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Caryn Shapiro′s Wishlist
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'Uturoa, French Polynesia
Tahaa is where more than 80 percent of French Polynesia's famous vanilla comes from, so visiting a plantation is a worthwhile experience. Vallee de la Vanille is an organic vanilla plantation (one of the few) on Tahaa that offers free tours so...
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Vallee de Papenoo, Papeno'o, French Polynesia
Also known as the Papenoo Valley, the Maroto Valley is a magical place once inhabited by ancient Polynesians. If you go with a guide -- I recommend Marama Tours -- you'll be able to learn about the history of the area as well as learn to forage...
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Ave du Prince Hīnoi, Pape'ete 98713, French Polynesia
There are many accessible waterfalls on Tahiti that are perfect for a refreshing shower or swim after a hike or long car ride. If it is good enough for the locals..why not?
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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
Full-body immersion in some of the most pristine water in the world. Rangiroa doesn't have the dramatic peaks of islands like Bora Bora, but it does have a much better underwater scene in my opinion. After traveling by boat for two hours from our...
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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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Technically part of Tahaa in French Polynesia, Vahine Private Island Resort is an escape from reality. The hotel features three beach bungalows, three self-contained beach suites and three overwater bungalows, all with beach views and designed...
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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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Ra'iātea, French Polynesia
I launched my kayak from the edge of Raiatea Lodge Hotel, which rents the boats free to guests. Here you can have the unique experience of kayaking to a motu. Motus are small islands made up of coral and its derivatives. From Raiatea, one such...