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.