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Our Certified Tahiti Specialist ® agents have compiled a list of FAQ's before you travel to the beautiful Islands of Tahiti. Be sure to also visit "Our Tahiti Expert Reveals..." page for even more Tahiti travel tips and advice.
Q. When is high season in French Polynesia?
A. High season in the islands, with correspondingly higher prices, typically runs from June 1 until November 1. However, some resorts do honor low season pricing during the entire month of June.
Q. When is rainy season in French Polynesia?
A. November through March is considered to be rainy season with July to September being the dry season. However, as with most tropical areas, the weather can be unpredictable, and it's not uncommon to experience days on end of perfect sunshine in February or more rain than expected in July!
Q. What is a motu?
A. A motu is a small, flat island that often looks very similar to the classic "desert island" image.
Q. Is it better to stay on the main island or a motu in Bora Bora?
A. Some people like to be on the main island for easy access to town and restaurants and some prefer to be on a motu in order to have a gorgeous view of the main island and Mount Otemanu (Bora Bora's famed peak). Often, staying on a motu also allows you to have the experience of staying on a "private" resort island.
Q. How long is the flight?
A. The flying time is approximately 8-8.5 hours between Los Angeles, CA and Papeete, Tahiti. From there, the flight to Moorea is about 10 minutes and about 50 minutes to Bora Bora.
Q. Can I take a boat between islands?
A. A ferry is available between Tahiti and Moorea, as well as between Raiatea and Taha’a. However, to get between other islands, a short flight is necessary. However, taking a cruise or chartering a catamaran allows you sail between the islands without interisland flights.
Q. What does food cost on average?
A. Average buffet or room service breakfast at a resort: $35-$40 per person
Lunch (entree, shared dessert): $25-$35 per person
Dinner (appetizer, entree, dessert): $75-$100 per person
Soft drink: $3-$5 each
Beer or glass of wine: $5-$10 each
Alcoholic cocktail: $12-$20 each
Q. Do I need a passport and visa to travel to French Polynesia?
A. You do need a US passport with at least 6 months validity remaining as of the day you leave the islands to fly back to the United States. A visa is not required for US citizens staying fewer than 30 days. If you do not hold a US passport, please check with the French Consulate for further information on obtaining a visa.
Q. Are vaccinations required to travel to French Polynesia?
A. None are required, though we recommend checking the CDC website for their current recommendations.
Q. What are the baggage restrictions on the airlines?
A. Air Tahiti Nui and Air France allow passengers 2 pieces of checked luggage, up to 50 pounds. However, Air Tahiti (the inter-islands carrier) only allows up to 44 pounds of checked baggage, and 6 pounds of carry-on baggage. Any additional baggage may incur a fee.
Q. Can I use American dollars (USD) in French Polynesia?
A. No. The currency of the islands is the French Polynesian Franc (XPF/CFP). Credit cards are widely accepted (Visa and MasterCard more so than American Express, though most of the major resorts do accept AMEX as well). For the best exchange rates, we recommend using ATMs, which are located on most of the islands. However, be advised that many banks charge a fee for using ATMs that are out of network or in another country than your bank. Check with your bank for the specific details.
Q. How much duty free liquor can I bring into French Polynesia?
A. You are allowed 2 liters per person.
Q. Is there a strong language barrier?
A. At most of the major resorts and restaurants, English is widely spoken. At some of smaller hotels, restaurants, and other sights, English speakers may be a bit less common. However, overall, it is not difficult to enjoy the islands without speaking French or Tahitian. Though we do always recommend learning a few basic words, in order to really get the most out of your experience!
Q. Is there a bug problem in French Polynesia?
A. As with any tropical destination, you may encounter some insects during your stay. To avoid any mosquito or fly bites, be sure to pack bug spray. You may never need it during your stay, but it’s always best to be prepared.
Q. What is the most romantic island/resort?
A. While every resort in French Polynesia is romantic, some of the smaller, more intimate resorts include Le Taha’a Island Resort, Tikehau Pearl Beach, Kia Ora Sauvage, Vahine Island Resort, Sofitel Private Island Bora Bora, and The Brando.
Q. Is it possible to vacation in French Polynesia for under $5000?
A. It is possible to go to French Polynesia and stay in the $5000 range, so don’t abandon all hope just yet! While you will mainly be confined to 4 or 5 nights on the main island of Tahiti or Moorea, and will have to forgo a stay in an overwater bungalow, you will still get to experience the beauty of the Islands of Tahiti! However, even a 4 or 5 night trip is absolutely worth it, especially if you are already on the West Coast of the US, where travel time to the Caribbean can actually be much longer! Many of the resorts offer less expensive room categories, such a garden room or garden bungalow. Garden bungalows often have the same interiors as the overwater bungalows and are very close to the beach. For those with a slightly larger budget, but still looking to spend less than $7000, do not rule out some of the lesser known islands, such as Huahine, Tikehau, Raiatea, or Rangiroa. The Islands of Tahiti have so much more to offer than Bora Bora in an overwater bungalow, so keep an open mind when planning your trip!
Should you have any additional questions not listed above, please do not hesitate to connect with an Easy Escapes Travel Certified Tahiti Specialist®!