Tahiti vs Hawaii: The Ultimate Comparison Guide

Tahiti and Hawaii are two popular holiday destinations in the pacific, separated by almost 3,000 miles of water.

Both islands are famous for their white sand beaches, laid-back vibes, friendly people, and breathtaking views. A visit to either destination would be an excellent choice.

To help compare which destination is best for you to visit, we are going to break it down into smaller segments.

Tahiti vs Hawaii, Round 1: Accommodation

tahiti vs hawaii accommodation

Both Tahiti and Hawaii have an extensive selection of accommodation options; from hostels to beach bungalows, to family resorts to luxury villas. With that being said, Tahiti is more of a remote location, with much fewer resorts to choose from.

In regards to accommodation prices, Tahiti tends to be much cheaper than Hawaii. Of course, that is putting aside the luxury overwater bungalows that wrongly define French Polynesia.

Accommodation in Hawaii is on the higher end of the scales, with the average cost of a hotel room setting you back almost £200 per night.

However, to find the best deal in either destination, it’s important to book far in advance.

Tahiti vs Hawaii, Round 2: Food

hawaiian food
Hawaiian poke coconut bowl with grilled salmon fish, rice and avocado.

Food is often another deciding factor when choosing where to visit. You have plenty to eat in Hawaii, while there are somewhat limited options in Tahiti.

Asides from its white sand beaches and clear blue waters, Hawaii is also renowned for its diverse selection of delicious cuisine. Some of the dishes that you must try include a Hawaiian Plate, Saimin, Poke, and cow pig burger buns.

Tahiti has fewer options, with a traditional meal usually consisting of fish. Despite there being less choice, you can always find a simple meal for relatively cheap.

You certainly won’t go hungry in either destination, but Hawaii is our winner for this one thanks to their huge selection of tasty dishes.

Tahiti vs Hawaii, Round 3: Weather

hawaii weather

The weather in both Tahiti and Hawaii are somewhat similar, and usually warm all-year-round. There are only really two seasons: summer, which is from May to October and winter which lasts from November to April.

The water tends to be warmer in Tahiti, whereas in Hawaii the ocean can feel cold and sometimes difficult to swim due to rough currents.

One thing’s for sure, wherever you choose to go you’re going to be in for plenty of sunshine.

Also Read  Is Hawaii Expensive? (The Ultimate Travel Costs Guide)

Tahiti vs Hawaii, Round 4: Nightlife

nightlife in hawaii and tahiti

In Hawaii, you will never run out of places to go during the night. By far the best locations to enjoy the nightlife is either Honolulu or Oahu. From small local bars to vibrant nightclubs and incredible beach lounges, in Hawaii you can find it all.

One drawback to Tahiti is the lack of nightlife options. French Polynesia is more of a remote getaway and is much smaller and less developed than its counterpart. You can find the odd bar, but don’t expect any wild parties.

To summarise: if you’re young, and looking for a place to party until the early hours of the morning, then visit Hawaii. If you would rather a more relaxed and quiet evening, then Tahiti is the best choice for you.

Tahiti vs Hawaii, Round 5: Cost 

cost of living

Both Hawaii and Tahiti are considered expensive destinations when compared with places like Southeast Asia. 

Generally, Hawaii is cheaper than Tahiti. With plenty more choices on accommodation and food, it’s much easier to find a better deal in Hawaii. Flights are also typically more expensive flying to Frech Polynesia. 

On average, you can expect to spend at least £180 a day in Tahiti. Here is a breakdown of expenses: 

  • Accommodation (£100 per night)
  • Food (£40 per day)
  • Alcohol (£20 per day)
  • Entertainment (£20 per day)

In Hawaii, we recommend budgeting at least £150 per day. Here is a breakdown of expenses: 

  • Accommodation (£100 per night)
  • Food (£30 per day)
  • Alcohol (£10 per day)
  • Entertainment (£10 per day)

Tahiti vs Hawaii, Round 6: Entertainment 

entertainment diving

There is plenty of fun and exciting things to do in both Tahiti and Hawaii. Visiting waterfalls, seeing mountains, going diving, and wandering around some of the many museums are just a few of the activities you can experience.

Some of the things that you can’t miss when visiting Hawaii are snorkelling with Sharks, diving with Manta Rays, hiking the Kalalau Trail, and visiting the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

The most popular activities in Tahiti include hiking Fautaua Waterfall, visiting the ancient Polynesian temples, swimming in the black sand beaches, and of course, no trip would be complete with without seeing a glimpse of the famous overwater bungalows.

So, which destination has more to offer?

Well, it’s hard to say. But it’s fair to assume that you won’t run out of things to do in either place.

Also Read  Mosquitoes in Hawaii (Everything You Need To Know)

Tahiti vs Hawaii, Round 7: Beaches

hawaii vs tahiti beaches

You won’t be disappointed with the beaches in Tahiti or Hawaii. White-sand beaches, crystal blue waters, and graceful palm trees – it’s tough to say anything bad about either destination.

By far the biggest difference between the two seems to be in the remoteness of Hawaii vs Tahiti. Here is a fact to illustrate the difference in the number of visitors: Hawaii gets more visitors in one day than Tahiti does in an entire year.

Because of this, it’s fair to say that it’s much easier to find a more exclusive and quiet beach in Tahiti. Nevertheless, you can still find remarkable private beaches in Hawaii if you hop to any of the nearby islands such as Oahu.

Tahiti vs Hawaii, Round 8: Shopping

hawaii shopping

In Tahiti, there are no major shopping malls or chain stores, but you will find a small amount of local shops and botiques to satisfy your needs. Shop around the area to try and find the best deals, but remember haggling is not normal in Tahiti and the prices are usually fixed.

For all of you shopping enthusiasts, you’ll be happy to know that Hawaii is a serious shopping destination. From malls and outlet stores to street markets and local boutiques, in Hawaii, there is something for everyone and every budget. Don’t miss Hawaii’s capital ‘Honolulu’, as it boasts the worlds largest outdoor shopping mall.

Tahiti or Hawaii? (The Conclusion)

Tahiti or Hawaii?
Image by Manie Van der Hoven from Pixabay

In our opinion, Hawaii wins in the search for the ultimate travel destination. Hawaii is a larger and more developed island, and although accommodation prices can be slightly higher, there are much better deals to be found in Hawaii when it comes to food and day to day activities.

If you’re looking for a remote island getaway with an exclusive experience, then choose Tahiti. If you’re looking for somewhere more affordable and vibrant, with a vast range of things to see and do, then visit Hawaii.

Whichever destination you choose, you won’t be disappointed. We’d love to hear your thoughts: which do you prefer, Tahiti or Hawaii? Let us know in the comments below!

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James Ardimento has spent the last 12 years journeying around the globe ! With its precious experiences and tips he gained around Asia, South America, Europe and the US he is a precious asset for this blog and for its readers