Best Time to Visit Papeete, Tahiti, Weather Year Round
Papeete is the capital of Tahiti which is one of the islands that make up French Polynesia. The weather in Papeete is warm and balmy all year long, although there are two seasons in French Polynesia. These islands are in the Southern Hemisphere, so the seasons are reversed. Summer is between November and April. At this time of the year the heat and the humidity can be unbearable for many visitors - it is also the rainy season. The winter is the peak season in Papeete and considered by most the best time to visit Tahiti. There is little rain and the temperatures and humidity are comfortable. Hotel room rates remain high all year round. Photo: gilca/Fotolia
»Papeete, Tahiti Weather & Temperature by Month
January kicks the year off on a rainy note with Papeete receiving a whopping 314 mm of rainfall. The average high temperature is wonderfully warm at 86°F (30°C) while the average low temperature is nice and mild at 75°F (24°C).
In February, both the average low and average high temperatures hold steady at 75°F (24°C) and 86°F (30°C) respectively.
Papeete Weather in March: The heat is on in March with Papeete receiving the warmest temperatures of the year. High temperature averages reach 87°F (31°C), while the low temperature average remains the same at 75°F (24°C).
In April, the lovely beach weather continues with temperatures staying exactly the same at 87°F (31°C) and 75°F (24°C) for the average high and average low temperature respectively.
May sees a drastic drop in precipitation rates falling to 100 mm. Both the low and high temperature averages see a 2-degree decrease to 73°F (23°C) and 85°F (29°C).
Papeete Weather in June: The weather continues to cool down in June as the peak season continues in Papeete. It’s a beautiful 83°F (29°C) for the average high temperature while the average low temperature sees a 2-degree decline to 71°F (22°C).
July sees the low temperature averages remain the same at 71°F (21°C) while the high temperature average falls by a single degree to 82°F (28°C). The precipitation average also decreases to 60 mm making it a fantastic time to laze around by the beach.
In August, Papeete gets the coldest temperatures of the year with the average low temperature sinking to 70°F (21°C). The average high temperature holds steady at 82°F (28°C). Additionally, August is the driest month of the year with just 50 mm of rainfall to be expected. The fantastic conditions make it a great month for surfing.
Papeete Weather in September: Things start to heat back up in September with the average high temperature getting a single degree increase to 83°F (28°C) alongside the average low temperature which goes up to 71°F (22°C).
October is the last month of Papeete’s dry season with just 90 mm of rainfall to be expected. The high temperatures rise another degree to 84°F (29°C) just like the low temperature which creeps up to 72°F (22°C).
In November the average low temperature and the average high temperature measure in at 73°F (23°C) and 85°F (29°C) respectively. This month also marks that start of the rainy season in Papeete, which means a decrease in the overall volume of tourists in town.
Papeete Weather in December: The rainy season is definitely back in the swing of things by the time December rolls around. Rainfall is high at 295 mm this month. While the high temperature average remains steady at 85°F (29°C), the low temperature gets a small bump up to 74°F (23°C).
There’s no denying Tahiti’s incredible beauty and when the dry season hits between the months of May and October, it’s nothing short of paradise. While the dry season is generally the best time to come visit with temperatures mild and humidity low, surfing enthusiasts will find that August is the absolute best time to come by as the Billabong Pro Surf Competition rolls around town. Avid golfers can watch the action of the Tahiti International Golf Championship in September while art lovers will swoon over the work being produced in May at the International Graffiti Art Festival.
»Getting to Papeete, Tahiti
International flights arrive at the Tahiti-Faaa International Airport: it is located about four miles west of downtown Papeete and is the only international airport in French Polynesia. There is an information booth located just after Customs: the staff here can help you with questions about your visit. Some visitors have pre-arranged transportation with their hotel or through a tour package. There are car rental agencies if you choose to travel to the city by car. Local buses pass by the airport and these are in reasonably good condition. Another choice is to engage the services of a taxi.
Photo: lifeofriley /Fotolia
Many visitors choose to explore Papeete and its attractions by walking: it is easily covered on foot. Riding a bicycle is a fun way to see the city. Many accommodations lend bikes or rent them to their guests. Another way to get around Papeete and the island of Tahiti is called “Le Truck.” This is a local bus that you can use to see Papeete: there are three main stations in Papeete. You can catch one near the marketplace and it will take you as far as the cruise ship dock. Taxis are another option, but they tend to be quite expensive.
Food is expensive in Papeete as it is on all of the islands of French Polynesia: most of it has to be brought in to the islands. This applies to restaurant prices as well as prices of food in grocery stores. There are, of course, good French restaurants, as well as Chinese and Italian in Papeete. Le Belvedere is a French restaurant perched above Papeete with a view of the city and the Pacific Ocean. This restaurant serves a la carte meals as well as three course set menus. On the other end of dining experiences are les roulottes: these are portable meal wagons that appear at night down by the cruise ship docks.
Shopping is a fun experience in Papeete: there is a shopping mall as well as small shops selling specialty items. Black pearls are the most popular souvenirs or gift items that people buy while in Papeete. Papeete has many bijouteries, or jewelry shops, where you can find black pearls in a variety of settings. The mall is called the Centre Moana Nui: here you’ll find several boutiques, several places to eat, and a large Carrefour supermarket. Just across from this mall is the Centre Artisinant which specializes in handmade products: these include baskets, handbags, mats, needlework, rag dolls, seashell jewelry, and straw hats.
Photo: Rafael Ben-Ari/Fotolia
»Getting Married in Papeete
Papeete and the surrounding areas are beautiful places for weddings. Weddings between Canadian nationals and between American nationals are legally binding in French Polynesia. The paperwork takes between three and five months, so make sure to plan ahead. On the day of the ceremony, you and your guests and witnesses will first go to the Mairie, or city hall. After the ceremony the mayor gives you your Marriage Certificate. This is your official and legal wedding, but after this you are welcome to have your wedding at any place of your choice. One of the most popular wedding venues is the five star luxury property, the Manava Suite Resort Tahiti.
»Where to Stay
Some of the accommodations in Papeete can be noisy, so if you’re looking for excitement, stay in the heart of the city: if you’re looking for peace and tranquillity, look for a place just outside of the city. There are many luxury properties in Papeete including the Hotel Tahiti Nui, the InterContinental Resort Tahiti, the Manava Suite Resort Tahiti, Le Meridien Tahiti, the Tahiti Pearl Beach Resort, and more. There are less expensive choices including the Tahiti Airport Motel which is convenient because of its proximity to the airport, the Hotel Sarah Nui, and bed and breakfasts like Ahitea Lodge and Inaiti Lodge.
Best Time to Visit Papeete, Tahiti, Weather Year Round
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