 1500m d+
Technical difficulty: Difficult, experienced or accompanied hikers
Mount Aorai, which culminates at 2066m, is the third summit of Tahiti after Mount Orohena (2241m) and Pito Iti (2110m), which you can also admire during the ascent.
The hike starts at the O Belvédère restaurant. The ascent of Mount Aorai is a long and difficult hike, due to its significant elevation, technical passages with ropes on vertiginous ridges. The trail is very well marked and secure, but don’t neglect this getaway, don’t forget to prepare your bag well, enough to hydrate yourself, to fill up on energy…
On the way you will come across 2 refuges, and yes you can do the hike in two days and sleep in one of the refuges if you wish. The first refuge is about 2 hours walk from the start, the Fare Mato at 1400m altitude. Then the second, the Fare Ata, perched at 1800m, from this refuge you have less than an hour to reach the summit. The refuges are free and open access, like any good hiker, you have to respect the places for the next ones.
A bivouac at the top
For bivouac enthusiasts, it is also possible to sleep at the top. There is plenty of room. However, you will be exposed to the wind.
Since I don’t have a photo at the top to show you because we had our heads in the clouds, it will be a surprise for you. You just have to go back. Stay attentive in the descent, the path remains very steep, you should not put your foot out of the “path” with fatigue.
Departure points: Parking for walkers, Miri subdivision in Punaauia
Duration: About 5-6 hours
Kilometers and elevation gain: 17 km and 960 m d+
Technical difficulty: easy
The perfect hike to admire a beautiful sight, the sunrise.
Take the start from the pedestrian car park, Miri subdivision in Punaauia. Don’t worry almost all roads lead to the top. Once again I recommend the maps.me application where everything is very well indicated. During the first kilometers you will be on a path in the forest then the ferns. Then, join a wide track until the finish. At the top, a magnificent view of the Fautaua valley, the Loti waterfall, the Diadème, the Orohena (top of Tahiti) and Mount Aorai.
This hike is really simple technically. It is within everyone’s reach, if the height difference does not scare you. I advise you to leave at night, walk in the cool and enjoy the sunrise.
More information on the most beautiful hikes in Tahiti
I hope you enjoyed this article on Tahiti hikes. Please note, I have not done all the hikes on the island. There are surely others just as beautiful. Just like Moorea, the island just opposite, is also a beautiful playground! If you have any questions about an itinerary, advice or to discuss adventures, don’t hesitate to send me a message. I would be happy to answer them:
See you soon for new escapades.