Peter Greenberg is the
winning travel editor
for CBS News and host
of The Travel Detective
on public television
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got the best fresh pineapple juice. Then order
“The Plate,” which comes with more than ;; different Polynesian foods.
Just a ;;-minute drive west of the Moorea
Tropical Garden is Tiahura Beach, with its clear
and shallow waters. You can rent a small motorboat for about US;;; and spend the afternoon
surrounded by butterfly fish, parrotfish and
squirrelfish, and have the opportunity to swim
with friendly blacktip reef sharks and stingrays.
How about visiting a pearl farm and diving for
your very own pearl? Nothing will beat this experience on the island of Bora Bora. Visit The Farm
at the Bora Pearl Company, located on the southern tip of the island. You’ll put on a snorkeling
mask and go hunting for your very own Tahitian
pearl. A dive costs approximately US;;;;, but the
price includes the pearls you find.
Head south on the island’s only road for about
;; minutes until you arrive at a restaurant on the
beach called Chez Tara, a favorite local haunt with
an exceptional view of the sea. Order the poisson
cru: raw fish marinated with coconut milk, lemon
and salt, mixed with carrots and cucumbers.
For a bit of art, stop by the Galerie ‘Umatatea,
run by American expat Melanie Shook Dupre on
the northeastern part of the island. Dupre, originally from Ohio, has been living in Huahine for
approximately ;; years. Her paintings capture
the essence of Huahine life. C
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The lagoon along the
island of Bora Bora.
I’VE BEEN GOING to French Polynesia for more
than ;; years. And while the Society Islands
never disappoint, I’ve learned that the key to getting a deep immersion in the real flavor of the
islands of Tahiti is to visit the special areas only
the locals know.
Royal bathing pools in Papeete? Yup. There’s
a shaded garden right smack in the center of
Papeete you won’t find in the guidebooks. The
site used to be a royal palace that was demolished
in the ;;;;s. Thankfully they didn’t destroy the
gardens, and that’s where you’ll find a water-lily-filled pond and the royal bathing pool (sorry, no
swimming) with water that flows down to the sea
through Parc Bougainville.
On the west side of Papeete, there’s a great
beach the locals call PK;; because it’s near the
“;; km to Papeete” sign on the road. Snorkel
there during low tide, and you’ll see mullet, damselfish and triggerfish, and, if you swim farther
out, some great soft and hard coral formations.
Approximately ; miles northeast of Papeete,
you’ll find Point Venus, a little-known black-sand beach. Point Venus gets its name from the
voyages of Captain Cook, around ;;;;, who was
on a mission to cover the transit of the planet
Venus crossing the sun.
In Tahiti alone, there are more than ;; different hiking trails. One hidden gem is the
Fautaua Valley hike, where you’ll see one of the
most incredible waterfalls the island has to offer:
the Fautaua Waterfalls, almost ;,;;; feet high.
You just need to buy a US;; permit to hike the
trail, (at the Papeete Town Hall).
Whenever I’m in Papeete, I walk along a
small, run-down street west of the cathedral and
adjacent to the Anne-Marie Javouhey College,
where I find a restaurant called L’O à la Bouche.
Order the moonfish special with curry sauce.
In Moorea, try Les Tipaniers, a hotel/restau-rant at kilometer ;; on the coastal road. It’s loved
by the locals and the French expats who live on
the island. I recommend their fresh lagoon fish
with a traditional Tahitian vanilla sauce.
Or have lunch at the Moorea Tropical
Garden, on the northern portion of the island,
with stunning views of Opunohu Bay. They’ve
The islands of
Tahiti The overwater bungalows, such as the ones pictured here in Moorea, are celebrating their 50th anniversary.