Balance the Modern and Ancient in The Society Islands
The main island of Tahiti is a great place to get a feel for the region’s contemporary side—and fuel up at the roulottes (food trucks) lining the waterfront. Beyond its capital of Papeete, a 4-wheel-drive safari through the lush interior can bring you to the archeological sites and pre-European ruins of the Papenoo and Papearii Valleys. Next, set out for the other Society Islands to plumb their history. On Raiatea, the Taputapuatea national monument features dozens of marae (sacred communal gathering spaces) and shrines. Meanwhile, on Huahine , mountains and shimmering lagoons provide a backdrop for anthropologist-led tours of temples and villages. And you’ll experience one of the region’s richest traditions in action with a visit to a vanilla plantation on Taha’a. Learn how the signature bean is harvested and processed—and enjoy a taste or two.