This atoll, Tetiaroa, is literally brimming with life. It’s all here, just waiting to be explored, by you. From guided excursions in kayaks to the outer limits of the atoll, to an invitation to learn how to play the ukulele or weave palm fronds into a work of art, there’s so much to discover and share.
Meet the keepers of the atoll
Exploring Tetiaroa on your own is one thing. But experiencing it through the naturalist guides from the Tetiaora Society is to live the life of a Polynesian. For years the Tetiaroa Society has conducted research on the atoll, strengthening its resilience to global change by restoring its ecosystems and preserving the history and culture that is unique to Tetiaroa.Learn More
Throughout your stay, we’ll arrange a variety of excursions in and around the motus of the atoll. Led by Tetiaroa Society guides, they’ll share their history, culture and stories as you discover the wildlife, flora, archeology, culture, and geology under the water, on land and in the sky. This is Tetiaroa. This is the true Polynesia.
Tetiaroa Ultimate Tour
Skim across the atoll by boat to watch sea birds from afar as they live and play on the protected motu we call “bird island.” A quick trip to another motu leads to a hopping-off point for a walk through primary forests that seem right out of the Jurassic era. Here, you might be lucky enough to spot a bright blue kaveu coconut crab that can grow up to 3 feet across while being mindful of ancient archeology sites just steps off the paths. No matter your interest, from history to wildlife, from water to land, the Ultimate Tour is a taste of Tetiaroa and the perfect place to start your explorations.
Adults & kids
Bird Discovery Tour
A short boat ride across shallow waters leads to bird sanctuary for 7 of the 10 species of sea birds who live, feed, and breed here year round. You’ll be sure to spot boobies, terns, noddies, and egrets –four of these 10 species that call Tetiaroa home. Other migratory birds also visit Tetiaroa as their summer residence.
Your guide will share the work Tetiaroa Society researchers carry out to study and learn about the habits of the flocks who live and work in harmony on the motu, the atoll, and beyond.
Adults & Kids
Hop aboard a boat as we set a course for the outer limits–toward the barrier reef that protects the atoll. As we move closer, we’ll drop anchor for a snorkeling tour through the coral gardens.
Supervised by a Tetiaroa Society Guide, you’ll see different types of coral firsthand and interact with a variety of sea life, from fish to sea cucumbers, and with some luck, stingrays and sharks. After just a few minutes, you’ll quickly learn how this entire ecosystem supports its inhabitants, with the coral serving as guardian to keep the Pacific Ocean at bay, and as the very foundation upon which the entire atoll is built.
Minimum age 12 years old
Must be a confident swimmer
A short boat ride leads to a pass between motus, a narrow waterway ideal for viewing life above and below the water. We’ll anchor a few feet offshore and let you explore the beach for crabs and other land animals before taking to the water in kayaks.
With a Tetiaora Society guide leading you, we’ll meander through calm waters to see nesting sea birds on the shore, schools of fish gliding effortlessly below, and the picturesque outlines of the motus in the distance. As you gaze at the swaying palms and lush foliage, it’s at that moment you’ll note, if only for a second, that you are indeed in the South Pacific. Just you, here with nature in this idyllic place called Tetiaroa.
adults and teens
must be in good physical condition
Go behind the scenes to learn how research, scientific studies, and innovation efforts led by the Tetiaroa Society become reality in a real-world environment. The Brando implements these ideas to show you how a world-class luxury resort can produce a climate-positive stay for guests. The Research Station is a live-work space for scientists and the starting point for a tour that’s all about how sustainability is practiced at the resort.
Highlights include a sea water air conditioning (SWAC) system used to cool your villa, organic gardens which supply our restaurants, and thousands of solar panels that provide electricity. The elements of this tour show how sustainability is adapted, practiced, and continually expanded in a luxury resort setting.
Adults and kids
Climb aboard a bike for a leisurely tour of the Onetahi motu, taking in a bit about the history, archeology, and spirituality of Polynesia. Led by Tetiaroa Society Guides, you’ll explore Polynesian temples on sacred sites, learn about the royalty who called the atoll home, and gain an understanding of the importance of nature to the Polynesian people and their culture.
adults and kids
A boat ride brings you to discover a bit of the history of Tetiaroa on Rimatu’u, the motu where Marlon Brando lived when he first came to the island.
Here you’ll find old buildings and archaeological sites, take a walk to a serene lake in the middle of the motu, and learn about indigenous plants and how Polynesians use them.
Minimum age 12 years old
must be a confident swimmer
We can create private tours with experiences that range from snorkeling to bird watching, walking on untouched white sand beaches, discovering ancient cultural sites or just relaxing in natural pools…Read More
You may want to combine elements of different excursions into one longer day. We can create private tours with experiences that range from snorkeling to bird watching, walking on untouched white sand beaches, discovering ancient cultural sites, or just relaxing in natural pools of water. We can even create a private picnic on a motu—the perfect end to the perfect day.
Polynesian Arts & Culture
Words don’t exist to describe what you’ll experience when our guides meet you, learn your name, then immediately set out to teach you about Polynesian life, culture, and art with a personal story or two thrown in. As the conversations easily flow as if between old friends, you’ll weave, sing, strum, and cook, not even aware that you’re always welcomed as part of this family, that you’ll always feel connected here.
Traditional Polynesian Dance
This is not the carefully choreographed Polynesian song and dance you’ve seen in other places. This is natural, authentic, from the heart, and from the soul.
We’ll teach you a few basic dance steps, then set it to live music and singing by our team. In this place and time, it’s you, not a care in the world, just a smile on your face as the moment is forever etched in your memory.
Pareu dying and tying
Out on the beach, with soft music playing live in the background, we’ll show you how to twirl and twist a pareu, a traditional Polynesian sarong into a shape, then soak it in a variety of colors to create a tye-dyed masterpiece. Hang it to dry, take it home, then wear it to the beach, the pool or anywhere you want to share a bit of your Polynesian spirit.
Adults and kids
Centuries of practice have taught Polynesians how to weave palm fronds into everything from roofs and baskets to hats and works of art.
Over time, the fronds fade to a light natural brown but retain all of their strength and durability. We’ll share how ancient traditions are still used today as you create your own woven work of art.
Adults & kids
Music lessons with ukulele, pahu, tō’ere
Polynesians have a love of music which they’ll share with you through the instruments they play. We’ll show you how to strum a few chords on a Tahitian ukelele or tap out a few beats on a pahu, a traditional Polynesian drum. In no time you’ll be able to play a simple melody, with our team singing along,as you take center stage in a Polynesian jam session.
adults and kids
no musical experience necessary
Modern and Polynesian spa treatments
Our spa sits on the very land where Tahitian royal families came for centuries to partake in beauty rituals. Now, as in the past, sarongs called pareu are worn as you traverse elevated walkways among lush tropical foliage to partake in modern treatments based on ancient rituals.
On Tetiaroa, a massage is so much more than a simple body therapy. Your arrival at a secluded space is just the beginning of your journey through a holistic experience to find your own harmony with nature, the Polynesian culture and people.
treatments can be booked through the spa
Custom Polynesian Experience
Interested in experiencing more Polynesian culture? We’ll introduce you to a local expert who will help craft an authentic experience customized just for you. From guided tours of ancient grounds on a motu to fireside storytelling, our expert will share experiences and stories that deepen your appreciation, understanding, and love of Polynesia. Contact our concierge for more information.
Beyond the atoll is the deep blue Pacific Ocean, home to a diverse ecosystem of marine mammals and the gateway to Tahiti, Bora Bora and the other islands of French Polynesia. Climb aboard to fish in the deep sea, swim with gentle giants, or fly away to the far-flung reaches of the South Pacific, if only for a day.
If you can dream it, we can create it. Craft your own itinerary for a few hours, or an entire day. Stay within the atoll, venture beyond the outer limit into the deep blue Pacific Ocean, or travel as far away as Tahiti and Bora Bora. Choose from the experiences we offer or challenge our team to share experiences only we know about.
Whale Watching & Swimming
In the months of August through October, the deep blue waters outside the atoll welcome humpback whales who come to mate and give birth before returning to the south pole. We’ll traverse the atoll and make our way outside to get a close-up view of the migrating whales as they swim, breach and slap their tails. If you’re lucky, our Tetiaroa Society Guide will spot a few whales and their calves within close range and suggest a snorkeling session, just you, a up close but a respectful distance from these giants of the deep.
Minimum age 12 years old
Must be strong swimmer
Deep Sea Fishing
With enough gear on board to catch a variety of species, you’ll motor outside the barrier reef of the atoll by boat and embark on a heart-pumping fishing adventure. Troll for surface dwelling game fish or go deep for some of the biggest fighters in the Pacific.
Whether you are a trained expert or an amateur, our crew will give you professional tips and make sure your prize catch won’t be the one that got away.
Adults & kids (12 years old minimum)
Untouched by humans, Tetiaroa is surrounded by crystal clear water with coral and vegetation that has to be seen to be believed.
The biodiversity of this place is unparalleled, with so many species of sea life in a small space, all living in harmony, as nature intended. As you round each outcropping of coral, sea cucumbers rest on the bottom, parrotfish nibble at the reef, and black-tip reef sharks and spotted eagle rays glide so close you can almost touch them. This is our nature. This is Tetiaroa.
2 hours (one dive 4 hours (two dives)
Diving certification required.
Away from shore, take an outrigger on the water for a fast-paced paddle, snorkel among reef sharks, rays and fish at the coral garden, or gently kayak across impossibly blue water just a few feet deep.
Stand Up Paddleboarding
Scuba Diving (Certification required)
Land Based Activities
Explore Onetahi on land as you bike along kilometers of pathways, take a walk along a self-guided nature trail, work up a sweat in the gym or during a game of pickleball, or venture over to the garden to see where the produce is grown that we serve at our restaurants.
Fitness Center / Coaching & Classes
Tetiaroa is a magical place for kids. The simple act of building a sandcastle on the beach as marine life swims gently by connects kids to the wonder of nature no matter their age. From sea turtles on the beach, and plant life in the forests, to life underwater just offshore, all have the power to change kids forever. Our programs bond kids to Polynesia in a way that makes a visit to Tetiraroa so much more meaningful than any other tropical vacation.
Lagoon School was conceived to give kids ages 6-12 a place to experience nature with other kids.
Led by Tetiaroa Society Guides, kids can spend time in four different sessions including snorkeling in the water among fish, coral, crabs, and sea cucumbers. On land, kids can follow the clues of a mysterious map on a forest walk to learn about plant life, and learn about Tetiaroa’s sea turtles.
2 to 2.5 hours per session
Varua Polynesian Spa Experiences for Kids
The spa welcome kids 8-12 with parents in the cabin to unwind and connect with the magic of tetiaroa through treatments designed specifically for them.
Kids can enjoy tailored sessions of massage, facial care, body scrubs, and manicures and pedicures. These treatments allow them to connect with the people and culture of the atoll to discover mana.
Kids ages 8-12
One of a Kind
Where else can you watch a movie on the beach just steps outside your door? Or have a table for two, or six, set on a secluded beach for a midday multi-course meal? Or learn about the legendary French Polynesian black pearls, and maybe take home a secret gift for that special someone? We’re here to make your days and nights on Tetiaroa something to remember. All you have to do is ask.
Spa & Wellness
Varua Te Ora Polynesian Spa is a sanctuary, the central beating heart of Tetiaroa. To enter is to step through a portal onto elevated pathways that wind through tropical…Discover More
Food is one of the main ways Polynesians connect with their culture. With Chef Imbert at the helm, you’ll connect with Polynesia and the bounty it provides in new and unexpected ways…Discover More
Spread across the Onetahi motu and set back just off the beach are 33 private villas, each a retreat within this sanctuary called Tetiaroa…Discover More
The Tetiaroa Atoll is a place unlike any other. Built by volcanoes and preserved by coral, this is a place where nature, Polynesian people and their culture come together to peacefully coexist with a world-class resort…Discover More
Inspired by the late Marlon Brando’s vision to preserve sanctuaries for future generations and raise awareness of the fragility of our environment…Discover More
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