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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Explore the Remote Islands of the South Pacific this Winter

November 13, 2012

Its beginning to feel alot like winter… and now is the time to plan your winter escape. How about cruising around the South Pacific - not on a huge cruise ship - but on a working freighter! I promise, they will not enlist your assistance in working aboard the Aranui freighter, instead you will be exploring the remote islands, deep in the South Pacific, where few Tourists have tread before!

Here is a sample itinerary:

Day 1 - Papeete, Tahiti

Day 2 - Fakarava, Tuamotu Islands

Day 3 - At Sea

Day 4 - Nuku Hiva (Taiohae-Hatiheu-Taipival)

Day 5 - Ua Pou (Hakahau-Hakahetau) Marquesas

Day 6 - Hiva Oa (Atuona)

Day 7 - Fatu Hiva (Omoa-Hanavave)

Day 8 - Hiva oa (Puamau-Hanaiapa)

Day 9 - Tahuata (Vaitahu-Hapatoni)

Day 10 - Ua Huka (Vaipaee-Hane-Hokatu)

Day 11 - Nuku Hiva (Taiohae), Ua Pou (Hakahau)

Day 12 - At Sea

Day 13 - Rangiroa, Tuamotu Islands

Day 14 - Arrival back in Papeete with a pocketfull of stories at around 9:30am

For more information and to begin planning this fabulous adventure call me, 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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Aranui III - Cruise on a Freighter thru the South Pacific!

April 6, 2012

The Aranui is a mixed passenger/cargo vessel that operates between Tahiti and the Marquesas.  Experience a 14-day adventure cruise in the French Polynesia, Marquesas islands, begin the journey from Tahiti to Fakarava, Ua Pou, Nuku Hiva, Hiva Oa, Fatu Hiva, Tahuata, Ua Huka, Rangiroa and back to Papeete.

She offers comfortable, air-conditioned accommodations for about two hundred passengers. Passengers will be able to sunbathe on deck, swim in the pool, or enjoy exotic tropical drinks while the Aranui winds her way among the islands of the Marquesas.

The vessel operates under the French flag, and her crew are all Polynesian, primarily Marquesans. To give you an idea of the schedule, please see below (itinerary subject to change):

Itinerary:

Departure from Papeete, Tahiti dock at 10:30am

Day 2 - Fakarava, Tuamotu Islands

Day 3 - At Sea

Day 4 - Ua Pou (Hakahau-Hakahetau) Marquesas

Day 5 - Nuku Hiva (Taiohae-Hatiheu-Taipival)

Day 6 - Hiva Oa (Atuona)

Day 7 - Fatu Hiva (Omoa-Hanavave)

Day 8 - Hiva oa (Puamau-Hanaiapa)

Day 9 - Tahuata (Vaitahu-Hapatoni)

Day 10 - Ua Huka (Vaipaee-Hane-Hokatu), Ua Pou (Hakahau)

Day 11 - Nuku Hiva (Taiohae), Ua Pou (Hakahau)

Day 12 - At Sea

Day 13 - Rangiroa, Tuamotu Islands

Day 14 - Arrival back in Papeete at around 9:30am

Facts about the ship:

Facilities aboard the Aranui, include electrical current, telephones and a ship’s boutique.

Meals

All meals are included in the price of carriage. Meals are served in the Aranui’s dining room in an informal setting. Depending on the number of passengers, there will be on or two seatings. There is buffet breakfast. Lunch and dinner menus will vary depending on what fresh ingredients are available. Complimentary wine is provided at both lunch and dinner.

For shore excursions, we will provide either a picnic lunch or a delicious meal at a local restaurant.

Please let us know at the time of booking, or no later than three weeks in advance of the sailing date if you need a special, medically prescribed diet.

Clothing

Recommended clothing, luggage and sundries.

Shore Visits and Excursions

Information about excursions and activities available on your voyage.

Weather

The weather in the area is generally divided between the dry season, from March to October, and the wet season, from September to February. You can expect some rain even in the dry season, so we recommend you bring a poncho or other raingear for shore excursions. Temperatures during both seasons will average in the 80’s during the day, and 60’s-70’s in the evening. Temperatures are given in Fahrenheit.

To experience the South Pacific in a more authentic & intimate way,

Contact the Travelgal at Teresa@Luxuryhideaways.net or 800 644-6659

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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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Islands of Tahiti - Where to Scuba Dive - Here’s the Guide!

September 9, 2011

Are you planning a winter vacation that must have fantastic scuba diving? Look no further then the islands of Tahiti.  I have listed below just a few of the amazing and pristine dive sites in the islands:

* Moorea: Explore the remains of ancient shipwrecks, glimpse a black tipped reef shark, impressively large moray eels, sea turtles and barracudas;
* Bora Bora: View Lemon sharks and manta rays close up;
* Raiatea: Discover shipwrecks and the marine life that thrives among mushroom shaped corals including octopus, tuna and leopard rays;
* Rangiroa and Fakarava: In this premier diving location, look for hammerhead sharks (Dec - Feb) or manta rays (Sept-Oct). In addition, dolphins, turtles, eagle rays and other fascinating fish species are often spotted here among coral reefs and canyon passes;
* Nuku Hiva: The steep cliffs and caves off this island reveal a variety of unusual marine life, including hammerhead sharks, melon-headed whales, moray eels and scorpion fish.

Are you convinced yet?  The two of you will find yourselves surrounded by the most beautiful and romantic islands, set amid endless Pacific waters. You have discovered paradise!

Contact your tropical island specialist at 800 644-6659 - lets begin planning your trip today!

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The Ultimate South Pacific Cruise visiting The Marquesas, Tuamotus & Society Islands

September 1, 2009

South Pacific IslandsThe small luxury cruise ship m/s Paul Gauguin has scheduled a fantastic 14 day cruise where your first port is the breathtaking isle of Bora Bora. Then it’s on to the Tuamotus, specifically Fakarava, an atoll known for its pristine beaches, rare wildlife, and exceptional scuba diving.

Next, explore the mist-covered Marquesas, where you’ll discover the islands of Fatu Hiva, Hiva Oa, Ua Huka, and Nuku Hiva. On these wild islands you’ll find waterfalls, wild stallions, tiki sculptures, and an arboretum, among other delights. More enjoyment awaits on Taha’a (Motu Mahana), Paul Gauguins own private motu, and a day at spectacular Moorea. Check out the day by day itinerary below and then give us a call ASAP!

Day 1 Embark Paul Gauguin in Papeete, Tahiti - Begin your journey through paradise in the capital of Tahiti, the largest and most populated of the French Polynesian islands.

Day 2 At Sea - Spend the day enjoying the m/s Paul Gauguin’s Polynesian ambience: casual, leisurely, and graceful. Perhaps you’ll take in a lecture on local wildlife or history, then dine in the evening over classic French cuisine at L’Etoile.

Day 3 Fakarava - Explore the clear waters of Fakarava in the remote and pristine Tuamotus. The island is a sanctuary for rare birds, plants and crustaceans - stroll the pink-sand beaches and you will view many of them. You may also want to visit the island’s black pearl farm, or the ruins of the first church in French Polynesia built entirely of coral.

Day 4 At Sea - Take another day to enjoy shipboard life: relax poolside, watch the South Pacific slip by, play some table tennis, or take advantage of our Reading Library.

Day 5 Hanavave, Fatu Hiva - Fatu Hiva is wild and spectacularly beautiful. The jungle greenery begins at the water’s edge, with narrow ravines, deep gorges and luxuriant valleys briefly open to view as the boat glides past, close to the sheer cliffs that plunge straight down into the splashing surf.

Day 6 Atuona, Hiva Oa - Hiva Oa is an island marked by wild beauty and a somber bearing. The main town is Atuona, where Paul Gauguin is buried. You might visit the village of Puamau to see the largest stone sculptures of Marquesas. The are considered links to the tikis of Easter Island and Necker Island, north of Hawaii.

Day 7 Vaipaee, Ua Huka - Home to the only arboretum in French Polynesian, the people of Ua Huka have a commitment to the conservation and the preservation of their culture that is palpable. The oldest ruins in the Marquesas are located in the Hane Valley and date back to AD 254-300.

Day 8 Tiaohae, Nuku Hiva - As the governmental and economic center, Nuku Hiva is the most important island in the Marquesas. It’s also stunningly beautiful, with three major bays on the south coast and similarly gorgeous inlets on the north coast as well.

Days 9 - 10 At Sea -Take more time to enjoy shipboard life on the m/s Paul Gauguin , your own personal South Seas isle.

Day 11 Huahine - Known as the “wild” Society for its untamed, verdant forests, Huahine remains relatively untouched by modern development. Explore some of the abundant archaeological treasures - ancient homes, buildings, and marae (stone platforms that served as places of worship) - excavated and preserved throughout the island. Or dive in Huahine’s crystalline lagoon, which teems with over 450 species of fish.

Day 12 Bora Bora - Bora Bora’s lagoon is a must-see: this is your chance for a swim, snorkel or outrigger cruise. The lagoon is constantly replenished with ocean water from the swells that crash between sandy motus (small islets) and over the fringing reef.

Day 13 Taha’a (Motu Mahana) - Arrive at our South Seas paradise island - 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 which features strolling musicians and singers.

Day 14 Moorea/Papeete, Tahiti - The island of Moorea’s scenery is like a dream. Try out some exciting optional watersports like scuba diving among a host of interesting sea creatures - including sea turtles, a staggering number of fish species such as barracuda, tuna, jackfish, red snapper, moray eels, trigger fish, various sizes and shapes of rays and more. At the end of the afternoon, we cruise to our home port in Papeete, docking there for the night.

Day 15 Disembark in Papeete - In the morning you’ll disembark the m/s Paul Gauguin , capping off your epic journey through the South Pacific.

map of cruiseThis cruise is offered just 4 times in 2010 and there are fantastic early booking discounts - call The Travel Gal at 800 644-6659 or email teresa@luxuryhideaways.net for details, dates and pricing.

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