French Polynesia Travel Facts

The Basics

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%

Population: 300,000

Ethnic Breakdown: Polynesian 78%, Chinese 12%, local French 6%, metropolitan French 4%

Government: Overseas territory of France since 1946

Languages: French (official), Tahitian (official)

Travel Information

Major Cities: Papeete

Attractions: Party like a rock star, Beaches, Sun

Accommodations: French Polynesia Hostels, French Polynesia Hostels

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.

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