Four of us were picked up at our hotel by Bernie of Maramar Tours (email@example.com and www.maramartours.com ) for a private, full day circle island tour. We had several recommendations for guides but Michael Faye was the most responsive and had a reasonable price. Several of our other contacts never replied to our email inquiries and the others quoted outrageous prices. The tour is actually about five or six hours but we were able to see the entire island including Tahiti Iti. Our guide was extremely well versed in just about everything there was to know about Tahiti from the history, the flora & fauna and the many scenic places to visit. I think we hit them all. Be sure to stop at Point Venus. This overlooks the bay where Captain Cook set up camp as well as where Captain Bligh anchored the HMS Bounty. We went on a short nature trail up to a beautiful waterfall. We saw a blow hole along the shore as well as breadfruit trees and many birds. We stopped at the Paul Gauguin Museum but it was closed for renovations. I must say, however, it is not a very impressive place and we were told that none of the Gauguin paintings are there so I don’t feel bad about missing it.
While Tahiti is a tropical island paradise, it is one of the larger islands and is fairly heavily populated having about 175,000 people. They have a fairly good infrastructure but the local traffic is very heavy especially at rush hours. There are some new and modern buildings in the environs of Papeete but the city is getting kind of “tired” looking. The world economic slowdown has taken its toll here.
All in all, the tour was excellent and our guide was very knowledgable and pleasant.
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