what should i do with 1 week in tahiti?

Old Aug 16th, 2007, 09:54 PM
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what should i do with 1 week in tahiti?

Hi All,

I had some airline points that were due to expire and my only option to use them was on business class flights to Papeete Tahiti.
I have never been there before.
I will be travelling with my wife and 2 year old daughter.
Any suggestions on places to stay, things to do etc.
Should we stay in papeete or should we look at going to another island like Moorea? We dont want to spend too much but would still like to stay at a reliable hotel chain.
thanks for any advice.
bubbaluci is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2007, 05:22 AM
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Papeete is worth seeing for its colorful two-story central market, the roulottes (food carts) every night along the waterfront, and its unique urban French Polynesian atmosphere that includes black pearl shops, cafes, fabric stores selling tropical floral prints, art galleries with French Polynesian carvings and more--all fronting a yacht harbor. There are also some interesting small museums worth checking out (but this wouldn't be very intriguing for a two-year-old).
Because our flights arrived too late to catch another flight or a ferry to Moorea my husband and I were obliged to spend the night in Papeete, and since we were there, we decided to sightsee a bit before moving on.
However, given that you only have a week in French Polynesia, it would be best to spend no more than a day in Papeete (perhaps less, if cities do not interest you) and move on to another island.
Let's face it, most tourists (myself included) go to the South Pacific to be on the more tranquil islands famed for their clear turquoise lagoons and coral reefs. The easiest and cheapest option would be to just catch the ferry to Moorea from the Papeete waterfront. Or you can catch a short flight from the airport.
Moorea is very pretty, green, and mountainous. You can snorkel, sun on a beach, or go out on a boat. You can shop and dine. There is plenty to do and it has a range of accommodations. Plus, cheap public transport ("Le Truck" bus) serves the island (no need to catch taxis). Nearly every tourist gets off the ferry and boards "Le Truck" bus with their luggage and all. No one seems to be in any hurry. It's all very convenient, but if you want to catch a taxi, you can do this, as well.
The other island we visited was Huahine, which is more off the beaten path, less touristy, and much more serene (and more to our tastes). It had pretty beaches, good coral reefs and decent surf. But there are fewer shops, fewer choices in terms of accommodation. Also, you would have catch a flight from Papeete to Huahine. And once on Huahine, it's harder to get around.
I have no recommendation for a hotel chain, as we stayed in small locally owned places. On Moorea, we stayed in a bungalow with a kitchen at Les Timpaniers. This gave us the choice of cooking for ourselves or eating in their restaurant, which was quite good. The accommodations here were basic, but that was okay since we spent most of our time on their beach, which was small but very nice, or scuba diving, or walking to and from the nearby shopping center. I think we paid something like $180 a night, which is on the cheap side for Moorea.
I believe May through October is the cooler, drier season, so you should have some wonderful weather.
Diamantina is offline  
Old Aug 20th, 2007, 02:26 PM
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We stayed two nights in Papeete just to see the town -- if I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't. Stay one night and then head to another island. We did the Circle Island Tour of Tahiti and while it was ok, I would much rather have just stayed at the hotel and enjoyed the water and other activities there. I highly suggest going to Bora Bora, or if the budget doesn't allow it, then just go to Moorea. But definitely, two days in Tahiti was plenty for us.

We did stay at the Intercontinental Tahiti and their Sunday brunch buffet is delectable and amazing! Also, they have a great Polynesian show so that's something to see.

Try going to BB and just staying at the hotel. Though you may not be able to do many activities together because of your young child, staying in a hotel in Bora Bora is just spectacular. The water is great, the views phenomenal. Take this time to unwind and just get away from it all! We stayed at the Bora Bora Pearl Resort which was on a secluded motu ...so peaceful as there were no engines or motors on the motu.
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Old Aug 21st, 2007, 10:59 PM
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Most things worth doing has to do with the water.

Where are you coming from?

I usually recommend minimizing a stay in Papeete. It is just another big tropical city. You will probably need to stay overnight on arrival, but not on departure day (to the US.) One time worth staying in Papeete longer is during the Haeva festival, around 7/14th when Papeete is the center of the celebration activities.

Moorea is the easiest of the islands to get to - frequent boat and plane services. It has a lots of things to do and has decent reefs. It does not have the prettiest lagoons.

Bora Bora, while being drop gorgeous, feels catering too much towards honeymooners and cruise people. It is also the most expensive of the islands.

I liked Rangiora, because it is more laid back than the Society Islands and it is the easiest one to get to on the Tuamotu Archipelago. One negative is that I had to deal with water rationing even at the top resort, Kia Ora.

Both the hotels and the food in / out of hotels are very expensive.

A guide book that I liked a lot is by Jan Prince.

nickn is offline  
Old Sep 4th, 2007, 04:50 AM
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thanks for the tips so far. We are flying from Melbourne to Auckland and then on to Papeete.
We have decided on staying the Sofitel in Tahiti, and then heading out to Moorea.
Being with a baby, we dont want to go too remote and far from hospitals etc.
Looking forward to the trip!
Thanks again for the advice.
bubbaluci is offline  
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