Tahiti Is Open For Business
Yes its official, the Government of French Polynesia has announced that Tahiti reopened to visitors July 15th 2020! Special airfares and hotel deals have been released including red hot airfares on Air Tahiti Nui and never before seen resort rates including 30% off and value added amenities. Example packages can be found on the front page of our website
and also by reviewing our special deals
section. The best way to stay up to date with Tahiti including the latest news & deals is to sign up to our monthly e-newsletter
. Tahiti Travel Mate looks forward to planning your next Tahiti Honeymoon
, or Vacation when the timing is right for you!
Tahiti’s Top 10 Questions During the Pandemic
1. What should tourists know about going to Tahiti now? The Islands of Tahiti are OPEN and there is very minor instance of the pandemic. The USA as of Sep 29 has 2,549,268 active cases, while also on Sep 29 French Polynesia has just 290 active cases. The Islands of Tahiti are perfect for social distancing, with one night at the most in Papeete, you then escape to the less populated islands of Moorea, Bora Bora, Taha’a, Huahine, Rangiroa or Tikehau. Staying at resorts that are boutique in size when compared to mega resorts of Hawaii, Mexico or the Caribbean. Even at its busiest, Tahiti has the same number of visitors in a year that Hawaii has in one week! Yes now is a good time to go The Islands of Tahiti.
2. What is the correct Covid -19 test? You will need a COVID-19 RT-PCR test (Molecular Test) and it must be administered by a health professional (NO self-testing). The test must be performed 3-days prior to the day of travel. (If you are departing from LAX on a Friday, you must book a RT-PCR test on the Tuesday 8am to allow them time for an email from the doctor of your negative Covid-19 result. Always ask the question “can you guarantee my results within 3-days?”
3. What do you need to check in for an International Flight to Tahiti? When you are check in for your International flight you need the following three documents – 1. Passport (with 6-months validity from the day you depart) 2. Negative Covid-19 Test Results (negative RT-PCR Test results printed), 3. ETIS form (that you complete online and print)
4. Are all hotel services and facilities open? The Islands of Tahiti, like the rest of the world initially went into lock down back in March, but they did such a good job in containing the spread of Covid, they chose to reopen on July 15. Bringing back the resorts and tours has been a gradual process. We are now at the start of October and the resorts and tour companies that have been open since July are reporting a good return to a new normal. By new normal I mean all guests, staff and the local Tahitian population are wearing a masks in public areas and practicing social distancing.
5. When must you socially distance on a Tahiti vacation? Wearing a mask and practicing social distancing starts the moment you enter the airport, boarding all planes, transfer vehicles and ferries. When you are at your resort you will wear a mask when you go into a restaurant, but once you are seated and socially distanced from others, you mask will come off.
6. Are activities and excursions available? With tourism returning to Tahiti, so too are activities and excursions. Again the issue of the mas is really an non-issue. You won’t wear you mask in your over water bungalow, when stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, snorkeling or diving. You won’t wear you mask as you jet ski across an azure blue lagoon with Mt Otemanu rising like a Greek Adonis draped in a blanket of rainforest that falls upon a sugar white sand beach. You won’t wear a mask while on an adventurous ATV ride that takes you to a lofty lookout where the incredible beauty of the lagoons becomes overwhelmingly apparent.
7. Is wearing a mask an issue on excursions? Hardly! Just think of yourself as a celebrity, hiding from unwanted attention. The Islands of Tahiti are the place where the world dreams of escaping too and North America is blessed with an opportunity to take that journey. With an insufferably contentious election process, escaping to The Islands of Tahiti offers an opportunity to rejuvenate ones spirit. Just mail in you vote and put yourself in paradise.
8. What’s it like to dine out, go shopping, or sightsee around the islands? The real plus with regards to Tahiti respectful pandemic protocols is that only respectful people are traveling. People who are pushing back against the wearing of a masks are still struggling with the task of weekly shopping. Those people are not traveling. People who wear a mask unconditionally do so out of respect for others. It’s not about your protection, it’s about the protection of the people you meet. Remember it’s the Islands of Tahiti who are inviting you to their country. It is your duty to do everything possible to show respect for this pristine Polynesian paradise.
9. What makes Tahiti better than before? There are two things that have improved due to the pandemic. One there are fewer people, so you have more space than ever before. The second thing that the travelers are more respectful. People visiting in this pandemic seem to be more caring and we think the new protocols of social distancing and wearing a mask when appropriate is attracting thoughtful travelers.
10. Anything else you’d like to share? The Islands of Tahiti are back and are doing it right. With Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and the Cook Islands still closed, and you are interested in traveling to French Polynesia, call me Alison Adam at Tahiti Travel Mate
Tahiti Trip Report to Huahine & Tikehau – December 2019
Papeete, the invigorating capital city and gateway of the territory, boasts world-class resorts, spas, fine restaurants, nightclubs, and endless shopping at the vibrant markets, pearl shops, and boutiques.
We Stayed At
Located on one of the nicest white sand beaches on Tahiti’s west coast, the Tahiti Ia Ora Beach Resort managed by Sofitel
faces the lagoon bordered by the coral reef with the island of Moorea in the background. All spacious 146 rooms and 12 overwater bungalows offer a panoramic view of the ocean. All units are fully equipped with air conditioning, personal safe and a bathroom with separate bathtub and shower. The resort features 2 restaurants, outrigger canoes, a tennis court and the largest sand-bottom swimming pool in the South Pacific set in the middle of a tropical garden.
Day Tour in Papeete
What a fabulous morning in Papeete! I was invited by some awesome friends to join a walking foodie tour downtown. We started at a lovely cafe where the locals love to go for Sunday breakfast. A twist on the traditional poison cru served with a delicious donut. Then we jumped onto tuk tuks for a hop on hop off tour with stops at the Cathedral in the town square, Art Street, City Hall and the magnificent Queens Gardens. The plants and trees direct descendants of plantings for the Queen in the 1700’s and her very own beautiful koi pond. Next foodie stop the Star Studded Hollywood Cafe for a scrumptious papaya tart and fresh coconut milk. Then a visit to the President’s official place of business decorated for the festive season and then off to the marche public markets. An absolute must for every visitor to Tahiti, we had a very special private food tasting with bread fruit, taro, coconut bread skewers and gelee. Final stop to wash down all of this local goodness- a Hinano Beer of course! Manuia!
A Little Bit of Work – Tahiti Travel Exchange
The Tahiti Tourisme Exchange (TTE) is an intense one-day workshop that offers North American travel professionals like Tahiti Travel Mate, the chance to interact with local properties, services and operators.
This year the event is being held aboard the Aranui 5
custom-built, dual-purpose passenger/freighter that sails from Tahiti to the Marquesas, Tuamotu and Society Islands in French Polynesia on a 14 day all-inclusive cruise.
Aranui, meaning "the great highway" in the local language, serves as a lifeline to the inhabitants of the Marquesas islands, bringing supplies to each principal village and several remote valleys.
Next Stop – Tikehau
As you fly into Tikehau, this graceful atoll looks like a crown of white and pink-sand beaches shimmering around a turquoise lagoon making it almost too breathtaking to be true. Jacques Cousteau’s research crew dubbed it “the most fish abundant Tuamotu atoll.”
We Stayed at
A truly secluded paradise! Located on Motu Tiano, a tiny islet of 4 hectares on the coral reef, the Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort
is the only resort on the atoll. The resort is nested in a coconut plantation bordered by a beautiful white and pink sandy beach that you will reach after a 20 minutes transfer by boat.
Each spacious beach and overwater bungalow at the Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort features a private veranda and a traditional design accented by natural materials such as bamboo, exotic woods and coconut fibers.
Both the Tianoa Bar and Poreho Restaurant are poolside, providing the perfect setting to admire the surrounding scenery by day and the starry sky by night.
Several excursions and activities are available on site: snorkeling, canoeing, sunset cruises, bicycling and scuba diving with the on-site dive operator.
Activities in Tikehau
Lots of adventures and experiences as we explore the many water activities available here on Tikehau!
I can’t think of a better welcome to this beautiful lagoon paradise than a Sunset Cruise with a cocktail in hand! This afternoon we joined the staff for an hour cruise available to book by all guests at the Tikehau Pearl Beach. What a fabulous introduction.
And it continues…..Today we set out for a 6 hour Lagoon Tour and Motu Picnic. We travelled by boat to unspoiled, pristine motu islets where we snorkeled, beach-combed and relaxed. A highlight was a visit to the Birds Island followed by a Polynesian lunch.
Next Stop – Huahine
Huahine is like Bora Bora, but about 100 years ago. With lush forests, an untamed landscape and quaint villages, it is a place where you can live like a local. A deep, crystal-clear lagoon surrounds the two islands that comprise Huahine, while magnificent bays and white-sand beaches add drama to the experience. Relatively unchanged by the modern world, Huahine offers the slower, more tranquil pace of old Polynesia.
We Stayed at
The Maitai Lapita Village Huahine
, which lies between a lake and the lagoon, on an ancient archaeological site where Huahinean ancestors once lived, hence the name Lapita Village. This Huahine hotel offers excellent accommodation at a great price, welcoming hospitality, a restaurant and bar, a swimming pool, a multitude of activities and much more.
Hotel Site Inspection
Hidden in a small bay that can only be accessed by boat, the Royal Huahine
offers seclusion although still part of the main island. The hotels resort features garden, beach and overwater bungalows, all facing west to take advantage of the spectacular sunsets over the neighboring islands of Raiatea and Tahaa. All units are decorated in Polynesian style and are comfortably equipped. Guest amenities include a freshwater swimming pool, hotel bar, black pearl boutique and a range of free activities. The resort's overwater restaurant, Le Ari'i, provides a dining experience with a spectacular sunset view.
Activities in Huahine
This afternoon we joined Island Eco Tours for the half day “Sacred Sights & Legendary Places” tour. Like all of the Society Islands, Huahine has a beautiful lagoon surrounding a lush green interior, but the most unique thing to discover here is the Village of Maeva; home to the largest concentration of archaeological sites in the Pacific. If you're looking to learn more about Polynesia, including the fascinating history and culture of this stunning "Garden Island," then this is the perfect tour for you.
On our tour we visited the Archaeological Sites of Maeva Village, Vanilla Plantation, Fish Traps, Beach on Motu Maeva, Giant Blue Eyed Eels, Belvedere View Point, Maroe Bay and Huahine Iti.
Rental Car in Huahine
Sightseeing for the day in our Rental Car. There was so much to see on our half day tour that we decided to grab a car and go explore some more! First stop revisiting the very interesting Fare Pote’e Museum. We made sure to make a stop at Gallery Umatatea: owned by American artist Melanie Dupre. Her beautiful watercolor paintings capture the gorgeous scenery, people and culture of Huahine. She also sells Tahitian ice-cream which was a real treat! After exploring Huahine Iti, we made our way to Fare, the largest town. Here we stocked up on some snacks at the island’s only supermarket. This is a lovely quaint South Pacific town where in the morning you’ll find locals selling freshly caught fish, coconuts, bananas and all sorts of fruits and vegetable. Several cute places to eat at and home to the local’s favorite place too go on a Friday night: Yacht Club Huahine where a live band entertains to a crowd! Food was very good, such a fun place!
Hotel Site inspection
this friendly family hotel is located on the southernmost part of Huahine within the Bay of Avea, along a superb white sand beach. This hotel offers beach bungalows facing the lagoon, Lagoon-View and Garden bungalows. All units feature a deck to enjoy a drink at the end of the day, and a private bathroom. Perfect for families or for budget travelers, the large bungalows can accommodate up to 4 adults.
A panoramic restaurant overlooks the lagoon and offers an excellent selection of meals combining international and traditional cooking (the best food on the island according to us). With it’s own private, white sandy beach, great snorkeling is available right at the front of the resort!
Continuing our Tahiti Vacation - Taha'a & Bora Bora
is known as the Vanilla Island! Taha'a, with the rich aroma of vanilla lingering heavily in the air, offers a glimpse of the traditional, tranquil life of the Tahitians. We thoroughly recommend a half day Taha’a sightseeing tour. There is plenty to show you: sparkling lagoons bursting with aquatic life, historic sites, old-world plantations overflowing with fragrant crops of pineapple, vanilla and papaya, and unparalleled vistas. We loved every minute of our trip and where we stayed was amazing!
Le Taha’a Island Resort & Spa
Wow! Features Overwater Suites, Beach Villas and 2 Royal Beach Villas. Private patio and tropical gardens, private swimming pool (beach villas), spacious lounge and terrace, private deck with direct access to the lagoon (overwater suites). All of the Suites and Villas are very spacious and beautifully appointed with local materials. The Coral Gardens located adjacent to the resort are exceptional – it was only my 2nd snorkeling opportunity ever and I’m hooked! So many clients want to be able to snorkel without having to take a paid for excursion so the proximity to fabulous snorkeling is such an asset.
Vaitape is Bora Bora's main town. Most visitors to Bora Bora visit the main island for a few hours during their stay. You'll find a number of eateries and boutiques selling souvenirs and lots of jewelry stores selling beautiful black pearls. Vaitape also boasts a tourist office, two grocery stores where you can stock up on some snacks, a medical center and other necessities. But, onward we go to our resort!
The Conrad Bora Bora Nui
Having re-opened in early 2017 and re-branded from the Hilton to the deluxe rated Conrad Bora Bora Nui, it was time to visit and see for ourselves what this property has to offer! It definitely did not disappoint! The resort has managed to beautifully combine Polynesian tradition with state-of-the-art amenities from the accommodations, the 4 dining/beverage options (personal vote for best buffet breakfast!) to the plentiful recreational activities.
It offers 114 Villas and Suites all with views of the lagoon and horizon, including 86 Overwater Villas (18 featuring infinity plunge pools) and 2 x 2 story Presidential Overwater Villas with plunge pools. We loved the split level deck with sunbathing netting and loungers maximizing private relaxation – and the fabulous bathrooms with huge soaker tub!