Tahiti is the largest of the 118 islands and atolls that constitute what is officially known as French Polynesia. The island of Tahiti and the capital city of Papeete are located in the Society Islands, an archipelago that includes the high-rising islands of Moorea, Huahine, Raiatea, Taha'a, and Bora Bora. Other dramatic island groups are the Tuamotu Atolls with the slender coral wreaths of Rangiroa, Manihi, Tikehau, and Fakarava and the Marquesas - with the massive mountains on the islands of NukuHiva and HivaOa.
The islands are located south of the equator, in the same time zone as Hawaii, and halfway between California and Australia. Papeete'sFaa'a Airport (PPT) is under 8 hours by air from Los Angeles (LAX). From North America, nonstop flights depart LAX nearly every day on Air Tahiti Nui and Air France. Nonstop flights from Honolulu (HNL) to Papeete (PPT) are also available weekly on Hawaiian Airlines.
The islands are just two hours behind Pacific Standard Time. During Daylight-Saving Time (March to late October) they are three hours behind. Time in the Marquesas is half an hour ahead of the rest of the islands.
The currency is the French Pacific Franc (XPF).
Upon arrival most visitors exchange some money at the airport or at their hotels. Since most credit cards are readily accepted in all tourist areas, it is not necessary to exchange large amounts.
French and Tahitian are the official languages, but English is spoken and understood in tourist areas. Brushing up on a few basic French phrases and learning Tahitian greetings are appreciated.
Seasons and Climate
Cooled by gentle ocean breezes, the climate is ideal. Being tropical but moderate, the climate features sunny, pleasant days and an average yearly air and water temperature of 808F. Summer is from November through April, when the climate is slightly warmer and more humid. Winter is from May through October, when the the climate is slightly cooler and dryer
Passport and Visa Requirements
For stays of up to 90 days, there are no visa requirements for citizens of the U.S. or Canada carrying a US or Canadian Passport. A foreigner with a residence card for the U.S. is not exempt from the above requirements and should consult the French Consulate based in the U.S. for information.