The amazing natural diversity is just one of the things that should be the reason you decide to visit the 120 islands of French Polynesia. There are wonderful lagoons, amazing mountains and volcanoes, jungles and beaches, waterfalls and rivers. Beside the generous nature, French Polynesia boasts unique and beautiful people, their lovely culture and unforgettable cuisine. It is not cheap to visit this place, but it is worth every penny. Mostly because this is one of the factors that French Polynesia is never swamped with tourists.
The reason why Tahiti is the most logical first step toward the discovery of French Polynesia is the fact that the Fa'a'ā International Airport is on this wonderful island. Another name for this island is the Queen of Pacific. The most urban place in French Polynesia is on the Tahiti Island – the city Papeete. This is the home of the “La Marché Papeete” – the municipal market. You can find fish, vegetables, fruits there, but also shell necklaces, souvenirs, and even pearls. The admirable Paul Gauguin Museum is side by side with the Botanical Garden on Tahiti.
Papeete is surrounded with beautiful resorts, with the beautiful Le Méridien Tahiti being the only hotel located on a beautiful white sandy beach and a turquoise lagoon offering a stunning view of Moorea island.
The most trusted keepers of the culture and tradition of French Polynesia are the Tahitian Mamas. These wise ladies teach the young Tahitians about their tradition and crafts. They hand down their lovely recipes and delightful skills in sewing, quilting, weaving, making pearl jewelry, and floral and shell leis. Those amazing quilts that they make are called tifaifai. The cloth wrappings for women are called pareu and they are usually hand colored. Today, you can meet Mamas at La Marché offering their products. Moreover, a clever Mama can offer some wonderful monoi oil for excellent skin care.
The breathtaking, geometrical design of Tahitian tattoos is popular even today. Tahiti is the birthplace of tattooing. The traditional tattooing tool is a comb made of shark tooth or bone, attached to a stick. That stick is tapped with another stick, so that the comb teeth sink into your skin, transferring ink underneath it. If you want to see this live, you should go to the amazing island of Moorea. This island also boasts the volcanic mountains, thick forests and jaw-dropping beaches. While you are there, do not miss out on climbing the Belvedere and enjoying the view of the entire island. This is where you can check out the Moorea Dolphin Center or Moorea Tiki Village.
Traditional Tahitian dances are very diverse. There is Otea, Aparima, Paoa and Hivinau. Some of them are reserved for men, some are for women and some are for everybody. You will have the best experience if you go to Tahiti during the dance festival Heiva. Another place where you can get this experience is the amazing Bora Bora island. On the Marara Beach, you can participate in a real, traditional ‘dinner party’. The food will be prepared in the traditional oven and the dance show will follow. On Tuesdays, even Mamas come to participate. The dishes that you should not miss out on are the poisson cru and fafa. Additionally, Bora Bora is called the Romantic Island, so take advantage of that while there.
If you want to true experience of the pearl farming, the island to go to is Huahine. This is not a big farm and it is not a big island. Therefore, you will be able to check out those amazing black pearls almost in privacy. However, that is not the only thing that is being farmed at this amazingly fruitful island. There are plantations of bananas, vanilla, coconut and many other plants. It is definitely something to see.
There are many natural gems among the islands of Tahiti. You can spend your days walking around Tikehau and admiring the gorgeous beaches of pink sand. The Brando island will take your breath away since it used to be the resort of royalty and now it is the luxurious resort that is also entirely sustainable and eco-friendly. Tupai, for example, is in the shape of a heart. Above all that, there is not a single snake or insect here that is poisonous. Your Tahiti vacation would not just be filled with wonders and beauty, but also safe.
Once you start exploring Tahiti, make sure that you have one of those wonderful Tiare flowers behind your ear. Put it behind your left if you are married, but try your luck and place it behind your right ear if you want to show everybody that you are looking for romance.