August 2, 2016
Papeete (pronounced “pah-pay-ay-tay”) is the vibrant capital of Tahiti. Once a sleepy port town, it’s streets are humming with cars, motorized scooters and colorful buses known as “le truck,” while its harbor is busy receiving cargo freighters, luxury liners & chartered yachts. The island is also home to Faa’a International Airport just minutes from Papeete.
Vai’ete Square is the center of excitement in Papeete. This famous waterfront creates a lively boardwalk atmosphere for locals and visitors alike. Live music can be heard throughout the day and evening adding to the festive atmosphere. At night, catering trucks called “Les Roulottes” are open for business tempting taste buds with affordable meals. From Chinese food and French crêpes to fresh fish and steak sandwiches, visitors are sure to enjoy their meal in a lively setting.
A “must do” in Tahiti is a visit to the 158- year- old public market called Le Marché, Papeete’s popular open-air market. It is the perfect place to shop for items from all the islands. Dozens of stands are full of local grown fruits, vegetables, vanilla, flowers and oils. Visitors can shop for handcrafted items including woodcarvings and “Pareo” fabrics. The market is located two blocks from the waterfront and can be easily reached by Le Truck or by taxi from any resort. It is open every day except holidays.
As you leave the hustle and bustle of the waterfront and city behind, you will be delighted by the raw beauty of the islands interior. The islands waterfalls surrounded by lush green foliage, flower filled valleys, rushing rivers, and towering peaks rising more than a mile high are just waiting for you to explore.
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August 1, 2016
PREPARING FOR TAHITI
Planning ahead is a key issue for a pleasurable Tahitian adventure. Ensuring that your paperwork is in order, meds properly labeled for identification and equipment have all of their attachments. These helpful preparation tips may provide organization for traveling and ensure smooth arrivals and departures.
Entry and Customs
Must have a passport valid for 6 months beyond the date of return, in addition to return airline ticket to their country or at least two more continuing destinations, and sufficient funds to cover stay. Names must match exactly on all travel documents, such as passports, air tickets, reservations. Initials and nicknames are not acceptable. All items brought in for your own personal use are duty-free, unless they are prohibited items. (See current Customs Regulations)
Sunscreen, brimmed hats, sunglasses, water shoes for walking reefs, mosquito repellent, ample amounts of prescription meds, camera and recharging items. Voltage is 110 or 220 at most hotels throughout this region. Adapters or converters may be necessary for certain electronic items such as computers and appliances.
Check with your Medical Insurance provider before departure for your international coverage is. Hospitals and clinics provide quality healthcare in Tahiti and you will be happy to know that they have very few pest, and are free of poisonous reptiles, spiders, dangerous animals or malaria. However, applying mosquito repellent and wearing protective shoes in the water are strongly advised.
Major Credit cards are accepted in most shops, hotels and restaurants, but markets and smaller locales may not. To exchange currency to Pacific Franc XPF it may be processed through your hotel, LAX or Faa’a airports, or with the numerous local banks on the islands. ATMs are located on most major islands.
Tipping is not expected nor is it customary. However, it is acceptable and always welcomed to reward for superb service.
Is water safe to drink?
It is standard to drink only from bottled water throughout this region.
Natural fiber clothing such as casual and loose-fitting shorts and shirts for daywear allow the most comfort. Slacks and sport shirts are acceptable for men and sun dresses for women for evening. Also check on what is and acceptable for outdoor beach and sunning wear, as nudity may be prohibited.
Contact your provider to make sure your international access is activated. However Direct and International calls are available through hotels and phone cards that are available for purchase.