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Tahiti. Moorea. Bora Bora. Names that evoke island bliss — seducing honeymooners, romantics, adventurers, and vacationers looking for escape. Tahiti and Her Islands, officially known as French Polynesia, comprise five island groups of archipelagoes. Each island group has its own unique character and the inhabitants successfully blend the 21st century with the ancestral rhythms of sun and sea. Because of a strong French influence, Tahiti and her islands offer a unique combination of Polynesian style and French flair. Tahitians are well known for their personal warmth and legendary hospitality. The destination is particularly famous for it’s signature accommodation, the over-water bungalow; although it’s popular throughout the region, Tahiti was the first South Pacific country to develop this concept.

Tahiti and her Islands are located approximately 17100 km from Metropolitan France, 9800 km from SA, 7800 km from Australia and 4100 km from New Zealand. These islands cover a huge ocean surface of some 4 million square kilometers, which is the same area as Europe. The island of Tahiti in the Society Islands group is 17°- 32 S and 149°- 34 W, situated half way between California (6200 km) and Australia (5700 km).Tahiti is 8800 km from Tokyo and 7500 km from Santiago, Chile.

118 ISLANDS IN 5 ARCHIPELAGOS

Tahiti’s 118 fabulous islands are scattered across five far-flung archipelagos, each with their own particular character and whose inhabitants have adapted the ancient rhythms of the ocean and the sun to the 21st century. The Tuamotu group is a collection of low islands or atolls. A very special world, the Polynesians say are situated between sky and sea. Each island encircles its own lagoon with a ring of coral; beneath the crystal-clear waters of each are spectacular underwater gardens and fish of every imaginable size, shape and color. It rarely rains and is a perfect environment for pearl farming. Rangiroa,Tikehau, Manihi, Fakarava are the most frequently visited atolls and provide hotels classified with International standards. The Marquesas, “EnuaEnana” or “Land of Men”, are a group of high islands near the equator, 1500 km away from Tahiti, whose steep mountains are inhabited by wild horses, goats and pigs. The most well-known are Nuku Hiva, HivaOa, UaPou and UaHuka which offer the tourists, among many other points of interest, a magnificent botanical experience.

The Austral Archipelago, situated far to the south, is also made upof high islands: Rurutu, Tubuai, Rimatara, Raivavae and Rapa.The last inhabited islands of the South Pacific, these ancient volcanoes are far off the beaten track. With their “marae”, ancient sacred grounds, with the majestic centuries-oldstone “tiki”, these mysterious islands still have not revealed all of their secrets. There are a variety of tropical plants from temperate regions also. This environment is perfect for farming, and the Australs provide the other islands with many different vegetables. A special attraction on the Austral Islands occurs every year from June to October when the whales meet in the warm, shallow waters.

The Gambier Archipelago, rarely visited by tourists, consisting of the high island of Mangareva and its fringe of islands which are the eroded remains of its former gigantic volcanic crater, is situated in the far eastern corner of French Polynesia.

The Highlights:
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Nature & Geography
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Fast Facts (how to get there, money, heath etc.)
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Visitor Information

Tahiti Tourisme
Address: Paofai Building, Entry D, Pomare Boulevard
P. O. Box 65, Papeete, Tahiti
Tel: (689) 50 57 00
Fax: (689) 43 66 19
E-mail:
Heikura Vaxelaire hvaxelaire@tahiti-tourisme.pf
Website: www.tahiti-tourisme.pf