Tahiti Travel

Tikehau-Pearl-Beach-Resort-French-Polynesia

Introduction

French Polynesia covers over two million square miles of the South Pacific Ocean and is comprised of 118 islands spread over five great archipelagos. Many islands are crowned with jagged peaks while others appear to barely float above the breaking waves. It’s the kind of place where the rich and famous come to play and hedonistic honeymoon fantasies are realized.

Adventures are plentiful in these archipelagos that are scattered over an area as big as Europe. Easier to travel to than you might imagine, Tahiti’s Faa’a Airport is under 8 hours by air from Los Angeles LAX airport, with daily nonstop flights. As far south of the equator as Hawaii is north, Tahiti is halfway between California and Australia, on the same side of the International Date Line as North America, and in the same time zone as Hawaii.

The three archipelagos most sought by visitors are the Society Islands, comprised of Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora, Huahine, Raiatea and Taha’a; The Tuamotu Atolls or “Tahiti’s Strand of Pearls”, include the atolls of Rangiroa, Manihi, Tikehau, and Fakarava; and the Marquesas, or “The Mysterious Islands.” Unlike any other properties in the world, the luxury hotels and resorts of the French Polynesia offer a perfect combination of experience, service, dramatic views, cuisine, ambience, and accommodations. Lodging types range from rooms and suites with ocean views to Tahiti’s signature overwater bungalow – complete with glass floors and a private deck with a ladder to the water!

Tahiti

Tahiti is the largest island of French Polynesia. The islands interior is mountainous with many high towering peaks, streams, waterfalls and deep valleys. The capital Papeete is also located on Tahiti. It’s definitely worth a visit with the lovely markets, pearl shops, restaurants and spa’s plus art and history museums, botanical and flower gardens, animated nightlife and cultural exhibitions.

Moorea

Moorea is a magical island. The mountains rise up high above the sea, only to disappear again into the shallow lagoon. Waterfalls plummet down cliffs and towering pinnacles rise high above you. This is a beauty you will never forget. On the island there are both white and black sand beaches, which is quite unique among the Society Islands. Come and experience the magic of Moorea for yourself!

Bora Bora

Bora Bora is one of the most famous islands in French Polynesia, and that’s not without its reasons! The island is absolutely beautiful! A true paradise on earth. The lagoon is stunning with colors of blue and green. This island is the true essence of romance. And than there’s still the underwater world… You can choose out of several luxury resorts, some with beautiful over water bungalows. We guarantee, when you first lay your eyes on Bora Bora, it will be love at first sight.

 

Tuamotu Atoll

The Tuamotu Atolls include the beautiful islands of Tikehau, Rangiroa and Manihi. Each of these atolls consists of a motu strip of palm fringed beaches surrounding the rich lagoon with water so clear, it seems indefinite. If you’re looking for romance, then the resorts of Rangiroa, Manihi and Tikehau offer many special services for the ultimate island honeymoon, including the famous canoe breakfast served to your own Overwater Bungalow! Even though these are the least visited destinations in French Polynesia due to their lack of developed tourism and remoteness, it’s in fact the perfect way to get away from the crowds and spend your holiday in a true French Polynesian experience.

Raiatea & Tahaa Islands

Far less traveled than Bora Bora, Tahiti, or Moorea, these two fascinating islands offer the vacationer the experience of a unspoiled French Polynesia holiday. Raiatea is actually the second largest Island after Tahiti, it is located directly between Bora Bora and Tahiti. The Island holds much fascinating history, legend, and lore, as well as Tahiti’s most significant archeological sites. Tahaa is slightly smaller and less populated than Raiatea, it shares a beautiful lagoon that is rich in marine life and has many water sporting activities such as scuba diving, windsurfing, and outrigger canoeing.

Islands

Tahiti
Queen of the Pacific. Tahiti is the largest island throughout the country, towering over the ocean like a proud and royal Queen is appropriately crowned by a circle of majestic peaks. Steep cloud-draped mountains, deep verdant valleys, luxuriant ferns, all bathed in green iridescence of Mother Nature’s light. And the swift invigorating rivers and black sand beaches await you on “this island of love.” Tahiti is an international point of arrival for the other fabulous nearby islands, Papeete, the capital of Tahiti, offers visitors numerous treasures: the colorful market, art and history museums, botanical and flower gardens, animated nightlife and cultural exhibitions such as the Traditional “Heiva” which provides a lively change of scenery full of folklore, dancing, singing, colors and fragrances.

Moorea
The Magical Island. Only a few minutes from the island of Tahiti by plane, and thirty minutes by high-speed catamaran, Moorea soars wondrously out of the ocean in an explosion of green velvet. A wide, shallow lagoon surrounds the island’s vertical mountains where poetic threads of waterfalls topple down fern-softened cliffs. Peaceful meadows decorated by pinnacles of green will stimulate your senses and renew your belief in the majesty of nature.

Bora Bora
The Romantic Island. Under a one hour flight from the island of Tahiti or Moorea, the island of Bora Bora, with a lagoon resembling an artist’s palette of blues and greens, is love at first sight. Bora Bora’s lagoon is its most treasured feature, and allows the traveler many opportunities to experience it in a variety of ways. Windsurf, jet ski, scuba dive, snorkel, swim, soak in its warmth… the list goes on. Romantics from around the world have laid claim to this island, from the dramatic scenery to the privacy and amenities of the overwater bungalows, everything in Bora Bora equals a 10 on the romance scale. Resorts have been welcoming couples for over 40 years and their special amenities have been fine tuned to perfection.

Huahine
Garden of Eden. About thirty minutes by plane from the island of Tahiti, Huahine, with its lush forests, untamed landscape, and quaint villages, is one of Polynesia’s best-kept secrets. For one thing, the island is, arguably, the most picturesque in all of French Polynesia… With steep mountains descending into protected bays of azure blue and emerald green colors, the island is also one of the more geographically diverse of the Society Group. Much the same as its cousins Raiatea and Tahaa, Huahine is far less touristy than Moorea, Bora Bora and Tahiti. This island is so relaxing and stress free that many people pick it as their favorite Society Island after traveling here just once. Relatively unchanged by the modern world, Huahine offer a slower taste of old Polynesia.

Raiatea
The Sacred Island. Raiatea, is only slightly smaller than Tahiti itself. This makes Raiatea the second largest Island in the French Polynesian Archipelago known as the Society Islands. Raiatea itself is recognized throughout Tahiti as its “Sacred Island”- the cultural heart of all Tahiti Polynesia. It is believed by historians that Raiatea was the main stopover point for early Polynesians newly arrived from Hawaii, then known as Hav’aii.

Taha’a
The Vanilla Island. Taha’a, with the rich aroma of vanilla lingering heavily in the air, offers a glimpse of the traditional, tranquil life of the Tahitians. The flower-shaped island’s simple beauty is charmed by soft mountain shapes and surrounded by tiny motu with bright sand beaches. In the fertile valleys cutting within the island, local farmers grow watermelon, vanilla, and copra. Located on the island is the breathtaking Le Taha’a. Le Taha’a is the ultimate and exclusive hideaway of glistening beaches and sparkling waters in the South Pacific. Open since July 2002, this resort is designed to be the most exclusive resort in French Polynesia.

Rangiroa
The Endless Lagoon. A string of coral encircling a luminous turquoise and jade-green lagoon, is one of the world’s greatest dive destinations. From the air, the atoll – the second largest in the world – seems to be a giant pearl necklace laid upon the water. Only an hour’s flight from Tahiti, Rangiroa offers sunshine, white coral beaches and an immense playground for water sports and activities.

Manihi
Island of Pearls. If you’ve dreamed of being stranded on a deserted island with all of the modern conveniences, tiny Manihi could be the place for you. Far from the modern world, the crystal-clear lagoon was once filled with mother-of-pearl and is the site of Tahiti’s first black pearl farm. Today, Manihi is still the leading supplier for the Tahitian cultured pearl industry. Manihi’s lagoon waters are among the most perfect on earth for cultivating pearls because of the temperature, density, salinity, light, and overall climate.

Tikehau
Pink Sand Island. Wild, natural and authentic… with its long ribbons of white or pink sands, inside of which a turquoise lagoon shelters the most amazing variety of fish. In Tikehau, fish seem to outnumber people one-billion-to one. In fact the density of the fish in the lagoon is so high that Jacques Cousteau’s research group declared it to contain the highest concentration of fish among any other Tuamotu atolls. A visit to the fish parks or the Tuheiava pass, the center of lagoon fishing, will allow visitors to see the manta rays’ ballet, as well as the shoals of barracudas and tunas. All of this makes Tikehau one of the finest places to stay.

Fakarava
Island of Dreams. The rich ecosystem is home to rare birds, plants, and crustaceans while the dive sites are virtually undiscovered. While diving, you can meet all types of fish species found in the Tuamotu Archipelago: barracudas, groupers, loaches, manta rays, eagle rays, grey reef tiger, hammerhead sharks, dolphins and turtles, without forgetting the luxuriant corals. Diving sites on this atoll constitute simply a paradise for the fauna and the flora, but also for the divers. Life along the shores is equally unique with quaint villages, old coral churches, and welcoming people. The lagoon, the second largest after Rangiroa, is rich with life below and above the surface and a prime example of nature at it’s finest.

The Marquesas
The Mysterious Islands. About a three hour flight from the Society Islands and the Tuamotu Atolls, the Marquesas, are seemingly lost at the end of the earth. Farther from a continental landfall than any other group of islands on earth, the twelve Marquesas stretch out of the open Pacific just south of the equator, concealed in a constant cloud cover. Volcanic pinnacles pierce the landscape, while the rich vegetation overflows with sweet-smelling plumeria, bougainvillea, orchids, spider lilies, flamboyant, ginger, ylang-ylang, jasmine and tiare flowers. This world belongs to the past where the spirits of the ancient Maohi still live.

Gambier Islands – Mangareva
Islands At The End of the World. Over one thousand miles southeast of Tahiti are the Gambier Islands. Mangareva, the largest island of the region, is home to most of the population and the center of the region’s pearl industry. In Rikitea, you will find the St Michael’s cathedral dating from 1848 richly decorated in pearls. The lagoons of Mangareva are known for their pearl oysters. The largest and most famous pearl farms are located here.

Austral
Hundreds of miles to the south of Tahiti lie the Austral islands, a chain of five high islands located on the Tropic of Capricorn. The combined population of 6,500 Polynesians lives on the islands of Rurutu, Tubuai, Rimatara, Raivavae and Rapa. The Australs are famous for their arts – traditional art of weaving coconut and pandanus leaves into elaborate hats, purses, mats, and bags. The ocean around the islands is also a home for whales from July to November.

The islands with small hotels and family pensions are:

Rurutu, Island of Whales
Tubuai, The island of Plenty
Raivavae, At the dawning of the world
Rapa, Easter Island’s Little Sister

Climate

The winter season is May through October. There is less rain during this time of year and a little less humidity than in the summer. However, being tropical, the humidity is usually 75 to 80%. The summer season is November through April. This is when they get their heaviest rainfall, which can reach as much as 15″ in one month. The weather described above basically pertains to the Society Islands. The Marquesas Islands are much closer to the Equator, so their weather tends to be warmer with more rainfall. At the other extreme, the Gambier Islands are about as far south of the Equator as the northern part of Mexico is north of the Equator.

Average Temperature
Summer: 86F maximum (30°C) 73F minimum (23°C)
Winter: 86F maximum (30°C) 68F minimum (20°C)

Average Water Temperature
Summer: 80F maximum (27°C) 78F minimum (26°C)
Winter:
78F maximum (26°C) 77F minimum (25°C)

Cool/Dry Season
May – October

Wet/Humid Season
November – April

Additional Information

…additional info
Web Statistics