Tahiti, located more than 2000 miles south of Hawaii, is one of the most beautiful and tropical places on our planet. How beautiful is it? When European explorers first arrived here, they thought they'd found paradise and the legendary artist Henri Matisse called Tahiti's colorful lagoons "one of the seven wonders" of painters!
We have visited Tahiti several times and enjoyed every visit but we chose William Leeteg and Adventure Eagle Tours because we prefer a small group experience to the run-of-the-mill large bus tours. We have decided that William Leeteg's Adventure Eagle Tours is one of the best ways to enjoy all the beauty that this island had to offer.
William is an American educated Tahitian with a cheerful personality and an incredible amount of information to share. As he drove our small group around the island, William explained Tahitian culture and local plants in detail but in a very entertaining manner.
A major advantage of Adventure Eagle Tours is William's knowledge of the best ways to avoid the times when the large tour buses were at the attractions. We always arrived before they arrived or after they left. We never had to fight the crowds or worry about missing a spectacular view.
Our four hour tour in a comfortable air-conditioned mini bus began in Pepeete and covered 72 miles around the island.
Our stops included -
The Maraa Fern Grotto
This natural attraction is a large, easily accessible cave where cold water drips from the ceiling into a dark pool below. Beautiful flowers and plants of many varieties circle the grotto. Local legend says that artist Paul Gauguin swam in these waters.
The Gauguin Museum
The Gauguin Museum displays reproductions of the artist's work, sculptures, a replica of Gauguin’s home on Marquises Island, and a biographical account of the artist's outside-the-box thinking, art and lifestyle. Tropical flora brighten the grounds of this waterfront attraction. The gift shop sells Gauguin reproductions and prints. Admission is approximately $4.00 (American currency is accepted).
The Arahoho Blow Hole
The Arahoho Blow Hole is a lavatube that flows from the hillside, under the roadway and into the sea. As the ocean waves rush into the lavatube, they compress the air inside causing air and water to blow out of holes both on the volcanic beach and across the road next to the cliff. The black volcanic rock, black sand, green palm trees, blue waters, crashing waves and surfers make this a great place for taking photos.
The Vaimahutu Falls
The Vaimahuta Waterfall - also called the Great Waterfall - is 150 feet tall and is located in Tefaaruumai Valley . The five to ten minute hike to the base of the falls from the parking lot is extremely rocky and very slippery but well worth every step. There are several waterfalls in Tahiti but the Vaimahutu is the easiest to get to. It is beautiful from every angle.
The Taharaa Lookout Panoramic View
The Taharaa Lookout Panoramic View offers a spectacular view of the city of Papeete with Tahiti's sister-island Moorea in the background. This is also one of the most popular and dangerous surfing spots on the island. The black sand beaches, groups of acrobatic surfers and panoramic view offer a great opportunity for some unique vacation photos.
Venus Point is a historical site where numerous navigators and missionaries originally arrived in Tahiti. The lighthouse was built by Queen Pomare IV in memory of famed explorer Captain James Cook. The park and beach are popular with locals. The black sand beach offers a great view of the volcanic mountains on the other side of the lagoon. It is quite simply a beautiful place for a refreshing swim.
Adventure Eagle Tours with William Leeteg was the highlight of our visit to Papeete, Tahiti. We strongly recommend Adventure Eagle Tours.