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TAHITI Frequently Asked Questions For Honeymooners & Romantics

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Why is Tahiti so magical? What sets these South Seas isles apart from all other tropical islands? What is this magnetic charm that for centuries has lured poets and writers, incited sailors to mutiny, and inspired some of the world's most beautiful paintings?
In a word, romance. Without doubt, Tahiti is the most romantic place on earth. It was made for lovers. Close your eyes and imagine an oceanfront Garden of Eden for you and your Adam-or Eve-and you've probably just conjured up Tahiti.
Intoxicating scents. Palm-shaded beaches. Secluded coves. Islands more sensuous than the works of Gauguin, more adventuresome that the tales of Robert Louis Stevenson, more romantic than James Michener's fabled Bali Hai.

Tahiti is the idyllic setting for a honeymoon in paradise. Sleep in your own private thatched-roof bungalow on the edge of a turquoise lagoon... cruise under star-studded skies propelled by gentle trade winds... spend the day on your own secluded islet...

What's so special about Tahiti and the other islands of French Polynesia?

This is an easy question! First of all, we are talking about the most spectacular islands in the world. The water is the clearest you'll ever see and it comes in an unbelievable array of blue and green shades. The vegetation is lush and there are endless flowers, not only all over the islands but also adorning the local people. Speaking of the people, they are total charmers and have a fascinating culture. French Polynesia is a magical place!

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Why should I go to Tahiti rather than the Caribbean, Mexico or Hawaii?

If you want a mass production style of vacation with lots of tourists, enormous hotels, then the Caribbean, Mexico and Hawaii are your destinations. However, if you prefer a special experience, gorgeous scenery, few tourists and no monster hotels, then Tahiti is for you. As you laze on Tahiti's unspoiled beaches, sometimes you think that you have the islands exclusively to yourself. Hawaii gets more tourists in a day than Tahiti does in a year

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How crowded are the islands? Will vendors and beggars drive me crazy?

Papeete is the only city in French Polynesia and once you are away from this center, the islands are sparsely populated. The Tahitians have a high standard of living and don't have beggars - nor would they think of hawking stuff to tourists.

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Is Tahiti too expensive for a vacation?

Perhaps an all-inclusive week in Tahiti won't be as low as one in Hawaii but, nevertheless, it's an great value for the indelible memories visitors will take home with them. Also, there aren't any hidden costs - what you see is what you get. Don't forget that there's no tipping or added taxes in Tahiti

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What about the food?

The country is called French Polynesia - that means you have culinary influences from both France and Polynesia - an unbeatable combination! There are all kinds of restaurants in Tahiti with prices similar to our Italian and French restaurants in the USA. As many items need to be imported, you won't find anything "super cheap."

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What time of year should I travel and what can I expect?

There is a rainier season and a drier season in French Polynesia, but it's a great travel destination all year long. The climate is tropical so that means there could be intermittent rain even in the "dry" season and sunshine for many days in a row during the "rainy" season. Temperatures are fairly constant all year.

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I like lots of activities - is there plenty to do?

There is an abundance of activities in and around the water and much to do on land. A lot of things are free!

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I'm stressed out and need to relax - is French Polynesia the place for me?

It's interesting to note that there isn't an equivalent word for "stress" in either French or Tahitian! As soon as you arrive, the stress and strain of our normal everyday lives just seems to melt away in this magical environment.

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Is it really, REALLY romantic?

Is this a serious question? The romance of the islands will sweep over you right away...there are pristine, unspoiled beaches, waving palms, flowers everywhere, gorgeous waters of many hues, romantic overwater bungalows--do you want us to go on?

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Is there a wide range of accommodations available?

Of course! Hotels in French Polynesia range from budget all the way up to first class and deluxe. In some cases, regular hotel rooms are offered or you can stay in Tahitian-style, thatched-roof bungalows. Speaking of bungalows, you will want to experience a night or two staying in an enchanting overwater bungalow - a type of accommodation that's unique to French Polynesia.

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How do I get there?

Another easy question. It's just a short, 7 hour flight, non-stop, from Los Angeles and there are five international airlines servicing Papeete.

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Is there privacy and seclusion?

As many of the accommodations in French Polynesia are private bungalows - either in the gardens, on the beach or over the water - privacy is not an issue! With the small population and few tourists, you'll feel the beaches are your own private domain. Even topless sunbathing is generally ignored in this French and Polynesian-influenced society.

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I don't speak French - is this going to be a problem for me?

Non! Many locals speak English and you'll find that English is widely understood in hotels and establishments catering to tourists.

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I'm looking for a true cultural experience - will I find it in Tahiti?

No problem at all. The Tahitians express their culture in their dress, their music, their crafts and in the flowers they adorn themselves with. It's not a "show" just for tourists. As you travel around the islands, you'll also encounter some of the ancient Tahitian maraes (temples) where you can learn more of the Polynesian civilization and how the people came to be the charming way they are today.

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What about adventurous and off-the-beaten-track activities?

There are many possibilities! French Polynesia boasts 118 islands and atolls, a number of which are uninhabited In some of the more off-the-beaten-track locales you can stay with local families, if you desire. 4WD adventures are available in Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora. The Marquesas Islands are remote and rugged, with steep cliffs dropping off into the sea, where you can see large numbers of wild horses.

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What are your favorite islands?

This is one of the harder questions! Each island is so special... Bora Bora, perhaps, because of its unbelievably beautiful lagoon. The scenery in Moorea is spectacular and the view as you come into Cook's Bay is unparalleled. Huahine is lush and gorgeous and Raiatea has the only navigable river in French Polynesia. Rangiroa in the Tuamotus has the second largest lagoon in the world - truly an impressive sight.

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We want to go there for our honeymoon - do you have any suggestions?

Well, you couldn't pick a better destination for a honeymoon. There are intimate resorts, romantic scenery and just plain "magic." There are "hideaways" such as Vahine Island, near Raiatea, and Kia Ora Sauvage, in Rangiroa which offer privacy and special, personal care. Don't forget the beauty of Moorea, Bora Bora and Huahine! While you are in French Polynesia, you may renew your vows, if you wish, in a romantic, traditional Tahitian Wedding Ceremony.

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I want to spend my time diving and snorkeling - where's the best spot?

French Polynesia - period! To be a bit more specific, experienced divers should consider going out to the Tuamotu Atolls - both Rangiroa and Manihi - for your finest experiences. The diversity of the marine life is superb. Dives start along the outer reefs, drifting through the passes and into the unbelievable waters of the lagoons. Moorea specializes in hand-feeding sharks and dives with rays and dolphins; Bora Bora generally offers beautiful, graceful manta rays in its plankton-rich, multi-hued lagoon; and Huahine and Raiatea offer more brilliant displays of coral ledges, cliffs and colorful reef fish.

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Dressing up doesn't appeal to me - how "fancy" do you have to be in the evenings?

Tahiti sounds like the perfect destination for you! You never need to dress up in the evenings - a simple, cotton dress or shorts outfit will do for ladies and the gentlemen are fine with a sport shirt and either trousers or shorts. During the days, the coolest of clothing is preferred and natural fibers are best. Don't forget your swimsuits, sunblock and sun hats! Another essential to bring with you is rubber-soled or plastic shoes, preferably shoes you can wear in or out of the water to protect your feet from coral.

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Great, it all sounds wonderful - but - are there any down sides?

Well, you have to go home - although some visiting French Polynesia have become so enamored, they've stayed there forever!

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