Tahiti Waterfalls / French Polynesia Waterfalls (South Pacific)

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Tahiti Waterfalls were the scenic accents to our favorite of the tropical islands. Of all the tropical island getaways that Julie and I have been to, we think none can compare to Tahiti (more formally French Polynesia). Overwater bungalows, colored lagoons, beaches with shallow sandbars and lagoons that stretch far from islets or motus, sharp peaks rising from each island's interior... It's no wonder why Tahiti is practically synonymous with one's idea of what a South Pacific paradise is like.

Indeed, the waterfalls were the icing on the cake. However, we contend that they also gave this tropical paradise the "substance" that affirmed to us that tropical islands were nothing more than artificial pleasures often associated with the Western notion of paradise. Indeed, while most visitors spend their time living it up in paradise, seeing waterfalls gave us the opportunity to experience paradise on a much deeper level.

The French Polynesian waterfalls that we have been to so far are on the larger islands of Tahiti and Moorea (part of the Society Islands group, which also includes the Leeward Island of Bora Bora). These larger islands tend to have the high mountains and deep gulches and valleys that seem to receive a large portion of the rains - most of which fall in the Wet Season (typically November through April). So tall waterfalls like Cascade de Fachoda as well as the Faarumai Waterfalls are among the more dramatic examples of what Tahiti has to offer.

Then, there are also more intimate types of waterfalls like the Vaipahi Falls as well as those that require a bit of an adventure like the Afareaitu Waterfalls in Moorea.

So far, we haven't found any on Bora Bora though it's entirely possible that there are some watercourses on the main part of the island since Mt Otemanu and some of its neighboring mountains scrape the sky enough to get moisture from some of the low tropical clouds. However, as of our latest visit in 2012, self-driving no longer seemed to be a feasible option so riding bicycles might be the way to go.

And finally, we have yet to go to the Marquesas Islands, which was made famous by the very first season of the TV show "Survivor." However, we know there are a few giant waterfalls over there and it's definitely on my wish list as its remoteness, ruggedness, and sense of mystery beckons.

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To get a glimpse of what each waterfall looks like, check out the table below. Click on the waterfalls to read more about them.

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Tahiti Island

Cascade de Fachoda or Fautaua Waterfall 4 Cascade de Fachoda (Fautaua Waterfall)
Fautaua, Tahiti Island

Vaimahutu Falls (one of the Faarumai Waterfalls) 3.5 Vaimahutu Falls (Faarumai Waterfalls)
Faarumai, Tahiti Island

Haamaremare Iti and Haamaremare Rahi 3 Haamaremare Iti and Haamaremare Rahi (Faarumai Waterfalls)
Faarumai, Tahiti Island

Vaiharuru Falls 2.5 Vaiharuru Falls
Hitiaa District, Tahiti Island

Vaipahi Falls 1 Vaipahi Falls
Papeari District, Tahiti Island

Vaiharuru Falls in Papenoo Valley 2.5 Papenoo Valley Waterfalls
Papenoo and Vaihiria Valleys, Tahiti Island

One of the more impressive falls in Tahiti Iti 1.5 Tahiti Iti Waterfalls
Tahiti Iti, Tahiti Island

A surprise waterfall behind Papeete 1 Tahiti Nui Waterfalls
Tahiti Nui, Tahiti Island

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Moorea Island

Putoa Falls 3 "Putoa Falls" (Afareaitu Waterfalls)
Afareaitu, Moorea Island

Vaioro Falls 2.5 "Vaioro Falls" (Afareaitu Waterfalls)
Afareaitu, Moorea Island

One of the unnamed falls seen in Moorea 1 Other Moorea Waterfalls
Moorea Island

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Have You Been To A South Pacific Waterfall?

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