Our itinerary in French Polynesia
A nomadic safari from island to island, combining the capital Papeete, Rurutu, the Whale Island, the beautiful Moorea and the famous channels of Rangiroa and Fakarava, in the Tuamotu Islands.
As with all our voyages, an Abyss guide accompanies you throughout the safari and will help you discover the charms of Polynesia.
Relocation journeys between the islands will be by plane, except for one ferry crossing from Papeete to Moorea, an opportunity to enjoy the atmosphere on board, while admiring the magnificent scenery of the Bay of Valar.
Accommodation is sometimes organized in "home stay" (traditional family hotels), sometimes in 2 to 3 star hotels. A clever mix that will allow you to taste and enjoy all the flavors of the Polynesian hospitality.
- Stage1 : Papeete (1 night)
Greetings at the airport in Papeete and transfer to your hotel (Sofitel Hotel or similar). Free evening (dinner not included).
Possible excursion (optional): The next morning, for those who might get up early, due to jetlag, a visit to Papeete market is the answer. Located just 10 minutes walk from your hotel, the market opens every day at 4 am. There are vegetables and tropical fruits, fish of all kinds caught during the night, all in a musical atmosphere. Upstairs, enjoy a coffee or fresh pineapple juice. Before returning to the hotel for your transfer to the airport, enjoy a nice walk along the seafront for a change of scenery
- Stage2 : Rurutu (3 nights)
After breakfast, flight to the island of Rurutu in the Austral Islands for a 3 night stay at the Manotel with full board. Two excursions to swim with humpback whales (2.5 hours per trip, snorkeling only). You will swim with these 15 meter giants, sometimes up to 30 tons in weight!
Possible excursions (optional): During your free time, you can enjoy the white sand beaches or small coves, such as Toataratara... However, Rurutu is also famous for its hiking trails with easy access, located along the cliffs, passing through caves, and finally joining the sea.
You will also notice that on this island women make hats and baskets out of vegetable fiber (pandanus). They are also renowned for tifaifai, large cloth sewn by hand for months, and which prices sometimes can reach record highs.
- Stage3 : Moorea (3 nights)
After breakfast, flight to Tahiti, then ferry crossing to Moorea, for a 3 night stay at the Hibiscus Hotel with full board.
4 dives with the Moorea Fun Dive Center on reputed dive sites such as The Roses, The Tiki and the Opunohu break, famous for lemon sharks.
Possible excursions (optional): Between dives, there are a lot of possible visits on this particularly welcoming island.
Island tour: the tour should not take more than two hours, and will take you to two large bays that are the hallmarks of Moorea, Cook's Bay and Opunohu Bay. On one side, the sea, lagoon, and the coral reef in the distance... on the other side, forest, nature and coconuts.
The Belvedere: An amazing lookout of the island, located on Mount Tohiea (1207 m). From the top you get a panoramic view of the pineapple plantations and the two bays. Along the road descending to the sea, you will walk past two famous "marae" (Polynesian place of worship). It is allowed to stop there and enter the premises, however, please read the instructions at the entrance, and do not walk on the stones under which the ancestors rest. In these sacred places, tourists are always welcome.
Cooperative Rotui: The delicious fruit juices that you will drink during your stay come from the Rotui Coop of Moorea. The factory produces fruit juice and is particularly interesting to visit, as it also produces delicious local liqueurs and jams. Your guide will be very happy to accompany you.
- Stage4 : Rangiroa (5 nights)
After breakfast, ferry crossing to Papeete and flight to Rangiroa, for a 5 night stay at the Maitai with full board. Included is an 10 dive package with the Six Passengers Dive Center.
In Rangiroa, we will focus on the two mythical channels, Tiputa and Avatoru. Diversity and density are the key words in these two passages that we will explore either on incoming or outgoing currents, accompanied by "walls" of grey sharks, turtles, manta rays and schools of dolphins that frequently come to encounter the diving groups.
- Stage5 : Fakarava (5 nights)
Midday flight to Fakarava, for a 5 night stay at White Sand Beach Resort (with full board), with an 8 dive package with Six Passengers Dive Center. Here again, it will be like diving inside a giant flat screen, in channels... You will dive in the largest channels of the Polynesian archipelago (1.6 km wide): Garuae Pass and Tumakohua Pass, South of the atoll. Both channels are renowned for their unique biodiversity and the presence of many fish, such as grey sharks, manta rays, dolphins, kingfish, barracuda and sometimes tiger sharks.
Possible excursions (optional): At the Tuamotus, a few visits are possible. Between dives, you can rent a bike, a kayak, or go snorkeling in the lagoon. At certain times during the reversal of the tides, dolphins provide a wonderful spectacle that you can enjoy from the shore. You might also appreciate a visit to the pearl farm and see how oysters are transplanted and raised. It is a good place to buy them. As the jewelry is being created locally, it will be less expensive than in any jewelry stores in Papeete.
- Stage6 : Papeete (1 night)
Midday flight to Tahiti, where you will stay one night at the Tahiti Nuit (or equivalent). Free evening. The next morning, you will have the whole day to visit downtown, walk through the markets or take the opportunity to do your last minute shopping, and why not explore the island of Tahiti. Free lunch time and evening. Later in the evening, on October 25th, you will be transferred to the airport for your return flight home.
Possible excursions (optional): For the last day, a multitude of visits are possible.
You will be able to do your last minute shopping before departure at the market and its upstairs floor devoted to craft, just minutes from your hotel... This is the right place to buy sarongs, Monoi, Marquesan wood crafts, beads and for those who want a more permanent memory... tattoos (please make an appointment at the beginning of your stay...)
In Papeete, the Pearl Museum, the Cathedral Square, the waterfront, restaurants on Toha'ta Square and the trailers are all landmarks of the city and can all be done by foot.
You can also opt for an island tour or "Whale Watching" outing from Punaauia.
There are no beaches around Papeete, but you can find some very nice ones only a few kilometers along the east coast.