Meet Teresa, one of our travel experts for the Islands of Tahiti.
Teresa is a Certified Tahiti Travel Specialist and works with the Tahiti Tourism Board making sure her guests enjoy a fabulous holiday in Tahiti.
Teresa lives on the beautiful island of Maui, Hawaii. She's been a Travel Advisor for 20 years, specializing in tropical islands around the world but her true love is the South Pacific.
Teresa has traveled throughout the South Pacific Islands and is on a first name basis with many of the resort owners. She has visited Fiji 7 times as well as Tahiti, Australia and New Zealand. Her speciality is multi-country holidays. Her agency, Luxury Hideaways, is rated A+ with the Hawaii Better Business Bureau.
Testimonials from Teresa's clients:
"We had the absolute best person to plan our trip for us. Her name is Teresa. She knows everything about this part of the world and took care of every little detail and it was free!!!! I highly recommend her!"
"You were incredible!! I can't say enough how awesome of a job you did. I am a very deliberative person, and I was leery to a point because I didn't not have my hands in any of the scheduling/planning of the trip. So, I might have been on edge a few times until we got to the resort. I was very impressed with your service! So, thank you for all you did."
- Josh and Heather
"We were trying to plan our honeymoon in Fiji and were so confused and overwhelmed by the number and variety of resorts there. But then we found Teresa! She is very helpful and knowledgeable about Fiji and several different resorts there. When we were specifically trying to decide between two resorts, Teresa was able to help us decide as she provided us with specific differences between the resorts. Whenever we had questions, she responded quickly, even with the huge time difference. We are excited to have finally booked our honeymoon! She sent us a package with helpful information and tips, such as what to expect upon arrival and items to pack. We are looking forward to our honeymoon and to continue working with Teresa."
- B Kurian
"When we first started communicating with each other I wanted a Honeymoon that was going to be unforgettable and something that would be truly special, you certainly delivered plus more. Koro Sun was paradise on earth and of course we enjoyed the environment but what we loved the most was the staff and all the happy people we were surrounded by. We didn't know what to expect coming into Fiji but with all your wonderful planning and helpful notes we got through our entire Honeymoon with ease. Our Edgewater Bure was breathtaking and my wife literally had a grin from ear to ear since the moment I told her where we were going till our departure. You gave us an unbeatable capstone to our marriage and for that I can't thank you enough. Again thank you so much for helping me plan the honeymoon and it was a pleasure working with you."
- Devin & Jared Chambers
"Your help was AMAZING! I can not express how easy it was working with you when we were looking at different resorts and itineraries. You put so much effort into accommodating us- form budget to activities to an overall idea of what to expect in Fiji. We changed our minds several times and you were so tolerant, a real pleasure to work with. Your knowledge of the islands was a HUGE help in picking our honeymoon spot. I am not going to hesitate recommending you if any family or friends are looking to plan a vacation. Thanks again!"
"Bula bula Teresa!
You provided my wife and I with outstanding personalized service in preparing our trip (that due to unexpected wedding budget overruns, we were unfortunately unable to take at that time). It was so outstanding that when my friend Mike said that he was planning his honeymoon to Fiji, I told him that he MUST contact you to plan a trip.
My wife and I still plan on getting to Fiji within the next 2 years, and I promise that you will be the first person that we contact for travel reservations and trip planning.
"I wanted to say again thank you this is absolutely amazing we are having a blast and the upgrade to the honeymoon bure was completely unexpected we have been treated amazingly and even got to fly to the island with the owner of the resort who was super nice to us. You were absolutely right about this place and I am so happy I found you thank you again!!!"
"Thank you for the most amazing honeymoon! Wadigi was perfect in everyday! There are no words to express how incredible everything was (the food, the staff, the grounds, the accommodations...and everything in between!) We will definitely be back for our anniversary :-) Vinaka!"
- Bilal & Parisa
Thanks for your expert help in planning out trip to Tahiti.
After less than 48 hours after leaving Denver we are now at out beach bungalow at the Sofitel Hotel in Moorea Atoll.
The Air Tahiti flight from LAX was less than 8 hours and the service was incredible; 2 nice meals and great service.
Upon arrival in Papeete, Tahiti, we had the private car to the Ferry terminal and then a great ferry ride (30 min) to Moorea Atoll. We got here at about 10 am.
Staying at the Sofitel hotel…………..what can I say: it is French and the service is impeccable.
Your suggestion to spend our first few nights ‘on the beach’ was sterling………..here are pictures from out bungalow. Fortunately we got our bungalow at about 11 am and we went right into the water.
We snorkeled for about 2 hours and it was the very best !!! I bought a new GoPro camera and it is a life-renewing experience to be able to film under water like this, especially in crystal clear water!
Tomorrow we are on a 6 hour snorkeling tour to a ‘private island’ where we are to snorkel with manta rays and sharks..
What a hoot! So far, this is one of our very best trips ever (and we have been to 75 countries)
- Walt Whatley
"It's been more than a week since we've been back but I just wanted to let you know that we had a great time at Tahiti. Thank you for arranging our wonderful trip. My kids are already saying they wanted to go back.
Teresa, I wanted to thank you for you assistance for this wonderful trip.
Don't think we'll be going back to Bora Bora anytime soon, but we may seek your help for some of our future trips and cruises."
"We wanted to give you a summary of our Tahiti trip. In a word, just fabulous. We have never taken such a purely luxury, relaxing type of vacation in the past and it was an absolute delight.
Probably our favorite experience on the trip was the shark and manta ray feeding trip. I thought this would be somewhat hokey but it was great fun. Swimming with the sharks was a novel experience and even Debby with her limited swimming abilities had a great time. I was actually able to dive down and bat one of the lemon sharks on the tail. The mantas were like puppies in the way that they crowded around us, swimming over our shoulders in order to get to the food. We laid out the money for the video of the trip and its been the most popular picture of any trip that we have ever brought home. And we would recommend that anyone who goes to Bora Bora take the opportunity to eat at "Bloody Marys", a superb place to get the fresh seafood that we were looking for and it was very reasonably priced.
I could gush further but suffice it to say that it was a fantastic trip and just the type of relaxation that we needed at this busy time in our lives. Thanks for planning a wonderful trip for us!"
- Ken and Debby Richmond
Chris and I are back from our trip, and I just wanted to tell you how much we enjoyed it!! The islands were beautiful, and each hotel worked out great!
Our beach bungalow at the Sofitel was the perfect location, close to the beach bar and looking directly out at the beach (#411). Just to give you some feedback, not complaining--The Sofitel was not as plush as I thought it would be and looked a little more worn. I thought the grounds would be more manicured and service a little better, considering the ranking it had. If we went back to Moorea, we would probably stay there again or recommend it to friends, because from other people that we met, it sounded like the Intercontinental there was similar and not necessarily a better option. The location was great though—near both the ferry dock and airport!
The Intercontinental Bora Bora and Thalasso Spa was spectacular!! The room was very tastefully done with beautiful finishes, our hut (110) was in the perfect location, very little construction noise if any, as I think most of the exteriors are finished, and every part of the property was so upscale. The water was so beautiful, and the resort was exactly as I hoped it would be! So glad we went there last!
We were able to meet up with friends from California who happened to be staying at the St Regis Bora Bora. We hadn’t seen them for over 20 years, so it was such a treat that we were all there at the same time. We didn’t realize there wasn’t a road that could easily connect both hotels, and a private water taxi would have been about $200, so we all met on the big island at Bloody Mary’s for dinner. Due to differing ferry location drop offs and times, we were only able to see each other for just over an hour, but it was great to catch up in person!
All of our transfers were so easy, and we were very well taken care of during each one, whether transport, ferry or by plane! Each of the vendors made it easy to find them, and they all had our information down correctly! That was a great feature of the trip!
Thanks again for all of your help with planning our vacation! We thoroughly enjoyed every minute!! Now back to reality...
- Vicki Daltorio
"Hi, Teresa! Never got around to telling you how great a time we had in Hawaii. You did a great job! We enjoyed every minute, even the nerve-wracking Hana Highway. It all went smoothly, without flaw, and we have taken away with us precious and unforgettable memories.
Thanks again for your splendid assistance in helping us plan this vacation!
OMG! What a fabulous trip!
Where do I start?
Start with: how or who do we notify so we can share what a fabulous trip you planned for us?
The itinerary from start to finish was perfect! Airline tickets, all transfers both going and coming were spot on!
Moorea was the perfect island for our goals; romance, culture and beauty.
Manava Resort was an excellent selection. Pool, spa, beach, ocean all beautiful just sitting there waiting for us to choose. Over water bungalow was phenomenal!
Excursions were reasonably priced and wonderful experiences.
Oh, and Pearl Romance in town was exceptional! Mary really loved it!
Thank you Thank you! Our best vacation ever!
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.
I visited most of the resorts on Tahiti Nui, Moorea, and Bora Bora a few years ago, to get a better feel for the differences between the resorts.
I went in January, which you'll soon see is in the hottest, most humid time of the year--and really, it wasn't that bad.
The difference between typical temperatures in that month and the coolest, driest months is only about 5 degrees.
What I found really striking, however, is how different the resorts really are.
From pictures, the overwater bungalows look very, very similar, and in fact I'm more able to tell which resort I'm looking at from the view, rather than the look of the bungalows.
Here's where the resorts really differ:
Interior style: some are very Polynesian, some have a very classic feel with antique furniture, some are opulent/luxurious with exotic woods and marble, some feel very modern and chic
The grounds: some are totally flat, others have interesting hills and jungle bits, some feel very open, and others you wander through twisting paths in the jungle (one of them has a spa set in the middle of a lily pond!)
Pools: some are more elaborate than others, with creative shapes, different views, etc.; some of the bungalows even have private plunge pools
Dining: I never had a bad meal in French Polynesia--not even a mediocre one, but some resorts have a more expansive menu than others
Condition: the photos from the hotels will always make the hotel looks its best--some of them have seen some wear and tear since the pictures were taken, so it's helpful to talk to someone who's seen the properties recently
Location: you can snorkel from the deck of your overwater bungalow at any of the resorts--the difference is what you'll see underwater, as there's a radical difference in what's on the bottom near the bungalows from one property to the next
Views: on Bora Bora, you'll get views of the spectacular Mount Otemanu from every resort--but, not necessarily every bungalow, as there are a few resorts on the main island (Otemanu is behind you then), and one resort with bungalows on the opposite side of the motu, facing west, away from Otemanu.
On Moorea, you're not generally going to get views of the mountains from your bungalow, but you will on the walk back to the shore. And Huahine and Le Taha'a are their own little worlds.
You're going to spend a fair amount of money on your Tahiti trip, no matter what resort you stay at. And, you're spending an important week or two of your lives, and traveling a long ways to get there.
You'd be foolish to NOT consult with a travel agent who knows the resorts and islands thoroughly (and who knows all of the specials currently available). It's not going to cost you any more, since our
travel agents make their money on the back end, via commission...the cost to you is generally the same as if you booked it yourself directly.
See our complete list of travel specials for Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora, and the Tuamoto Atolls.
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.
See & compare all resorts in French Polynesia
If you're trying to decide where to stay in
Taha'a, or the
Tuamotu Atolls, we can help!
For the 34 resorts there, we've got over 600 high-resolution photos, 53 videos, and 27 virtual tours to help you find your Polynesian dream resort.
Click here to use our Visual Explorer to check out all of them.
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 French Polynesia
The humid season in Tahiti is from November to April. Occasionally, strong storms do develop.
There actually ARE NO hurricanes in Tahiti (or anywhere in the South Pacific). That's not as good news as you might think--it's because they're
not called hurricanes in that region, they're called cyclones :-).
But there is good news: cyclones are rare, with the last powerful one occurring in 1982.
You can get some pretty dramatic heavy rainfall however--during the humid season, it will often rain hard enough at night to wake you up.
Typical airfares from LAX
Airfares vary by season, but also day of week, and are definitely affected by holidays.
The chart above shows the typical minimum and maximum fares for a economy class ticket from Los Angeles (LAX) to Papeete (PPT), by month.
We gathered this data in June 2016 from FareCompare.com.
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.
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.
Often, people will combine these with 1 night in Papeete, so you have a chance to see Marche Papeete and explore the town, do some shopping, etc.
Water temperature, scuba diving and surfing in Tahiti
The water temperature in French Polynesia, like the air temperature, doesn't change all that much.
August and September it's around 77 Fahrenheit; in March and April it's more like 85F. 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.
There's some great drone and also underwater footage in this video compilation from Moorea, courtesy Damien Lair.
Heiva is a month-long cultural celebration that comes from the Tahitian word for festival
(hei = to assemble, va = community places). Given the various different activities and parties that stretch for the month of July,
Heiva is a good enough reason in itself to visit Tahiti during the summer season!
There is plenty to see and do, from the traditional dance and music performances, singing competitions, colorful dinners,
and sports competitions (like javelin throwing, stone lifting, coconut tree climbing, and outrigger canoe racing).
Heiva has evolved over the years from its rich history--Tahiti's traditional dance,
Ori Tahiti, was once central to Polynesian culture,
but these centuries-old festivities were banned by 19th century Christian missionaries for being too sensual and erotic.
In 1819, recent Christian convert King Pomare II officially forbade the practice;
dancing became a clandestine activity in danger of being lost as both an art form and a key to Tahiti's past.
But the festivities returned in 1881 as a result of France's victory over its long struggles with England and Protestant missionaries;
the Polynesians adopted France's Bastille Day (July 14; the French equivalent of America's Independence Day)
and had the opportunity to revive some of its dancing in celebration.
Ori Tahiti finally saw a greater comeback in 1956 when a Papeete high school teacher, Madeleine Moua, led the true comeback of the traditional
dance by forming the dance troupe Heiva Tahiti.
Now, Ori Tahiti has resumed its rightful, vibrant place in French Polynesian culture, and the entire month of July is used for
Heiva and its celebration of this history.
Tahiti, Bora Bora, and Moorea Slideshow
Founder of Visual Itineraries, Michael lives in Bend, Oregon. He's an avid traveler, scuba diver, photographer, and a private pilot.