Papeete - General Info

Select your download option below


Where is Papeete?

Tahiti is the largest island in French Polynesia and houses more than half the population of the country. It is a high, mountainous island surrounded by coral reefs.

Papeete is located on the northwest coast of the island, has several marinas as well as a number of yacht service companies if needing haul-out or maintenance.

Entrance Notes or Cautions:

It is important that yachts have their VHF radios as well as AIS on and transmitting to enable port control to keep track of vessel movements and also to ensure airport flights are not delayed by yachts crossing both ends of the airport runway.

There are many passes around Tahiti Nui and Tahiti It.  Passe Papeete is the closest to Marina Papeete and Passe de Taapuna is the closest to Marina Taina.

All skippers/captains MUST call the Port Control Traffic Tower (Vigi Du Port) to get authorization from the port authorities on VHF Channel 12:

  • A. Before entering or exiting the pass of Papeete (call 10 minutes before entry or exit);
  • B. Before mooring at Papeete Yachts Quay Pontoons or Papeete Marina;
  • C. Before any movement in the Papeete habour area;
  • D. Before crossing the east and west side of the airport runway ends. Call 5 minutes before each crossing. Wait for the “green light” from harbour control.  Having your AIS on and transmitting also helps port control with the airport crossing;
  • E. Before using the Lagoon channel, going to, or coming from Marina Taina area (forbidden at night).

Cruiser Highlights for Papeete:

Don’t miss traditional Tahitian food, the Harrison W. Smith Botanical Gardens and the Gauguin Museum nestled amongst the lush foliage of the gardens. Beyond the white fringe of the beaches you’ll find the unspoiled beauty of the Faatautia Valley, the Arahoho Blowholes which show the power of the ocean and the lava tubes of Hitiaa.

Useful Links for Tahiti/Pepeete:

  • The Tahiti Cruisers Guide – http://www.tahiticruisersguide.com/ – is a useful resource of local information and services for sailors. Now more than 250 pages long with gps waypoints the guide and waypoints can be downloaded and used offline using google maps or maps.me. This is updated regularly.
  • SY Jacaranda have a number of useful documents on their website that deal with yachting services in French Polynesia at https://www.jacarandajourney.com/other-good-stuff.
  • SV Soggy Paws Compendiums – another useful resource of cruising information for sailors, from their own experiences and other cruisers and various online sources.

Position:

17° 32.10’S, 149° 35.20’W (harbour entrance)

Last updated:  June 2024

Read and Post Related Comments

If you have information for this section, or feedback on businesses used, please let us know at [email protected]. We also welcome new information about businesses you have used (see Related Businesses).


Select your download option below


Next Section: Profile: Clearance

Papeete was last updated 4 weeks ago.

Related to following destinations: , ,


YachtFlags.com provides high quality courtesy flags that are manufactured in durable Knitted Polyester fabric. Knitted so that the fabric itself does not deteriorate in the constant movement that marine flags are usually exposed to, and polyester so that the flag does not weaken in the strong UV-light usually found in the main sailing areas of the world.

YachtFlags.com offers a discount to Noonsite members.

Use the coupon code NOONSITE_5A2B when checking out to get 10% off today.

Buy Now On YachtFlags.com

YachtFlags.com provides high quality courtesy flags that are manufactured in durable Knitted Polyester fabric. Knitted so that the fabric itself does not deteriorate in the constant movement that marine flags are usually exposed to, and polyester so that the flag does not weaken in the strong UV-light usually found in the main sailing areas of the world.

YachtFlags.com offers a discount to Noonsite members.

Use the coupon code NOONSITE_5A2B when checking out to get 10% off today.

Buy Now On YachtFlags.com

You must Login or Register to submit comments.

  1. June 12, 2023 at 10:11 PM
    Sailing_Couple says:

    The emailadres of Immigration at Papeete (Thaiti) has changed. The following adresses are valid and can be used to sent F09.01 to upon arrival:
    [email protected]
    [email protected]

  2. April 4, 2023 at 8:21 PM
    Maria Wadsworth (S/Y Jamala) says:

    Through 2022 and 2023 we have visited many places throughout French Polynesia.

    Comments and feedback have been compiled into one report with some brief notes below.

    https://www.noonsite.com/report/french-polynesia-cruiser-report-from-maria/

    Tahiti – June – December 2022

    There is now 4G coverage on most of the main islands in the Marqueses and the Tuamotus.

    Supermarkets near to Marina Papeete – Champion is the nearest and easiest to get to. There is a small local shop across from the cathedral in town. They sell eggs, bread, beer, wine etc. We found an excellent small Asian food shop called Youn Youn.

    We found a laundry service – PONT DE L’EST LAUNDRY – who can do large items like duvets.

    There are a couple of good Pizza take away and delivery services.

    Restaurants: L’O a La Bouche – an upmarket restaurant in the centre of Papeete and Cafe Marquesan – a secret gem down a side street, serves delicious pastries , cakes, salads and sandwiches. The 3 Brasseurs – Monday all day is half price beer and half price thin crusted pizza.

    There is a phone repair shop in the centre of Papeete, the owner spoke good English.

    Dr David Provost is a GP who speaks good English and has an excellent sense of humour.

  3. February 18, 2023 at 12:08 AM
    mariawadsworth says:

    December 2022
    Tahiti
    Marina Taina
    You can use the dinghy dock in this marina, there is a sign saying only for dinghies that are on official mooring buoys, but everyone puts their dinghies here. As you pass the fuel dock, you can turn immediately left or take your second or third left to the dinghy dock. Always lock your dinghy to the dock and your outboard and fuel tank to the dinghy. There have been reports of someone stealing fuel from cans left in dinghies.
    There is recycling for rubbish in the marina: paper, cans, bottles and plastics.
    We have never docked our boat here, preferring instead to anchor at the airport anchorage, but it is Med mooring and the staff will help you.
    You can get fuel from the dock but you can’t get duty free fuel at the weekend.
    Carrefour is within easy walking distance, out of the gate towards the airport. There is also a fresh fruit and veg stall on the way. You can get a free token for the trolley at Carrefour’s customer service desk – and you can take the trolley back to the marina if you buy too much!
    Papeete Marina

    Telephone Papeete marina before heading in – they do not use the VHF. The office staff speak good English, and so do Papeete Port Control.
    If space is available, they will allocate you a spot. There is never any staff to help you with your lines, but usually there are other cruisers around. Some of the pontoons have broken off over the last couple of years when they have had tidal surges. If you are planning on leaving your boat her we’d recommend you add extra lines and get someone to look after it whilst you are gone, it doesn’t cost much.
    There are toilets and hot showers and lounge area for marina guests where you can also get WiFi. There are no laundry facilities, although they keep promising that will be available in the future. There is no recycling here.
    Airport Anchorage
    We also anchored at the Airport anchorage, opposite the airport, just before you get to the mooring field. There are now about 50+ large white moorings which can be rented for (I believe) a minimum of 6 months. You need to go to Taina marina to arrange it. You will also need to get your own shackles and ropes for the buoy. Cost per month is approx $130 USD.

  4. September 9, 2019 at 4:20 AM
    mariawadsworth says:

    Papeete for Noonsite

    Papeete Marina

    August 2019

    We emailed and asked about a berth and were told to radio just before we arrived and they would allocate us one. The port Control tower staff speak good English. The marina was pretty empty when we were there. It seemed that they have limited staff here so no one to help you in. Floating pontoons, like the U.K. Saying that , what staff they do have were really nice. The rubbish bins are by the marina office, there isn’t any recycling here.
    There is a Free Shuttle bus that goes to the 2 Carrefour supermarkets. You need to call them about an hour before so they know how many people are going. They speak good English . They only run on a Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Carrefour closes on Sunday afternoon.
    The building of the new marina offices, restaurant etc should be completed by December 2019, or so they say! The WiFi connection near the marina office was very very poor, but it’s free.
    There are a few chandlers around, we walked to all of them but we don’t mind walking ! We also walked to the customs office to get our duty free fuel certificate ( about 25 mins) make sure you take your passports, your clearance paperwork and your boat registration. They will take copies of them all. You can dinghy to the office and there are some small floating pontoons to tie your dinghy to. The fuel certificate is valid for 3 months and after that you will need to go back to Papeete if you need another one.

    Best stocked supermarket is Carrefour Taaa, thus is the larger one near to Taina marina but the shuttle bus goes there. The beer is expensive in the town centre supermarkets and less expensive in Carrefour.

    We had our sail repaired by Guillaume at Tahiti sails. Email [email protected] Tel +689 87 33 74 33

    Gas refills can be done at the Mobil petrol station , out the marina turn left, keep walking until you see it. Leave it on a Monday, Weds or Friday morning and it’s returned in 2 days. Unfortunately our gas cylinder was deemed too rusty and so we left it for them to dispose of. We tried to buy a new one that would fit into our gas locker but without success. We were told by Tahiti gas that if you go to Group Aline Tel : 40 47 58 58 They would sell you a new Campingaz 3KG one. We decided not to bother as it was quite away from Papeete.

    The town quay no longer exists for boats to tie up to.

    If we’ve missed something then it may be on our website :www.untilthebuttermelts.com

  5. November 24, 2018 at 9:57 PM
    Data Entry5 says:

    Reported by SY Jacaranda:

    I am sad to report that the ongoing thefts in the Papeete City Marina are still continuing. Last week a catamaran was boarded at night with people sleeping on board and some items were stolen. From what I heard the main door was closed and locked but the adjacent window was open for air.

    The marina recently moved the guard full time to the docks but this has not helped. I have lost track of how many vessels were robbed but think the count is 8-9+ over the past 2 seasons.

    One of the only marinas we have had to lock ourselves in at night that is guarded, fenced and locked!

    1. November 24, 2018 at 10:57 PM
      Data Entry5 says:

      Hi David, the following feedback from Chuck of SY Jacaranda (who produce a very useful guide on getting an LS visa which we link to in our Immigration section):

      No I can’t, but I would really like to get the details so I can add to our document. I have asked a couple of boats headed there (Chile) to report back but have not heard. Mexico City French Consulate is saying No to non-Mexican residents, forcing people to return to the US or Canada to apply

      I am just updating our LS document with more changes. The US is deferring all visa applications to their Indian outsourcing visa processor and its making things a bit more challenging.

      -ends-

      Please do report back David if you manage to find out any info. or have success getting an FP LS visa in Chile or Peru (however do check out our Peru pages as I’ve just posted a report by a cruiser who recently cleared into Peru and it took him 5 months and $6000 – so perhaps best avoided!).

  6. November 22, 2018 at 7:57 AM
    Data Entry5 says:

    Hi, Can anyone tell me if you can obtain a long stay visa for French Polynesia from the French consulate in either Chile or Peru?

    1. July 17, 2019 at 2:11 PM
      chouliha says:

      Last year we updated our “Obtaining a French Polynesia Long Stay Visa” and it now includes a detailed write up on applying in Chile. See https://www.jacarandajourney.com/other-good-stuff

      We have included info when applying from the US, Mexico, Panama, Ecuador and now Chile

      Safe sailing

      Chuck
      Jacaranda
      French Polynesia

  7. October 2, 2018 at 12:57 PM
    Data Entry5 says:

    As anyone following the Puddle Jumpers’ forum this year may have seen, multiple boats docked in Papeete Marina have once again been boarded and items were stolen. As you may see from a previous post, we have boarded at night last year and items and cash stolen. This happened to us again this year; the same pattern, with easily carried electronics stolen – my laptop was ignored, but phones and iPads taken as well as all the cash from my purse.

    Credit cards were left alone, but this time my driver’s license was taken (not very useful to someone in Papeete unless they are a shortish, blondish, middle dish Australian!!) We were in the centre of the marina this time, not on the outer edge. The door was probably not locked, but was closed. We heard nothing of course.

    The marina staff seemed shocked that we had been boarded in that position, but there have been other reports on the forum since. The police took a statement – one of our guests speaks French so that helped, but told us it is a common occurrence. Youths taking phones and money was their assessment. They were helpful but didn’t seem hopeful of getting things back.

    Security is no different from last year, although the pontoon by the marina office is not being used officially due to building works. It would seem easy to approach the marina in a kayak or an outrigger canoe and leave the same way.

    trishe

  8. September 7, 2018 at 7:56 AM
    Data Entry5 says:

    lderamus says:

    Aug 20, 2018 11:44 PM
    We are currently at Marina Taina in Tahiti and can highly recommend Tahiti Crew yacht services. Responsive, nice, English speaking and efficient. Worth every penny!

  9. April 10, 2018 at 9:56 PM
    Data Entry5 says:

    Reported by Hugh Pilsworth of SY BlueFlyer:

    In September last year, I left my boat at Papeete Marina, with someone to keep an eye on her. Early this year a big swell came through the harbour and broke up the pontoon where my boat, and several others, were moored. My man moved my boat to a better location with no damage at all.

    On my return, I have moved to Taina Marina to have much-needed repairs done. I have found several good people to do this work.

    – My agent, Laurent Bernaert of PYS, phone +68987771230. An excellent Frenchman who also speaks English. A real “Mister arrange it”, no problem. Immigration, tax-free fuel etc.
    – The man who looked after my boat for 6 months, Mike Raoult, phone +68987411124. A professional yacht skipper.
    – Mat Angelin, the best rigger in Polynesia, phone +68987720502, another English speaking Frenchman.
    – Last is Luc, I don’t have a second name. His phone is +68987737919. He knows everyone and can do/fix most things on a boat, including refrigeration, removing and fitting a new generator, sourcing bits, and pieces. He also polished my fuel for me, no mess.

    Taina is the more secure marina from the weather, though Papeete Marina is in the town. Costs during the season are much the same, but during the offseason, Papeete Marina is about 1/3 of the price. For getting work done, however, Taina is the one to go to.

  10. September 29, 2017 at 10:56 PM
    Data Entry5 says:

    Further comment from Trishe:

    We have been away from Papeete for a week or so and returned to find barbed wire around the top of the fence around the ‘security’ gate. There have been more thefts from boats tied up to the pontoon closest to the marina office and park. The lights have been broken for at least 6 weeks now and the area is very dark at night.

  11. August 29, 2017 at 7:56 AM
    Data Entry5 says:

    There have been a series of thefts from boats tied up at Marina Papeete in the last week. Last night we awoke to shouts on the dock (at the floating pontoons close to the marina office) but could see nothing. Checked our boat and all seemed in order. We could see nothing and no-one at that point and went back to bed.

    This morning I realized that my purse had been emptied of cash and that two old devices used for music storage had gone. The shouting was traced to a boat at the far end of the pontoon where the owner had disturbed someone trying to pick the lock on their door.

    The thieves ran away, climbed the marina fence and disappeared into the park. Another boat next to us had a phone and wallet stolen last week. Be aware security here is minimal. There is one guy on a bike and once he cycles past, thieves can easily climb the fencing around the gate. The staff are aware of the situation and a report is being made to the police.

  12. August 16, 2017 at 7:55 PM
    Data Entry5 says:

    We stayed at both Marina Papeete and Marina Taina in August 2017 and can offer a bit of comparison. MP is well located in Papeete and contrary to what we had read, they welcome (and have plenty of space) for side-tying to the docks. The ferries go too fast in and out of the harbor once or twice a week at least causing huge waves that rock & roll the outer MP docks, so if you don’t want that, take a berth tucked inside and closer to the Tourist Office side of the Marina.

    You’ll have more noise from bars and dirt from the cars on the adjacent road with that choice, however. If Internet is important to you, stay at Marina Taina not Marina Papeete. MP is honest about the fact that their internet speed is dismal. Really the only reliable internet at MP is either buying the ViniSPOT connection, using a Vini data card or going into town (best option is the cybercafe on the 2nd level of the Vaima shopping center).

    At MP, there are WDG and Vini Spot options also, plus a short walk south of TM is the Town Hall/Mairie where from 8-6 there is free super-fast internet (we use ScreenTest.net or its app to compare speeds). TM offers moorings and berths at the dock. Comparing prices, TM is more expensive than TP.

    There is a large Carrefour grocery store within a short walk north of TM. At TP, you have to bike or take a cab or car to Carrefour. Getting rental cars is easy at either marina. TP is better protected from wind and swell than TM, but the moorings are sturdy at TM and withstood winds clocking 35 while we were there.
    Hope that’s helpful!

  13. June 20, 2017 at 7:55 PM
    Data Entry5 says:

    I stayed at the Papeete Marina and we liked it very much (more so than Taina), since close to the town center and nice security and reasonable rates. I had my watermaker inspected by Sopom, and although it was not a brand they service (Type Catalina by Spectra), they did some diagnostics.

    Even though we worked together for an hour, I did not have to pay! Ask for Gilles at the counter, he is the manager of the storehouse at the bridge, though they are going to move soon. Gilles speaks French and English, and is a joy to work with.

  14. March 15, 2017 at 7:55 AM
    Data Entry5 says:

    Papeete is the first place from Panama that cruisers can source parts and individuals to do boat repair. There is no local VHF Cruisers net here so experienced FP cruisers Chuck Houlihan of SY Jacaranda and Julient Desmont have put together a very useful services guide (2017).

    Downloadable as a pdf or viewed. online.
    http://www.tahiticruisersguide.com/.
    Cruisers that have been through Papeete in the last couple of years can contribute suggestions of services or individuals who they found helpful.

  15. December 30, 2016 at 7:54 AM
    Data Entry5 says:

    The new marina in Papeete is very attractive, very close to the city center and the “roulottes” (food truck). We spent a week in August 2016 and paid about 250€ for a 52′ monohull (high season prices).

  16. May 17, 2014 at 4:54 PM
    Data Entry5 says:

    In Papeete, clearing is much simpler than you’d expect, no need to see Customs or Immigration (if you sent the form from the Gendarmes in Marquesas or Tuamotu), just go to the Yacht-Master (Ken) at the new Ferry terminal and he will clear you in and out of FP and give you all info, if you stay at the floating pontoons, you can pay him as well (cash only) we paid 7500 francs for 1 night!!.

    The marina Taina is slightly cheaper or you can anchor in front of the marina (best option) you can walk to Carrefour from the marina, but everything is twice USA prices…

    If you want the diesel tax exemption, it is very easy, you need to go to Customs in Motu-Uta, Papeete and see Mateata with your green copy from the Gendarmes, in 5 minutes she gives you the exemption.
    Once again, Ken, the Yacht-Master can advise you.