is so great about Tahiti and its islands?
Well, that's an easy one: for starters, these are truly THE most beautiful
tropical islands in the world, thanks to their dramatic geography, the
lush tropical vegetation and their unique multicolored crystal lagoons.
Then there are the flowers, lots of them, and all the lovely people
(wearing the flowers in their hair, as leis or behind their ears) and
their culture. And then, there is the famous magic of these islands
... and this, I can't explain.
Why should I go to Tahiti rather than Hawaii, Mexico or the Caribbean's?
If you want big high-rise hotels, lots of people around and an ordinary vacation,
then Tahiti and her islands is not for you.
Tahiti receives less tourists in 1 year than Hawaii gets in 1 day. No
big resorts in Tahiti ( the largest will accommodate 180 guests!), very few tourists or locals to be seen, and all this magical environment
basically all to yourself.
it expensive to vacation there?
If you compare a week in Tahiti to a 1 week in Hawaii or Cancun all
inclusive for $999, it will not be a fair comparison. For that price,
Hawaii or Mexico will not include private bungalows on pristine secluded
beaches or bungalows over turquoise lagoons. Tahiti is not for every
budget, but it is an excellent value for extraordinary memories. Also,
in Tahiti, there is no tipping or added taxes. What you read is what
you pay. NO hidden costs !
Is it really, really romantic?
Because of the wild beauty of it's scenery and it's pristine multi-hue lagoons, French Polynesia is the essence of romance and sensuality. These islands will cast their love
spell on you as you arrive and will make it last way after you return
home. The exotic islands of French Polynesia were made for lovers. Intoxicating
scents, palm-shaded beaches, secluded coves, private bungalows on crystal lagoons with a view of emerald islands more sensuous than
the works of Gauguin. Tahiti is without a doubt the most romantic place
want to go there for our honeymoon. Do you have any suggestions?
Tahiti is the idyllic setting for a honeymoon in paradise. Sleep in
your own private thatched-roof bungalow on the edge of a turquoise lagoon...cruise
under star studded skies propelled by gentle trade winds...spend the
day on your own secluded motu. You couldn't pick a better honeymoon
destination. While in French Polynesia you may renew your vows in a
romantic, traditional Tahitian Wedding Ceremony.
the choice of islands, I would say go to Tahaa for the upscale privacy and spectacular resorts, to Bora Bora for the spectacular resorts and lagoon scenery, to Moorea for the dramatic beauty and lushness of the island, and, if you are a true romantic, to the Kia Ora
Sauvage for the ultimate South Sea fantasy.
How about privacy, seclusion..?
Due to the low population of the islands and only few
tourists, you will find many deserted beaches. Also, most
of the accommodation is in private bungalows,
either near or on the water, and most guest stay in the privacy of their bungalows. Topless sunbathing
is routine and will be ignored.
do I get there and how long does it take?
It's very easy. There are 3 international airlines serving Papeete,
the capital of Tahiti from the USA. It is just a short 7 1⁄2 hour
flight, non-stop from Los Angeles and 10 1/2 hours from JFK.
airlines fly to Tahiti?
Air Tahiti Nui, the Tahiti-based international carrier has daily flights from Los Angeles, and from JFK, Mon, Wed, Fri. Other International
airlines providing services include Air France, Hawaiian Airlines, Air
New Zealand, Qantas Airways Limited, Lan Chile, and Air Caledonia International.
do I get to the other islands?
The local domestic airline, Air Tahiti, operates a number of flights daily between islands.
Flights start early in the morning and end soon after dark. If only
going to Moorea from Tahiti you have a choice between flying and taking
the ferry. The flight only takes approximately 15 minutes, whereas the
ferry will take approximately 45 minutes. There are no ferries to any other island other than Moorea.
do I know which hotel is best for me?
The hotels you select are very important to the overall success of your
trip as your hotel is likely to be the center of your activities. Hotels
in French Polynesia can range from a 100 bungalow resort to a small
intimate hotel with a few Polynesian bungalows and few amenities.
All the hotels are located on a beach or a lagoon no matter what island.
We, at TahitiTravel, have an intimate knowledge of every resort so we will
be glad to advise you on the best hotel choice for your needs. Call
us for advice and a quote.
kind of room?
The vast majority of accommodations in French Polynesia are individual units
called "bungalows" made of natural woods and local materials
with upscale Polynesian decor and amenities, depending on the quality
of the resort (some are very luxurious). Much of the fun of coming to
Tahiti is being able to stay in one of these thatched-roofed bungalows.
Accommodations typically feature a queen or king size bed and a day
bed for a third person or child. Please keep in mind, there are very
few hotels that can accommodate more than 3 people in one bungalow.
Typically the hotels categorize the bungalows by location on the property
. Least expensive is a Garden Bungalow, then a Beach Bungalow, then
an Overwater Bungalow and then a Premium or Horizon Overwater bungalow.
about High and Low season rates?
The Hi/Low seasons are purely determined by the demand and are not related
to the weather (same all year long - there is no "bad" weather season). Each resort (and airline)
determines their "Hi season". The rates usually increase
from April to October with a peak in July/Aug. , and again in December.
What about the weather -- what can I expect and when should I go?
Although Tahiti is a tropical environment, the rainfalls do not follow
a "wet" and "dry" type of season. This means that there is no
pattern of weather or rainfalls and the weather is not predictable
from day to day or year to year. It will be mostly sunny, with intermittent and localized showers or storms at any time. But there
is always far more sunshine than rain in any period. There are no real
seasons in Tahiti and the temperatures remain fairly constant day and night (about
80/85º). So, the weather issue is not relevant when deciding your vacation
date. There is no "hurricane or cyclone season" as these islands
are outside the cyclonic zone of the Pacific. Cyclones are a very rare and freak occurrence.
flight arrives early in the morning. How soon can get into my room?
hotels in the world, check-in time is 1 to 3 p.m. and you may have to
wait by the pool or on the beach for your room to be ready. Hotels will
make you conformable and offer refreshments. If you wish to go into
your room upon early arrival you will need to prepay the night before.
If it is already included, this will be indicated in the "Included
Features" as "includes pre-registration." What
is a Day Room?
This can be a late check-out from your room that you keep until approximately
6p.m. Some international flights depart from Tahiti very late in the
evening. Most hotel check-out times are around 11:00 a.m. You may want
to consider pre-purchasing a late check-out. If already included in
a package, it will be indicated in the "Included Features"
as "includes dayroom". Dayroom check-out times vary from hotel
is the local currency?
The currency in Tahiti is the French Pacific Franc or CFP (95 CFP= 1US$) listed as xpf in the international currency code. See current exchange rate in Tahiti.
can I exchange my money?
It is best to exchange your money in Tahiti. This is where you'll get the best rate. There are 2 banks inside Faaa International Airport
in Tahiti open for all arriving flights as well as currency-exchange ATM's. A privately operated foreign exchange office is located on the Papeete
waterfront next to the harbor and in back of the port immigration office
and the Socredo Bank. Credit
cards are widely used and US dollars are easily exchanged. ATM's and and currency machines are also available.
they take travelers checks?
Travelers' checks are easily cashed at banks and hotels. Visitors are
advised to carry both traveler's checks and credit cards to make their
trip more convenient. All banks charge a 350 to 400 CFP (U.S. $4.00
to $5.00) commission on cash or travelers' check currency transaction.
about the food? (and the cost?)
This is French Polynesia, so food matters. The Tahitians love
good food and have wonderful (and healthy) dishes of their own. In the
main town of Papeete. (Tahiti) there are many types of restaurants to
choose from. The prices are in the same range as similar French or Italian
restaurants in the US. Because the standard of living is high and most
of everything needs to be imported, you will not find anything "super
cheap", and you will find few fast food restaurants. There is no added
tax and no tipping. There are some very good restaurants in Moorea and Bora Bora besides those within
the hotels (also v. good). Meal plans are available prior to the start of your trip
and will generally represent cost savings. Meal prices are comparable
to those at better restaurants in other resort destinations. Most restaurants
have a la carte menus so that you will not have to order a complete
meal if all you want is a salad. A package that includes meals represents
What about bugs or insects?
bugs you could encounter are the occasional mosquito, and maybe sand flies if you wander onto
remote beaches. All resorts treat their grounds and you
may never encounter any insect. If any are present, the Garden Bungalows would be more likely
to have some mosquitoes, Beachfront less likely, and Overwater will never have
any. It is never a problem that an occasional application of repellent
would not take care of.
You are also likely to see geckos (small lizards) on the walls, waiting
to gobble-up mosquitoes and any insects nearby. They are totally harmless
and very useful, but can be noisy at times with a frog-like croaking.
Other than that, there are no other bugs or critters that would harm or sting you.
want to go there with my children, is it suitable?
Most visitors are couples, but kids love it .. calm, warm water with pretty
fish, "cool" bungalows, lots of water activities, etc..All the hotels
I don't speak French. Is this going to be a problem?
speaks English in the hotels, and so do many local people.
I am looking for cultural authenticity. What about it?
Tahitian culture is very much alive and can be felt in many ways, from
the way the Tahitians dress, to the flowers, the ever present music,
the dance, the crafts and the way of life. And they don't do it for
the tourists. Its just the way they are. What
kinds of activities are available after I get there?
There is an abundance of activities in and around the water and much
to do on land. Most of the hotels offer free snorkeling, outrigger canoes,
windsurfing and lazing in a hammock - which you may find to be your favorite activity...
What about day-trips to different islands?
Tahiti, you can go to Moorea for the day easily and inexpensively by ferry. You
can also take excursions to Tetiaora atoll near-by.
But for the other
islands such as Bora Bora or Huahine it isn't practical to fly for
the day. And there is no ferry service returning the same day. So if
you are in Moorea and want to see Bora Bora, you have to go there for
at least a couple of days.
What are your favorite islands?
Among the more accessible islands: Moorea and Huahine for the scenery
and the lushness, Bora Bora for the scenery and the lagoon and Rangiroa
for the diving and the Kia Ora Sauvage, the best "lost island"
experience you could dream of.
O.K., it all sounds great, but what are the downsides?
all have to go home too soon ...