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Welcome to Paradise, Commonly Known as the Islands ofTahiti

Surrounded by pristine, crystal clear blue waters, 118 islands and atolls invite you to explore their natural beauty and authentic island culture.

Airports

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Airports

The islands are located south of the equator, in the same time zone as Hawaii, and halfway between California and Australia. Papeete's Faa'a International Airport (PPT) is under 8 hours by air from Los Angeles (LAX). From North America, nonstop flights depart LAX nearly every day on Air Tahiti Nui and four times a week on Air France. Nonstop flights from Honolulu (HNL) to Papeete (PPT) are also available weekly on Hawaiian Airlines.

Travel to the neighboring islands is short, convenient, and easily arranged. Tahiti's domestic airline, Air Tahiti, is located at Tahiti Faa'a airport.

Air Tahiti

As the major inter-island airline, Air Tahiti serves 40 islands with newer, twin-engine, jet-prop aircraft. Flights to the neighboring islands depart from Tahiti Faa’a Airport with frequent daily service between the most visited islands.

Clothing

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Clothing

The climate and lifestyle on the islands call for casual and comfortable clothing. Pack loose-fitting, natural fabrics and plenty of shorts. Pareus and swimsuits can be worn during the daytime at the resorts, while casual shirts and walking shorts provide the most comfort during island explorations. For dinner, casual slacks and sport shirts are the best choice for men while cool sundresses are most appropriate for women.

Currency

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Currency

US dollars and euros are widely accepted in the islands, although at a less favorable exchange rate than at banks. The official currency is the French Pacific Franc (CFP). The value of the CFP is pegged to the euro and fluctuates against the US dollar.

For exchange and cash advances, international banks can be found in downtown Papeete, at Faa'a Airport, and throughout the frequently visited islands. Hotels will also exchange US dollar, but at a less favorable exchange rate.

On the primary tourist islands, MasterCard and VIsa are commonly accepted in most all hotels, restaurants, and boutiques while American Express is accepted in some. Cards may not always be accepted on less visited islands. While ATMs are more common, they may not always recognize foreign cards. Also, note that some atolls and islands in the Austral and Gambier group have no banking facilities.

Language

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Language

French and Tahitian are the official languages, but English is spoken and understood in tourist areas. Brushing up on a few basic French phrases and learning Tahitian greetings are appreciated.

Medical

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Medical

On the islands of Tahiti, good sanitary facilities and health services are available. The cities of Papeete, Taravao (Peninsula of Tahiti) and Uturoa (Raiatea) have fully equipped hospitals. Other tourist islands at least possess a doctor's office or a clinic.

Tahitian hospitals and clinics provide a high standard of health care. For a tropical location, Tahiti has very few pest or insect problems, and the region is free from malaria.

Tipping

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Tipping

Tipping is not customary in Polynesian culture and is not expected. However, tipping is welcomed for exemplary service.

Transportation

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Transportation

The most inexpensive and common form of transportation is the public bus system. On Tahiti there are now two types of buses: the open-air trucks called Le Truck and the RTC large white coaches. Both operate frequently in Papeete and around the island. Le Truck also operates on most other islands. Taxis can be hired at most hotels, airports, and ferry terminals. For scenic tours around the islands, try escorted excursions by boat, 4x4 safari, bus, or helicopter.

Rental cars are available at most airports for drivers over 21 years of age with a valid driver's license. Major credit cards are usually required for drivers under 25. Because of the small size of many islands, and the uniqueness of many circle island tours, you may find renting a car unnecessary.

If you are an experienced sailor, yacht and sailboat charters are available on most of the major islands for short- or long-term voyages. Some can come complete with a captain and crew. Fishing boats can also be chartered for deep-sea fishing for big species.

Visa Info

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Visa Info

If you are an experienced sailor, yacht and sailboat charters are available on most of the major islands for short- or long-term voyages. Some can come complete with a captain and crew. Fishing boats can also be chartered for deep-sea fishing for big species.

Every visitor to French Polynesia must have:

1. A valid passport.

2. A return airline ticket to their resident country or to at least two more continuing destinations.

3. Sufficient funds to cover their planned stay.

For stays of up to 90 days, there are no visa requirements for citizens of the U.S., Canada, or Mexico. A foreigner with a residence card for the U.S. is not exempt from the above requirements and should consult the French Consulate based in the U.S. for information.

Weather

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Weather

The temperature average is about 79 degrees (F) year around, both the air temperature and the water temperature. They are a tropical destination blessed with lots of sun and enough rain to keep the waterfalls flowing and the flowers blooming!

Cooled by gentle ocean breezes, the climate is ideal. Being tropical but moderate, the climate features sunny, pleasant days and an average yearly air and water temperature of 80?F. Summer is from November through April, when the climate is slightly warmer and more humid. Winter is from May through October, when the the climate is slightly cooler and dryer.