By: Jennifer Brown with Vagablonde Travel
The French Polynesian mantra. Nowhere is mana’s presence more alive and loved than the island of Tahiti. Mana can be characterized by a life force and the spirit that surround and connects all living things. You can hear it, smell, it, touch, and live it! When you step off the plane in Papeete (the Tahiti capital) and arrive to the islands you instantly feel the mana and what makes these islands so unique. The French Polynesian islands are composed of 118 dispersed islands and atolls that are divided into five groups of islands, the Society Islands, the Tuamotu Archipelago, the Gambier Islands, Austral Islands, and the Marquesas Islands. The society islands being the most popular of all the groups where you can find Tahiti, Moorea, and the all popular Bora Bora.
Now replicated across the world, the FIRST and original iconic over the water bungalows built in 1967 were built on Moorea and Raiatea. I found myself sleeping in a few of these bungalows and touring all 11 of the resorts each having their own unique style.
Last month the Tahiti Tourism Exchange extended an invitation to the owner of Vagablonde Travel to visit 4 of their islands and 11 different resorts which completed the program to become a Certified Tahiti Specialist. While there, I kept having to ask myself “is the real life”? I didn’t think the pictures could match what my eyes saw, but it was even better!
Raiatea and Taha’a were the first on our journey where we stayed at Le Taha’a, which is still considered a little secret, where the island features the amazing octopus caves, the coral gardens, shipwrecks, and the famous vanilla plantations. Be sure not to discount these islands and make some time to stay for a few days!
Moorea is considered the heart shape island where adventure meets the water! It’s the perfect location to explore whether you are on foot or by 4x4. Want to see striking waterfalls and lush rainforest, this is your island! And yes, they have over the water bungalows here too! One of my favorite non profit organizations, CORAL GARDENERS, is located on Moorea and offers an amazing experience to adopt and plant your own coral while visiting. You can even adopt your own nursery table to give back!
Tahiti is where city life meets island paradise. Here you can discover the surfs, unique arts, Tahitian dance shows, or even buy your first Tahitian black pearl from the Robert Wan Museum! Don’t discount this island and only stay for a night as there is so much to do here!
Bora Bora is what the general population think when someone says French Polynesian Islands and is one of the most beautiful islands in the word! Perfect white sand beaches, emerald waters, luxury resorts, and over the water bungalows dot this island. Truly where romantic dreams become a reality. 3 of my MUST DO’s are the following:
1. Visit Bloody Mary’s and have a nice lunch or dinner.
2. Swim with sting rays and black tip sharks (yes on purpose).
3. Rent jet ski’s and tour the island seeing all it’s beauty from the water.
Average rates for over the water bungalows start at $1,000 per night, but I promise you IT’S WORHT IT! You will never see something as beautiful as these unique islands!
Visit www.vagablondetravel.com to book your next trip!