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12 Must-Do Experiences in French Polynesia

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French Polynesia has so much to experience, it is hard to decide what is a must-do. You can swim, snorkel, and watch expert surfers in the azure waters; doze on a white-sand beach and wake for fresh-caught tuna and a Tahitian sunset; or sleep in blissful French Polynesian bungalows overlooking blue lagoons. These jaw dropping beautiful islands in the South Pacific offer endless possibilities—why not try them all?
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Tahaa Rd, Pātio, French Polynesia
On a recent trip to research resorts, I had the opportunity to visit Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora and the island of Taha'a. All were fabulous places to explore, but my favorite stay was at the Five Star Taha'a Island Resort and Spa on the island of...
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Tuamotus Islands, French Polynesia
The Tuamotu archipelago – 78 coral reef atolls spread north and east of Tahiti – are just remote enough they’ve not been spoiled by excessive tourism. There are a few high-end hotels, but just a few. Instead of tourism, the local economy is still...
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French Polynesia

My first encounter with a black sand beach was in Tahiti and talk about a gem, having it all to myself. 

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Tikehau, French Polynesia
This oval-shaped atoll in the Tuamotu island group strung across the South Pacific Ocean some 300 kilometers from Tahiti is covered in pink and China white sand and surrounded by a jaw-droppingly beautiful turquoise, jade, and cerulean hued lagoon...
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Unnamed Road, French Polynesia
On Tetiaroa, a private island in the Society Island group that is owned by Marlon Brando's estate, the Brando Resort (accessed via private plane transfer) has been getting good press since its recent opening. Brando bought the Tahitian royal...
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Maupiti, French Polynesia
I love Maupiti, which is the smallest and most isolated of the Society Islands, and feels like an unblemished tropical playground, where tranquility trumps everything else and romantic love stories of deserted sparkling white-sand beaches...
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Society Islands, French Polynesia
From the palest turquoise to the deepest indigo, Bora Bora’s lagoon reflects every shade of blue thanks to its exceptionally clear waters and expansive sandy bottom. Let the warmth of the shallows curl around your ankles as you move slowly...
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Mo'orea, French Polynesia
Taking a plunge from our overwater bungalow was the start to yet another perfect day. We had a great time staying at the Intercontinental Moorea with our kids. The water is spectacular for swimming, snorkeling and all kinds of watersports. We all...
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BP 547, Motu Tehotu 98730, French Polynesia
Epic might be an understated description for this collection of thatched-roof bungalows built on stilts over the crystalline waters of the Bora Bora lagoon. This luxury resort is nestled in the dreamiest of settings—wooden walkways link...
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Society Islands, French Polynesia
When in Bora Bora, Tahitian pearls are a girl’s best friend. Often known as "black pearls," they actually come in all sorts of colors, including black, blue, green, and pink. Even though the pearls aren’t produced in this...
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Teahupo'o, French Polynesia
Tahiti is the birthplace of surfing, and the island offers a few excellent beginner breaks as well as one of the world's most powerful waves, Teahupo'o. To hone your surfing skills, visit the Tura'I Mataare Surf School in Paea, which offers both...
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Huahine, French Polynesia
Welcome to the vagina island, no joke (the rough English translation of the word Huahine is vagina). And although no one knows exactly where the name originated, historians think it has to do with the important role women played in the island's...
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French Polynesia
Bloody Mary's, entertaining tourists since it opened in 1979, is one of those Bora Bora experiences that simply must be done. The ambience is beach-bar hip, with sand floors, colored lights, and coconut stools in a dining room under a thatched...