French Polynesia

Bora Bora, Tahiti, Moorea, Rangiroa, Huahine, Raiatea, Taha'a, Marquesas Islands, Ahe Atoll, Fakarava Atoll.

About Destination

Travel to French Polynesia

Nestled in the heart of the South Pacific, French Polynesia beckons with its enchanting allure, boasting pristine turquoise waters, lush landscapes, and a vibrant Polynesian culture. Embark on a tropical odyssey to renowned destinations like Bora Bora, Tahiti, and Moorea, where overwater bungalows and white-sand beaches create the perfect setting for romance and relaxation. Snorkel in the crystal-clear lagoons, encountering a kaleidoscope of marine life, or delve into the rich cultural tapestry through traditional dance and local cuisine.

The Marquesas Islands and Ahe Atoll unveil hidden gems for those seeking a more off-the-beaten-path adventure. Dive into the untouched beauty of coral reefs in Fakarava Atoll, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Whether exploring lush rainforests, hiking to panoramic viewpoints, or immersing in the warmth of Tahitian hospitality, French Polynesia offers a harmonious blend of natural wonders and cultural treasures. With a laid-back atmosphere and a paradise-like backdrop, this Polynesian archipelago promises an unforgettable escape, captivating every traveler with its unparalleled beauty and authentic experiences. Explore the magic of French Polynesia, where each moment unfolds like a dream in this tropical paradise.

Palm trees on a tropical beach of Moorea, Tahiti
Palm trees on a tropical beach of Moorea, Tahiti

Getting to French Polynesia

Getting to French Polynesia typically involves air travel, as the islands are located in the remote South Pacific. Most international flights arrive at Faa'a International Airport in Papeete, Tahiti, which serves as the primary gateway.

Direct flights to Tahiti are available from major cities like Los Angeles, Auckland, Tokyo, and Paris. Travelers can check with airlines that regularly operate in the region for the most convenient options.

Once in Tahiti, inter-island flights or ferries connect to other popular destinations within French Polynesia, such as Bora Bora, Moorea, and Huahine. Alternatively, some cruises also offer itineraries that include French Polynesian islands. Planning ahead and coordinating flight schedules with the desired island destinations is crucial for a seamless journey to this tropical paradise.

Bora Bora overwater bungalows luxury resort with Mount Otemanu in the background
Bora Bora overwater bungalows luxury resort with Mount Otemanu in the background

Alternative and off the beaten track stays and experiences in French Polynesia

For travelers seeking non-specialist and alternative experiences in French Polynesia, venturing off the beaten track unveils a world of unique stays and hidden gems. Away from the more commercialized resorts, one can explore family-operated pensions, providing an intimate glimpse into local life. These guesthouses often offer authentic Tahitian hospitality, home-cooked meals, and a chance to connect with the community.

In the Marquesas Islands, remote and culturally rich, visitors can opt for traditional fare or even camp under the stars to embrace the untamed beauty of the landscapes. Ahe Atoll, less frequented by tourists, presents an opportunity to stay in overwater bungalows, offering a more secluded and tranquil experience compared to the bustling resorts.

For those seeking an offbeat adventure, consider eco-friendly accommodations that blend sustainability with comfort. Some islands feature eco-lodges or bungalows nestled in lush surroundings, allowing guests to immerse themselves in nature while minimizing their environmental impact.

Exploring the lesser-known islands like Huahine or Raiatea unveils historical sites, archaeological treasures, and a slower pace of life. Engaging in local activities such as traditional fishing, guided hikes, or cultural events provides a more immersive and authentic Polynesian experience, away from the well-trodden tourist paths. French Polynesia's diverse landscapes and welcoming communities offer a range of alternative stays and experiences for those seeking a more unconventional and enriching journey.

Luau dancer relaxing on Tahiti, French Polynesia.
Luau dancer relaxing on Tahiti, French Polynesia.

Top 10 things to do in French Polynesia

  1. Overwater Bungalow Retreats: Experience the epitome of luxury by staying in an overwater bungalow in destinations like Bora Bora or Moorea, surrounded by crystal-clear turquoise waters.
  2. Snorkeling and Diving: Explore the vibrant underwater world of French Polynesia. Dive or snorkel in coral gardens, encounter marine life, and swim alongside sharks and rays in places like Rangiroa's Tiputa Pass.
  3. Matira Beach, Bora Bora: Relax on one of the world's most beautiful beaches, Matira Beach, known for its powdery white sand and stunning sunset views.
  4. Polynesian Culture Shows: Immerse yourself in the local culture by attending traditional dance and music performances, showcasing the rich heritage of the islands.
  5. Circle Island Tour, Moorea: Take a scenic drive around Moorea to witness breathtaking landscapes, pineapple plantations, and panoramic viewpoints like Belvedere Lookout.
  6. Hiking to Mount Aorai, Tahiti: For adventure enthusiasts, hike to the summit of Mount Aorai on Tahiti for panoramic views of the island and its lush surroundings.
  7. Vanilla Plantation Tour, Taha'a: Explore Taha'a, known as the "Vanilla Island," with a guided tour of vanilla plantations to learn about the cultivation of this prized spice.
  8. Pearl Farm Visit, Raiatea: Discover the art of pearl cultivation with a visit to a black pearl farm in Raiatea, where you can learn about the fascinating process of producing these coveted gems.
  9. Lagoon Excursions: Take a lagoon excursion on a traditional outrigger canoe or catamaran to explore hidden coves, swim with tropical fish, and enjoy the serene beauty of the atolls.
  10. Fakarava Atoll Biosphere Reserve: Dive into the untouched nature of Fakarava, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, where you can snorkel or dive to witness diverse marine life in one of the world's largest atolls.
A 'fever' of Spotted Eagle Rays
A 'fever' of Spotted Eagle Rays

The climate of French Polynesia

French Polynesia has a tropical maritime climate characterized by warm temperatures, high humidity, and relatively consistent weather throughout the year. The climate can be broadly classified into two seasons: the austral summer (November to April) and the austral winter (May to October).

During the austral summer, temperatures are higher, ranging from 77°F to 89°F (25°C to 32°C). This period is characterized by increased rainfall, occasional storms, and higher humidity. It is the wetter season, with the possibility of tropical cyclones, especially from December to February.

The austral winter, on the other hand, experiences milder temperatures ranging from 70°F to 82°F (21°C to 28°C). This season is drier and more stable, with less rainfall and lower humidity. The weather is generally more comfortable for outdoor activities, making it a popular time for tourists.

The islands in the Society Archipelago, including Tahiti and Bora Bora, tend to have a more moderate climate due to the influence of trade winds. The Tuamotu Atolls experience warmer temperatures, while the Marquesas Islands can be a bit more unpredictable, with varying rainfall patterns.