Bora Bora is really expensive. If you cannot afford to stay at the top places give them at least a visit. Take a half day in the "Deep Ocean Spa" at the Hotel Intercontinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa. Boat from Intercontinental main island plus Spa costs less than simpel Taxi ride per boat, or less than a 2 hour boat rent.
The water here is sooo clear! And plenty of fish plus the sharks. This is great for big lemon sharks, white tips etc. But only go out with a dive instructor you have faith in. Check your gear and remember the nearest decompression chamber to Moorea is a long way away on Tahiti main island! Over 30 mins by plane so any decompression accidents could be terminal. No one has experienced a problem to date apart from a dive instructor who had his hand bitten of when hand feeding a shark - so I learnt from the local pharmacist.
You must drive around the whole island once! And buy local fruits at the roadside stalls. There are only a few restaurants but they all have good food. Visit the firestation! It is just a shed and lean too! Look out for wild pig! And visit the viewpoint over Cooks Bay.
We had five days here which is enough to dive (day 1) , see the island and have picnics on remote beaches (day 2 & 3), swim at the pool (day 5) and sadly leave knowing you may never be able to come to this paradise again. So take hundreds of photos of everything: people, wild life, scenery, shops, flowers everything! Just go snap happy!
Flying above the various islands of French Polynesia is a thing to do in itself, providing incredible views from above ! Small stretches of land surrounded by Blue-green lagoons …something not to be missed ! If you are lucky enough to do some island hopping, try to sit on the best side of the plane to enjoy a perfect view. Flying from Tahiti to Moorea, or from Moorea to Bora Bora, sit on the left side of the plane. But sit on the right side of the plane if you fly from Bora to Tahiti.
The most peaceful of the 3 islands we visited. A few pristine beaches, gorgeous landscapes and fantastic view points, especially from the Belvedere and the Rock of Hiro. This is sums up quite fairly tiny romantic Bora…
But most of the people spend their time on the overwater bungalows and hardly enjoy the jungle-like interior of the island, that you only discover while climbing high into the hills for spectacular views. Well when you see the beauty of the lagoons there, you can’t really blame them :-)
Moorea is Tahiti’s little sister island, lying 17 Km across the Sea of Moons. In spite of the short distance separating the two islands, you can feel a difference of atmosphere. Moorea is much more laid back than its bigger sister, with less cars and noise. A magical island with some amazing places to visit ! The view on the twin bays (Cook’s and Opunohu) from the Belvedere lookout, for example, the “lycee agricole”, and the lagoonarium, among others.
Enjoy the beaches and relax at your hotel, but in any case don’t miss those places !
A first step into French Polynesia and the gateway to Paradise. The island combines both city and nature, and has black or white beaches as well. Take a day or two to discover its incredible landscapes ! All those places with odd names such as "Trou du Souffleur"… They’re well worth it ! Lush green peaks await you either on Tahiti Iti or on Tahiti Nui. Don’t neglect this capital island, visit its instructive museums, and take a stroll in Papeete !
For folks who don't speak French, you can't get a room with a view here. (Well, maybe the mayor can.) A hôtel de ville is just a town hall. This one is just more ornate than many of the ones back home. This is a knockoff of Queen Pomare's mansion. This building, with its wraparound porch, is right in line with the colonial South Pacific. The town hall was dedicated in 1990 by (then) French President François Mitterand, during a big to-do.
The lighthouse located on Point Venus beach (the one with black sand) was built in 1867 by Robert Louis Stevenson's daddy, Thomas Stevenson. It stands 110 feet (34 m.) high and still works today, different from many lighthouse which are there now just for looks. There is a snack bar not too far away, next to two boutiques where you can find hand-made pareaus.
Yikes, did your heart miss a beat there!
Seriously, this picture was just a re-enactment as part of a show, but the clothing is (apparently) traditional Polynesian wedding clothing. If I remember correctly, these two were actually man and wife, so there didn't need to be too much acting involved.
As with everything, French Polynesia is so expensive, I would seriously think hard before thinking of doing something like this, if your wallet can take it, can those of your guests? Whilst we were there, there were a lot of honeymooners and there, and for a lot of people, the over pricing of everything took the shine off the location.
If you are around about PK27 to PK28 on Moorea in the evening, you can get some really spectacular sunsets as the sun goes down.
It's a great place to find a bar and just hangout and watch the sunset (or in my case, find a boat and turn your back on the sunset ;-) )
The Hotel Hibiscus (which conveniently in our case was where we were staying) is famous for its sunset bar, and is well worth dropping in to if the sunset looks like it is going to be a good one. That way you can put your feet up and watch the sun set. You'll need to be quick though as the sun sets very fast in French Polynesia.
Taverio Peata on the island of Tahiti is a beautiful church built is a classically Tahitian style. It is built out of lots of small stones and has a small steeple. This is a practicing church and was hosting a wedding when we drove past it the first time.
It is very close to Arahurahu Marae, and is well worth pulling over on the side of the road to look at if you are driving back to Papeete or the airport on Tahiti at Faaa.
Apparently this 'waterfall' on Moorea is actually quite good in the rainy season.
We drove the car up as far as we could, and then had to hike over rocks etc for around 20 mins to get to the cascade.
Cascade is a rather debatable word for it in the middle of August. Checkout the flow in the photo! What flow I hear you ask? Exactly. I hope this doesn't sound too disrespectful, but if I had urinated against the rock, there would have been a better flow...
The hike through the forest to get there was pretty pleasant mind...
There's not too much I can say about this one as the picture says most of it! This is the classical view of a Polynesian BBQ on Moorea.
In actual fact, it is the restaurant associated with the Huge Polynesian Man in the previous tip. I believe the restuarant is only open in the evenings if I remember the signs that were up correctly.
As you can see, the backdrop is classical Polynesia, and although it is bright daylight, you can easily imagine what the scene would look like with the moon out and a log fire roaring in the fire pit. You can almost smell the food!
If you drive around Moorea, you can't fail to spot this statue of a Polynesian warrior on the side of the road!
To my knowledge, it does little more than advertise a restaurant that only appeared to be open in the evening, although the setting looked very good for the restaurant (it was right on the waterfront).
It was common to see people stopping to take pictures with him, so the advertising probably worked well!
You may need to enlarge the photo for this tip!
This is very easy one to see, seeing as how most people arrive in French Polynesia at Tahiti International Airport (also known as Faaa).
If you look at the bottom half of the picture, this may just look like another Marae, but it is actually built around the departure lounge in the airport (Tahiti, Faaa). You can see this is true as the plane I was just about to depart on to Easter Island can be seen in the background at the top of the picture.
The airport was a problem to build. It was built in 1960, but the difficult was that there not enough flat land to build a runway that would allow modern aircraft to land. The solution was to fill in the lagoon and reef around Faaa giving plenty of flat land!
My wife and I went there for a 4 night getaway and we were impressed with everything from the start....more
Motu Tehotu, 98730, French Polynesia
Good for: Couples
Le Taha'a is a lovely hotel in many ways, but it is not a good fit for everyone. The layout of the...more