Island Hopping Vacation in the French Polynesian Islands

A 9 day trip to Tahiti 
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Discover the embodiment of paradise during your French Polynesia vacation, visiting the islands of unforgettable Bora Bora and secluded Tikehau. Dive into crystal clear waters in search of radiant coral and rainbow-streaked schools of fish. Discover sharks and manta rays, humpback whales and sea turtles. Bask in the luxuries of overwater bungalows to enjoy spectacular island views and the soothing sounds of magnificent lagoons. Embrace the prevalent scent of coconut carried in the refreshing sea breeze. Conquer mountains, lounge in comfort, and indulge in tranquility in the majestic scenery of French Polynesia. 

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General Information

Photos
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Bora Bora, Tikehau 

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Bora Bora – Welcoming French Polynesia

The majesty of Bora Bora emanates from the indigo and turquoise lagoon encircling the white sand beaches. Coconut trees cast slivers of shade over the shores and the emerald rainforest blankets the foothills leading to the twin volcanic peaks of Mount Otemanu and Mount Pahia. The coral shimmers with rainbow hues, matching the tropical colors of the swarming schools of fish. Sailboats glide along the cobalt waters of the South Pacific Sea. The scent of fresh coconut overtakes the fragrant aroma of blossoming hibiscus. Your flight lands at Bora Bora Airport, where your private transfer greets you upon your arrival.

The central market in the main town of Vaitape brims with locals and visitors eager to find the glowing rinds of fresh produce. Guava and passion fruit are displayed in bright pyramids alongside oranges and pineapple. The fish market thrives with fishermen eager to showcase their mahi mahi, tuna, and prawns that they caught earlier that morning. You make your way by private boat across the lagoon to reach the comforts of your five-star resort accommodation. Settle into the iconic majesty of an overwater bungalow where you can listen to the serene waters lap against the sturdy posts of your suite. The sunlight pours through the windows and reflects off the lagoon, guiding your eyes to the glass floor panel offering a view to the fish swimming below.

What’s Included: airport transfer, accommodation

Day 2: Bora Bora – Gifts of the Water

The aromas of coconut and coffee permeate the soft sea air in the morning. The breeze brushes past the palm trees on the shoreline. You take a moment to enjoy the view of the silver streaked peak of Mount Otemanu from the comforts of your private deck. After breakfast, you board a traditional outrigger canoe and set out onto the lagoon for a snorkeling tour. Sea spray mists over the hull of the boat leaving sporadic drops of water on your cheeks. The crystal clear water shimmers indigo and turquoise. The boat weighs anchor at a famous spot known for its abundance of blacktip reef sharks and manta rays.

You can see the black tips of the sharks’ dorsal fins peeking out of the water. Your skipper assures you that it is safe to jump in. The lagoon is warm and inviting. You can see the fish swimming around you and making their way towards the edge of the boat. You put on a mask and snorkel to view the marine life under the sea more clearly. The blacktip reef sharks can grow more than five feet long. Their prominent snout creates a dramatic, imposing image in the distance as they move with powerful and focus through the water. Board the boat once more to reach a family-owned pearl farm. You enter the shop to meet one of the team members eager to introduce you to the cultivation of the precious stone.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 3: Bora Bora – Highlights of Life in the Sea

The luscious aroma of coconut is strongest in the morning, drifting from the palm trees on the beach and filling the resort’s dining room. At breakfast, you find the gorgeous rind of dragon fruits adding layers of artistic colors to the tropical ambiance. After the meal, you travel across the lagoon to reach the Vaitape marina. Board a 21-foot long catamaran to begin your venture across the South Pacific in search of remarkable humpback whales. The giants of the ocean waters sing graceful songs and leap elegantly over the surface before splashing back down.

The whales migrate through the South Pacific while returning from their time in Antarctica. The peaks of Bora Bora remain in detailed view as your skipper points to a whale poking its head from the water. Female humpback whales can grow up to 52 feet long. They weigh more than 30 tons. A calf swims with its mother through the clear cobalt water, nearly sneaking up on the boat. The mother slaps her tail on the water, causing a marvelous splash. Droplets reach the boat and land on your cheeks. Just as you think the whales are gone, the mother breaches the calm surface, imitating the angle of Mount Pahia in the background. Upon returning to shore, your private transfer escorts you to the Bora Bora Turtle Centre located at Le Meridien resort.

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, tour, accommodation

Day 4: Bora Bora – Inland Island Exploration

The beauty of the sea is captivating, accentuated by the turquoise and indigo hues surrounding the island. Today you set out on an exploration of Bora Bora’s landscape, capturing panoramic views of the coastline and vibrant culture in the villages. You make your way to the ivory-sand beach and mount a bicycle. A single road circumnavigates the island’s 11 square miles. A refreshing breeze brushes through the ferns and coconut palms. Sporadic fruit stands offer zesty oranges, vibrant pineapples, and luscious lychees. The relaxed ambiance of the island encourages you to pedal at your own pace, waving to smiling locals and pausing along a rugged promontory to listen to the mellow waves brush against the rocks.

A bread stand offers samples of delicious banana bread. The emerald trees and indigo water frame your journey. Stop at a famous restaurant for lunch. The chef utilizes the splendor of local ingredients to create dishes celebrated by locals and visitors alike. The open walls, thatched roof, and sand on the floor add to the sensational tropical ambiance. The scent of grilled mahi mahi with lemon drifts in the breeze. The specialty cuisine of Poisson Cru captures your attention. The dish contains diced tuna marinated in lime and mixed with tomatoes, onions, green pepper, and fresh coconut milk.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 5: Bora Bora – Heart of Bora Bora

Wake up to the sounds of the water brushing against the overwater bungalow’s wooden posts. The light shines through the glass floor panel, reflecting off the bright crystal clear lagoon. After breakfast, you venture to Vaitape to meet your guide, who is eager to lead you on a private tour of stunning rainforest at the heart of Bora Bora. The manicured road circling the island turns into an unpaved trail. The scent of hibiscus accompanies the sweet aromas of mango and avocado.

You pass a village where women hand-dye the sarongs for others around the island to purchase. The jeep stops on a hill. Your guide leads you to a rusted and powerful World War II coastal defense gun. The US Navy compiled a number of defenses around the island to protect the shores from Japanese invasion. The guns were never fired and have remained well preserved amidst the tropical weather over the past seven decades. You continue through the undulating rainforest, finding gorgeous frangipani blossoming in the underbrush.

You stop to embrace the aroma and feel the waxy texture of the petals. The petals of red torch ginger resemble flames. The aroma of jasmine overtakes the semi-sweet fragrance of the frangipani. You arrive at a plateau set beneath the vertical basalt cliff of Mount Otemanu, which reaches a height of nearly 2,400 feet above sea level. In the evening, you listen to the drums that help tell the stories of the Polynesian islands, accentuating the movement of the dancers during a captivating fire-dancing performance.

What’s Included: breakfast, dinner, tour, accommodation

Day 6: Tikehau – Secluded Tropical Paradise

At breakfast, you indulge in the scent of passion fruit and the decadent flavor of fresh-brewed coffee made from beans cultivated on the islands of French Polynesia. You listen to the sounds of the breeze rustling the thistles of the thatched roof and dangling fronds of the coconut palms on the beach. After the meal, your private transfer leads you across the lagoon to Bora Bora Airport for your flight to the island of Tikehau. The plane descends into the airport, offering a panoramic view of the island’s crescent shape against the encircling cobalt and turquoise water.

The relaxed pace of Bora Bora seems like a rush in comparison to the secluded, tranquil atmosphere of Tikehau. Coral beaches shimmer white and pink beneath the tropical sun. The beaches border small bays and rugged nooks in view of the fringing reefs. You indulge in the luxury of your overwater bungalow, enjoying the views above the shallow lagoon. Spend the remainder of the day relaxing at the celebrated spa, combining the natural majesty of the island with the soothing and refreshing treatment beneath the coconut trees. The scent of the sea adds to the secluded comfort as your body and mind relaxes with a pacifying massage.  

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, dinner, transfer, accommodation

Day 7: Tikehau – Waters of the Secluded Lagoon

Indulge in a breakfast overlooking the quiet lagoon. The aroma of passion fruits and papayas fade beneath the scent of freshly brewed coffee. The breeze carries the semi-sweet scent of the water through the open walls of the dining room. The day is yours to bask in the beauty of Tikehau and the serene ambiance deriving from the secludid location. Jasmine flowers blossom with opulent white petals, utilized by locals around the island to craft perfumes, floral crowns, and leis. The sunlight glistens with pink sands shaped by ancient coral cracking and crumbling to create the soft sediment on the islands.

Dip into the warm, rejuvenating waters of the lagoon for a stunning snorkeling excursion around the fringing reefs. Float along the surface passing coral gardens blooming with vibrant pastel colors accentuated by the crystal clear hues of the water with upwards of 20 feet of visibility. Fish outnumber the onlookers eager to view the swirls of color shaped by the tropical schools of fish. Parrotfish feed on the microscopic organisms around the reef. Their scales glow with neon and pastel hues spanning their 20-inch frame like a mosaic. Their beaks resemble that of a parrot, offering a link to the origins of their name. After lingering in the water, you make your way to the organic farm of Ile d’Eden. The working homestead cultivates stunning figs, bananas, and guavas in the infertile sands of the islet.

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, dinner, tour, accommodation

Day 8: Tikehau – Leisure in Island Living

The day is at your leisure to bask in the majesty of Tikehau at you preferred pace. At breakfast, you find the aroma of banana pancakes enticing. Coconut palms shade the warming white sands of the thin island. After the meal, you could take to a bicycle to pedal across the nearly eight square miles or return to the water for more snorkeling in search of timid clown fish or gliding manta rays. The scent of grilled mahi mahi and tuna carpaccio emanate from a quiet eatery.

You board a boat for a private excursion to Bird Island, traveling across the lagoon to the tiny islet known as a birder’s paradise. The atoll is two square miles, with fringing white sand beaches and soaring coconut trees. You feel like you have landed on a private, deserted island in the vein of Robinson Crusoe. The sand is hot and soft leading up to the lapping water of the lagoon. You have your first sighting of exotic birds immediately, with blue-footed boobies addling near the underbrush of the coconut groves. The birds grow to nearly three feet tall and are known for their blue, webbed feet contrasting their brown plumage.

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, dinner, tour, accommodation

Day 9: Tikehau – Up and Over the Islands 

Wake to the soothing sounds of the water lapping against the posts and the bright light of the sun reflecting off the lagoon. You listen to the breeze rustling the coconut palms and brushing against the stray strands of your thatched roof. Fishermen return from the open sea proudly displaying their fresh tuna, mahi mahi, and snapper. They send their excess fish to the markets in Papeete, Tahiti. The aroma of grilled octopus and lime juice filters through the prevalent scents of coconut and pineapple. Your private transfer escorts you across the island to reach Tikehau Airport when you are ready to check into your flight home.

What’s Included: breakfast, airport transfer

Price

Starting Price 

$2,695
This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.