Where is Tahiti? Did you know there are 118 islands?

August 19, 2014

Everyone dreams of visiting the islands of Tahiti so lets learn a little bit about this piece of paradise - making your dream of visiting one step closer to a reality!

There are non-stop flights out of LAX to Tahiti.  The main airport is Papeete (ppt).  The flight time is between 7 and 8 hours and is non-stop.  I suggest departing on the red-eye flight, that way you arrive in Papeete early in the morning and can transfer immediately to an outer island.  Otherwise you will need to have a “forced” overnight in Papeete.  The airline of Tahiti is Air Tahiti Nui.

The islands officially known as French Polynesia but widely known as “Tahiti” are actually 118 individual islands located in five island groups: the Society Islands, the Tuamotus, the Marquesas, the Austral and the Gambier archipelago.

The Society Islands are the most popular island group including the main island of Tahiti and its capital city of Papeete, as well as popular vacation islands of Moorea,Bora Bora, Huahine, Raiatea, and Tahaa.

The Tuamotu Islands are known for their outstanding diving and snorkeling including the islands of Manihi, Tikehau, Rangiroa and Fakarava.

The Marquesas Islands are historically significant with their ancient stone tikis, as well as the final resting place of poet Jacque Brel and painter Paul Gauguin.

The Humpback whales enjoy the waters around the Austral Islands between July and November.

You are now 2 steps closer to enjoying your umbrella drink under a palm tree - call me, the Travel Gal for more information and lets begin planning your vacation of a lifetime!

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Travel Tips - Guideline for Money & Phones in Tahiti

December 22, 2012

Whether you are visiting a luxury hideaway like Le Taha’a Resort & Spa or cruising aboard the luxury cruise ship m/s Paul Gauguin, you do need to bring some $$$ - here is a money guide to assist you.

Money & Currency

Travelers checks, US dollars and credit cards are accepted in tourist areas. The hotels will also exchange money for their guests;
The currency used in French Polynesia is the French Pacific Franc  (CFP or XPF);
There is approximately 100 CFP or XPF to one U.S. dollar, depending on the rate of exchange fluctuations;
Major credit cards are widely accepted;
ATM’s are available in Papeete, Faa’a airport as well as several locations throughout the islands;

Phone Service in Tahiti

Phone cards can be purchased at the local post office. NOTE: Phone calls from Tahiti to the US are very expensive, so we advise calling your party and then having them call you back. Fax services are also available at the hotels;

Cell phone service

Cell phone service may be available in Tahiti.  However, check with your provider before departure to check for availability and international rates - NOTE: When you call your carrier, do be sure they are not listing your plan under “France” instead of French Polynesia - it can get expensive - last year AT & T did not have a plan for the islands of Tahiti.

For more information and to assist with your trip to the South Pacific call me, the Travel Gal at

800 644-6659 or email Teresa@LuxuryHideaways.net

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Traveling to Tahiti? Here is a 2nd guide on the language

October 31, 2012

Give yourself a reward for learning some of the language - here is a massage at the Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa on the island of Bora Bora, French Polynesia!

Lesson 2 is about to begin - but here is a refresher course on the Tahitian alphabet:

The Tahitian alphabet contains only thirteen letters.

Tahitian Vowels: a as incar, e as in may, i as in machine, o as in cold, and u as in salute.

Tahitian Consonants: f,h,m,n,p,r,t,v pronounced as in English with the exceptions of theh pronounced sh when preceded by i or followed by o and the r sometimes having a trill sound.

doctor - taote
police - muto’i

man - tane

woman - vahine
child - tamarii

yes - e, oi

house - fare

no - aita

small - iti
big, large - nui

islet in the lagoon - motu
ancient temple - marae
traditional quilts - tifaifai
traditional dance - tamurei
fenua - land
flower - tiare
ocean - moana
sun - mahana
moon - avae
star - fetia
earth oven - himaa
feast - tamaaraa

morning - poipoi
evening - ahiahi

For more information on the islands of Tahiti - call me, Teresa your Travel Gal at 800 644-6659 or email Teresa@LuxuryHideaways.net

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Traveling to Tahiti - A Guide to the Language

October 30, 2012

Congratulations!  You’re packing your bags and finally the holiday to the islands of Tahiti is becoming a reality!
The Tahitian culture is fascinating - to take a peek inside, here are some words and phrases to guide you on your way - although english is spoken and understood in most hotels, restaurants, and shops, learning a few Tahitian words and phrases is encouraged and appreciated.

It can also be helpful, but not mandatory, to brush up on a few basic French phrases as French and Tahitian are the official languages and both are commonly used.

The Tahitian alphabet contains only thirteen letters.

Tahitian Vowels: a as incare as in may, i as in machineo as in cold, and u as in salute.

Tahitian Consonants: f,h,m,n,p,r,t,v pronounced as in English with the exceptions of theh pronounced sh when preceded by i or followed by o and the r sometimes having a trill sound.

hello, good day, friendly greeting - ia ora na!
goodbye - nana
welcome - maeva
thank you - mauruuru
no problem!, no worries! - aita pe’ape’a
how are you? - eaha te huru?
good! - maita’i
to your health, toast - manuia

Here are a few more for you:

bank - fare moni
church - fare pure
post office - fare rata
hospital - fare ma’i
store - fare toa

For more information on the islands of Tahiti - call me, Teresa your Travel Gal at 800 644-6659 or email Teresa@LuxuryHideaways.net

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The Queen Flower of French Polynesia

July 25, 2012

Tiare Tahiti flowerThe “Tiare Tahiti” is the queen of all flowers in the Tahitian islands. It is symbol of all things pure and exotic. This white flower from the Gardenia family graces the air with an intoxicating scent.

As you board Air Tahiti Nui, flight attendants will give you one of these delicate flowers  as a “welcome” to your Polynesian escape. Locals wear the flower behind their ear… A cute story tells that worn behind the left ear, your heart is taken. But worn behind the right ear, it means that your heart is available for love…your exotic South Pacific island adventure begins!

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m/s Paul Gauguin 7 Night Itinerary Around French Polynesia

April 27, 2012

The small, luxury cruise ship m/s Paul Gauguin offers 7 night cruises around the islands of Tahiti. Below is a sample itinerary. One of the benefits of cruising is that when you spend 1 day on an island, you will know if you’ll want to come back for a week.

Day 1: Embark m/s Paul Gauguin in Papeete, Tahiti - mid afternoon - set sail in the evening

Begin your journey to a paradise in the capital of Tahiti, the largest and most populated of the French Polynesian islands. Here you’ll embark Paul Gauguin. This luxurious yet casual, ultra-deluxe vessel will be your home for the next week. With an endless choice of things to do, from relaxing poolside with a book to playing the slots in the casino, you will never be bored.

Day 2: Raiatea 11:00am - 6:00pm

You will have the day to explore the island that was once the cultural, religious, royal and political heart of Polynesia, and, according to legend, and lore, as well as Tahiti’s most significant archeological sites.

Day 3: Taha’a (Motu Mahana) 9:00am - 5:00pm

Motu Mahana, an islet adjacent to Taha’a, is our very own South Seas paradise featuring white sand beaches with swaying palms, crystal-clear waters and gentle breezes. As an exclusive Paul Gauguin event, guests will spend a full day exploring this idyllic, isolated island, and relaxing with a delicious barbecue lunch and Polynesian entertainment featuring strolling musicians and singers.

Day 4: Bora Bora 8:00am overnight

Immediately recognizable by the basalt tombstone of Mount Otemanu rising from the ocean, this half-atoll, half-mountain is surrounded by a spectacular lagoon and a series of smaller islands. Ancient Polynesians called it Parapora, or “firstborn,” because they thought it was the first island created after Raiatea.

Day 5: Bora Bora Depart 5:00pm

Explore more of this magical isle on your own or on a choice of optional shore excursions. Choose from several, like a jitney tour on “Le Truck,” or a 4-wheel-drive safari, or a glass-bottom boat ride. We will set sail before dinner, enjoying a relaxing evening on board.

Day 6: Moorea 8:00am - overnight

Covered in an abundance of fresh fruits and flowers, spectacular mountain peaks, peaceful multi-hued lagoons and palm-fringed beaches - Moorea’s awesome beauty is unsurpassed. During your visit, you might wish to shop for local crafts, embark on a dolphin-watching expedition with a marine biologist and witness these fascinating animals in their amazing natural habitat, or try out some of the local pineapples - said to be the most delicious in all of French Polynesia. An overnight here affords us two full days on Bora Bora’s gorgeous sister island.

Day 7: Moorea depart 7:30pm

Explore more of this peaceful oasis. Perhaps you will choose to trek on the “Trails of the Ancients” or snorkel one of the world’s most beautiful lagoons. At the end of the afternoon, we cruise to our home port in Papeete, docking for the night.

Day 8: Disembark Papeete 8:00am - Maururu - thank you for visiting these beautiful islands!

Life aboard the m/s Paul Gauguin:

Watersports Marina - Watersports are a highlight of the Paul Gauguin Cruises’ experience. The ships’ small size allow for them to navigate in shallow lagoons and narrow channels where larger ships may not sail. On the m/s Paul Gauguin,with the specially designed retractable watersports platform, guests may descend to sea level where they can conveniently hop aboard a windsurfer, launch a kayak, or set out for a SCUBA diving expedition. A SCUBA certification program is offered on The Gauguin.

Ambassadors of the Environment Youth Program: Explorer and environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau is committed to the belief that the survival of the world’s oceans depends on capturing the imagination at a young age. In order to ensure that conservation remains a priority among future generations, he created the Ambassadors of the Environment Youth Program under the auspices of the Ocean Futures Society.

Some of the benefits and features of this luxury cruise:

  • Spacious, all-oceanview suites and staterooms
  • Complimentary beverages incl. select wines
  • All onboard gratuities included
  • Complimentary select spirits & soft drinks
  • Complimentary 24-hour room service
  • Refrigerator replenished daily with soft drinks, beer and bottled water
  • Watersports Marina
  • Cousteau Ambassadors of the Environment Youth Program
For more information, special pricing and upgrades contact the Travel Gal
at 800 644-6659 or email Teresa@LuxuryHideaways.net

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Tahiti - Interesting facts about these Islands in the Sun

April 27, 2012

1. There are 13 letters in the Tahitian alphabet;

2. Tahitian and French are the language of the islands however, English is widely spoken on most of the islands;

3. Most Polynesians believe the mythical island of Hawaiki, today known as Raiatea, rose from the bottom of the ocean and was the beginning of all life on Earth.

4. There are 118 islands and atolls spread out over five archipelagos.

5. The Islands of Tahiti is the only country in the world to have a winery, Vin du Tahiti, on a coral atoll.

6. On the island of Fakarava there is a church called Jean de la Croix made completely of coral.

7. The tattoo originated in French Polynesia;

8. The overwater bungalow (or fare) was invented in Tahiti 45 years ago;

9. What is commonly known as “Tahiti” or “The Islands of Tahiti” is officially categorized as an Overseas Country of France, with its own government overseeing all international decisions on behalf of French Polynesia;

10.The rare tiare apetahi flower can only be found in one place in the entire world, on a mountain peak on the sacred island of Raiatea;

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Tahiti Restaurant Recommendations

March 13, 2012

Here are a few of our favorite restaurant suggestions when you travel to French Polynesia:

Bora Bora:  Maikai, Villa Mahana, Kaina Hut, Bounty

Moorea:  La Villa des Sens, Mahogany, Mayflower, Rudy’s, Te Honu Iti, Les Tipaniers.

Tahiti:  Le Coco’s and Le Lotus (located at Tahiti Intercontinental, the overwater restaurant)

Note: I found the islands of Tahiti are a wonderful combination of the South Pacific and Europe - the best of both worlds!

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Where are the Tuamotu Atolls?

November 22, 2011

The Tuamotu Atolls located in French Polynesia and are the remnants of ancient collapsed volcanoes and these coral atolls boast some of the most renowned snorkeling and scuba diving on earth. Expert divers refer to the magnificent coral filled lagoon as “God’s Aquarium”. This sheltered lagoon is home to dolphins, rays, and myriad colorful tropical fish. Nearby Fakarava is classified by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve as it is home to black sand beaches, a black pearl farm, and a variety of rare birds and plants.

Rangiroa
Rangiroa (rain-gee-roh-ah) is the largest atoll of the Tuamotu Archipelago, which comprises 78 coral atolls scattered over several hundred miles of the eastern Pacific Ocean.

Life on these remote atolls is simple, quiet and peaceful. In the small villages, the visitor can discover the true flavor of the Tuamotus, often participating in the daily activities of the Taumotu people. The interior lagoons are a haven for black pearl farms, fish breeding farms, snorkeling and scuba diving.

Rangiroa, referred to as “The Island of the Long Sky” is the largest atoll in the Southern Hemisphere, the second largest atoll in the world, and heralded as one of the world’s greatest dive destinations. It is an impressive sight viewed from the air with its string of 240 coral islets (motu) encircling a 400 square mile turquoise and jade-green lagoon.

Fakarava
Fakarava (fah-kah-rah-va) is an atoll in the west of the Tuamotu group in French Polynesia. It is the second largest of the Tuamotu atolls. Fakarava’s main village is called Rotoava.

Fakarava, “The Island of Dreams,” is the second largest atoll after Rangiroa. It is an untouched world with an ecosystem that is home to rare birds, plants, crustaceans and exceptional dive sites.

It was once the ancient capital of the region and the site of the first Catholic mission in the atolls built of coral in the 1870’s. The environment is so pure that the atoll is being considered for classification as a UNESCO nature reserve for the preservation of rare species.

Scuba diving and snorkle explorations are magical since many dive sites are virtually undiscovered.

If you would like more information or to plan a magical holiday to an amazing tropical island paradise, call us at 800 644-6659 or email Teresa@LuxuryHideaways.net today!

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Travel Tips for a Fabulous Vacation in the islands of Tahiti

October 19, 2011

Are you planning to run away to a deserted island with your true love?  Perhaps a romantic escape to a remote tropical island in the South Pacific? Is Bora Bora or Moorea calling you? Here are a few travel tips to consider while packing your suitcase:

Plan your spending money

Although major credit cards are widely accepted and ATMs are available in Papeete, Faa’a airport as well as several locations throughout the islands, its a good idea to have cash on hand.

* The currency used in French Polynesia is the French Pacific Franc (CFP or XPF)

* There are approximately 100 CFP or XPF to one U.S. dollar, although actual rates vary

* Travelers checks, US dollars and credit cards are accepted in tourist areas

* The hotels will also exchange money

Phone calls:
* Phone cards can be purchased at the local post office.

* Phone calls from Tahiti to the US are very expensive, so we advise calling your party and then having them call you back.

* Fax services are also available at the hotels.

* Some cell phone service may be available in Tahiti.   Call your provider before departure to check for availability.

Clothing

The islands of Tahiti and French Polynesia are very casual. Pack lightweight, loose-fitting cotton washables. Synthetic fabrics can be too hot and sticky.

* Casual slacks or walking shorts and sport shirts are fine for men at dinner.

* Women wear shorts, skirts or casual slacks during the day and cool dresses at night.

* Bring reef walkers or old sneakers so you don’t cut your feet on the coral.

* Most importantly, be sure to bring a swimsuit, a hat, sunscreen and a backpack for carrying any necessities.

* You may want to pack a light sweater or jacket. You probably won’t use it except maybe on the plane.

Other Important Items to Pack

* Make sure to pack any medications you are taking in your carry on bag. While there are medical facilities, some medicines may not be readily available.

* Pack lots of film since film is more expensive in Tahiti. Each person is allowed to bring 10 rolls through customs.

* You may also want to purchase a disposable underwater camera as the sea life is beautiful. A disposable panorama camera would be fun, too. And make sure to pack an extra battery for your camera or video camera!

* Extra memory cards for digital camera.

* Don’t forget toiletries, sunscreen and insect repellant as these are also expensive to purchase in Tahiti.

* You will want to bring an adapter for any appliances you bring with you. The current is 110 or 220 volts, depending on your location.

For more great tips and assistance with your luxury island getaway,

give us a call at 800 644-6659

or email Teresa@LuxuryHideaways.net

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