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French Polynesia & Tahiti

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Le Meridien Tahiti: Overwater Bungalows for Honeymooners

Le Meridien Tahiti is located in the Punaauia region of Tahiti, French Polynesia. The resort offers a swimming pool with a white sandy bottom, a sandy beach and a range of ...

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Aerial

Manihi, the Island of the Black Pearl

Located on Tuamotu atoll of Manihi, the resort is surrounded by palm trees and white sand beaches. Explore the shore in an outrigger canoe, play mini golf, beach volleyball and go kayaking.

Exterior

Restaurant Over the Water and Cultural Sites

The hotel is located on the island of Tahiti next to a lagoon and offers a spa and several dining options. Visit the market in Papeete, go shopping and see the Museum of Paul Gaugin or the Pearl Museum.

Walkway

Maitai Fakarava

Located in the Tuamotu Archipelago, the property is the second largest atoll in Polynesia and becoming a part of a the UNESCO Biosphere Program.

Lodge

Hiva Oa Hanakee Pearl Lodge on the Marquesas Islands

Explore nearby beaches, walk in the banana and papaya groves, and hike to the island's waterfalls.

Tahiti & French Polynesia: Tips for Travelers

Tahiti and her islands and atolls comprise the country of French Polynesia - five island groups or archipelagos which lie in the South Pacific - south of the equator yet in the same time zone as Hawaii. Tahiti is one of the best vacation destinations for beach lovers. You can picnic on secluded beaches, have a romantic dinner at the waters edge, and participate in a wide range of outdoor activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling, deep sea fishing, catamaran cruises, tennis, and helicopter tours.

Where to Stay

Sheraton Hotel Tahiti is located on Tahiti. Sheraton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa, while not on the island of Tahiti, is a 30-minute catamaran ride away.

Bora Bora is the most popular vacation destination in French Polynesia, offering an array of accommodation options, including the ultra-romantic over-water bungalows. The island is a 40-minute plane ride from Tahiti. Luxury resorts include Pearl Beach Resort and Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa. For more a more moderately-priced option on the island, check out Hotel Maitai Polynesia.

Other island resorts near Tahiti include Le Tahaa Private Island Resort, located on the Vanilla Island close to Bora Bora, and Raiatea Hawaiki Nui Hotel, set on the tropical island of Raiatea.

Tahiti Vacation Tips

Air Tahiti Nui has just launched non-stop flights from New York to Papeete starting in July 2005. This will add New York as an alternate connecting destination for those who would have been forced to change plans in Los Angeles. Of course this also means that if you live in New York you can reach Tahiti in 12 hours on the new flight.

Airfare will be a very large part of your vacation budget so be sure to check the airline websites for any special vacation deals. Air New Zealand often has web specials from Los Angeles to Papeete. Air Tahiti Nui also offers some reasonably priced vacation packages on their website under the vacation specials section. Resorts will often have great specials and packages available throughout the year.

The weather in Tahiti features sunny, pleasant days and an average yearly air and water temperature of 80 degrees F. Summer is from November through April, when the climate is slightly warmer and more humid. Winter is from May through October, when the climate is slightly cooler and dryer. There are low season offers available from resorts from January through March.

You will not want to leave home without your sunglasses, a digital camera, a hat for sun protection, a new swimsuit, and your snorkeling or dive gear. You also might want to consider a pair of sandals that you can wear in the water when you explore the reef or on trips remote beaches.

Getting There and Getting Around

Tahitian-based Air Tahiti Nui and Air France, Air New Zealand and Hawaiian Airlines all fly to Tahiti from the US mainland. Flight time to Tahiti from Los Angeles is seven and a half hours.

On Tahiti, there are now two types of buses: the open-air trucks called Le Truck and the RTC large white coaches, both operating frequently in Papeete and around the island. Le Truck also operates on most other islands. Taxis can be hired at most hotels, airports, and ferry terminals. For scenic tours around the islands, try escorted excursions by boat, 4x4 safari, bus, or helicopter.

Rental cars are available at most airports but with excursions from your hotel and the activities on the water you really won't need a car. You don't travel all the way to Tahiti to drive.

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