bungalows are among the most expensive accomodations option, and
couples may elect to stay in an overwater bungalow for only a
portion of their stay. Less expensive accomodations include categories
such as Beach or Garden Bunglaows, Lagoonview Rooms, and Gardenview Rooms.
Hopping -- it's tough to pick out just one island to
visit, which makes the honeymoon style of "island hopping"
so popular. Two island itinerary combinations are popular for
7 night stays, and three island itineraries are popular for 10
or more nights. Of course, you can see many more islands cruising!
of Tahiti -- the largest
of the islands, Tahiti is the cultural and population center of
French Polynesia. Papeete is the capital city, and also the international
gateway, so you'll fly in here. Often, due to connecting flight
times, an overnite stay will be required at the beginning or the
end of your trip. The best shopping is to be found here, as well
as an array of restaurants and activities. Hotels here are also
less expensive than on other islands. However, you won't want
to limit your stay to this island, since the natual beauty is
best found on sister islands.
-- Lush and enticing, Moorea's peaks invite you to hike. That
is, if you ever want to leave the pristine beach. Moorea is easily
accessible, being close to Tahiti. However, Moorea's population
is a mere 9,000. There are some excellent lodging options, from
budget to indulgent, many with overwater bungalows.
Bora -- the main island is smaller than Moorea's,
but her lagoon -- in one word, wow! Many of the resorts sit on
motus ("little islands") allowing for breathtaking views
of the lagoon and Bora Bora's main island. This is also the home
of some of the most exclusive resorts in the South Pacific.
-- this remote, secluded island is a good option if you really
want to get away from it all. You'll find plenty to discover on
this undiscovered South Pacific jewel. With a population of 4,000
(less than half that of Moorea), you won't find any malls or discos!
This is an excellent destination for couples decidedly individual
and independent, who are seeking the chance to hike, snorkel,
dive, and perhaps chat with the locals.
and Taha'a -- these sister islands are the birthplace
of the Tahitian culture. Though most resorts here are casual and
affordable, there is one outstanding resort ranking the most luxurious
in the French Polynesia (Le Taha'a). Vanilla is harvested here, and you can
explore religious stone temples (maraes). Wonderful hiking with
Tetiaroa -- a private atoll island and home to the exclusive luxury resort, The Brando.
-- these islands, lying 200 miles north of Tahiti, are coral atolls
(compared to the volcanic islands to the south). These islands
are true diving paradise, combined with secluded paradise.Rangiroa has an exceptional resort perfect for dive enthusiasts and for folks who want to be worlds away from civilization (still with the comforts of home). More rustic and secluded is Tikehau, and has a small 3 star resort with crystal clear waters teeming with fish who love to entertain the tourists.
-- sitting near the equator 930 miles from Tahiti are
the 10 Marquesas Islands.Volcanic peaks and valleys give the islands
an exotic characteristic. These islands are different from the
Society Islands in that there is no coral reef to protect the
island from the pounding waves. There are enough sheltered coves
to afford excellent beach access, but think "Survivor"
when imagining these islands!
Cruising is an excellent way to see and experience the islands.
There are several cruise options from which to choose. Paul Gauguin Cruises offers an elegant, luxurious
ship sailing Tahitian waters year-round. The Aranui 3 freighter provides an adventure on a working
ship, with with two week itineraries visiting the remote Marquesas Islands. Private and shared yachts are for
hire out of Raitea, for 3 to 7 day itineraries. Mainstream cruise lines will offer, from time to time, a cruise itinerry that stops en route in the South Pacific.
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