Tahiti - About & FAQ
Visiting Tahiti’s collection of gorgeous Islands and atolls is an amazing experience. Known for its very special beauty, Tahiti has long been a favorite haven for couples to relax and enjoy each other’s company in perfect surrounds. To wake up in one of Tahiti’s famous, over water bungalows and have your breakfast delivered by smiling Polynesians in an outrigger canoe, is an experience not to be missed.
Tahiti is the largest of 118 Islands and atolls that comprise French Polynesia. The busy, bustling town of Papeete, on Tahiti’s north coast is the capital of French Polynesia. Take a circle Island tour around the Island and discover the lofty Island peaks, cascading waterfalls and coastal land draped with fields of flowers. Visit the Gauguin Museum, local market and shop for world renowned black pearls.
A short journey by air or sea from Tahiti lies the beautiful Island of Moorea, where volcanic peaks are reflected in the tranquil waters of the spectacular bays. Explore the Island’s stunning natural features by jeep safari and visit the many plantations in the beautiful interior of the Island.
Bora Bora’s multicolored lagoon, encircled by a necklace of coral, is renowned throughout the world for its beauty. A 45 minute flight from Papeete, Bora Bora offers a slice of paradise in the comfort of some of the most luxurious resorts that the South Pacific has to offer. Marvel at the total relaxation and stunning sunsets and for the adventurous take the shark feeding tour in the lagoon.
Comprised of two islands joined by a small bridge, Huahine boasts watermelon and cantaloupe gardens on its offshore islets, and bustling Chinese shops along its waterfront. With less tourism development on Huahine, life is reminiscent of South Seas days of old. Raiatea is French Polynesia’s second largest Island and formally the center of Polynesian culture. Archaeological evidence suggests that the great Polynesian seafarers departed from Raiatea on their epic journeys to Hawaii and New Zealand.
The 78 Islands of the Tuamotu Archipelago are scattered over several hundred miles of the Eastern Pacific. Life on these atolls is simple, quiet and peaceful. Manihi is one of the most stunning of these isolated islets, just a two hour flight from Papeete, and its beautiful interior lagoon shelters several black pearl farms. The largest atoll in the Tuamotu Archipelago is Rangiroa. With its crystal clear lagoon brimming with sealife and sharks, Rangiroa offers some of French Polynesia’s best scuba diving. The Islands of Tahiti, Rangiroa, Raiatea, Bora Bora and Moorea can also be explored onboard a seven days luxurious cruise.
The islands have a tropical climate, tempered by trade winds. It rarely gets hotter than 85°F and evenings are pleasantly cool. Though there are warmer, more humid months from November to March and cooler, drier months from April to October, there is not a great variation.
US visitors do not require a visa for Tahiti & her Islands for stays of less than one month. All visitors are required to have a valid passport, proof of onward passage and adequate financial means of supporting stay.
For visitors wishing to stay in Tahiti more than one month, a visa is required from the French consulate.
There are strict laws prohibiting or restricting the entry of drugs, steroids, weapons, firearms, protected wildlife and associated products. If you are unsure about anything declare it to Customs upon arrival.
In addition to personal effects, the following are allowed into Tahiti duty-free: 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250 grams of smoking tobacco, 50 grams of perfume, 500 grams of coffee, 100 grams of tea and 2 liters of spirits.
There is no departure or airport tax.
The official languages of French Polynesia are Tahitian and French, but numerous other tongues are spoken as well. Paumotu (the language of the Tuamotu Islands), and Mangarevan (spoken in the Gambiers) are both native tongues. These languages belong to the great Malayo-European language family, which also includes the languages of Malaysia, Indonesia, Madgascar and the original languages of Taiwan.
English is widely spoken.
Tahiti is -5 EST/-2PST and currently do not operate daylight saving at this time.
The currency used in French Polynesia is the French Pacific franc, or CFP. Notes come in denominations of 500, 1000, 5000 and 10,000, and coins in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100.
Currency exchanges are available in Papeete and at Faaa International Airport in Tahiti that is open for all arriving passenger flights. Travelers' checks are easily cashed at banks and hotels.
Visa credit cards are accepted (banks will give you a cash advance), as are American Express. MasterCard is accepted in some areas. On many of the smaller islands, credit cards are not accepted. Though ATMs are a growing presence in Tahiti, there is no guarantee yours will work here.
An 8 percent tax is added to the cost of a room in the hotels of French Polynesia.
Tipping is not expected.
Most of the hotels use 110 or 220 volts, a.c. 60 cycles. Power outlets for all shavers and other appliances are a convenience provided in most hotels. A converter/adaptor for other appliances is usually available upon request
Before your visit you should arrange sufficient medical and travel insurance. Ensure the policy is adequate to cover costs for ambulance or helicopter rescue, emergency surgery, or transportation home We offer travel insurance policies – ask your Aspire Down Under consultant for more details.
No vaccinations or health certificates are required unless visiting from an infected area for cholera, yellow fever and the plague as defined by the World Health Organization.
Tap water in the hotels and restaurants is safe to drink. Elsewhere, it is advisable to drink boiled or bottled water unless the water is known to be treated. Bottled water is widely available.
The sun can be strong all year round, be sure to wear sunscreen and a hat.
Tennis shoes or plastic sandals are recommended when walking on the reefs and in the lagoons of Polynesia.
What do I need to know about driving in Papeete?
Driving is on the right side of the road. All visitors must hold a current US drivers license.
If you have any additional questions about Tahiti vacations that are not listed here, including Tahiti vacation packages, please contact us at 877-7ASPIRE.