Time Difference: French Polynesia lies in the same time zone as Hawaii, two hours behind Pacific Standard Time, and three hours behind during daylight saving time, late March through October.

Capital of French Polynesia: Papeete is the capital city located on the northwest side of Tahiti.

Population: The number of people living in The Islands of Tahiti is more than 245,000. About 75% are Polynesian; 15% European and about 10% Chinese.

Temperatures and Seasons: The Islands of Tahiti are a year-round tourist destination, with predictably tropical weather year-round. The average year-round temperature is 79 degrees Fahrenheit. Many hotels are air-conditioned. Water temperatures average 79 degrees in the winter and 84 degrees during the summer, with less than a degree of variation from the surface down to a depth of 150 feet. The best sailing season is from May to November.

Entry Requirements: Citizens of EU countries do not need a visa to enter French Polynesia. A passport valid for six months after the return date and a round-trip ticket for entry is all that is required for short stays under 90 days for US & Canadian visitors. Visas are not required for short stays. For visitors wishing to stay longer than 90 days, a long stay visa is required. Citizens of other countries should consult their travel agents or the French Consulate.

Air Service: Frequent airline connections link Tahiti with Los Angeles, San Francisco, Hawaii, Europe, New Zealand, Australia, and Japan. Airlines serving Tahiti to and from Europe and US mainland include Air Tahiti Nui and Air France from Paris/Los Angeles and French Bee from Paris/San Francisco. Air New Zealand flies from Tahiti to Auckland.

Languages: French and Tahitian are the official languages, though English is widely spoken in tourist areas.

Currency: The Islands of Tahiti’s currency, the French Pacific Franc (XPF, previously CFP), fluctuates with the euro (there are about 100 XPFs for every U.S. dollar). Hotels and financial institutions offer exchange services. Euros and major credit cards are widely accepted.

Tipping: Tipping is not customary or expected in Tahitian culture. However, tipping is always welcomed for exemplary service.

Popular Activities: Some of the world’s best snorkeling, scuba diving and surfing are found inThe Islands of Tahiti. Also popular are outrigger canoeing, bicycle and horseback riding, four-wheel jeep safaris, spear and deep-sea fishing, swimming, sailing, jet skiing, windsurfing, tennis, island tours, swimming with sharks and rays, helicopter rides, visiting museums, ancient maraes (temples), and other cultural experiences. Sunset watching, beach strolling, relaxing in the sand, enjoying exquisite Tahitian cuisine, walking through beautiful fragrant gardens, and simply getting to know hospitable Tahitian people are memorable highlights of any visit to The Islands of Tahiti.

Getting Around: Taxis and buses are popular forms of transportation on the main island of Tahiti. On the outer islands, car and scooter rentals are available. Boats are often the mode of transportation on many of the islands including Bora Bora.

Shopping: Shops are generally open from 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., except on Saturdays when many close at noon; only hotel shops are open on Sunday. Long lunch breaks are common. Duty-free shopping is mainly available on Tahiti. Tahitian cultured pearls, mother-of-pearl shell carvings, coconut and tiare soaps, monoï oil, vanilla beans, shell leis, wood carvings, colorful pareus, and woven hats and baskets are among the most popular items.

Entertainment: Music and dancing tell the story of the Tahitian people. Beautifully costumed dancers demonstrate beauty, strength and grace in traditional dances, which have been passed down from generation to generation.

Tips for Travelers: Visitors should bring adapters, sunscreen, sunglasses, insect repellent and a hat for shade. Loose fitting cotton washables are recommended for comfort, and old sneakers or rubber aqua socks are suggested for walking in shallow water.

About The Islands of Tahiti

Privacy comes naturally in The Islands of Tahiti and offers visitors the space to relax and reconnect and to be Embraced By Mana. Mana is the life force and spirit that connects all things in The Islands of Tahiti.

For further information, visit www.tahititourisme.com

Source: Tahiti Tourisme