Whether it be Fiji, Bora Bora, Tahiti or Moorea, each island of French Polynesia is a picturesque paradise that stands celestial in all of the world’s imagination. Anyone anywhere could describe this slice of nirvana to you: Soft-swaying palm trees as thick as the Amazon clinging to the serene hills, black-sand beaches as soft as clouds lining the shores and bungalows stretching across the water all help comprise the collective understanding of what we think French Polynesia must be like – after all, it did make our list of Top 6 Honeymoon Destinations.
Setting foot here presents the reality that the locale is even more stunning than what’s been conjured in imaginations the world over. There are many ways to explore the intricacies of the isles for yourself, including some that will definitely quicken your pulse. For some of the best ways to see the archipelago of the world’s dreams, here are four action-packed opportunities we highly recommend.
With each isle only a speck of mainland surrounded by the vast ocean, rivers may not immediately leap to mind. But they should. Faaroa River, Raiatea’s only navigable waterway, beckons the adventurous for a day of kayaking you will never forget. Your expert guide will lead you through lush jungle foliage, where the buzz of wildlife rings through the air. Once you arrive in the deep interior, ancient Taputapuatea is only a quick car ride away. Learn about Polynesia’s captivating origins at this recently designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, where ceremonial marae temples of old still reign supreme.
For those not interested in wielding a paddle, you can also venture upriver on a jet boat ride through the Sigatoka Valley of Fiji. While this hair-blowing option allows for less time to be immersed in nature, it does often come paired with a visit to a local Fijian village—proving to be an entirely different, but equally fulfilling, day of discovery.
Sometimes when admiring beauty, the forest as a whole is a grander scene than the single tree. To apply this logic to French Polynesia, a hike to a mountaintop would suffice, though a seaplane ride soaring over Bora Bora would be a lot more fun. Take in the full panorama of the archipelago by glimpsing the likes of overwater bungalows, World War II cannon-relics and the fabled heart-shaped atoll of Tupai. A birds-eye view of paradise floods the senses with a greater appreciation for the scope of its perfection.
Where there are forest canopies, there are certain to be zip lines, and the isles of French Polynesia are no different. Island-hop to Moorea for the opportunity to race down its lush mountainous terrain on any of the multiple zip lines available. As you’re flying through the canopy from the cloud-crowned top of the mountain down to sea level, keep an eye out for Indian Mynah Birds and scattering geckoes.
BY OVERWATER BUNGALOW
There’s nothing like waking up early in the morning, stepping out of your bungalow and diving straight into the glowing-turquoise waters of the Pacific, splashing in to find giant turtles and dolphins swimming nearby. Staying in an overwater bungalow, where such moments could occur, is a quintessential Polynesian experience—and it’s one you can enjoy for yourself at InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa and InterContinental Bora Bora Le Moana Resort, both of which include SELECT bonus amenities to enjoy when booked through our agency.
More SELECT Properties
In addition to the aforementioned resorts, there are also other luxurious accommodations that vacationers should consider with visiting French Polynesia. Stay at the Conrad Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa overlooking the world-famous lagoon with Mount Otemanu as its backdrop. This secluded beachfront resort features overwater villas horizon and lagoon views and also features villas with private pools. And guests get a range of amenities including access to the resort’s full-service spa, fitness center, kids’ club and more!
Vacationers can also whisk that special someone off to The Brando, a luxury resort located on the beautiful private island of Teitiaroa, located 30 miles north of Tahiti. This resort features 36 villas with their own plunge pool and private beach. This all-inclusive resort also offers 3 restaurants showcasing Polynesian, French and Japanese cuisine as well as a beautiful Polynesian spa overlooking a lily pond. Splurge on the newly opened 3-bedroom residence, Teremoana, that offers guest the ultimate in luxury and seclusion on 1.25 acres of pristine beach.
Feeling inspired and want to plan your dream vacation to French Polynesia? Let one of Vacation’s on-call experts match you with an expert travel agent, who can craft truly personalized travel experiences that are as action-packed, or as serene and relaxing, as you wish.