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One of French Polynesia’s best-known islands is beautiful to the eye: mountains, jungles and coral reefs surround the cosmopolitan city at its heart.

Of the 118 archipelagos in the South Pacific, none are bigger than sun-drenched Tahiti, garnering the island the moniker “Queen of the Pacific”. Its metropolitan centre, Papeete, is a hub for culture and the capital of French Polynesia.

Explore the populated northwestern region of the island, Tahiti Nui, by renting a car or asking a friendly local for a ride in their boat. While there’s a coastal freeway on the island, it doesn’t extend as far as Tahiti Iti in the southeast, making it an adventure- lovers’ dream. Take a boat or explore the area on foot.

Discover the local history and the impact that black pearls had on the island’s economy at the Pearl Museum, or pick up handcrafted jewellery from boutiques at Quartier du Commerce. Sample tropical fruits and drinks at the nearby Marché Municipal.

Blending the culinary styling of the French and the local islanders, Tahitian cuisine is a bold and flavourful experience. While eating out in Tahiti isn’t normally a budget option, in downtown Papeete you’ll find food trucks, known as roulottes, serving affordable local dishes. Pick up a plate of poisson cru, a serving of fish cooked in lime juice and coconut milk. 



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