What is Tahiti?
Officially know as French Polynesia, Tahiti & Her Islands
is an overseas territory of France. The territory covers over
two million square miles in the South Pacific Ocean and is
comprised of five archipelagos with 118 islands and atolls.
The island of Tahiti
is home to the capital city of Papeete and is the largest
of these islands. Other nearby islands are Moorea, Bora Bora,
Raiatea, Taha’a, and Huahine. Other often-visited islands
include the atolls of Rangiroa, Manihi, Tikehau, and Fakarava
and the mysterious islands of the Marquesas.
In the Pacific Ocean, south of the equator, in the same time
zone as Hawaii, and halfway between California and Australia.
You do not cross the International Date Line to fly to Tahiti
from North America.
Two hours behind Pacific Standard Time. Three hours behind
during Daylight Saving Time (April-October). Time in the Marquesas
is half an hour ahead of the rest of the islands.
we need to exchange money? If so, what's the rate?
Upon arrival in French Polynesia, most visitors exchange some
money at the Faa’a Airport or at their hotel. Since
most credit cards are readily accepted in all tourist areas,
it is not necessary to exchange large amounts. The currency
is the French Pacific franc or CFP.
Click HERE for today's exchange rate
Is English Spoken?
French and Tahitian are the official languages, but English
is spoken and understood in tourist areas. Brushing up on
a few basic French phrases and learning Tahitian greetings
is always appreciated and can make your visit more enjoyable.
What Are the Seasons and Climate?
It’s always summer in Tahiti with plenty of sun and
just enough rain to keep the waterfalls flowing and the flowers
blooming! The climate is tropical but moderate, with sunny,
pleasant days and an average yearly temperature of 79°F.
The ocean and lagoon waters average 80°F year-round with
less than a degree of variation from the surface down to 150
feet. For a comparison of climate versus North American cities,
What Should I Wear?
The climate and lifestyle on the islands call for casual and
comfortable clothing. Pack loose-fitting, natural fabrics
and plenty of shorts. Pareus and swimsuits can be worn during
the daytime at the resorts, while casual shirts and walking
shorts provide the most comfort during island explorations.
For dinner, casual slacks and sport shirts are the best choice
for men; cool, sundresses are most appropriate for women.
What Are the Essentials to Bring?
Every Tahiti visitor is encouraged to bring sunscreen, brimmed
hats, sunglasses, swimsuits, reef-walking shoes, bug repellent,
prescription medicine, and a camera with plenty of film.
Will My Hair Dryer Work?
Hotels use either 110 or 220 volts, depending on the location.
A converter/adapter is required for appliances you bring,
How Are the Hotel Rooms Cooled?
Air-conditioning is available in many of the hotel rooms on
the island of Tahiti and at several resorts throughout the
islands. In most other rooms, ceiling fans draw in the cool
What Kind of Shopping Is There? What Souvenirs
Should I Bring Back?
Among Tahiti’s most popular products are black pearls,
coconut and tiare soaps, monoi oil, Hinano beer, vanilla beans,
shell leis, carved wooden bowls, fine woven hats and baskets,
and the colorful handmade pareu fabric worn by the island
natives. The bustling Papeete public market, called Le Marché,
is open daily and is a favorite with visitors.
Do I Bargain at Shops and Markets?
Bargaining and haggling over prices with Tahitians is not
customary; the price marked is the price paid.
How Do I Buy Pearls?
Every trip to Tahiti should include the purchase of a Tahitian
Pearl. This natural gem is born in Tahitian waters at over
1,000 pearl farms. All sizes and price ranges are available
from merchants located in the resorts, on the cruiseships,
and in most towns throughout the islands.
How Do We Get Around on the Islands?
Most islands are small and easy to navigate. The most inexpensive
and common form of transportation is public open-air buses
called Le Truck. Le Truck operates frequently in Papeete and
around the island of Tahiti and less frequently on other islands.
Car rentals are readily available on each island but most
visitors do not rent a car for their entire stay but for select
days or half days of exploring on their own. Taxis can be
hired within the primary towns, at most hotels, and at airports
and ferry terminals.
What Activities Are There to Do?
Tahiti is the perfect place to do everything or nothing at
all. Popular activities include 4x4 safaris, scuba diving,
snorkeling, outrigger canoeing, sailing, jet skiing, windsurfing,
bike riding, tennis, horseback riding, deep-sea fishing, shopping,
hiking, circle-island tours, helicopter rides, and tours of
museums and ancient marae.
Can I Charter a Boat?
Yacht and sailboat charters are available on most of the major
islands, particularly Raiatea, Tahiti, and Moorea. Some even
come complete with a captain and crew.
What Kind of Diving Can I Expect?
The islands of Tahiti offer world-class diving. The clear,
calm lagoons, coral gardens, underwater passes, and oceanic
drop-offs all create an abundant aquaculture where docile
sharks, sea turtles, colorful fish, and huge manta rays abound.
Can I Learn to Scuba Dive at a Hotel?
If you have at least one week, you can enroll in a complete
resort certification course or take a shorter, four-day course
at many of the resorts. If you are already a PADI, NAUI, or
SSI member, your certification is recognized.