FRENCH POLYNESIA TRAVEL GUIDE
by Mac Candee
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Posted: Tuesday, August 11, 2020

French Polynesia, an island complex consisting of five archipelagos in the south-central Pacific Ocean. Included are 118 islands with a total land area roughly equivalent to that of Rome and Berlin combined, but spread out in the ocean. Even so, not all islands are inhabited and the population is just under 300,000 people. This remote corner of the Earth is the ultimate island paradise, and has been instantaneously popular since it was discovered by the French. I can definitely say it is one of my favorite places in the world, and I am sure anyone who has ever visited knows what I am talking about. Even if you’ve never heard of the French Polynesian islands themselves, you’ve probably seen many pictures of them all around the internet.

If you prefer viewing the whole experience first-hand and listening to my tips, my video on the topic will give you just that. You can watch it here:


In particular, Bora Bora is one of the most famous ones, with many of tourists coming every year to enjoy the unbelievable beauty of this small island. The island is famous with its over-the-water bungalows, as well as being one of the most dreamy destinations for couples on honeymoon and travelers with a taste for exotic islands alike. To say it is picturesque is a complete understatement, because these islands are surreal.

Another world-famous island is Tahiti. It is also an experience out of this world with its jaw-dropping beauty. This island hosts the majority of the French Polynesian population, even though Papeete is the capital.

The island paradise experience is complete with the overseas collectivity’s remote location. If you imagine going halfway between the USA and Australia, then they would be in the middle. They are far from everything, and it takes a while to fly out there, no matter where you are in the world. It took me about 8.5 hours to fly to Tahiti from San Francisco.

If you’re planning on visiting, you first have to know how you will get there, so you can plan accordingly. Arriving in French Polynesia, you would have to go to mainland Tahiti first, since all the international flights land there. After you have arrived, you can take a puddle jumper plane to another island of your choice. The more common islands people visit are Mo’orea, Bora Bora and Tahiti itself, but the first two are going to be the ones you hear about the most, since they are the most famous.

My itinerary

When considering how much time to spend on each of the islands, I’m going to tell you more about my itinerary, so that you can have an idea of how I organized my time.

Tahiti

When I first arrived in the French Polynesian islands, I spent some time in Tahiti. I was there for two nights, which I spent in an Airbnb in the mountains. It was an awesome modern accommodation option with an infinity pool, which you can sit in and overlook the whole island. Of course, there are other alternatives, like bungalows or hotels, but I wanted to get that mountain experience and see what that is like. It was also reasonably priced, while keeping in mind that the French Polynesia is very expensive.

If you have the time, definitely explore Tahiti. It is an awesome island, and it offers great excursion options, that you can learn more about here. They also have some really cool ocean side restaurants that you can have a meal in and just hang out in with an incredible view.

Mo'orea

Then you can head on over to the island of Mo’orea. You can even see this land from Tahiti, because the two are very close together. You have two options on how to get there. The first one is to fly there. It’s a very fast way to arrive to your destination, since you’ll be in the air for no more than ten minutes. Another option is to use the ferry. This is very convenient if you have a car with you, since it can also be easily transported. It is slower than the jet, but it doesn’t take that long to arrive, since it’s about a 45-minute ride. It’s also very enjoyable, because you can relax in the large boat, and also get food and drinks on the ferry itself, so you don’t have to worry about arriving hungry.

The first experience I had after arriving at the island is an excursion to the Mo’orea Lagoon Area. You go there by boat, and it is a unique, fascinatingly beautiful place. It was out of this world for me, since it’s so incredibly exquisite. This area allows you to swim with the fish, sharks and all the other sea wildlife. It is truly a marvelous experience, especially for anyone who hasn’t been to the French Polynesia before, because it is shocking just how clear the water is. Mo’orea also offers the over-the-water bungalow options, so if you want to spend a couple of days there, I would definitely recommend it. It is an amazing place, but in my opinion, Bora Bora is definitely the bigger showstopper. Another factor to consider is that Mo’orea is more affordable than Bora Bora, so you can easily spend more time there while not having to put in as much money. Even though Bora Bora is more appealing in my opinion, you can still have an incredible experience in Mo’orea, since there are similar bungalows, beaches and the tropical island atmosphere.

Bora Bora

After spending some time in Mo’orea, you’re going to go back to Tahiti and hop on a jet to get to Bora Bora. For me, this place was true paradise, and I can speak about it for hours. It is very peaceful, so you can just spend your time relaxing and having fun. Keep in mind that it is pretty exclusive because of it’s high price. That doesn’t mean you have to break the bank to get there, there are definitely some ways in which you can lower your expenses, which you can learn more about here.

If you can, I recommend that you spend the bulk of your time here. You have many options to choose from regarding accommodation options, which range from the luxury over-the-water bungalows, to the more economical Airbnb options. Once you’re there, definitely make the most of it - wake up for sunrise, soak up the warm sunshine and enjoy your time there as much as you can. If you want to see just how beautiful and serene this island is, you can check out my video on it here.

I hope this has brought you more excitement and inspiration to visit these beautiful islands. They are truly incredible and you will never be bored while spending your time there. It’s an incredible experience for everyone who loves the beach, partying and enjoying nature, because the views you can witness are truly incredible. I’ve actually made a couple of videos on this destination, which include a playlist on French Polynesia. If you want to see some more shots of the nature, as well as tips and tricks on how to save money, but still have an incredible time, make sure you check it out!

Want to learn more about French Polynesia? Check out these YouTube videos:





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