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Capital:Papeete (located on Tahiti)
Location:Oceania, five archipelagoes (Archipel des Tuamotu, Iles Gambier, Iles Marquises, Iles Tubuai, Society Islands) in the South Pacific Ocean about halfway between South America and Australia
Currency:Comptoirs Francais du Pacifique francs (XPF)
Area:4,167 sq km (118 islands and atolls; 67 are inhabited)
Population:297,154 (July 2021 est.)
Languages:French (official) 70%, Polynesian (official) 28.2%, other 1.8% (2012 est.)
Religion:Protestant 54%, Roman Catholic 30%, other 10%, no religion 6%
Things to Do
1. Snorkeling in Bora Bora
Explore the beautiful coral reefs and swim with tropical fish in the crystal clear waters of Bora Bora.
2. Hiking Mount Otemanu
Embark on a challenging hike to the peak of Mount Otemanu and enjoy breathtaking views of Bora Bora from the top.
3. Jet Skiing in Moorea
Feel the thrill of speeding across the crystal clear lagoon of Moorea on a jet ski and admire the scenic coastline.
4. Swimming with Sharks in Rangiroa
Dive into the turquoise waters of Rangiroa and swim alongside sharks and other fascinating marine creatures.
5. Visiting the Sacred Marae of Huahine
Learn about the rich Polynesian history by visiting the ancient sacred sites of Huahine.
6. Exploring the Lagoon of Tikehau
Take a boat tour of the Tikehau Lagoon and discover the vibrant coral gardens and abundant marine life.
7. Cruising the Bora Bora Lagoon
Experience ultimate relaxation as you cruise the pristine waters of the Bora Bora lagoon and enjoy magnificent views of the surrounding islands.
8. Snorkeling in Tahiti
Discover the diverse underwater world of Tahiti as you snorkel around the coral reefs and encounter colorful fish and marine life.
9. Exploring the Caves of Hiva Oa
Go on an adventure and explore the mysterious caves of Hiva Oa, home to ancient petroglyphs and stunning rock formations.
10. Pearl Farm Tour in Raiatea
Learn about the fascinating process of pearl cultivation on a tour of a traditional pearl farm in Raiatea.
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French Polynesia has a tropical climate with warm temperatures all year round. The average temperature is around 28°C (82°F) and the humidity is high. There are two main seasons: the hot, rainy season from November to April, and the cool, dry season from May to October.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit French Polynesia is during the cool, dry season from May to October. This is when the weather is dry and pleasant, and there is less rain and fewer storms. This is also the peak tourist season, so be sure to book accommodations and activities in advance. If you're interested in surfing, the best time to visit is during the rainy season from November to April, when the waves are bigger.
The most popular type of accommodation in French Polynesia are hotels. There are a wide range of options, from luxury resorts to budget-friendly hotels. Most of the hotels are located on the main islands of Tahiti and Moorea, but there are also options on the smaller atolls and islands.
Resorts are another popular option in French Polynesia, particularly for those looking for a more luxurious experience. These resorts often offer all-inclusive packages, including meals and activities, making them a convenient choice for those looking to truly relax and enjoy the island life.
Guesthouses and B&Bs
For a more budget-friendly option, guesthouses and bed and breakfasts can be found on most of the islands in French Polynesia. These types of accommodation are often run by local families and offer a more intimate and authentic experience.
For those looking for more space and privacy, villas are also available for rent in French Polynesia. These can be standalone villas or part of a larger resort property. Villas often come with a private pool and other amenities, making them a great choice for families or groups traveling together.
The most convenient way to travel between the islands of French Polynesia is by plane. The main carrier is Air Tahiti, which offers flights between the main islands of Tahiti, Moorea, and Bora Bora. There are also smaller regional airlines that offer inter-island flights.
Ferries are also available for traveling between some of the islands, but they are less convenient than planes and may not run daily. These ferries are a good option for those who want to see more of the islands and enjoy a more scenic mode of transportation.
Cars and Buses
Cars and buses are available for rent on the main islands of Tahiti and Moorea. This is a good option for those who want to explore the islands on their own and have the flexibility to move around at their own pace.
Taxis and Shuttles
Taxis and shuttle services are also available on the main islands, making it easy to get around. These services can be arranged through your hotel or through local companies.
Bicycles and Scooters
For a more eco-friendly option, bicycles and scooters can be rented on most of the islands in French Polynesia. This is a great way to see the sights and explore the islands at a slower pace.
- The currency in French Polynesia is the French Pacific Franc (XPF).
- Credit cards are widely accepted in tourist areas, but it's advisable to carry some cash for small vendors or places that don't accept cards.
Cash And Cards
- It's recommended to carry both cash and cards in French Polynesia.
- Keep small denominations of local currency for small purchases or tipping.
- Notify your bank or credit card company about your travel plans to avoid any issues with card usage.
- ATMs are available in major cities and tourist areas in French Polynesia.
- It's advisable to withdraw enough cash for your needs as ATMs may be limited in remote areas.
- Tipping is not customary in French Polynesia, as a service charge is often included in the bill.
- If you receive exceptional service, rounding up the bill or leaving a small amount as a gesture of appreciation is optional.
Cost Of Living
- The cost of living in French Polynesia is generally high.
- Expect higher prices for accommodation, dining, and activities, especially in popular tourist destinations like Bora Bora.
- Be cautious of street vendors or individuals offering counterfeit goods.
- Avoid sharing personal information or financial details with strangers.
- Use reputable tour operators and transportation services to avoid scams.