Where Relaxation Comes Naturally
Forget the therapy couch. The Islands of Tahiti provide a more natural take on cathartic relaxation and personal rediscovery. Dip bare feet in the waters of a lagoon and you can almost feel your blood pressure dropping. Follow a school of tropical fish along a coral reef and you will forget all about office politics. Finish a morning yoga session on the beach with a breakfast of fresh fruit and you will realize that “good morning” can be more than just a spoken pleasantry. Here, among some of the world's most beautiful surroundings, are all the ingredients to turn a vacation into a physical and mental refresh and reset.
- Best for: All travellers, watersports and spa enthusiasts and adventures ranging from soft to rugged
- Best season to visit: Year round
- Weather: North America's summer and early fall are the coolest and driest months in Tahiti, with temperatures ranging from 70 to 82 degrees. November to March is a bit warmer, with more chance of rain, but there is no bad time for a visit
Mind and Spirit in Tahiti Overview
The Islands of Tahiti are renowned for their unspoiled scenic beauty, and for resorts that complement rather than displace the natural surroundings. These properties are known for unique features such as over-water bungalows that showcase coral reefs through glass floor panels, and private beachfront terraces shrouded in flowering shrubbery. These same resorts are home to world-class spas and wellness centers, providing, even more, opportunities for relaxation and rejuvenation.
Mind and Spirit in Tahiti Tips
The Islands of Tahiti are not a destination where you would want to just plop down in a poolside chaise lounge and soak up the rays till dinner time. Instead, it is a place to unwind, with relaxations such as morning walks on the beach, snorkeling in calm lagoons, enjoying a good book in a shaded hammock, or a wander through groves of tropical fruits and flowers.
Best Places for Mind and Spirit in Tahiti
On a remote section of Rangiroa Atoll, the private island of Le Sauvage provides an escape from modern life in lantern-lit bungalows. At the InterContinental Moorea, guests can enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy in a relaxing flower bath. The Bora Bora Pearl offers aquaerobics, personal training, stretching, reflexology and yoga on the beach.
What to Pack for Mind and Spirit in Tahiti
Dress for comfort, not to impress. Pack functional, tropic-weight clothing and some tasteful cover ups that will go right from the beach to the dining room. Comfy sandals and a sun hat are in order, along with a tote bag to hold a bottle of water, sunglasses, sunscreen and a good book or an e-reader.
Passport and/or Visa Requirements
A valid U.S. passport is required for entry into Tahiti which must be valid for 3 months beyond your date of entry. Your passport needs to have at least 1 blank page for the Tahiti entry stamp. Proof of return or onward ticket is required. No visas are required for tourist stays of less than 90 days.
Exit Requirements: There is a departure tax of 1822 XPF approx $17 U.S. which should be included in your international ticket.
No immunizations are required for entry into Tahiti, but we would always suggest that you check with your doctor and the Centers for Disease Control on recommended vaccinations for travel to Tahiti at Traveler's Health CDC.
Culture and Customs
Tahiti and the Society Islands loom large in our collective images of tropical paradise. These are the islands that seduced the crew of the Bounty to mutiny, inspired the works of Gauguin and Melville, and now entice celebrities, newlyweds and dreamers to escape the every day for a thatch-roofed bungalow perched over an electric-blue lagoon. As a semi-autonomous territory of France, the islands combine Continental flair with the ancient traditions of Polynesia. Evidence of this blending begins at breakfast, where a bowl of cafe au lait and a buttery croissant are accompanied by fresh papaya, mango and breadfruit, served with a spray of tropical flowers. Tattoo is a Tahitian word, and body art is considered a sign of beauty. Dance has always played an important role in island life, with performances for everything from welcoming visitors to challenging an enemy or seducing a mate. Traditions are kept alive at the annual gathering of Heiva i Tahiti, when islanders from across the archipelago gather at Papeete for celebrations that include elaborate spectacles of song and dance, along with arts and crafts fairs and traditional sporting events such as canoe races and strong man contests. A year-round staple of Tahitian culture are flowers, which grow in abundance across the islands. Bright blossoms are worn in floral crowns or as single displays behind the ears, denoting either one's availability or commitment. The same long-standing traditions of hospitality that welcomed early European explorers and subsequent generations of sailors are now lavished on arriving vacationers, who will discover not only some of the friendliest people in the world, but also some of the most seductive landscapes, where sea, sky and island come together in riotous shades of blue and green.
Electricity, Phone and Internet Access
Electricity in Tahiti is 220 Volts, 60 cycles. Hotels may use 110 or 220 Volts depending on your location, so a converter/adapter is often required for appliances you bring, including computers.
Direct dialing international calling is available in most hotels. When calling from the U.S. to Tahiti, dial 011 and then the country code of 689 along with the local number. Check with your cell phone provider to see if they have an international plan that is compatible in Tahiti for voice, text and data.
Internet access is available in many hotels and resorts.
Tap water is safe to drink in Papeete and Bora Bora. Elsewhere bottled water is recommended and readily available.
Language & Currency
French and Tahitian are the official languages, but English is spoken and understood in tourist areas.
The currency of Tahiti is the French Pacific Franc (XPF). Bank notes come in denominations of 500, 1000, 5000 and 10,000, and coins in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100.
Credit cards are readily accepted in most tourist destinations. Most guests exchange money at the airport upon arrival or at their hotel, but the best exchange rate should be at a local bank.
There are three time zones in Tahiti. The Society Islands including Papeete and Moorea and the Leeward Islands including Bora Bora, and the Tuamotu Islands including Fakarava and Rangiroa are all 10 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (-10 GMT). The Gambier Islands are 9 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (-9 GMT). The Marquesas Islands are 9.5 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (-9.5 GMT). Tahiti does not use daylight savings time.
Location, Size and Population
Tahiti is located south of the equator halfway between California and Australia. The islands of Tahiti, known as French Polynesia, consist of 5 island groups. There are 118 islands with a total land mass of 1,544 square miles.
The population of French Polynesia is 285,699 (2016).