The island nicknamed Vanilla Island is an authentic destination, of great beauty and still spared from mass tourism. This tranquility has a reason and not the least: the island is one of the only ones in the Society Archipelago to have no airport. Under these conditions, getting to Tahaa seems complicated. Fortunately, there is still the sea route to reach this little piece of paradise with a vanilla flavor.
First Step: Transit Through the Island of Raiatea
Raiatea is an important administrative center in French Polynesia. Easy to access, the island has its own airport and daily air links with Tahiti. It shares the same lagoon with its neighbor Tahaa, with only 5 km between them. Because of these short distances, the most convenient way to get to Tahaa from Tahiti is to fly to Raiatea.
The airline Air Tahiti takes care of the connections, also Air Moana, and offers you a choice of basic round-trip flights or its famous multi-island passes. This second option is very advantageous if you wish to visit other islands of the archipelago. For a first experience of French Polynesia, we recommend the Bora Pass which combines the islands of Raiatea, Moorea, Huahine, Bora Bora and Maupiti in the same itinerary.
Second Step: Go to Tahaa From Raiatea
Shuttles From Uturoa
When you arrive at Raiatea airport, you will have to go to Uturoa pier, from where the shuttles leave for Tahaa. The trip from the airport can be done very quickly thanks to the agency Taxi Warren: count about ten minutes and dollars for the trip.
Several companies offer their services to go to Tahaa, which makes the frequency of shuttles very satisfactory. However, the service is reduced on weekends. On the other hand, the shuttles do not only reach the Vaitoare pier in the south of the island. Indeed, transfers also go to the east coast (Haamene and Faaaha) and the west coast (Tapuamu). It is therefore important to find out where you are going before you embark. Depending on where you want to go, travel times vary. Count 15 mins to Vaitoare (South), 30 mins to Haamene (East) and almost 70 mins to Tapuamu (West).
For regular shuttles with fixed schedules, you can use the services of Enota Transport Maritime (ETM) and Tahaa Transport Rapide (TTR). Schedules are adjusted regularly according to demand and weather conditions. Depending on the destination, the price of transportation is about $13 per person.
Usual Schedules of the Shuttle
It is important to note that these schedules are subject to change. We advise you to contact the shuttle companies directly to obtain the most recent schedules and information on possible disruptions.
From Monday to Friday
- Departure from Raiatea: 7:00 am, 8:00 am, 12:00 pm, 3:30 pm and 5:00 pm
- Departure from Tahaa: 6:30 am, 7:45 am, 9:45 am, 1:45 pm and 4:45 pm
- Departure from Raiatea: 11:00 am and 6:00 pm
- Departure from Tahaa: 7:15 am and 4:15 pm
Sunday and Holidays
- Departure from Raiatea: 10:30 am and 6:00 pm
- Departure from Tahaa: 7:45 am and 5:15 pm
Please note: no shuttle service is offered on public holidays.
Getting to Tahaa by Water Cab
In case of late flight connections, you may miss the last regular shuttle. Don’t panic! There is still the alternative of water cabs offered by the Temana Tours/Tahaa Locations agency. This one will bring you to your destination from the landing stage of Uturoa airport. The fare is inevitably more expensive. But this convenient solution will save you a lot of stress.
Transfers Organized by the Hotels
Hotels in Tahaa provide their own transfer service to and from the airport in Raiatea. On board a private shuttle, you will reach your accommodation very quickly. Count on up to $130 per person for a round trip. To benefit from the highest quality services, we recommend that you book your transfer with Taha’a by Pearl Resorts or La Pirogue Api Hotel. This is an all-comfort package. In addition, this solution is essential for all accommodations located on the motus off the main island.
Third Step: Reaching Your Accommodation in Tahaa
Once you have arrived on the island of Tahaa, you must now reach your accommodation. We recommend that you go directly to your hotel or guesthouse. After arrangement, your host will pick you up at your pier and drive you quickly to your destination. This service is not included in the general price of the accommodation and requires an average supplement of $25 per couple.
Trust your hosts who will welcome you with enthusiasm and friendliness. This first contact will assure you of Polynesian hospitality and will also allow you to quickly familiarize yourself with this new environment. On the way, your hosts will be able to show you where the restaurants and shops are. Welcome to Tahaa!
Which Itinerary in French Polynesia?
Your bags are packed and you will be able to enjoy the Vanilla Island. Between visiting a vanilla plantation and going out on the lagoon, there is many activities in Tahaa. Do you need advice? Contact us today to plan your next trip to French Polynesia.