Spread across nearly 2,000,000 square miles of the South Pacific, in an area as large as the
continent of Europe, lays the Territory of French Polynesia and its principal island, Tahiti.
Settlers from Southeast Asia are thought to have first arrived in the Marquesas Islands, in
the northeastern part of what is today called French Polynesia, around 300 AD and in the
Society Islands, including Tahiti, to the west by about 800 AD. Prior to the first European
contact, the islands were ruled by a hierarchy of hereditary tribal chiefs. The first Europeans
to visit the area were the English explorers Samuel Wallis in 1767 and James Cook in 1769.
French explorer Louis-Antoine de Bougainville arrived in 1768 and claimed the islands for
France. In the late 1700s occasional ships arrived in the islands, most notably the H.M.S.
Rich in history, culture, and stunning land and seascapes, the Society Islands have been
fabled as “heaven on earth where Gods and Goddesses lounge in divine beauty”.


sand beaches. It is no stretch to say that the beaches of Moorea Island can be rated among the world’s finest.

Filled with Polynesian history and lore, Moorea is one of the most fascinating and completely relaxing places on earth. On one side lie exquisite Cook's Bay, and the other a deep and equally entrancing Opunohu Bay. Their waiting arms reach up to embrace you.

Snorkeling is quite possibly the overall favorite activity of all visitors arriving to any island of French Polynesia. This activity is not only relaxing, but also exciting at the same time. Just about every place you can dive, you can also snorkel, but without the burden of scuba equipment. It’s a wonderful feeling of freedom. Moorea's lagoon is excellent for snorkeling because of the amazing combination of clear visibility and generally calm conditions. The water is crystal clear and warm. The marine life is abundant and interesting. Simply put, this island is a snorkeler's dream.

Take a break and picnic on one of the nearby motus. Moorea’s lagoon enjoys protected waters with hardly any waves and practically no tides to deal with, making for calm and flat waters the majority of the time. With an average temperature between 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit, the swimming is simply wonderful! If you're into just basking about in the shallows, it’s comfortable and cooling in the day.

Explore Moorea by 4WD, including the Paopao Valley's pineapple plantations and Belevedere Lookout. Vehicles climb to the top of Magic Mountain for a short hike with more panoramic views of the north shore. For history buffs, "Tours of the Ancient" is a three-hour excursion in which you hike (mostly downhill) through a rainforest. It's a great way to learn about ancient tribal lifestyles and rituals. A stop at Belvedere Lookout is included, naturally.



There's a spot in the deepwater channel between a hotel and the fringing reef where you can get up close and personal with stingrays. Squid is one of their favorite treats and they will gently feed from your hand. The biggest animals are the females and the smaller ones are the males. They will brush past you with their silky skin and present their snouts for stroking. These are as tame as a big pussycat. An untamed stingray is a different matter. Their barbed tail can cause a fatal injury. We always give them plenty of room when we meet them on a dive.




This atoll is constituted of an immense barrier of coral forming a ring that confines a lagoon of 60 km long and 25 km wide. Fakarava is one of the atolls in the Tuamotu group in French Polynesia, and it is the second largest atoll after Rangiroa. The atoll is has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site to protect its relatively undisturbed plant and marine life.

Fakarava is the number two largest atoll in the French Polynesia (Rangiroa is the largest.) It has two main villages: Rotova, the village closest to the airport, is on the north east side of Fakarava. The other village, Tetamanu, is towards the south end of the atoll, was the village which used to be the main village.

This atoll, plus the six other nearby islands, is together called the Unesco Classified Nature Reserve. The reserve is a collection of islands that has their own ecosystem, filled with rare flora and fauna rarely seen in other parts of the world. Some examples are sea cicadas, the hunting king-fisher, and squills. Many of these species are considered so rare that they need preservation and protection.


Some of the things to do and see on Fakarava include visiting pearl farms, seeing the sea slug smoke house, as well as one of the first Catholic churches that was every constructed on a coral. The Tetamanu Sauvage near the Tetamanu village offers several magnificent pink sand peaches for your enjoyment. The island features a mere 400 residents and was the principal village at the beginning of the years 1900.

Idyllic, the spot of the pension Tetamanu Village and Tetamanu Sauvage offers splendid pink sand beaches with motu (small islands). One finds many remains of the ancient village Tetamanu as the first church of Tuamotu built out of coral, going back to 1874, which testifies to a rich past.

The product headlight of the island is deep-sea diving which holds its batch of strong feelings. The sites are quasi virgins and divers can observe a great concentration of lagoon and pelagic fauna such as loaches, merous, and barracudas, lines and the unforgettable and elusive hammerheads and tiger sharks.

Visit a Pearl Farm and snorkel in a real oyster park from the pontoon. You can buy and pick a shell. If there is no pearl inside, you choose another one, and you get the pearl of the oyster you have chosen. It is a real lottery, but you are sure to win! Your shell will be open with the explanations of Joachim himself, a pioneer in this particular culture to discover your pearl, then a tasting of the oyster heart with. You can even have your pearl inserted in a jewel at their workshop!



Upon arrival in Papeete you will transfer to the boat and enjoy the afternoon and evening at leisure on a gentle cruise to the neighboring island of Moorea. Tahiti is the largest and most populated of the French Polynesian Islands. The capital, Papeete, is a bustling town of colorful markets and luxury resorts. The entire island offers stunning scenery with spectacular mountains, lush vegetation and beautiful waterfalls. The capital is also home to the fascinating Gauguin Museum, featuring a number of documents and information pertaining to artist Paul Gauguin's work and life in Tahiti and the Marquesas. There are even several of his bronze sculptures on display.

DAY 1 - 2



Pronounced (MOE-oh-ray-ah), located at the heart of French Polynesia and a mere 12 miles (19 kilometers) west of the island of Tahiti, Moorea is a triangular shaped island encircled by a lagoon of translucent green, fringed by an azure blue Polynesian sea. Covering an area of 51 square miles, it is the only other major island in the Windward group of the Society Islands besides Tahiti. You will immediately be awestruck by its natural beauty.

Like other Islands of French Polynesia, Moorea is a water lover's paradise! The lagoon and ocean surrounding Moorea averages a balmy 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit all year long, making for perfect enjoyment of the many water sports available 365 days a year!

Its jagged peaks, cloaked by lush greenery and encircled by the deep blue of the ocean and sky are everyone's dream of Polynesia. In addition to its high and scenically dramatic interior mountains, Moorea is unique among the Society Islands in having magnificent expanses of both white and black


DAY 4 - 5



Rangiroa, meaning “huge sky”, is the old Paumotu name of the Rangiroa’s atoll. This name features well the size of this atoll of the Tuamotu Archipelago. In fact, Rangiroa is the biggest atoll of French Polynesia and the second one in the world. With 75 km long and 25 km wide, it could contain the entire island of Tahiti in its center. The 3,016 inhabitants live in the two main villages of Avatoru and Tiputa that are two islets separated by a pass. The rest of the atoll is almost uninhabited except where there are coconut plantations where the coprah is cultivated. The inhabitants go there to work for a few days during the week and then spend the rest of their time at the village.

Rangiroa is a real natural aquarium, classified by Captain Cousteau as one of the first most beautiful and elaborated sites in the world. Several excursions are proposed to admire the beauty of the stunning colors of the lagoon’s waters: discover the classic and well-known excursion to the “lagon bleu”, or “Polynesian dream”, an excursion to the reefs’ island and pink sands to look up to coral and its residues with pink glint depending on the sun inclines. Enjoy an afternoon at Bird Island to quietly observe interesting and sometimes rare species in their natural environment. Divers and snorkelers can enjoy large schools of Surgeon Fish, Goatfish, Napoleons, and observe a subtle ballet of manta or spotted rays, giant jacks or barracudas. Dolphins are not uncommon visitors. Pearl production is part of the daily life of the atoll’s inhabitants. It is possible to visit the Gauguin’s pearl farm that produces some of the most beautiful pearls in the Society Islands.

The wine lovers will discover a unique world vineyard located in the middle of a coconut plantation, on the lagoon side, and enjoy a wine tasting. Moreover, the island has a lot more to offer you such as deep sea fishing,


DAY 6 - 7



Huahine is for sure the wildest and most secretive of the Society Islands thanks to its luxuriant nature and its past full of myths and legends.

Huahine would draw its name from hua, sex/gender and hine, woman. It is said that this name would refer to a pregnant woman. Furthermore, some think that the Tavaiura Mount looks like a lying woman face with a roundness belly. Formerly, the island was called Matairea which means “cheerful breeze”. At his time, Captain Cook named it “Hermosa”, which means “beautiful’. This island appears like a feminine and attractive island whose inhabitants are very proud.

Huahine is composed by two islands: Huahine Nui (big Huahine) in the North and Huahine Iti (small Huahine) in the South separated by a narrow channel. Both offer lush vegetation, white sandy beaches, small coves hidden from the eyes, coral desert islets, a lagoon with turquoise colors, and many different food and fruit-producing cultivations. A real haven of peace where calm and quiet reign. Nothing better to recharge one’s batteries! Moreover, the local population is friendly and welcoming.

Huahine can also pride itself on possessing one of the widest and best preserved archaeological site of the Society Islands: the Maeva marae, a whole of several important marae (sacrifices sites for gods) located at the bottom of the Mouatapu Mount and near the Fauna Nui laguna. Legends hang over this island lusted after by Hiro, god of thieves, and adopted by artists.

The island is full of cultural interests from local crafts to authentic fishermen villages. On the lagoon side, surfers will enjoy the island as it offers excellent surf sites. Snorkelers can discover the underwater wildlife comprised of falling coral, caves full of fish, and vast coral gardens.





According to the oral tradition, Raiatea would have been the first island colonized by the Polynesians and also the starting point for wide migrations to Hawaï, the Cook Islands and New Zealand on board of those famous double canoes. Hawaiki Nui was Raiatea’s first name which means “big gushing out water”. After a while, a young queen of the island decided to rename it Raiatea in remembrance of her mother Rai and her father Atea who she had never known.

The island has an area of 238 km2 and its population of a bit more than 12,000 inhabitants is mainly located on the North of the Island, on the coast and near the airport.

Raiatea’s authentic charm is thanks to its historical prosperity, its legends, and its sacral mountain. In fact, the island is still nowadays the heart of Polynesian culture with its several marae. The most famous one is the Taputapuatea marae located in Opoa’s village (South of the island). It is considered as the biggest and most sacred of the territory as it was at that time the headquarters of political and religious power of French Polynesia.

The various legends attached to mythology give an atmosphere of mystery and magic to the different sites of interest: Mount Temehani, 772 metres high, sort of a Polynesian Mount Olympus and a “paradise of scents”, shelters a unique plant in the world, the strange Tiare apetahi, a nice white flower in the shape of a half petal corolla similar to the petals of the Tiare Tahiti. This flower that has become the emblem of the holy island is still looking after this island, preserved from the modern bustles. In the South of Raiatea some beautiful waterfalls can be seen and there is also the unique waterway in Polynesia, the Faaroa river, which offers the possibility of a peaceful kayak or canoe ride whist enjoying unspoiled nature.


Raiatea is also the most important nautical base of the Society Islands. The lagoon has 11 passes of which the famous Te Ava Piti allows big boats to reach Uturoa, the island’s capital. Raiatea, second economic center of Polynesia, becomes particularly lively with the arrival of luxury yachts and the shops on the wharf, as well as the market, offer their best local products. Finally, for scuba diving lovers and snorkelers alike, the diversity of the lagoon shared by both Raiatea and Tahaa islands will delight you with their coral gardens, caves, drift diving through the passes, the exploration of Nodby’s wreck, a Danish schooner of the 19th century located 30 metres below.

DAY 9 - 10



Essentially, Bora Bora is a crumbling core of a tall extinct volcano that is surrounded by a tropical emerald-turquoise lagoon, which in turn is ringed by a string of islets, which in turn is surrounded by coral reefs. Bora Bora is dramatically crowned by two rugged volcano-core peaks draped with lush tropical foliage. One is as tall as a modern 200-story building.

Superlatives are missing to describe the beauty of Bora Bora, the “Pearl of the Pacific”. The most famous of the Leeward Islands occupies a surface of 38 km² and is located 280 km north-west of Tahiti, just under one hour away by plane from Papeete. Your arrival at Bora Bora will definitely leave you with some of the sweetest memories from your holiday.

Bora Bora (or “Pora Pora”) emerged from the waters 3 million years ago. Like all the other Polynesian islands, this volcanic island slowly sinking in the ocean. It currently presents particular geological characteristics ranging in between a high island and an atoll status. Its unforgettable turquoise lagoon -where a multi-color aquatic fauna (sting and manta rays, sharks and tropical fish) can be observed by kayak, tender, or mask and snorkel.


The coral reef includes a string of islets (motu One, motu Mute, motu Piti Aau …) and gorgeous white sand beaches surrounding the main island. The unique pass of Teavanui between the ocean and the lagoon faces the main village of Vaitape located on the western coast of the island. The west coast presents two bays: Faanui and Poofai.

The first signs of human life on the island of Bora Bora (formerly called Vavau -which may indicate that it was colonized by inhabitants of a Tonga island carrying the same name) are dated 900 BC, just after the populating of the island of Raiatea. According to the legend, Bora Bora means “first born” because it was the first island to emerge from the waters after the creation of Raiatea. In the ancient times, it was actually called “Mai Te Pora” which literally signifies “created by the Gods”. Approximately 40 maraes can be found in Bora Bora – the most significant one being the marae Fare Opu which is decorated with petroglyphs.

Bora Bora was first “discovered” by the navigator Roogeveen in 1722 then by Cook in 1796. It was converted to Protestantism in 1818. Famous for its warriors, the island resisted a long time to colonization until it was finally conquered by France in 1888. However, it kept its traditional lifestyle until the end of the 19th century. All this changed brutally on January 27, 1942, when Americans used the island as a supply base for the allied ships crossing the Pacific in an operation baptized Bobcat (after the attack of Pearl Harbor in December 1941). Five thouhsand soldiers disembarked with heavy military equipment and built a 2,000-meter runway on motu Mute. This runway was used for international flights until 1961 when Tahiti Faa'a international airport was finally built.

The worldwide reputation of Bora Bora is also due to many artists, writers, as well as, navigators like Alain Gerbault and Paul Emile Victor who decided to spend the rest of their lives on this legendary island.



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