Our 2nd Honeymoon in Paradise – A Day in Papeete

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Papeete Roulottes

Daraius at Venus Point in Papeete

On our last day in French Polynesia, Daraius and I took the the ~$7 shuttle from the Hilton to Vaitape and then took the free Air Tahiti boat to the airport.  This was about $90 cheaper than the direct airport transfer from the Hilton.  The Hilton took our luggage to the airport for us on their boat and left it at the Hilton counter at the airport ready to be picked up by us.

After we arrived at the airport, we got some lunch, but missed getting the good seats on the right side of the plane.

The flight was short from Bora Bora to Papeete, Tahiti, and Daraius had booked a car through Avis since we had a 10 hour layover.  We waited at the Avis counter for around 30 minutes since no one was at the counter, and we started inquiring with the other agencies (Hertz, Europcar, etc) on their rates and availability.

By then the Avis rep showed up so we continued with our reservation.

Papeete Roulottes

Our Rental Car

We drove to Cash and Carry, a big supermarket ~5 minutes drive from the airport.

Papeete Roulottes

Emily Outside Cash & Carry

We love browsing through foreign stores, but wondered how folks check out the bicycles before buying them!

Papeete Roulottes

Apples & Bicycles

Cash & Carry was like a regular supermarket and had an assortment of European and American goods together as well as lower prices on Tahitian local products and souvenirs. We stocked up on more souvenirs since the prices were so good.  I’m a huge fan of the Monoi Tiki Tahiti body oils.

Papeete Roulottes

Cash & Carry

We then drove to the city market (marche municipal) and looked around.

Papeete Roulottes

Outside the City Market

It was a nice market but most of the shops had closed by the time we arrived.

Papeete Roulottes

Papeete Roulottes

We did get a few things to bring back that we didn’t find in the supermarket.

Papeete Roulottes

Lots of Colors

After that, we drove to Venus Point and watched the sunset.

Papeete Roulottes

Sunset at Venus Point

There were lots of families laying by the beach, listening to music on the boomboxes, and playing soccer.

Papeete Roulottes

Our Last Sunset in Paradise

It was a gorgeous view with the sea and mountains.  We also saw the lighthouse…

Papeete Roulottes


..and the memorial to the descendents of the HMS Bounty.

Papeete Roulottes

HMS Bounty Memorial

After Venus Point, we went to the outdoor food stalls, or roulottes.

Papeete Roulottes

Papeete Roulottes

…and checked out the menus of the various food trucks.

Papeete Roulottes

Papeete Roulottes Menu

The food was reasonably priced at about 1,100 XOF (~$12) per entree, but was more expensive than I thought.

Papeete Roulottes

Papeete Roulottes Menu

There were crepes…

Papeete Roulottes


And lots of food with Chinese and Asian food.

Papeete Roulottes

Behind The Scenes

It was so nice seeing all of the families there with their children so excited to be eating out.

Papeete Roulottes

Family Dining

The place had a real community feel to it and there was lovely live music as well. To our surprise, we ran into blogger Bart Lapers at the roulottes!

Daraius decided on some fish curry and a fish kebab for dinner.  I had some Powerbars waiting for me in the car since it was too risky for me to eat because of my fish allergy.

Papeete Roulottes

Fish for Dinner

Most places had just one pan, fryer, or grill for cooking food and there was fish all over the menus, so the risk of cross contamination was high.

Papeete Roulottes

One Grill

After dinner we drove back to the airport, sad that we couldn’t spend more time in French Polynesia.

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41 responses to “Our 2nd Honeymoon in Paradise – A Day in Papeete

  1. I really do like you blog, but holy cow this is the longest trip report ever, and a little bit of an over kill.

  2. Is it just me or is this the longest honeymoon ever? Let’s move on!

  3. Are bow ties expensive in Bora Bora?

  4. Thanks for sharing Emily!

  5. Thanks for sharing the details,Daraius. Its sure is helpful,ignore the ungrateful comments.

  6. I personally don’t think it is too long of a trip report. If you don’t like it, don’t read it.

  7. You should create an Instagram for your travels. Unless you already have one!

  8. I find it interesting because it is somewhere I am thinking of going. So good job on the trip report.

  9. I find this very useful too because I’d like to plan a trip there. Keep up the great trip reports, Daraius!

  10. I might go there too, one day. Great post.

  11. It is great to see a travel blog that shows more than just airlines, airline lounges, and hotels. This is truly traveling and immersing in the culture of the country. Bravo to you sir!

    After reading the other travel blogs, I feel they all show the same thing: first class air travel and food and 5 star hotel rooms and food. This breaks the monotony.

  12. Just curious...

    Does Emily have a fish allergy?

  13. Usually I am more interested in Mileage earning strategies. Pics and what we did articles are nice but we usually cut our own path.

  14. I agree; trip reports from sundry first classes are a dime a dozen. An in depth report that explores local culture, logistics, and offers fun details from a young couple in love is far more valuable and a break from the monotony of first class seat after first class seat. I say keep going with these excellent long-form reports.

  15. Please go to Zanzibar for a future anniversary and let us know what you think. Was there over 15 years ago and would love to see a FF blogger there.

  16. Another great thing about these reports are the photos. Images rock.

  17. I happen to like seeing stuff like this, it gives me an idea of what my wife and I could do on our second honeymoon lol Haters will always hate. If they don’t like it, they don’t have to read it.

  18. I’ve been planning our honeymoon to Moorea and Bora Bora for May and your trip report has been extremely helpful. Thank you for the detailed posts, abundant pictures, and travel tips!

  19. @Just curious– Yes, I do have a fish allergy so I have to be extra careful with the food I eat, especially when we travel.

  20. Daraius, how long do you think it is enough to explore Papeete? I have a choice of flight from BoraBora to PPT at either 9:45am or 12:30pm? And my flight away from PPT is at 12am midnight. Do you think 1pm – 9pm is enough to drive around the island?


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  26. I loved reading this! Thank you for the documented trip reports!

    We’re planning a trip and I’m a researcher so this is perfect.

  27. .Your blog is extremely helpful. Im just about to book our trip to Hilton moorea & the fact you’ve gone to so much effort with documenting everything with pictures as well is saving me alot of time. Your blog has given me all the right info to go well prepared. Thanky

  28. invaluable info, I love the detail and the photos! thank you so much

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  33. Thank you sooooo much for sharing your experiences in this trip. We have reservation for May to go there. Your report is been very very helpful. I enjoyed reading it.
    Nice work!

  34. Daraius, my flight from Bora Bora lands at 4:30pm and my departing flight back to the U.S. leaves at 11:59pm. Do you think this is enough time to rent a car at the airport, drive to venus point, peak at the black sand beaches, then eat at the food trucks on the drive back? If I get in my rental by 5pm, and return to the airport by 9pm that would give me 4 hours – do you think it’s doable? Love the blog – has been a tremendous help.

  35. Is it easy to get Hilton to take your bags directly to the airport?

  36. Your Papeete day hardly merits the virtual space you took up… why did you identify the Carrefour, proud French supermarketers, as the “Cash and Carry”? In case the Duck Trophy fam arrive from US? No pictures of the exquisite women braiding their friends hair, just like Gaugin caught? (they’re by any pool or beach) and to post the ugly American war-type memorial as the only scenic point of interest was so callow, y’all oughta wear your bowties in like, Savannah or DesMoines or something.

    Papeete is full of very old traditions and people practicing skills from their ancestors. Also more modernly, you can ask the taxi driver to find you some good ganja, and he will take you to the end of the road where all the dudes sell “joints”; good bud wrapped up in tinfoil so if you’re caught it’s a misdemeanor… joints are fine in Tahiti. 🙂