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Tahiti Travel Information

Visa’s

For stays of up to one month, there are no visa requirements for citizens of the U.S., Canada, or Mexico. A foreigner with a residence card for the U.S. is not exempt from the above requirements and should consult the French Consulate based in the U.S. for information.

Customs

Strictly prohibited imports include live animals, all plant material, flowers, fruits, and cultured pearls of non-French Polynesian origin. Naturally, guns and weapons of any kind, ammunition, counterfeit items, and narcotics are prohibited outright.

Emergency Phone Numbers

Police: 17
Fire Station: 18

Seasons

The temperatures average about 79 degrees (F) year around, both the air temperature and the water temperature. Tahiti is a tropical destination with lots of Sun and enough rain to keep the waterfalls flowing and the flowers blooming!
Summer is from November through April, when the climate is slightly warmer and more humid. Winter is from May through October, when the climate is slightly cooler and dryer

Tahiti Public Holidays 2009

1 Jan New Year's Day
5 Mar Missionary Day
10 Apr Good Friday
13 Apr Easter Monday
1 May Labour Day
8 May Victory Day
21 May Ascension
1 Jun Whit Monday
29 Jun Anniversary of Internal Autonomy
14 Jul Fall of the Bastille
15 Aug Assumption
1 Nov All Saints' Day
11 Nov Armistice Day
25 Dec Christmas Day

Tahiti Public Holidays 2010

1 Jan New Year's Day
5 Mar Missionary Day
2 Apr Good Friday
5 Apr Easter Monday
1 May Labour Day
8 May Victory Day
13 May Ascension
24 May Whit Monday
29 Jun Anniversary of Internal Autonomy
14 Jul Fall of the Bastille
15 Aug* Assumption
1 Nov* All Saints' Day
11 Nov Armistice Day
25 Dec Christmas Day

Flight Time

Papeete's Faa'a Airport (PPT) is under 8 hours by air from Los Angeles (LAX). From North America, nonstop flights depart LAX nearly every day on Air Tahiti Nui, Air France, or Air New Zealand.

Time Difference

The islands are located south of the equator, in the same time zone as Hawaii, and halfway between California and Australia. The islands are just two hours behind Pacific Standard Time. During Daylight-Saving Time (April to late October) they are three hours behind. Time in the Marquesas is half an hour ahead of the rest of the islands.

Credit Cards

Upon arrival most visitors exchange some money at the airport or at their hotels. Since most credit cards are readily accepted in all tourist areas, it is not necessary to exchange large amounts. The currency is the French Pacific Franc (XPF).

Language

French and Tahitian are the official languages, but English is spoken and understood in tourist areas. Brushing up on a few basic French phrases and learning Tahitian greetings are appreciated.

Tipping

Tipping is not customary in Polynesian culture and is not expected. However, tipping is welcomed for exemplary service.

Clothing

The climate and lifestyle on the islands call for casual and comfortable clothing. Pack loose-fitting, natural fabrics and plenty of shorts. Pareus and swimsuits can be worn during the daytime at the resorts, while casual shirts and walking shorts provide the most comfort during island explorations. For dinner, casual slacks and sport shirts are the best choice for men while cool sundresses are most appropriate for women.

Vaccinations

No shots or certifications are required from North America. Regardless of the traveler's nationality, entry from an infected area of the world as defined by the World Health Organization requires certifications.

Electricity/Voltage

Hotels use either 110 or 220 volts, depending on the location. A converter/adapter is often required for appliances you bring, including computers.

Shopping

Among Tahiti's most popular products are black pearls, tiare and coconut soaps, monoi oil, vanilla beans, shell leis, wood carvings, woven hats and baskets, and the colorful hand dyed pareu fabric worn by the island natives. The Papeete public market is a favorite with visitors. Shops usually open about 7:30am to 11.30am and from 1.30pm and close at 5:00pm/6.00pm (Noon on Saturdays) but there is always a long lunch hour. Except in hotels, all shops are usually closed on Sundays.

Transport

The most inexpensive and common form of transportation is the public bus system. On Tahiti there are now two types of buses: the open-air trucks called Le Truck and the RTC large white coaches. Both operating frequently in Papeete and around the island. Le Truck also operates on most other islands. Taxis can be hired at most hotels, airports, and ferry terminals. For scenic tours around the islands, try escorted excursions by boat, 4x4 safari, bus, or helicopter.

Phones / Calling cards

Direct dialing international calls is available in most hotels and phone booths. Phone cards are easily purchased in Tahiti. When calling from the U.S. to Tahiti, dial 011 and then the country code of 689 along with the local number. Your cell phone with U.S. service may not work in Tahiti depending on the type of phone you have and your service provider. There are also rental options.

Do Rooms Have Air Conditioners?

Many do, particularly on the islands of Tahiti, Moorea, and Bora Bora. Most bungalows are cooled by ceiling fans that draw in the fresh trade winds.