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Black Sand & Surfing: Tahiti's Best Beaches

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Tahiti is famous for its black-sand beaches and also for inventing surfing. The most legendary wave, Teahupoo, is a reef break located on the island's southern tip, home to the Billabong Pro surf competition each year. But there are also less intense waves to ride, and some beautiful black-sand beaches to sunbathe on. The sand gets its dark hue from lava, and the contrast in colors is spectacular at sunset.
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Pā'ea, French Polynesia
If you need to hone your surfing skills, no worries, Tahiti has some fabulous beginner breaks plus warm water! Tura'i Mataare Surf School offers private and small group surf lessons to anyone over the age of 5-years. The 3 hour and 30 minute...
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Papeno'o, French Polynesia
Tahiti's East Coast is filled with surf spots, both reef and shore breaks off black sand beaches, and also has some of the best consistent beginner waves on the island. At PK 14.5 you'll find Papenoo, which is an excellent spot for beginners with...
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Teahupo'o, French Polynesia
Tahiti Iti, Tahiti's smaller sister island that's connected to the main island at the southeast coast, is home to one of the most famous surfing waves in the Pacific, Teahupoo. This powerful reef break most certainly should not be attempted...
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On the west coast of the island there are three excellent surf breaks. At PK 38.7 you'll find Papara, which is a popular shore break with easy access from the road. Waves are moderately challenging, but beware of strong currents in a heavy swell....
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Tahiti, French Polynesia
Maui Beach is a rare white sand beach in Tahiti. It can get very crowded on weekends, but is peaceful during weekdays. It located right on the road but has shallow swimming, making it perfect for kids, as well as deeper spots for adults and some...
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French Polynesia

My first encounter with a black sand beach was in Tahiti and talk about a gem, having it all to myself. 

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Puna'auia, French Polynesia
On Tahiti's west coast, the area around Punaauia town has some lovely stretches of black and white beaches between PK10 and PK15. This is considered Tahiti's gold coast of sorts, as it is home to some of the most expensive real estate on the...