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Travel information

Travel information

  • GENERAL INFORMATION
  • BEFORE YOU TRAVEL
  • HOW TO GET TO FRENCH POLYNESIA
  • ENTRY & VISA REQUIREMENTS
  • MONEY, SHOPPING & COMMUNICATION
Time difference
French Polynesia is 10 hours behind GMT. (GMT+10)

What is the best time to travel to French Polynesia?
The islands enjoy a pleasant tropical climate. On average, the temperatures are always high.
Tahiti gets an average of eight hours of sun per day, with temperatures ranging from 75 to 86 degrees F. There are two main seasons:
The dry season occurs from April through October with the coming of the southeast trade winds. It is also known as the austral winter and brings a relative coolness to Tahiti’s temperatures during the peak season.
A warmer and more humid season goes from November to March. The high islands are also more humid than the atolls because they have plenty of vegetation, while the atolls are more exposed to trade winds.
Further away from the equator, the Austral and Gambier archipelagoes, located down south, enjoy cooler temperatures.

Which languages?
French and Tahitian are the two official languages. English is also widely spoken particularly in tourist areas.

Water and electricity
Tap water in Papeete is safe to drink; enquire locally in the other islands. If in doubt, use mineral bottled water. Electricity: 110 or 220 Volts (60 Hz) depending on the island and type of accommodation. Check before plugging in. Electrical plug adapters and a voltage converter
What to pack?
When packing for a trip to Tahiti, focus on casual, comfortable, warm weather clothing. Sandals are accepted everywhere and men can leave their neckties home! The dress code is very casual. However, while going out to dinner some nights in luxury hotels or fine dining restaurants, you may want to dress up.
Have something warm available for the evenings which are sometimes cooler (lagoon side, boat trips and in the mountains).

Essential:
swimsuits, sunglasses, hat, sunblock and a powerful anti-mosquito lotion.
French Polynesia is located halfway between Los Angeles and Sydney.
Getting to Tahiti is very easy. With over six international carriers coming here, finding flights is not a problem.
Air Tahiti Nui is flying from Paris, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Auckland to Faa’a International airport (PPT). Tahiti is also accessible from Paris and Los Angeles on Air France while LATAM Airlines has one weekly flight from Santiago of Chile to Faa’a.
Weekly flights are also available from Auckland on Air New Zealand, from Noumea on Air Calin and from Honolulu on Hawaiian Airlines.


VISA REQUIREMENTS
Visitors must hold a return flight ticket to their resident country or to at least two more continuing destinations.
Entry Requirements and Customs Regulations are subject to change without notice.
Always check before travelling to Tahiti or contact us to get the proper information as it is your responsibility to ensure that all required documentation is complete and up to date for valid entry into the country.

For U.S. and Canadian Citizens:
A passport is required that is valid for three months beyond the date of departure from French Polynesia. No visa is required for stays of up to one month.

For French Citizens:
A passport is required that is valid for six months beyond the date of departure from French Polynesia.

New Zealand and Australian Citizens:
A passport is required that is valid for three months beyond the date of departure from French Polynesia. No visa is required for stays of up to three months.

Japanese Citizens:
A passport is required that is valid for six months beyond the date of departure from French Polynesia. No visa is required for stays of up to one month.

Other Country: Travel Documents and Visa requirements
Please check with the French Consulate and request specific information for entry to French Polynesia.

US Entry and Transit Requirements:
Nationals of Visa Waiver Program countries who are seeking to travel to the United States and stay for a maximum of 90 days, will have to apply for an approved travel authorization prior to departure, on the following secure website: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov
Those information are subject to change without prior notice, please contact us or the French embassy of your country to get the accurate information.

CUSTOMS
Upon arrival in French Polynesia, you must declare all goods you are carrying with you and pay the relevant duties and taxes to the Customs Office.
However, you may gain duty free cover (with no duties or taxes to pay) on the following goods (whether purchases or gifts): 200 cigarettes, 100 cigarillos, 50 cigars, 250 Pipe Tobacco, 50 grams of perfume, 500 grams of coffee, 100 grams of tea, 2 litres of alcohol.
Strictly prohibited imports are the following: live animals, all plant material (unless with an international phyto sanitary certificate), flowers and fruits (unless specially authorized), copies and pearls originally grown in Polynesia.
The following are also prohibited: weapons, munitions and narcotics.

LUGGAGE ALLOWANCE
In compliance with Civil Aviation Safety Authority Regulations, it is necessary to limit the size, weight and number of passengers' carry-on baggage’s.

International flights (per passenger)
For first-class or business-class passengers: 2 pieces of 32 kg (70 lbs) per person
For economy-class passengers: 1 piece of 23 kg (50 lbs) per person
Luggage can’t exceed total measure of 158 cm (62 in).
Carry-on bag cannot exceed total measure of 115 cm (45 in).
Some airlines will allow surf, golf and diving equipment as long as the dimensions and weight do not exceed the maximum. Please check with the airline prior to your departure.

Domestic flights (Air Tahiti) 
International passengers are allowed up to three pieces at 22.5 kg (50 lbs) upon presentation of their international plane ticket. Luggage cannot exceed an overall dimension of 150 cm (59 in).
Luggage in cabin: only one luggage per passenger is allowed in the cabin, with a maximum weight of 5 kg (11lbs) and a maximum dimension of  45 x 35 x 20 cm (17 x 13 x 7 in).
An additional 5 kg (11 lbs) allowance is available for divers upon presentation of their dive certificate.
Luggages with a unit weight of over 25 kg can not be checked-in at Air Tahiti desk and require special procedures. Please contact us for more details.
money

The unit of currency in Tahiti is the French Pacific Franc (XPF). The exchange rate is stable as it is linked to the Euro. 1 EUR = 119.332 XPF

Banks throughout the islands are open mainly on weekdays only and are the best place to change foreign currency.
The international banks in Tahiti include Banque de Polynésie, Banque de Tahiti and Banque Socredo.
International hotels also provide this service, however rates of exchange are not as good.
There are ATMs on a few islands. Some atolls and islands in the Austral and Gambier archipelagoes do not have banking facilities.

Credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express) are generally accepted in the tourist areas throughout the islands.


 

offices & shops
Business hours
Shops are open from Monday to Friday 8:00 am to 11:30 am and from 1:30 pm to 5:00 pm. Saturdays from 8:00 am to 11:30 am.
Most places are closed on Sunday including many restaurants except for the Papeete market, which is very busy from 5:00 in the morning. There you can find a wide variety of flowers, food, pareos, hats, mother of pearl, art objects and a variety of souvenirs.
Banks are always closed on Sunday with limited hours on Saturday. It is a good idea to take a small amount of cash to use for the purchasing of souvenirs or sundries.
Your travel designer can offer shopping recommendations.

Laundry
There are dry cleaning services available in Papeete, and most hotels have a laundry service.

Photography
Bring film, extra batteries and memory cards. Never leave a camera in a hotel room.

communication

Postal and telecommunication services
Papeete Central Post Office, located near the Yacht Wharf and Bougainville Park and is open weekdays from 7 am to 6 pm and on Saturdays from 8 am to 11 am. There are many international card-operated call boxes throughout most of the islands.