Tahiti is the busiest of all of the French Polynesian Islands and is certainly one of the most popular places in the Pacific for a luxurious honeymoon getaway. It is also a common stopping point for cruises. The island was once used as a base for Captain Cook and other 18th century explorers as they mapped out and explored the South Pacific. Today, the Tahiti Islands serves as a major vacation destination, a residence for over 178,000 people, and the busiest port in French Polynesia. No matter where your Tahiti travel adventures take you, beautiful beaches or lagoons are probably just a short walk away.
The most well known French Polynesian Islands are Tahiti, Bora Bora, and Moorea. Each island offers a distinct charm and set of attractions that sets it apart from other French Polynesian islands. The largest island, Tahiti (which means "gathering place") is characterized by beautiful mountains covered in tropical foliage, large waterfalls, and spectacular beaches with both white and black sand. Most people start their Tahiti travel by flying into Papetee, Tahiti"s capital and the location of the region"s largest airport. Papetee is a small, yet busy, city with plenty of French flavor. Visit the Central Market where you can buy fresh coconuts and hand crafted souvenirs. Also be sure to check out the Pearl Museum as well as the great selection of diners overlooking the ocean. After a day in the capital city of Tahiti travel by bus, rental car, or moped to one of the many beaches in Tahiti or jump on a ferry departing to the island of Moorea. The ferry rides takes just under an hour.
The island of Moorea is considered the "little sister" of Tahiti. Although it is much smaller than the main French Polynesia island of Tahiti, there are many beaches, shopping, and other things to do there. Some of the most popular activities to do on Tahiti vacations in Moorea include scuba diving, parasailing, swimming with dolphins, and visiting the local fruit factories. Belvedere Overlook is considered the best place to get a panoramic mountain top view of Moorea and the south pacific. The overlook is a common place site for photographers and anyone who wants to view miles of bright blue ocean of French Polynesia. The Opunohu Valley is another must see attraction of the Tahiti Islands. The large valley in the interior of northern Moorea is the ideal place to go horseback riding and hike through lush vegetation. Moorea also has an abundance of coral reefs that can be explored by scuba diving and snorkeling.
The Tahiti Islands offer an abundance of beaches, pearl shopping, and hiking opportunities. Although Tahiti is the largest of the French Polynesia Islands, you"ll find the most beaches on the island of Bora Bora. The most frequently visited beach is called Matira Point. This long stretch of white sand in southern Bora Bora is scattered with public swimming areas along with private beaches that belong to beach resorts such as the Sofitel and the Intercontinental. You can find dozens of shops that sell Tahitian Black Pearls in downtown Papetee and in various shops on the islands of Moorea and Bora Bora. To learn more about the famous black pearl, visit the Museum of the Black Pearl in downtownPapetee. This small museum is open daily from 8am-7pm. Its exhibits document the history of Tahitian Black Pearls and teaches visitors how to judge the quality of a pearl. Hiking is very popular on the main island of Tahiti. One of the most popular spots to hike is the Te Pari Cliffs, located on the south coast. The hike is moderately difficult and is highlighted by views of the coastline as well as green valleys. If you're planning a honeymoon vacation or considering Tahiti cruise packages and you're worried about the weather, the islands enjoy a warm climate all year with temperatures ranging between 80-85 degrees. Although there is a rainy season from October to March, rainfall is relatively infrequent making Tahiti an ideal destination any time of year