French Polynesia
Polinesia francesa
A dream come true!
Un sueño hecho realidad
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French Polynesia

The jewels of the South Pacific Ocean

118 islands and atolls make up one of the most beautiful places in the world. Polynesia is a French overseas community located in the southern Pacific Ocean. The island of Tahiti is one of the most famous and populated of the archipelago, it receives hundreds of tourists attracted by the beautiful turquoise color of the shallow waters, the incredible coral bottoms, a spectacular biodiversity, solitary beaches of white sand, forests of emerald color and luxury resorts with bungalows on the water…

!A dream come true!

  • History - culture
  • Tuamotu
  • Society
  • Weather
  • How to move
  • Currency
  • Useful Information

The Tiare outbreak. Polynesia is the culture of flowers, it is a whole and any occasion is good to give it a welcome gesture, a foretaste of the sweetness with which it will be resurrected.

The number of necklaces on the necks of people coming to Tahiti or local inhabitants for public events is one of the customs of Polynesia.

Tiare in Polynesian means flower, but now it is common to identify with this name the symbol of the flower of Polynesia: the Gardenia Tahitiensis.

The flower market in Papeete is always open, day and night, and is around the municipal market where you can buy a “paquet” of tiare shoots wrapped in a banana leaf.

The farewell rite of greetings is just as “polynesian”. You will be given a shell necklace and this is a form of desire to return to Fenua (Polynesian Land). In fact, Polynesian legends say that the world is born from a great shell formed by the sky, the universe; the emerged lands are contained by the great shell formed by the oceans; man is born from the shell of the mother’s womb, so everything can be traced back to the shell. The best we can do is … Back to the shell, back to the origins.

TUAMOTU ISLANDS

The Tuamotu are islands and atolls scattered over an area of 1,500 kilometers, located east of the Society Archipelago and south of the Marquesas. This archipelago is a paradise of small coral islands with beaches that retain all their natural beauty caressed by the blue ocean. The only sound that is heard is the breaking of the waves against the barrier reef, while inside, the atolls are inebriated by the perfume of thousands of flowers. The lagoons are full of life: some 400 varieties of fish add to the charm of the islands and are a source of fascination and fun for visitors. The crystalline waters are perfect for the cultivation of the famous black pearls, unique in the world. There are hotels on four of the atolls: Rangiroa, Tikehau, Fakarava and Manihi.

RANGIROA, THE INFINITE LAGOON

In Polynesian, Rangiroa means “infinite sky”. With its 240 motus, it is one of the largest atolls in the world. With an incomparable luminosity, with intense colors ranging from jade to iridescent turquoise and violet, with a great life thanks to the countless varieties of species of marine flora and fauna, the lagoon is so extensive that it is impossible to see the opposite shore. Located 350 km north of Tahiti, it is the most populated island of the Tuamotu.the villages: Avatoru is the main town and headquarters of the administrative offices, including the town hall, the post office, a research center for pearl farms, the center of mother of pearl crafts, and two churches.the Blue Lagoon: this is the favorite destination of the island and formed by a natural basin surrounded by a series of motus and coral barriers, which has led to the emergence of a natural swimming pool within the lagoon.

TIKEHAU, THE ISLAND OF PINK SANDS

Located northwest of Tahiti and approximately 10 km from Rangiroa, this oval-shaped atoll has a series of small islets around it. The largest, southwest of the atoll, is also the only one inhabited. Tikehau offers refuge to numerous bird colonies, including black plangas and red-footed gannets, which nest in its small motus. Scuba diving: The beauty and abundance of the fauna in Tikeau attract scuba diving enthusiasts. In the Tuheiava Strait we can find rays, schools of barracuda, tuna and grey sharks.

 

FAKARAVA, THE ISLAND OF DREAMS

At 60 km long and 25 km wide, it is the second largest atoll in French Polynesia. It has a rectangular shape and, together with its six neighbouring islands, is a reserve protected by UNESCO. The fauna and flora are particularly abundant here and the ecosystem remains completely intact. Excursions: visit to a pearl farm and a sea cucumber treatment centre. Visit the old town of Tetamanu and one of the first Roman Catholic churches built of coral. Diving: the waters of Fakarava are an authentic tropical aquarium where visitors can swim with groupers, barracudas, rays, tiger sharks and hammerhead sharks.

MANIHI, THE ISLAND OF PEARLS

Located 175 kilometers northeast of Rangiroa, Manihi is elliptical in shape and has a single passageway that connects the lagoon to the open sea. The black pearl: Manihi is internationally famous for the cultivation of black pearls, and it was on this atoll that the first pearl farm in French Polynesia was created. Small pearl farms have been set up in the lagoon and a visit to some of them is almost obligatory. The seabed: the fabulous bottoms attract divers from all over the world who come to Manihi to practice their favourite sport. Gray shark banks come to these seabeds to lay their eggs.

ISLANDS OF SOCIETY

Tahití

Crowned by a circle of majestic peaks, the island of Tahiti, the largest island in French Polynesia, rises above the ocean like a proud and royal queen. The mountainous interior is adorned with mystical valleys, clear streams and high waterfalls. Most of the island’s population resides close to the coast, leaving the interior of the island with an almost intact and ancient feeling, despite the proximity to the bustling capital of Papeete. Papeete, which means “water basket”, was once a meeting place where Tahitians came to fill their pumpkins with fresh water. Now Papeete, the touchstone of this island nation, boasts world-class resorts, spas, excellent restaurants and exclusive restaurants, nightclubs, vibrant markets, museums, pearl shops and boutiques.

As you travel around the islands, the island of Tahiti slowly reveals its beauty. It can be explored in many different ways: black sand beaches on the east coast, white sand beaches on the west coast, diving, surfing sites for beginners and legendary, mountain peaks in lush desert valleys or the historic site of the colorful Papeete market and, much more.

the Blue Lagoon: this is the island’s favorite destination and formed by a natural basin surrounded by a series of motus and coral reefs, which has given rise to a natural swimming pool within the lagoon. 

Bora bora

Romance. Bora Bora rises from the velvety blue of the deep waters through the softer tones of the lagoon and into the air surrounding the island. Her touch on the sea breeze dyes the skin. And its power fills every heartbeat. A brief 50-minute flight from the islands of Tahiti or Moorea, Bora Bora, with a lagoon that resembles an artist’s palette of bright blues and greens, is love at first sight. Romantics around the world celebrate Bora Bora where the lush tropical slopes and valleys of Mount Otemanu bloom with hibiscus, while a palm-covered motu surrounds the lagoon illuminated like a delicate necklace.

Bora Bora’s perfect white-sand beaches give way to blue waters where tropical colored fish enliven coral gardens and giant blankets pass unhurriedly. This could easily be defined as the center of the romantic universe,

Moorea

The lagoon’s calm waters and annual trade winds from April to October allow for a variety of activities, from canoeing to rowing, rowing, kitesurfing, water skiing and even surfing in some of the passes. One of Tahiti’s islands, Moorea is a haven for divers who instantly fall in love with the varied ecosystem of coral reefs and the colorful mix of marine life. While diving, you may find rays, sharks and sea turtles in a clear lagoon with different shades of blue. On the side of the mountain, the sharp landscape is guarded by eight peaks that show a magnificent ancient volcanic crater that has now become a lush valley. It’s the perfect place for hiking, horseback riding, quad biking or exploring in a four-wheeled vehicle.

Raiatea

It is an incredible natural source of interest for scientists and nature lovers due to its rare species of flora and fauna. Mount Temehani is home to the tiare ‘apetahi (and 30 other endemic plants), a flower found nowhere else in the world. It has become the symbol of Raiatea. This delicate, semicircular white flower flowers only at dawn.

Raiatea is also home to the only navigable river in French Polynesia. Go on an unusual canoe ride in the heart of a dense tropical forest of purau, bamboos and māpē ( Inocarpus fagiferus ). Legend has it that the river would have been the starting point for all Polynesian migrations to Hawaii and New Zealand.

Taha’a

Life slows down on Taha’a Island in Tahiti Islands. This tranquil island will drag you into the traditional and tranquil life of the Tahitians. The simple beauty of the flower-shaped island comes in soft mountains, surrounded by tiny motu with shimmering white sandy beaches. Vanilla-scented vapors in breezes that flow down the slopes of numerous vanilla farms, and these gentle scents mount ocean breezes that herald the island’s soul long before you even see it on the horizon.

When to visit

French Polynesia enjoys a tropical, warm and humid climate all year round.  There are often pleasant breezes to balance heat and humidity. May to October is a popular time to visit: there is little rain during this time of year and less humidity.humedad.

How to get to the islands of Tahiti

All flights arrive at Faa’a International Airport (Papeete), located near the city of Papeete on the main island of Tahiti. The airport is close by and is suitable for all major hotels and resorts in Tahiti. The airport also serves the national airline, Air Tahiti, for an additional service to the other islands and atolls. For schedules and information, check with the airlines, your preferred travel professional, or visit www.airtahiti.pf . We encourage visitors to plan ahead for international air transportation.

Average flight time to the islands of Tahiti

  • París – Papeete: 22h00 
  • Los Ángeles – Papeete: 08h00 
  • San Francisco – Papeete: 08h00 
  • Honolulu – Papeete: 05h00
  • Noumé – Papeete: 06h20 
  • Tokio – Papeete: 11h00 
  • Shanghai – Papeete: 12h30 
  • Hong Kong – Papeete: 11h30 
  • Sydney – Papeete: 09h055 
  • Auckland – Papeete: 05h00 
  • Rarotonga – Papeete: 02h30 
  • Santiago de Chile – Papeete: 11h00 
  • Hanga Roa (Isla de Pascua) – Papeete: 04h50

Tahitian Money and Exchange Facilities

The currency used on the islands of Tahiti is the Pacific Franc (international abbreviation: XPF). An interesting feature of this currency is that its exchange rate with the euro never varies and is set at 100 F.CFP = 0.838 euros (or 1 euro = 119.33 F.CFP). Tahiti currency denominations are available in 1/2/5/10/20/50 and 100 coins, and 500 / 1,000 / 5,000 and 10,000 banknotes.

The following are accepted: all legal currencies, international credit cards, traveler’s checks (a fee of approximately 3.5 euros is charged to exchange them). International banks in Tahiti and the most visited islands ( Banque de Tahiti , Banque de Polynésie , Banque Socredo ), have a foreign exchange facility.  But please note that some of the Tuamotu, Gambier and Austral islands do not have exchange facilities. At Tahiti-Fa’a’a airport, two exchange offices (Banque de Polynésie and Banque Socredo) open at the time of arrival and departure of international flights.

Language

The official language is French, but indigenous languages, including Tahitian, are still widely spoken in each archipelago. English is also widely spoken, especially in tourist areas.

Sim to connect to the internett

For the past several years, the Tahiti Islands have enjoyed unlimited high-speed Internet service, widely distributed throughout the islands, thanks to the Honotua fiber optic submarine communications cable system connecting the islands to Hawaii, USA, which replaces satellite connections.
There are two Internet service providers in the Tahiti Islands, which offer several service plans to keep you connected during your stay:

  • Vini
  • Viti
  • Wifi Tahití

Health

Healthcare services and facilities are available on the island of Tahiti. Papeete, Taravao (peninsula of Tahiti) and Uturoa (Raiatea) have complete hospital facilities (hospitals and clinics). The other islands visited by tourists have at least one infirmary or a medical dispensary.

French Polynesia

Boats available in Polynesia

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