Escape to The Islands of Tahiti
Posted on 04/08/2020
What was your favorite experience of the whole trip?
That's a really hard question to answer... there are so many great experiences, but I think this is my favorite:
While in Bora Bora we did an amazing lagoon tour... we stopped in several different snorkeling locations and got to swim with Manta Ray, Eagle Ray, Stingray and Black Tip Reef Sharks. We also stopped at a coral garden that had underwater signs telling you about the corals and fish in that area, it was super cool. All the while we were cruising around the large lagoon with different views of Mt. Otemanu which is the big mountain in the middle of the lagoon - the views were absolutely breath taking and our guides were singing and playing ukulele, it was so relaxing and just the BEST day! We ended the trip with a stop at a private residence where a local lady showed us how to make one of their signature dishes and served us a homemade meal with fish from the lagoon and fruits/veggies that she grows right on her property!
What was your fav island?
Honestly I really liked all of the islands for different reasons and I think when you go there it's a great idea to island hop to at least 2-3 islands. They were all beautiful and offered different scenery and history. Bora Bora was definitely the cherry on top though, the lagoon with Mt. Otemanu in the middle is just like a dream. It's hard to believe something this beautiful exists and I literally had to pinch myself a few times to make sure it was all real!
What were you most surprised about?
The people of the islands are so warm and friendly. They were also very accepting of everyone which I thought was a breath of fresh air!
I also thought before going that all of the islands would be pretty similar but each island truly has its own personality, style and activities.
Are there things to do for: families, couples, adults only, adventure seekers, beach bums?
Absolutely, this is a great location for everyone! Their history is so interesting and I think even kids would really get enjoyment out of learning about their beliefs and how the island of Moorea is the inspiration for the movie Moana! On Bora Bora there is one resort, Le Meridian, where they have a turtle hospital and if staying there you can feed the turtles in the hospital daily! Many of the Bora Bora resorts have snorkeling lagoons where the water is pretty shallow and there are lots of fish and corals in their coral gardens great for kids or people who are a little more nervous about open waters. Tahiti and Moorea have some great hiking and ATV tour opportunities. The beaches are absolutely beautiful as well and absolutely lend themselves to a beach bum kind of vacation as well.
Can you comment on the flight... a lot of people think it is such a long flight and just not doable, but it is just 3-4 hours from Hawaii, right?
Getting to Tahiti is a little time consuming, but really not as bad as many people think. It's only 3 hours further than Hawaii! There are direct flights from Los Angeles and San Francisco to the main island of Tahiti. From Tahiti you can take a short flight to the other Society Islands like Bora Bora. There is a ferry that runs between the main island of Tahiti and Moorea.
When you depart from the West Coast it's a late night departure so you really can relax and sleep all the way there and wake up to beautiful scenery in the morning! On the way back to the US there are early morning or late night flights, but either way you will have another over night flight coming back because if your flight back to this side of the country could be over night.
With that in mind, you want to make sure that you have plenty of time to enjoy the islands... so for example, if someone said they wanted to go here for 3 or 4 nights that really isn't feasible. If you stay in the islands for 7 nights then you are really gone for 9 nights if that makes sense.
The turtles... amazing experience!
Yes, it was really cool. The Le Meridian in Bora Bora has the only turtle hospital in the Society Islands. When I was there they had a turtle who lost one of his fins to a fishing net and that was particularly heart breaking. They do a presentation before people go in to feed them to talk about the anatomy of the turtles, the types of things they do there including some very complicated surgeries to help the turtles and more. They have small tanks that are like their hospital beds inside but they also have a large lagoon where they get exercise every 2 days. They release all of the turtles back into the wild once they are able.
Would you rather stay in one of the over-the-water bungaloos, or beach front resort/room?
The islands of Tahiti have some really great types of rooms. Of course it was the birth place of the over the water bungalow and they have a lot of those! It's so cool to wake up, sit out on your balcony and already be right on the ocean! You can even jump in the water and go for a swim or snorkel any time you want, it's right there!
There are also some beach front bungalows that are very cool where you want walk out and have your toes in the sand immediately! Some of those even have private pools!
Lastly, there are also a lot of garden style bungalows with private pools that are also a great option. Some of these are actually the most private in my opinion.
The beauty is that you can have a really different style of accommodation no matter which one you choose! Island hopping can give you the opportunity to stay in a hotel room on Tahiti, a garden bungalow on Moorea and an over water bungalow on Bora Bora... or if you are really into the over the water bungalows you can stay in those on all of these islands!
Was the food up to par? Alcoholic beverages?
I never had a bad meal in Tahiti, everything I has was excellent! They serve a lot of seafood which is so fresh and amazing but they also have chicken and beef or vegetarian items if you prefer. There really is something for everyone! There were some great cocktails that are really different from anywhere else! My favorite was at The Brando on the private island of Tetiaroa; the bar tender actually juiced all of the fresh produce to make my drink (no bottles of juices there!)
Are there all-inclusive options?
Most resorts include breakfast as part of your package. Also, at many resorts you can get what they call 1/2 board. This means you have breakfast and dinner included daily - most of those resorts also mentioned that if you wanted to go to dinner off-site one night they would substitute a lunch for that dinner.
There are a few resorts that offer an all-inclusive package but this is not standard like you see in some tropical locations. There is at least one resort on Bora Bora that offers and all-inclusive option and also The Brando on Tetiaroa - this is a private island about a 20 minute flight from Tahiti... there are no restaurants off-site so the majority of guests choose the all-inclusive plan here.