Day 12 – Alongside Papeete, Tahiti – AM Tour

Judi at our 4x4

Baby 4×4 Mazda Truck

With an overnight and full day in Papeete, we signed up for the AM 4×4 excursion to the volcano caldera and rain forest. We have completed tours around the island on previous visits, so this time we fancied a trip to the interior.

This excursion definitely did NOT disappoint, being way above our expectations.

The Tahiti Jeep Adventure tour was one of the optional tours offered by the ship. The cost was CAN $129 pp.

With a report time of 07:45, the MDR wasn’t open, so we headed to the World Cafe for breakfast. Right on time, we were escorted to the gangway and on reaching the port gates were assigned to one of the 2 trucks. Judi sat in front with the driver, while I sat in the back with the other 6 pax.

We departed shortly after 08:00, driving around the island for about 12 miles to Papeno’o, where we entered a gravel road heading inland. The gravel road had numerous potholes, but it definitely wasn’t “Off-roading”. Not sure regarding others expectations, but this tour significantly exceeded mine. Sure, it was a bit rough at times, but I believe that’s what we signed up for. Unfortunately, some didn’t seem to enjoy the ride as much as me. In the front, the driver talked to Judi for the entire 4 hours.

Just past the 1st power station we stopped and were provided an opportunity to walk. Another couple and I walked for about a mile, up to the river ford. After the rain, the forest smelled amazing and so quiet. This really was an opportunity to get out of the city and enjoy nature.

We continued up to the the rim of the caldera, driving up a 15% incline to reach the edge. The caldera is 6 miles across.

Enjoy the photos.

Papano'o waterfall 6

Power Station reservoir with water fall

Papano'o waterfall 5

Waterfall just after crossing the river

Papano'o waterfall 3

Probably the best waterfall seen during the tour

Papano'o 4x4 volcano caldera

Looking across the caldera

Papano'o 4x4 volcano caldera Andy 2

Andy at the caldera

Papano'o 4x4 volcano caldera 6 mls across


Papano'o 4x4 volcano caldera 3

Close up of the caldera’s river

Papano'o 4x4 volcano caldera 2


Papano'o 4x4 ride shady grove of trees

Shady trees along the section we walked

Papano'o 4x4 ride not great stretch of road

Just a few potholes

Papano'o 4x4 ride 6

One of the few stretches without potholes

Papano'o 4x4 ride 3

Section we walked

Papano'o 4x4 crossing river forde

Taken in the middle of the river

Papano'o waterfall

Waterfall seen from the walk

The driver advised that it is possible to continue down into the caldera and drive across the entire island, returning around the coast. However, it takes about 8 hours and isn’t available to the cruise ships. Now that would be a tour for the future.

We returned to the ship just after Noon, we were the ones with the huge smiles, having completed this tour. After lunch, I headed out again for a walking tour of downtown, which I will cover in the next post.


8 thoughts on “Day 12 – Alongside Papeete, Tahiti – AM Tour

  1. Wonderful! Could you talk about the complimentary shorex that Viking offers? I am familiar with their River Cruise shorex, but would appreciate some idea of what is on offer for the Ocean Cruises.


    • Hi Patricia – Hoping to complete posts on the included tours of Papeete and Bora Bora today. Out of the 53 ports, I believe we are doing about 15 to 20 of the included excursions. Will provide a post on each.


      • Hi Patricia – We are very satisfied with Viking. This is how cruising used to be. We don’t expect perfection, but expect to see a proper reaction when they do come up short. They are constantly requesting feedback and always accept suggestions for improvement.

        When reviewing tours, I accept that they have minimal control over guides, etc. By providing feedback, they will continue to use the good ones and drop the not so good ones.


  2. We did this tour in 2015. It had rained so much the water was above the “safe” markers at the river forge. After our guide and driver debated for a while, we crossed. Fortunately we did make it back. Like you we were thrilled with the tour, but it’s not one for everyone! Thanks for the continued great post.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.