In search of local specialties, you are looking for beautiful souvenirs from Tahiti, whether it is decorative or practical. Visit the famous market in Papeete and the lesser-known stores where the best deals are often found. As a reminder, most of them are open on weekdays until 4pm, only in the morning on Saturdays and closed on Sundays and holidays. Here are some tips to help you find great souvenirs from Tahiti.

1. Best Souvenirs From Tahiti: Monoi Oils

Probably the best souvenir to bring back from Tahiti will be the perfumes and essential oils of Polynesia. These particular and inimitable scents will instantly remind you of your past trip. They are also wonderful gifts to give to your loved ones. All the more perfect because they fit easily in your suitcase.

Monoi, used in Tahitian massages, is obtained from the maceration of Tiare flowers

Monoi oil has nourishing and rehydrating properties. It is ideal for body and hair care. You can also use it during a Tahitian massage. Moreover, it releases a delicious perfume: that of the flowers of Tiare of Tahiti. This beauty ritual will take you back to the scents of Polynesia.

For your purchases, we recommend the Parfumerie Tiki in Papeete, certainly the best one. Monoi oil is available according to your taste and perfume preferences. You will also find a large choice of soaps and shampoos. Very reasonable prices and a charming welcome: you will find here the perfect souvenirs to bring back from Tahiti.

2. Tasty Souvenirs From Tahiti: Vanilla Beans

Vanilla from the Polynesian islands is among the purest in the world. There is no comparison with the artificial flavors you can buy in North America or Europe. Real vanilla has an extraordinary aroma and its flavor is incomparable. It is a great souvenir to bring back from your trip: prepare yourself to cook delicious dishes that will immediately make you feel nostalgic about your Polynesian stay.

Vanilla from a plantation in Tahaa

To get the best vanilla possible, we recommend a trip to the islands of Raiatea and Tahaa, where there are many vanilla farms and where you can buy directly from the producer. Tahaa is nicknamed Vanilla Island. Don’t worry, you will also find vanilla in Tahiti, especially at the market in Papeete. A small precaution however: make sure you buy ripe and prepared vanilla beans. Otherwise, they will be waterlogged and unfit for consumption.

3. Musical Souvenirs From Tahiti: Ukulele

During your stay in Tahiti and its islands, you will quickly notice that music is very often present. From the time you arrive at Tahiti Faa’a International Airport to your excursions on the lagoon, life flows to the sound of the ukulele. This four-stringed musical instrument is the pride of the Polynesians. Why not get one?

Ukuleles in a shop in Tahiti, French Polynesia

The ukulele can be both a decorative object or a perfect companion for budding musicians. For the beauty of the object, you will find many models in exotic wood at the market of Papeete. If you plan to play the instrument, it is best to approach street vendors, taking care to choose the most music-loving among them. They will be able to give you good advice, especially for the return transport (preferably in a waterproof bag with a humidifier). According to the range, the price of a ukulele varies from $100 to $450.

4. A Typical Garment: Sarong (Pareo)

Emblematic of Polynesia, the sarong is a loincloth that is tied or draped around the waist. Despite its bright and warm colors, it would be wrong to think that it is a simple beachwear and even more wrong to think that it is reserved for women. In Polynesia, men and women wear the sarong on all occasions. It is the customary garment in the local culture.

The pareo, a souvenir to bring back from Tahiti

You can easily get one in Papeete. Whether in the street, at the market or in the stores, you will have the choice as there are so many models. It is even possible to personalize the sarong according to your preference. This light and intimate outfit will accompany you during your sunny afternoons at home. A souvenir from Tahiti that is all the more appreciable because it is easy to pack in your suitcase.

5. The Essential Jewel: Tahitian Pearl

The Tahitian black pearl is a natural wonder. Its colors are multiple and its brilliance is incomparable. It can be worn as a pendant, necklace or bracelet to create the perfect piece of jewelry. The most sought-after ones are absolutely black and perfectly round in shape. In Tahiti, you will find pearls at reasonable prices and of varying quality depending on your budget.

Tahitian Black Pearl produced in Rangiroa, French Polynesia

The regulations on the sale and export of pearls are very strict in French Polynesia. It is imperative that you ask the seller to give you a certificate of authenticity to avoid possible customs surcharges at the airport. Also, you can only bring back with you a maximum of ten naked pearls (i.e. not mounted in jewelry, nor pierced).

False Good Ideas

Bringing Back a Tattoo

In Polynesia, getting a tattoo is much more than an aesthetic question. In the Maohi culture, the tattoo has an initiatory character. It symbolizes the passage to adulthood, the full and complete adhesion to the community. Its ethnic motifs tell an intertwined story: yours and that of the ancient legends.

Therefore, you cannot relegate tattooing to the rank of a tourist attraction. The decision to get a tattoo must be carefully thought out. It is part of a more global understanding of Mana, the power of beings and elements in Polynesian culture. So, soak up the spirit of the islands before you decide to get a tattoo.

Bring Back Sand From Tahiti

Charmed by the Polynesian islands, you might want to bring back some Tahitian sand in your luggage. If this is not yet illegal in French Polynesia, it is nevertheless extremely harmful for the environmental balance. Indeed, it could lead to deep alterations of the coastline. In itself, taking a handful of sand is nothing, but thousands would definitely damage the Tahiti beaches. An advice: keep this precious memory in your mind.

Despite the Return, You Will Not Forget Tahiti and Her Islands

The day of return is approaching. The gifts you bought will delight your loved ones and sometimes remind you of your Polynesian adventure. However, the real memories will last forever. Prepare your trip to Tahiti and fly to Polynesia. Contact us for the organization of your next stay.