Tahiti is the largest island in French Polynesia, the South Pacific archipelago. Shaped like a figure-8, it’s divided into Tahiti Nui and Tahiti Iti. With black-sand beaches, lagoons, waterfalls and 2 extinct volcanoes, it’s a popular vacation destination. Explored by Captain James Cook in the 18th century, it was also often painted by French artist Paul Gauguin.

One of the best ways to spend a Tahitian vacation is to lie back with a tropical cocktail in hand and bask in the sunshine at your resort of choice. You can also swim, snorkel, surf and more at La Plague Di Maui or Papenoo Beach. To find some jungly wilderness, hop a ferry to Moorea or explore the Vaipahi Gardens. But if you’re itching for a different kind of adventure, you can hike to the gushing Fatauna Waterfall or the bustling capital city of Papetee.

Divers the world over recognise Tahiti and the islands for their diving sites and passes with more fish than anywhere else in the world. For connoisseurs, Rnagiroa the largest atoll in the Tuatmos, Fakarava , the Mecca of diving, and TikeHau are mythical places. The Society Islands, the Marquesas and the Austral Islands also offer perfect spots where you can also see large sea animals  as well as thousands of colourful reef fish.

For most tourists, a stay on Bora Bora is essential. The “Pearl of the Pacific”, despite the development of tourism, is still worthy of its reputation. Nevertheless, there’s much more to this island than what the postcards show us: not only the island’s interior, its history, the manta rays and the lagoon, but also the luxury hotels and spas on the motu (islets), accessible only by boat. If you have plenty of time, don’t miss the island’s untamed and unspoilt little sister, Maupti, accessible by boat or plane from Bora Bora. A change of scenery and a trip back in time are guaranteed.

Mangareva, the largest island, is the site of the first Catholic mission, established in 1834, and abounds in the historic traces of the first missionaries. Since the 1990s, the splendour of Gambier cultured pearls Islands has been bringing some economic prosperity to the islands.

Every year from July to November, Rurutu, in the Austral Islands, becomes a prime observation platform for watching wales, which come there to calve just off the coast. It is a unique spectacle reserved for you alone. The Austral Islands will give you the unparalleled feeling of being on the other side of the world.

Go to the Marquesas by sea aboard the mixed cargo/passenger vessel, the Aranui, or by plane, a more conventional mode of transport. Arriving in the Marquesas is always a double shock: first, witnessing a cultural revival that has been going strong these last 20 years, and second, the discovery of its wild and pristine natural beauty.

 

Categories: Travel USA

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