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Located halfway between California and Australia lies the chain of islands known as French Polyneisa. Tahiti is the main island and Papeete is its capital.
Tahiti has long since been known as a tropical paradise. The mutineers from HMS Bounty set sail for this island after taking over the ship. They came back because they had discovered what a beautiful, friendly island it was when Captain Bligh was collecting his breadfruit trees. People have been coming back to this island paradise ever since.
The first thing to consider when traveling to Tahiti is price. It isn't cheap. The best option is to look online for travel agencies specializing in trips to Tahiti. These agencies will usually offer packages that include airfare and meal plans. Expect to pay at least $2,000 US Dollars (USD) per person for the trip. Tahiti is a beautiful, romantic place and is a popular site for vacationers, honeymooners, families and second honeymoons, where couples can renew their vows in a spectacular traditional ceremony.
Tahiti culture is similar to Hawaiian culture, both having Polynesian roots. However, the population of Tahiti is more homogeneous and their culture is casual, laid-back and friendly. Even though it was once owned by France, people in hotels and restaurants speak English, and most locals speak at least a little English. French and Polynesian are the official languages, however. US Dollars should be changed into Central Pacific Francs at the banks.
Most travel agents will recommend only a one or two-night stay in Tahiti itself, since it is much more populous than the outlying islands. Many agents will advise the traveler to go to Moorea or Bora Bora for the large part of their vacation. A ferry is available from Tahiti to Moorea, but transportation between the other islands is usually handled by Air Tahiti, the local carrier. Travel packages will also include an air pass, which will save the traveler a great deal of money.
Travelers will find many activities in Tahiti: scuba diving, snorkeling, boating, fishing, lying on the beach, etc. Tahiti is not a place for frenetic sightseeing and being on the run for the duration of the trip. Island cruises are also available, as well as cultural activities.
U.S. residents need a valid passport to enter Tahiti, and stays under one month are permitted without a visa. Flights are available daily from Los Angeles and three times per week from Kennedy Airport in New York City. Most packages include airfare from L.A. Air Tahiti Nui is the national carrier, but Hawaiian Airlines, Air France and Air New Zealand also serve Tahiti's Faa'a Airport. Fares range in the $1,100 USD range, so the package deals sound ever more attractive.
Numerous Internet sources are available for booking packages and getting more information on French Polynesia. There are worse things than spending your vacation in a hammock on a beach bordering the South Pacific Ocean.
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