Southern tip of Mermaid Bay
At The Brando, you don’t just observe nature; you immerse yourself in it—and a wealth of activities organized by the lodge will help you do so: from bicycling and bird watching to diving and paddleboarding. Don a snorkeling mask and witness underwater life in the coral gardens, encountering sea turtles, rays, reef sharks, and a dazzling array of tropical fish. Or explore the spectacular lagoon and other motu, or islands, by Polynesian outrigger canoe, kayak, or paddleboard. Swim at Mermaid Bay or simply relax on the beach or by the pool. Attend lectures and demonstrations about Polynesian culture, history, and lifestyle; and join the onsite scientists for a talk about their research and the amazing birds and marine life found on the atoll.
See our sample itinerary describing how you would experience this lodge during a 8-day stay.
The following experiences are included in the cost of your stay.
Learn how to dance or play music with Polynesian instruments (ukulele, pahu, toere), or try your hand at local crafts such as weaving coconut palms into bags or plates, making a flower crown or lei, or Polynesian dyeing techniques. Traditional Tahitian dance shows are performed weekly.
Participate in a Tahitian cooking lesson, enjoy a tasting of wines from the resort’s impressive cellar, or learn how to make signature cocktails.
Get an introduction to paddleboarding, kayaking, or navigating a Polynesian outrigger canoe (va’a), or try out stretching exercises while floating on a paddleboard.
Hike a nature trail, kayak around the lagoon, or go snorkeling amid the coral gardens just off the west coast.
Accompanied by the naturalists of the Tetiaroa Society, help collect data on boobies, terns, noddies, or egrets. Equipped with spyglasses, binoculars, and digital recording devices, document the ornithological richness of Tetiaroa. Available every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, this activity can accommodate a maximum of six guest.
Step into a marine biologist’s...flippers…to help monitor the health of the atoll’s coral reefs using scientific surveying methods. With the guidance of a scientist from the Tetiaroa Society, learn to recognize coral and fish species, and learn about their roles in the barrier reef ecosystem. Available every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, this activity can accommodate a maximum of four guests. This activity is available to guests age 14 or older who are good swimmers and snorkelers.
Tetiaroa is a sea turtle nesting site, and the nonprofit Te Mana O Te Moana has been conducting a census of sea turtle nesting here for more than eight years. Join them on the beach at nightfall to learn about a sea turtle’s lifecycle and, with luck, observe a female laying eggs or the intense drama of babies hatching (depending on the season). Please note: in order to avoid disturbing the turtles, only guides will be allowed to tag or measure them. Available every Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday from November to March, this activity can accommodate a maximum of eight guests age 12 or older.
Board a comfortable, roofed boat with a naturalist guide and set out on a half-day cruise around the island. Discover the various motu of the atoll and learn about their distinct ecosystems. See primary forests; an array of brightly colored birds; and all kinds of marine life, from spotted eagle rays and lemon sharks to milk fish and coconut crabs. Stop for a picnic on a sandbar with fantastic panoramic views of the atoll. This activity is available daily and can accommodate a maximum of eight guests.
Special programs for kids from 6 to 12 years old are offered daily and use fun, hands-on learning activities, games, and treasure hunts to teach about the island, its creatures, and the importance of being an “eco-citizen.” Kids attend talks by naturalists, explore the island, and make discoveries of their own.
Take a guided tour of the station with a scientist and hear firsthand about ongoing studies. The nonprofit Tetiaroa Society leads scientific research on Tetiaroa, welcoming researchers from around the world to study the atoll with the goal of enhancing humanity’s understanding of and relationship with the environment.
The following experiences are offered at an additional cost.
Discover Tetiaroa’s lagoon on a private boat with your own captain. Available for one to four persons; if you wish to have a naturalist guide during your tour, an additional fee applies.
Take in magnificent aerial views of the atoll and its motu during a flightseeing excursion.
Improve your skills on a private photography safari with a professional photographer.
Delve into the marine world with dive masters during a short discovery dive in the lagoon or one- and two-tank dives in the open ocean. Private excursions are available at an additional cost.
Every year from July to October, humpback whales migrate to the South Seas to mate and calve before returning south to chillier waters. In the company of a naturalist and a diver, set out on a whale-watch boat excursion, searching for males or females with their offspring. With luck, you may have the chance to snorkel with whales and their young—an unforgettable experience!
Take to the waters on a fishing expedition aboard a private charter with a professional and experienced crew. You’ll have access to top-of-the-line fishing equipment and expert advice for catching a variety of fish including blue marlin, mahi-mahi, and barracuda.
Transfer to Tahiti or Moorea by helicopter or plane and enjoy a day to explore. In Tahiti, take a wildlife drive and a helicopter flightseeing ride, visit Tattoo, and browse the shops in Papeete. In Moorea, swing clubs at the Green Pearl Gold course, visit a dolphin center, and discover the island by quad bike, helicopter, or wildlife drive.
The award-winning cuisine of Michelin-starred chef Guy Martin of the Le Grand Véfour in Paris is featured in both of the resort’s dining venues as well as in-room dining. Dishes draw on Polynesian and French culinary traditions, using fresh, organic produce picked each day in the resort’s gardens and orchards. Fish and shellfish are sourced in Polynesian waters. Guests can also relax at two bars: Bob's Bar, set on the beach, and Te Manu Bar, on a terrace connected to alcoves in the treetops.
The Varua Polynesian Spa center borders a pond where Tahitian royalty once gathered to undergo beauty rituals. The spa offers holistic treatments inspired by ancient Polynesian traditions blended with modern techniques. Facilities include private massage and treatment villas around the pond, steam baths, a waterfront tea and relaxation lounge, a yoga shelter, and a special spa suite for couples high up in the palm trees.
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