French Polynesia has long been synonymous with luxury, romance, and tropical paradise. Any vacation in French Polynesia is like stumbling on a parallel universe where all your fantasies come true- from beautiful beaches to amazing food to beautiful people. This place is one of the biggest honeymoon destinations in the world as places like Tahiti offers paradise and a lot of romance. In French Polynesia, you can relax, visit spas, scuba dive, enjoy fine food, or dip right into the ocean from your bungalow. Anything is possible here, especially if you have the money. French Polynesia is no cheap destination.
Cost and Budgeting for French Polynesia
French Polynesia is expensive and there is no really “cheap” way to visit this place. Flights here tend to be very expensive and once you arrive you’ll find even the cheapest meal, bought from a vendor off the street, will cost around 1200 CFP. ($1 = 85 CFP) Travelers who cook their own meals and stay in the cheapest accommodation might be able to live on 10,000 CFP per day. Midrange travelers should be prepared to spend around 20,000 CFP per day. Those famous over-water bungalows start at US$500 per night, and a stay on a private island can cost as much as US$10,000 per night.
Taxes are also very high here. The TVA (value-added tax) adds 6% to your hotel bill (and that’s not including the 5% government tax and the taxe de séjour, accommodation tax or daily tax, which top off the bill). There’s just no way to escape it- French Polynesia is expensive.
Things to Do and See in French Polynesia
Scuba Dive/Snorkeling- French Polynesia is famous for its excellent diving as many of the islands are surrounded by reefs. Rangiroa is a scuba diving paradise with strong tidal flows through the two passes into its lagoon. Divers from afar come to drift with the current back into the lagoon through schools of sharks, dolphins, and other fish. You can also snorkel with sharks and manta rays as the animals are fed by experienced guides.
Visit Historical Sites- The archaeological area on Huahine contains dozens of restored Polynesian temples and the Marquesas has its own unique Polynesian culture exemplified by the large stone tikis standing at archaeological sites on Nuku Hiva and Hiva Oa.
Take a dolphin cruise– Moorea is famous for its marine life and there are snorkeling tours, shark and ray feeding expeditions, and dolphin watching trips.
Take a sunset cruise– There’s nothing more romantic at a romantic destination than a sunset cruise in the ocean.
Pamper Yourself– The islands of French Polynesia are known for their luxury spas. Treat yourself to a luxurious spa and pampering because you deserve it.
Enjoy the culture- Those with a taste for culture can enjoy a spectacular Tahitian feast and show at the Tiki Theater Village. The Marquesans stage Polynesian dance shows and prepare island feasts.
Check out a Pearl Farm- Check out to a black pearl farm over the lagoon on Raiatea. Manihi is the most accessible of French Polynesia’s major pearl farming areas and there are tours which demonstrate the pearl farming process.
French Polynesia Weather
The dry winter period here from May to October, which is the best time to go as the weather is cooler and there is less rain. November to April is the summer and wet season where the weather is humid, cloudy and very rainy. Temperatures here range from the mid 20 C at night to the high 30 C during the day, especially during the hot season.