Escape to French Polynesia and Submerge in Island Culture


French Polynesia, comprised of several groups of islands, famously among them Tahiti, sits nestled in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. At least five hours from the nearest landmasses, French Polynesia is a popular destination spot for tourists seeking to immerse themselves in island culture and tropical life. Air travelers may note that the only international airport in French Polynesia is Faa’ā International Airport located on Tahiti. Upon arrival, it is possible to take a ferry or Air Tahiti to island hop.

While Tahiti has commercial transportation, it is important to note that other islands may not. Cars and bicycles are available for rental. In addition to hotels and resorts on the island, bungalows offer a unique experience for lodgers seeking an island experience. Over the water bungalows, like those of Bora Bora, have gained tremendous popularity and range in price. Tahiti holds the capital of the country, and is part of the Windward, or Society, Islands group.

tahiti At 403 square miles, the island of Tahiti is split into two, interconnected parts. Tahiti Nui holds most of the commercial tourism. Tahiti Iti is more rustic; often referred to as “the forgotten island”, it lays claim to black-sand beaches, a few native villages, and natural sites. Nature seekers can explore caves, waterfalls, volcanoes, and lagoons, not just on Tahiti, but on many of the islands. Surrounded by beautiful, clear water, water-based activities are the activity du jour for most visitors. Snorkeling and scuba diving are popular activities. Adventure seekers can find tour companies that facilitate dives and feeding expeditions with manta rays and sharks.

There are also plenty of land-based activities. Art and museum enthusiasts will be thrilled to explore the various museums and exhibits on the islands. The Robert Wan Pearl Museum is the first museum in the world devoted to pearls. Visitors can see the life of a pearl and its various uses. The Paul Gauguin Museum features works by the famous French artist who was known to paint Tahitian scenes. For more, local art, check out the Papeetê Market in the capitol city of Papeetê. Culture abounds on the islands. Visitors to The Museum of Tahiti and Her Islands, can experience Polynesian culture first hand. This ethnographic museum hosts ancient artifacts and showcases the culture of the islands. Those seeking an even larger cultural submersion should consider planning their visit in July when the famous Heivā Festival takes place. This festival highlights music and dance along with cultural elements and sporting events and competitions. To experience the islands and French Polynesian culture is to experience the harmonious pairings of land and water and man and nature.

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Ashley Wellen

Ashley lives in Utah and loves everything about life. She grew up in Las Vegas and loves blogging about her experiences.

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