10 Reasons to Visit French Polynesia

One of my new favorite tropical destinations, French Polynesia, is a must-see. With diverse marine life, some of the world’s best diving, incredible natural beauty, and a heavy vanilla scent that follows you wherever you go, this is a place that you’ve never seen the likes of.

I had the opportunity to visit the Islands of Tahiti this past December and experienced beautiful weather.

From Taha’a to Rangiroa to Tahiti, there is an endless array of adventures just waiting to be had here. Ready for a dream tropical escape?

Here are ten reasons to visit French Polynesia!

LAX to Papeete

1. It’s Closer Than You Think

While French Polynesia is the perfect place to get away from it all, it’s actually not as far away as you think. Air Tahiti Nui has an eight-hour direct flight from LAX. You can fly into Papeete on Tahiti, and then connect to other islands from there!


2. Natural Beauty

French Polynesia is drop-dead gorgeous. Explore the stunning coral of Taha’a, or set sail in the sparkling seas off of Rangiroa. Find out why Bora Bora has captured the hearts of generations of travelers.

Pretty much everywhere you turn has another picture-perfect view.

Rangiroa Scuba Diving

3. Scuba Diving

Even though herd to believe, I’d say that French Polynesia is even more beautiful below sea level. The island of Rangiroa has some of the best diving in the world and if you are a newbie, this is a great place to get started.

There are dive shops all over the island, as well as internationally renowned spots for everyone from beginner to experienced divers to explore.

Coral Garden Taha'a

4. The Marine Life

Each one of French Polynesia’s 118 islands and atolls has a world to explore right off of its coast. You will never want to get out of the water here with the 800 unique fish species, coral reefs everywhere, amazing dive conditions, and insane snorkeling.

I had the chance to snorkel with Black Tip and Lemon Sharks in Rangiroa and it was a once in a lifetime kind of experience!

Flying into Rangiroa

5. You Can Island Hop!

It’s easy to take boat transfers and interisland flights all over French Polynesia. The ferry trips are quick, easy, and perfect for sightseeing, and most hotels offer boat shuttles from local airpots.

The breathtaking views alone make it worth the trip.

To get an even better view and a faster ride, Air Tahiti makes it easy to get anywhere and everywhere on the islands.

SHOP my French Polynesia travel essentials!

Sunset on Taha'a

6. The Sunsets

The sunsets in French Polynesia are truly epic. You will definitely want to get to Matira Beach on Bora Bora for an unparalleled view. Travel+Leisure voted the Four Seasons in Bora Bora one of the most incredible places on the planet to see the sunset.

I witnessed the most beautiful watercolor sunsets during my time on the islands!

Tahitian Dancers

7. Well-Preserved and a Celebrated Culture

French Polynesia has a culture you’ve got to explore. Living in such isolation, the tiny population has a unique way of life and fascinating traditions. With a history dating back 3,000 years, the songs, dances, and craftsmanship of French Polynesia are unlike anything else that you’ve ever seen.

poisson cru

8. Fresh Seafood

A staple of every French Polynesian’s diet, the seafood here is top notch. You can sit on the beach and have seafood that was caught just a few feet away. While you are there, be sure to try Tahiti’s national dish poisson cru, also known as ‘ota ‘ika. Similar to ceviche, it’s made from raw fish marinated in coconut milk and lime.

Basically, I had it at least once a day while I was there.

Adventures in Tahiti

9. Adventure Opportunities

You could never be bored in French Polynesia. There’s just no end to the striking scenery—above sea level and below! In addition to all the water activities, you can go hiking, spelunking, waterfall climbing, cliff jumping, and lava tube exploring on Tahiti.

You can find every kind of adventure on the islands!

Le Taha'a

10. It’s Not Just for Your Honeymoon

Sure, French Polynesia is a dream honeymoon destination. There are romantic resorts and over-water bungalows all over the islands. But it’s not just for lovers…

I spent a week exploring and soaking up the sun with my friend, Lauren!

The islands of French Polynesia offer so many amazing experiences and adventures to be had with friends and family. Whoever you travel with you, there is something for everyone all over the country.

READ NEXT: Best Places to Scuba Dive Around the World


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Kiersten Rich
Kiersten Rich is the bikini-obsessed author of award-winning solo female travel and lifestyle blog, The Blonde Abroad, featuring travel tips, fashion, food, festivals and photography from around the world.