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A true tropical paradise, French Polynesia comprises more than 100 islands in five archipelagoes in the South Pacific Ocean. The most popular islands are Tahiti, Bora Bora, Mo'orea, and Pape'ete (the capital), and each has something special to offer.
You can’t get any closer to the water than at the St. Regis Bora Bora, featuring villas out on the lagoon with glass panels throughout for views of the water below. Near Tahiti, The Brando offers one-of-a-kind seclusion on its own private island with air service. Both options offer access to amazing scuba diving, sailing, and other water sports while providing plenty of opportunity to relax.
If stretches of white sand, palm trees swaying in the breeze, and bright blue waters sound like your ideal vacation setting, French Polynesia checks all the boxes. Known for amazing beaches and world-class surfing, kitesurfing, and diving, each of the 100-plus South Pacific islands has something unique to offer. Tahiti is the most populated island, featuring black-sand beaches, waterfalls, and two extinct volcanoes. Fakarava has some of the best scuba diving in the world, while Raiatea has plenty of hiking and is home to one of the rarest flowers in the world. Wherever you go in French Polynesia, you're in for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
One of the best-preserved archaeological sites in French Polynesia, Iipona is known for its five impressive tikis, large carvings in the image of a human figure. Experts believe this was once an important religious site (or meae).
This famous market is the best place to get authentic food, sarongs, shell necklaces, and more. The indoor market in Tahiti's capital takes up two floors and provides a great opportunity to interact with locals.
Perhaps the best scuba diving site in the world, Tiputa Pass has approximately 15 dive sites all with incredibly clear visibility. This spot offers the chance to swim with sharks and even see whales migrating if you visit between August and October.
This unique spot, also known as "Reef City," features coral formations rising up out of the ocean. This deserted island is only accessible by boat and makes for a fun day trip. Go for a swim and maybe see a shark or two.
Get your steps in with a hike to the top of Mount Te'urafa'atiu on the tiny island of Maupiti. Rising to just over 1,200 feet, the volcanic peak offers 360-degree views of the lagoon, Bora Bora, and Raiatea in the distance.
Bora Bora offers luxury resorts, plenty of shops, and beautiful scenery. The Bora Bora lagoon is postcard-worthy and a hotspot for scuba diving, and Matira Beach is popular with both tourists and locals for sunsets and snorkeling.
The tropical weather in French Polynesia is balmy year-round. Temperatures stay in the high 60s to mid-80s, even in the winter. There are two main seasons here: the dry winter season (May through October) and the wet summer season (November through April). The best months to visit are July and August, when the weather is just about perfect, but it's also the peak season. December and January, on the other hand, average almost 13 inches of rain.
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