Country: French Polynesia
Where is it?: Oceania, archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, about one-half of the way from South America to Australia
Why do people go here?: Francophiles meet the Pacific. It’s hot, it’s happening, it’s trendy, and has been for years. Tahiti is the epitome of a swanky pacific island, although the other, less expensive and less touristed places boast the best scenery.
What are the main entry points?: The Faa Airport in Pape’ete gathers the visitors who arrive by air from all over the world. Cruise ships and yachts also find temporary homes here.
Currency used: Comptoirs Francais du Pacifique franc (XPF)
Country Code: 689
Area codes for Major Cities: No city codes required
Religion: Protestant 54%, Roman Catholic 30%, other 10%, no religion 6%
Ethnic Breakdown: Polynesian 78%, Chinese 12%, local French 6%, metropolitan French 4%
Government: Overseas territory of France since 1946
Languages: French (official), Tahitian (official)
Major Cities: Papeete
Attractions: Party like a rock star, Beaches, Sun
Health Issues: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers over 1 year of age coming from infected areas.
Tips for Visiting
When to go: Fight the crowds and go when the weather is the best and the nights are the hottest figuratively. Check out the islands June through September.
Specific Events/Holidays: Bastille Day, 14 July (1789)
Getting Around: Luxury cruisers, yachts and interisland boats will get you to and fro if you don’t want to shell out the money for a plane ticket. Buses will drive you around once you get on land.
Cheapest airport to fly into: The main airport for travellers taking flights to French Polynesia is Tahiti Faa’a International Airport.
Need more information?: Check out the French Polynesia travel guide for more on what to see, where to stay, and how to get there.