For me, one of the best parts of being a travel agent is learning about various destinations. Recently I’ve been studying Tahiti and French Polynesia. Here are some fun facts about this South Pacific destination:
Geography, The islands of French Polynesia are half way between Los Angeles, CA and Australia/New Zealand. There are 118 islands, spanning 1.5 million square miles. There are 5 island groups: the Society, Marquesas, Australs, Tuamotu and Gambier islands. The Society Islands are the most visited, and include Tahiti, Moorea, Bora-Bora, Taha’a, Huahine and Raiatea.
Climate, The average air temperature is 79 degrees and the water averages 80 degrees. The seasons are reversed, so summer runs from November to March, and winter is from April to October. Hurricanes are a rare occurrence. The island landscape is lush, with low-lying coral reefs and mountain peaks offering incredible ocean views.
Details, Tahiti is the largest and most populated of the islands. US visitors typically fly into Papeete, the island’s capitol, which is an 8-hr flight from LA. Hopper flights and ferries will take you to the other outlaying islands. The official languages are French and Tahitian, though English is widely spoken. Tahitian time is 2 hours behind PST (6 hrs behind Indiana’s current time).
And unique offerings. French Polynesian is known for its beautiful black and white sand beaches and calm, electric blue water, perfect for snorkeling and diving. You can experience the Polynesian culture, which dates back to 300 AD, by exploring stone temples, observing Tamure (Tahitian dance) and tasting the local cuisine. Visitors can also tour the unique black pearl and vanilla bean farms.
Visiting the French Polynesian islands is definitely a treat, one that comes with a higher price tag. However for those seeking the ultimate getaway, perhaps in an over the water hut, these islands will not disappoint.