Best Time to Visit French Polynesia
The warm weather, picturesque islands and isolation in the South Pacific make French Polynesia a popular tourist destination, especially for honeymooners and anniversaries. Although temperatures are consistently comfortable on a year round basis, the rainy season and high humidity from November to April tend to make summer the most popular time to visit. Hotels are very expensive in French Polynesia even in the rainy season.
Access to French Polynesia
Access by air to French Polynesia is through Papeete on the island of Tahiti. Tahiti Nui is the main airline servicing the islands and has regular service to Los Angeles and Auckland. Hawaiian Air also has flights to Papeete. A few cruise ships visit French Polynesia, such as Oceania and Paul Gauguin.
French Polynesia Visa Requirements
Visits of less than 90 days do not require a travel visa. Travelers retain a small, stamped piece of paper during their stay. Visitors from the European Economic Union get priority at customs and immigration even though French Polynesia is not part of the Schengen Zone. Check your specific country at VisaHQ. For a list of exempt countries, visit Project Visa.
Language in French Polynesia
The Tahitian language has survived the attempts of the missionaries to anhiliate it and is thriving. Be prepared to use the two most important phrases all the time and to pronouce every vowel (say the letter “a” three times for Faa’a Airport):
- Ia Orana – hello, goodbye.
- Mauruuru – thank you, your welcome.
While English will work in many situations, French is the language of choice in French Polynesia.
French Polynesia – Currency
The French Pacific Franc is the standard currency for French Polynesia. Credit cards are widely accepted, but have some Pacific Francs ready for tipping and souvenirs.
French Polynesia Electrical Adapters
Bring a Europlug Type C or Type E adapter when you visit French Polynesian. Most other islands in Oceania use Type I, but the European influence in French Polynesian has made European plugs the popular standard.
Drinking Water for French Polynesia
You should stick to bottled water in French Polynesia. Tap water is fine in Papeete, but isn’t considered safe elsewhere on the French Polynesian islands.