Vanilla Island: Tahaa l’ile vanille

How can two islands within the same lagoon be so different?  Taha’a, the vanilla island is small, serene and surrounded by motus (sand islets).  Whereas Raiatea is the second largest island in the Society Archipelago (just behind Tahiti).  Since we have yet to visit Raitea, we will focus on Tahaa as it is a gem of an island.

Life is slow on Tahaa, the vanilla island, which can sweep you away into the traditional and tranquil life of the Tahitians.  The soft mountains are surrounded by tiny motus with bright, white sandy beaches.  The island is about 33 square miles and is home to just over 5,000 inhabitants.  It is known as the vanilla island.


Taha’a has almost 4,000 plant species on the island.  However, only 950 are considered indigenous to the island.  Of the 950 indigenous plants, 50 came from the wind, 200 came by sea and 700 were brought by birds.  Europeans brought most of the imported flora and fauna.  Overall the island is incredibly lush and colorful with a variety of plants and flowers to admire.

Vahine Island

We went to Vahine Island after we left Taha’a.  This is a private island and did not offer much to see besides the resort.  But what it did offer was wifi out in the bay!  Yippie.

Hurepiti Bay

We left early the next morning and headed to Hurepiti Bay (pronounced “her-a-pee-tee”) where we could easily get to shore to do a tour.

This was a deep, muddy bay with lots of coral heads and reefs surrounding each edge.  We dropped our hook in 16 meters and dragged.  We picked up the hook, dropped again in 12 meters, and let out 80 meters of chain before stuck.

Sugar Shack in Huripiti Bay

Sugar Shack in Hurepiti Bay

We were invited to go on a tour with 3 other boats and this is the best place to catch the start of the tour.  We hailed the operator, Noah on the radio and he offered wifi and a brief tour of the property.

Approaching the Vanilla Tour Property from the bay:

Vanilla Tours of Taha'a in Hurepiti Bay

Vanilla Tours of Taha’a in Hurepiti Bay

Walk About to the Peninsula

We decided to take a walk around the property, up to the road, and around the bay.  The road was asphalt part of the way then turned into a dirt/grass road.  We did get some gorgeous views of the bay.

Scenic stops along the tour

Scenic stops along the tour

We also captured a few pretty sunset photos.

Breathtaking sunset photos

Breathtaking sunset photos

Back to the boat for sunset and dinner.  We are all excited about our tour tomorrow.

1 thought on “Vanilla Island: Tahaa l’ile vanille

  1. Kat

    Spectacular indeed!! As beautiful as this is in your lovely review I’m sure it doesn’t compare to the beauty you captured in person. So happy you’re living the good life! Love you bunches! Xoxo

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