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Overview

French Polynesia is the quintessential South Pacific destination with world class diving, snorkeling, surfing, sailing, and cruising in five chains of islands of spectacular natural beauty. A French colony, the territory's Polynesian heritage is rich with extensive archaeological sites on many of the islands. Traditional culture is alive and well today. Tahitian and other Polynesian languages are spoken in most island homes, although the language of business and government is French. Electrifying Tahitian dancing can be seen several nights a week at island nights in all the main resorts, not to mention the colorful festivals organized ...

French Polynesia is the quintessential South Pacific destination with world class diving, snorkeling, surfing, sailing, and cruising in five chains of islands of spectacular natural beauty. A French colony, the territory's Polynesian heritage is rich with extensive archaeological sites on many of the islands. Traditional culture is alive and well today. Tahitian and other Polynesian languages are spoken in most island homes, although the language of business and government is French. Electrifying Tahitian dancing can be seen several nights a week at island nights in all the main resorts, not to mention the colorful festivals organized throughout the year. The French connection guarantees high standards at French Polynesia's restaurants and hotels, and one of the destination's only drawbacks is price. Because the French Pacific franc is linked to the euro, many things cost double what is charged in most of the other South Pacific countries and territories, though this doesn't seem to deter most visitors. Although Tahiti is the gateway island, most of the beach resorts are on nearby Moorea, Huahine, Bora Bora, and Rangiroa. The weekly cruises from Tahiti to Bora Bora are very popular, and a passenger-carrying freighter plies the seas to the Marquesas Islands.

David Stanley
About the Expert

David Stanley is the author of the Moon guidebooks Fiji, Tahiti, and South Pacific. He has been writing about the Pacific since 1979.

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David Stanley for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Tahiti is the largest island in the Windward group of French Polynesia, located in the archipelago of Society Islands in the southern Pacific Ocean.
  • Language: French, Polynesian
  • Currency: Comptoirs Francais du Pacifique franc (XPF)
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    May to October are the cooler, drier months although some rain can be expected year round.