The Papenoo Valley, Tahiti
Tahiti: A world where entrenched Polynesian culture collides with the added flair of French sophistication. A land where the wild mountainous landscapes appear to plunge into the most unbelievably surreal coloured waters. Black sand beaches hug the coastline while valleys and mountainsides filled with towering waterfalls provide the most dramatic backdrop you've ever appreciated. Undoubtedly remote, The Islands of Tahiti are sure to leave you speechless from the moment you arrive, all while allowing you to disengage from the worries of the world - Welcome to Tahiti.
PAPENO'O, FRENCH POLYNESIA
What's a visit to Tahiti without venturing into the wild jungles and mountains of the main island - Tahiti Nui. Not possible you say? Think again! Departing from your hotel in Papeete, Teiva, from Tahiti Discovery will be your guide for either a half-day or full day tour of Maroto Valley (also known as Papenoo Valley).
First stop: The black sand beaches of Papenoo enroute to Maroto Valley. Experience the stretch of black sand before entering into the valley. Unlike your regular white sand beaches, the volcanic black sand beaches of Tahiti are truly unique and offer the perfect contrast between the ocean before you and mountains behind you.
VALLEE DE PAPENOO, PAPENO'O, FRENCH POLYNESIA
Journeying onward to Maroto Valley, Teiva will safely lead you through his homeland and into the most wild and raw landscapes of the valley, allowing for stops at many of the numerous waterfalls along the way. While a portion of the waterfalls in Maroto Valley can't be seen unless there's been substantial rainfall, the sheer volume of waterfalls you see from the very start is phenomenal, regardless.
Venturing further into the mountains, the clouds become thicker, the mountains taller and the volume of each waterfall intensifies. Crawling and weaving your way in the back of a Jeep through torrents of passing water and scaling muddy terrain are all part of the adventure with Tahiti Discovery. Teiva will indicate points of cultural interest on the way, outlining the importance of previous generations and landscape formations.
The photo opportunities are constant. We made the return journey after lunch and stopped a few more times to admire the beauty of the valley and capture the power and force of more waterfalls on display. There are not many places in the world where you can experience the combination of white and black sand deserted beaches coupled with the most dramatic jungle mountainsides within such a short distance of one another.
PAPENO'O, FRENCH POLYNESIA
Included in the day tour is a stop for lunch at Relais de la Maroto atop an isolated mountainside edge, overlooking wild and prehistoric jungle cladded spines of the valley. Beneath, rages a quick flowing river that churns its way downstream, originating from the mountains above, mostly shrouded in cloud and concealed by heavy rain. The view from the balcony of the Relais de la Maroto restaurant at lunch is incredible - breathtaking.
BP 2851 PUNAVAI, PUNA'AUIA 98703, FRENCH POLYNESIA
Upon returning from the trip, why not sit back, relax and soak up the sunrise over Moorea after a full day exploring the jungles by four-wheel drive. We stayed at The Manava Suite Resort, which looks directly out over Moorea, the closest neighbouring island. Afternoons deliver sunset over the water. Just to make the whole experience even more incredible, you can enjoy the entire sunset right from the edge of the infinity pool.
If you're searching for the ultimate adventure, whilst visiting Papeete, Tahiti Discovery is the perfect option. The tour is adventurous, exciting and also delivers important cultural messages. Lunch is catered for on full day tours, tour sizes are small and the overall experience is perfect in any weather.