Adventures in Tahiti!

May 15, 2008 · Print This Article

Sports Activities
Snorkeling, diving, tennis, sailing, water skiing, windsurfing, outrigger canoeing, para-sailing, horseback riding, biking, hiking and climbing are activities available on most islands in French Polynesia. Game fishing is also widely available, though true aficionados recommend December through July as the best months for this sport. Golfers will find an 18-hole course on the island of Tahiti; there are no other courses in French Polynesia at this time. Many hotels offer snorkeling equipment free, but it is advisable to pack your own snorkel, fins and mask (and regulator if you are a serious scuba diver).

The Polynesians are a very religious people. The church, whether Protestant or Roman Catholic, is the center of activity in all villages. No matter what your religion, you will find the Polynesians’ unaccompanied singing beautiful and moving. Guests are certainly welcome in places of worship as long as they adhere to the usual decorum; men should wear long pants and shirts, and women should wear subdued dresses.

Hand-blocked pareos (the traditional wraparound garment of Tahiti), original gold jewelry, local shell craft, baskets, wood carvings and vanilla beans can all be purchased in the markets and shops of Tahiti. French imports, such as perfumes, are available in duty free shops, while specialty shops within Papeete offer French fashions. Stores are normally closed daily for a long lunch, on Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday.

Black Pearls
French Polynesia is one of the few places in the world where cultured black pearls are grown, and they can make a unique and exquisite souvenir. The Pinctada margaritifera, the oyster species common in Polynesia, produces a dark pearl which varies from pale (least expensive) to dark gray with touches of green or pink (rarest and most expensive). The two islands with the best selection of pearl stores are Moorea and Tahiti. Good quality pearls range from $500 to $10,000 or more, though slightly flawed mementos can be had for much less. On Moorea, we recommend the Black Pearl Gem Company. You will receive a gift certificate with your documents. Present it at the store for your complimentary gift, a Tahitian Pearl Pendant set in sterling silver (a $75 value).

Scuba Diving French Polynesia
Diving in French Polynesia is colorful, varied, and among the best anywhere. You’ll encounter a myriad of colorful reef fish, moray eels, turtles, even manta rays and sharks. The translucent waters are warm (generally 80 degrees and above year ’round) and clear (visibility to over 150 feet) and full of colorful, exciting marine life . . . no matter which island you choose to explore.

Moorea specializes in hand-feeding sharks and dives with rays and dolphins, along with a myriad of reef fish and low-growing corals. Bora Bora generally offers beautiful, graceful manta rays in its plankton-rich multi-hued lagoon. Huahine and Raiatea offer more brilliant displays of coral ledges and cliffs, along with varieties of colorful reef fish.

See you in paradise!!

The Travel Gal

Toll-Free USA – 800-644-6659

Globally – 808-268-3198

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