I was chosen by my parent company, Montrose Travel, to participate in an agent familiarization (FAM) trip to French Polynesia. This trip is 6 nights and 7 days on the islands of Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora. We stayed at the Hilton Moorea and the Hilton Bora Bora.
Tahiti is 8 hours by non-stop air from Los Angeles. You board the flight in the afternoon or evening and arrive 8 hours later. The afternoon flight arrives in Papeete, Tahiti in the evening and the night flight delivers you early morning. We flew on Air Tahiti Nui. It was a pleasant experience with food, drink and on-board entertainment included. They even provide socks for your comfort.
Upon our early morning arrival, we were transferred to downtown Papeete, where we had breakfast in a local restaurant above a public market. Since it is French Polynesia, crepes were available as well as traditional Continental breakfast and American breakfast foods.
We were able to visit several interesting locations on our morning tour of the island, including “three falls” water falls, the home of James Norman Hall, who wrote Mutiny on the Bounty and the Museum of Tahiti and her Islands.
Tahiti has two islands that are connected by a road. Tahiti Nui (big) and Tahiti Iti (small).
This island, the capitol of French Polynesia, is the most industrialized of the islands and has the most shopping opportunities in one place. The main goodies to shop for are Tahitian Black Pearls and Tahitian Vanilla. In the evening, food trucks are very popular. They line the street of the town waterfront and allow you to dine with an awesome view. You could easily spend one or two nights exploring the natural wonders of the capitol of French Polynesia.
The languages spoken here are Tahitian, French and English. We have had no problems with any language barriers with any of the shop keepers or locals.
The experience on Tahiti is very different from Hawaii or the Caribbean. While it is a pricey destination, it is very similar in cost to these other island choices. The people here are happy and thriving economically. You do not see the poverty of the Caribbean or the industrialization of Hawaii. The lush hills and crystal clear waters call you to activities both on land and by sea. Tahiti receives as many visitors in a year that Hawaii receives in a week. This makes it a great escape from the loud, fast-paced world that we are used to. If you think Hawaii is relaxing, think again. Think Tahiti!
Tahiti is located South of the equator in the southern hemisphere. Do you like star-gazing? The skies here are unpolluted by smog or light pollution. The southern sky boasts the Southern Cross constellation and the big dipper is upside down. Since it is in the southern hemisphere, the seasons are reversed. We are going into the dry winter season, where the humidity is lower and the temperatures a bit cooler. The winter is the best time to avoid mosquitos too. Another benefit of the winter months are the humpback whales. The whale population of French Polynesia travels from their summer feeding ground in Antarctica to the waters of French Polynesia to give birth and mate. They are here from July – October each year.
Check back soon for the next two islands of Moorea and Bora Bora!
I will upload pictures upon my return. In the mean time you can see a few on my Facebook page at http://www.Facebook.com/GerkenGetaways