- Tahiti and Her Islands and atolls comprise the country of French Polynesia - five island groups or archipelagos which lie in the South Pacific - south of the equator yet in the same time zone as Hawaii.
- Tahiti extends over such a large area that it took explorers several years to discover and chart all 118 islands. The total area covers more than four million square kilometers (1.5 million square miles). Total land area of the 118 islands and atolls in French Polynesia covers only 4,000 sq. km. or 1,544 sq. mi.
- The most frequently visited islands are, Bora Bora, Moorea, Huahine, Raiatea, Manihi and Rangiroa. Increasingly, more travelers are discovering the incredible and distinctive beauty that is found throughout the archipelagos that comprise Tahiti and Her Islands.
- Tahiti's varied landscape ranges from sea-level coral atolls to volcanic mountain peaks. Tahiti is renowned for warm waters, white sand beaches, stunning turquoise lagoons,lush green hills and abundant flowering plants.
Capital of Tahiti:
- The capital of Tahiti and Her Islands is the city of Papeete located on Tahiti, the largest island.
- The number of people living in Tahiti is just over 220,000. About 75% are Polynesian; 15% European and about 10% Chinese.
Temperatures and Seasons:
- Tahiti is a 12-month destination, with predictably tropical weather year-round. The average year-around temperature is 79 degrees Fahrenheit. Fresh tropical breezes and ceiling fans are for the most part sufficient to maintain comfort indoors. Many hotels are air-conditioned. Water temperatures average 79 degrees in the winter and 84 degrees during the summer, with less than a degree of variation from the surface down to a depth of 150 feet.
- Tahiti shares a time zone with Hawaii, which is two hours behind Pacific Standard Time; three hours during daylight saving time, late April through October.
- U.S. and Canadian visitors need only a valid passport and round-trip ticket for entry. Citizens of other countries should consult their travel agents or the French Consulate.
- Frequent airline connections link Tahiti with the West Coast of the U.S., Hawaii, Canada, Europe, New Zealand, Australia, Japan and South East Asia.
- Flight time to Tahiti is just seven and one-half hours from Los Angeles, non-stop.
- French and Tahitian are the official languages, though English is widely spoken.
- Tahiti's economy relies heavily on tourism, agricultural and ocean resources.
- Tahiti's currency, the French Pacific Franc (CFP), is on parity with the French Franc (about 100 CFP's for every U.S. dollar). Hotels and financial institutions offer exchange services. U.S. currency and major credit cards are widely accepted.
- Tipping in Tahiti and Her Islands is not required - nor expected.
- There is no sales tax in Tahiti. However, a special 2% reduced rate Value Added Tax (VAT) applies to all rented accommodations (hotel rooms, pensions and family stays), and room and meal packages -- both American Plan (3 meals) and Modified American Plan (breakfast and dinner). A 4% VAT rate applies to purchases in shops, stores and boutiques. A 6% VAT rate applies to bars, excursions, car rentals, snacks and restaurant involving meals not included in a room-meal package.
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