The overall high season in French Polynesia extends from May 1 to October 31, although some resorts change their prices starting April 1. The low season covers November 1 to April 30.
Tahiti wholesalers--and the resorts themselves--are very active when it comes to special offers, discounts, extra inclusions, etc., and so these kinds of deals are changing all the time. Most websites aren't able to keep those specials up to date--there's just too many of them, and they're changing and expiring all the time. At Visual Itineraries, we track the offers from the major wholesalers daily, and our specialists have tools that show them all the available offers and discounts for a particular property instantly.
During the high season, temperatures are milder and there are fewer rain showers with less humidity, and better visibility for divers. However, there are two or three times as many tourists per resort – thus increasing demand for sightseeing activities and prices for lodging and events.
Throughout the slower months, the costs are lower and there is less competition for spots on popular tours. Additionally, just because it’s off season it doesn’t mean the sun completely disappears! Tahiti still receives warming rays, although consecutive days of rain are possible.
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Average temperatures in Tahiti
The annual average temperature in Tahiti is 80 degrees Fahrenheit, or 27 degrees Celsius. Closer to the equator, the Tuamotu Atolls and the Marquesas Islands have slightly warmer temperatures than Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora.
During the high season, or winter, temperatures range from 70-82 degrees Fahrenheit, while in the low season, summer, temperatures vary from 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit. December and January average 12 inches of rain a month, however, Tahiti receives more hours of sun than Hawaii during the comparable humid season. Less than three inches of rain fall per month from June through September.
Storms in Tahiti
The humid season in Tahiti is from November to April. Occasionally, strong storms do develop. Cyclones are rare, with the last powerful one occurring in 1982.
Overwater bungalow, or garden bungalow, or beach bungalow?
Definitely overwater bungalows give the iconic French Polynesian experience--the views, the ability to step off your own private deck into the lagoon, having your breakfast delivered by canoe, and watching the fish below you through the glass floor in your bungalow...these are all pretty amazing experiences, and we'd recommend you spend at least 1 or 2 nights in an overwater bungalow.
We've been to all of the resorts in French Polynesia, and seen all the different room categories, and honestly, most resorts' garden and beach bungalows are pretty fantastic as well.
Many will have a private plunge pool or a jacuzzi. And while the "horizon" overwater bungalows have spectacular views, after a few days, you might get a bit tired of walking all the way out to the end of the wooden walkways and back every time you want to go to the restaurant, go on an excursion, etc.
The garden and beach bungalows are typically going to be less of a trek from the main points in the resort.
|View from a beach bungalow at Bora Bora Pearl Resort.|
A garden pool suite at Bora Bora Pearl Resort.
What we'll often recommend is that you split your time between the overwater bungalows and the beach or garden bungalows. You'll get some variety that way, and you'll save some money, as typically the garden and beach bungalows are less expensive per night.
It's important also to realize that many of the resorts on one island have "sister" resorts on the other islands.
A great option is to spend a few nights in a garden bungalow on one of the islands, and then a few nights in an overwater bungalow on another. Often, the resorts will have special discounts if you stay at two or more of their resorts.
- 4 nights in Moorea + 3 nights in Bora Bora
- 3 nights in Moorea + 3 nights in Bora Bora + 3 nights in the Tuamotu Atolls
Often, people will combine these with 1 night in Papeete, so you have a chance to see Marché Papeete and explore the town, do some shopping, etc.
Water temperature, scuba diving and surfing in Tahiti
The water temperature in the lagoons averages 78 degrees Fahrenheit, or 26 degrees Celsius, only slightly less than the average air temperature. Some people wear shorty wetsuits, some a t-shirt (mostly to avoid chafing), but I've found a diveskin is ideal--just enough warmth, and less restrictive on your movements than a shorty. Also, if you have your own diveskin with some sort of design on it, you'll be easier for your dive buddy to spot amongst all the other divers in identical rental shorties. For more on diving vacation trips, check out this article I wrote for Expert Beacon.
Scuba diving is possible off the coast of many islands. In Bora Bora, you'll find an amazing array of sharks at Tapu, the entrance to the lagoon on the west side (I included this spot in my article on top 10 "bucket list" destinations for scuba divers at Go World Travel Guide). Really spectacular diving can be found in the Tuamotu Atolls. You'll find a terrific, detailed description of dive sites on the various islands in David Stanley's Tahiti guidebook (now in its 7th edition). Surfing is most abundant in Tahiti and Moorea and up-and-coming in Huahine. May is a popular surfing month, due to the Billabong Pro competition at Teahupoo in Tahiti.