Tahiti is the the largest island in the Windward group of French Polynesia , which consists out of 130 islands in all, divided over 5 archipelagos. They are divided in two general groups, the Windward- and Leeward Islands. Tahiti is dominated by Mount Orohena at 2241 m (7340 ft) high and Mount Aorai at 2068 m (6786 ft) high. The nearest island is Moorea, a volcanic island with white sand beaches. Tahiti has no white beaches: They are black! But the sand is "clean". It consists of small volcanic glass like sandy grains. So you won't get dirty!! Tahiti is a tropical paradise. That means lush growth of all plant life and especially beautiful flowers, but also temperatures around the 30 degrees Celsius and a very high humidity. The temperature of the sea is between 25-30 degrees C. So bring summer clothes and a swimsuit! I was told during a trip around the islands, that there was no tide. That's strange to someone from Holland, as he is very used to high- and low tides. The road around the island at places is only a few feet above sea level and a normal reaction would be that part of it is regularly under water! It isn't. There are more spots like that in the world, but this is one of them!
Language: Tahitian and French. Other Polynesian languages are spoken by the indigenous population. English is understood widely.
Religion: Protestant 55%. Catholic 24%. The rest is divided into Far East religions.
- Time compared to GMT: Summer -9. Winter -9
- Voltage 110/220 AC, 50Hz
- Call to Holland: 0031-
- Visa: Not required.
Activities and tips: Papeete, the capital, is a busy, bustling town with 23555 inhabitants. There are interesting sites to see, local markets, which you must visit and the wide, black beaches, where the swimming is good in extremely clear water. Restaurants and other eating places are galore and good, even if the prices are a little steep. Take a taxi and make the trip around the island. It will last about two hours, but depends on how long and often you will get out of the car. Haggle for the total price! It is better then going to the middle of the island. It is pure jungle up the mountains. However, if you really want to: Four-wheel trekking tours are available and will take you into the interior. It sure is a popular diversion to some! And if you like a little adventure and your condition isn't too bad, try hang-gliding, deep-sea fishing, wind surfing and a full host of other activities. Enjoy the blowholes on the coast (You'll see them when you take the taxi drive around the island) and the lush, flowery gardens! Mind you, don't park under coconut trees. It may cause a nice dent in your car's roof. Although: the owner of the tree is held responsible and will have to pay for the damage!! At least, that's what I was told. Don't forget to enjoy the fantastic scenery of the coast. And bring your camera!! Another thing is the people, the Tahitians. A friend of mine, Melva Evans, who is a Pitcairner but has also lived on Tahiti and now tries to get some cooler days where she lives in Alaska (she can't stick to it, though. She needs to warm up from time to time on Pitcairn!), described the Tahitians exactly as I remembered them. She gave me permission to use her text. It really makes one homesick if you have visited there before and would make you want to go there! Here it is: "I love Tahiti. But then, I haven't gone there as a tourist. I've lived with family, and another family who felt just like family. It's the people; the culture. I identify. In spite of modernization, the people are as they have always been. If one can look beyond the crazy traffic, the building boom, the wretched modernization, one sees the friendly, easy-going beautiful people. Modernization is there, mainly because tourists demand it. And so people have crowded into Papeete for the jobs that go along with the ever increasing demands. Still, Tahitians handle the changes extremely well and efficiently. I doubt there's a Tahitian who doesn't have a keen awareness of who he or she is and what it means to be Polynesian. The place is warm and beautiful; but it's the people who make Tahiti what it is. Look at how they greet each other. Listen to the laughter. Watch the graceful walk of young vahines; the confidence and authority of older mamas. See the muscular backs of the piroque crew. Sit on the shoreline and watch the piroque (canoe) crews in training races. Get a ride in one, if you can. Attend a local concert and absorb the joy of song and dance. Go to a church and listen to island harmony - it's a spiritual experience. Go to the corner Chinese grocery. Buy a loaf of baguette and a carton of cheese; take bottles of water and go for a hike in the valleys. Find green coconuts to drink. Buy mangoes and vanilla at the market. Eat mahi mahi in coconut milk, with your fingers. Buy several pareus and use them. Learn the different ways of tying one on. Don't sit in your hotel room in front of a tv. If you leave Tahiti having only swum in the lagoon or hotel pool, sunbathed on the beaches, or shopped for black pearls, you haven't experienced Tahiti. And then there's Moorea. Bora Bora. Huahine. And ? Go!"
Weather in Papeete-Tahiti!
Info from Lonely Planet
Extensive info on Papeete
Copyright © 1998-2010 Luuk Francken
Map Tahiti: permission for use granted by www.graphicmaps.com
Created: April 14, 1998. Updated: januari 24 2010