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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Tahiti

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Papeete each year. The main ones are listed below.

January 1: New Year (national)

The opportunity to experience the Tere Fā'ati the annual Polynesian ritual of shared happiness. Programme: Island tour in ‘trucks' (traditional bus covered with flowers), music, dance, swimming, food tasting and local fruits.

March 5: Day of the Gospel or Day of the Missionaries (local)

Religious festival and public holiday in French Polynesia, commemorating the arrival of Protestant missionaries from the London Missionary Society in Matavai Bay (5 March 1797).

March or April: Easter Monday (national)

Christian religious festival whose date varies. On the programme: chocolate treasure hunt in the city, games and workshops for children.

April 28: Commemoration of the arrival of the Bounty (Bounty Day)

Large annual gathering: descendants of the Bounty mutineers, the British frigate that landed on April 28, 1789, gather on the island of Tubuai. Books and archival footage tell the story of the first Europeans who arrived on the island.

May 1: Labour Day (national)

On the first of May, it is customary to offer a sprig of lily-of-the-valley to close ones. Many vendors occupy the pavement on that occasion!

May 8: Victory of 1945 (national)

Commemorates the Allied victory in Europe that ended World War II on this day in 1945. Various ceremonies are held around town.

June 29: Day of autonomy (local)

This civil celebration in French Polynesia is the day in 1880 when King Pomare V donated his States to France.

July 14: French national holiday (national)

This holiday celebrates both the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789, the key event marking the beginning of the French Revolution. It plays as a symbol of the end of the privileges enjoyed by the clergy and the aristocracy. In Papeete, it is also the occasion for the Heiva i Tahiti celebrations. On the programme: songs and traditional dances in honour of the island.

November 1: All soul's day (national)

The custom of All Saints (Turamara'a) is required under the sun. This is the day when the Tahitians pay homage to their ancestors. The graves are flowered, and brightened with paint or white sand.

November 11: Armistice Day (national)

On this day, citizens gather at war memorials to commemorate the signing of the 1918 Armistice officially bringing an end to the First World War.

December 25: Christmas (national)

The Christmas holidays are celebrated all over the island, houses are decorated and the children eagerly await the opening of their presents. A large Christmas market is held in downtown Papeete.

December 31: New Year's Eve (national event)

On the night of December 31st, the atmosphere is particularly festive on the streets of Papeete, with families and friends celebrating the new year.

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Tahiti

Located in the north of Tahiti, Papeete has a very mild tropical climate. The trade winds blow a constant and pleasant temperature. Both seasons of the island (wet and dry) are temperate with little variation. The average annual temperature in Papeete is 27°C (80.6°F).

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January 23 / 73.4 33 / 91.4 251 / 9.88 Not the best period to go
February 23 / 73.4 33 / 91.4 243 / 9.56 Not the best period to go
March 23 / 73.4 33 / 91.4 423 / 16.6 Not the best period to go
April 23 / 73.4 33 / 91.4 141 / 5.55 Not the best period to go
May 22 / 71.6 32 / 89.6 101 / 3.98 Not the best period to go
June 22 / 71.6 31 / 87.8 75 / 2.95 Good period to go Good period to go
July 21 / 69.8 31 / 87.8 52 / 2.05 Good period to go Good period to go
August 21 / 69.8 31 / 87.8 42 / 1.65 Good period to go Good period to go
September 22 / 71.6 31 / 87.8 52 / 2.05 Good period to go Good period to go
October 22 / 71.6 32 / 89.6 88 / 3.46 Good period to go Good period to go
November 23 / 73.4 32 / 89.6 149 / 5.87 Not the best period to go
December 23 / 73.4 32 / 89.6 248 / 9.76 Not the best period to go
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Tahiti International Airport

The Tahiti International Airport is located about 5 km (about 3 miles) southeast of Papeete.

  • 3 terminals:
    • T1 (domestic flights)
    • T2 (domestic flights)
    • International terminal (Air France)

Getting from the airport to Papeete and back:
  • By car
  • From the Tahiti International airport, it takes about 15 minutes to reach the city centre of Papeete via Pouvanaa a Oopa Avenue.
  • At the airport, two parking lots are available to travellers: 1 for long-term parking and 1 for medium-term parking.
    • For long-term parking, count XPF 150 between 15 minutes to 1 hour (first 15 minutes are free) then XPF 300 from 1 to 2 hours.
    • For medium-term parking, count XPF 200 for up to 30 minutes, XPF 220 between 30 minutes and 1 hour, and XPF 400 between 1 hour and 2 hours.
  • Many car rental companies have counters near the International terminal. Rates from XPF 5,500/day.

 
  • By Bus/Truck
  • Bus lines run at a frequency of 20 minutes from the airport to downtown Papeete. It costs about XPF 200. An increase of 50 to 70% applies between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., and on Sundays and holidays.
  • For buses and 'trucks', the stop is in front of the international terminal, across the parking lot.

 
  • By Taxi
    A taxi stand is located at the exit of T1 (the domestic terminal). The drive from the airport to the centre of Papeete lasts around 10 minutes and costs about XPF 2,000 (night fare is about XPF 2,500).

 
  • Services: bars and restaurants, boutiques, free Internet access (Wi-Fi), luggage storage available in the airport.
  • Telephone: +689 40 86 60 60
  • Website: www.tahiti-aeroport.pf

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GETTING AROUND Tahiti

The car is the ideal mode of transport to explore the island, though some sites are not accessible by vehicle, at which point it is possible to rent a bike or even a horse. Public transportation exists but unfortunately, they are not widespread and poorly organised; buses and trucks, however, are the most commonly used means of transport by the population. Hitchhiking is also very common.

By car

The best way to travel around Tahiti is by car. Several car rental agencies are available in the city centre (from XPF 3,000 per day). Public parking facilities are available all around the centre (from XPF 150 per hour).

Bus/trucks

  • Bus: about twenty bus lines serve the city and outlying areas. The buses have no specific stops; just make a sign to the driver and they will pick you up. One of the main stops is located right in downtown Papeete, Rue François Cardella in front of the central market. A ticket costs about XPF 200.
  • Trucks: for their part, are a typical means of transport in the Pacific Islands. They are colourful bus trucks equipped to transport about forty passengers. For reasons of safety and pollution, the government has decided to gradually replace them with buses.

Taxi

There are many taxi ranks in Papeete. There is an initial charge of XPF 1,000. Add XPF 130 per kilometre.

By boat

To visit an island (motu) or a pearl farm, you can hire an outboard skiff, small launches or even a pirogue that you can rent by the day locally. Apart from Tahiti and Moorea, ferries also connect some nearby islands.

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Visitor information

Once in Papeete, do not hesitate to connect with tourism professionals to advise you and organise your stay.

Tahiti Tourism Office

Fare Manihini

Moorea Tourism Centre

Bora Bora Tourism Centre

Nuku-Hiva Tourism Centre

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Currency and Exchange Rates

The currency used in Tahiti is the Franc Pacifique CFP (XPF).

1 € = 119,33 XPF

1 XPF = 0,01 €

The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.

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Medical information

In order to travel in the best conditions and for your health and safety, we invite you to check all information regarding preventive measures and best practices to be respected, available on the official website of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs: https://www.gouvernement.fr/info-coronavirus

Your comfort, well-being and health are at the heart of Air France's concerns, and we want to help you prepare for your trip in the best way possible. Find out more about the measures taken to ensure safe travelling on our website: https://www.airfrance.fr/FR/en/common/page_flottante/information/coronavirus.htm#notre-engagement-sanitaire

See your doctor before you travel. It is also recommended to take out insurance covering medical expenses and repatriation before your trip. Papeete counts several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists.

Vaccinations

No vaccination is required to stay in Papeete, except for nationals from risk areas.
However, it is better to be up to date with universal vaccinations: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, poliomyelitis, hepatitis B.
Other recommended vaccinations:

  • hepatitis A
  • typhoid
  • possibly rabies.

For more information, contact your Air France centre for international vaccinations:

Food safety

Beware of 'ciguatera' food poisoning due to algae, which is contracted by consuming certain carnivorous fish from the lagoon. For more information: https://www.ciguatera.pf/index.php/en/

Water

Tap water is drinkable in Papeete and throughout Bora Bora island. It is however recommended to drink bottled water.

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Administrative formalities

Entry requirements for the territory of Papeete

Contrary to other overseas departments, overseas territories are not part of the Schengen area. An identity card is therefore not sufficient for European residents. You will need a passport valid for a period of at least 6 months after leaving French Polynesia.

Warning: in case of a stopover in the US, check that your passport meets US standards, that is to say, it is a valid biometric or electronic passport (for more information, see the website of the Embassy of the United States:http://french.france.usembassy.gov/fr/visas.html).
If this is not the case, ask for a transit visa at the US consulate.

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Essential phrases

Here are a few basic French phrases that will make your stay in Tahiti a little easier:

Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: Bonjour (morning) Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: <em>Bonjour (morning)</em>

Good evening: Bonsoir Good evening: <em>Bonsoir</em>

Goodbye: Au revoir Goodbye: <em>Au revoir</em>

Yes: Oui Yes: <em>Oui</em>

No: Non No: <em>Non</em>

No, thank you: Non, merci No, thank you: <em>Non, merci</em>

Thank you very much: Merci beaucoup Thank you very much: <em>Merci beaucoup</em>

Please: S'il vous plaît Please: <em>S'il vous plaît</em>

I don't understand: Je ne comprends pas I don't understand: <em>Je ne comprends pas</em>

Could you repeat?: Pouvez-vous répéter ? Could you repeat?: <em>Pouvez-vous répéter ?</em>

What time is it?: Quelle heure est-il ? What time is it?: <em>Quelle heure est-il ?</em>

Sorry: Pardon
Excuse me: Excusez-moi Sorry: <em>Pardon</em><br />
Excuse me: <em>Excusez-moi</em>

Airport: Aéroport Airport: <em>Aéroport</em>

Train station: Gare Train station: <em>Gare</em>

Taxi: Taxi Taxi: <em>Taxi</em>

Hotel: Hôtel Hotel: <em>Hôtel</em>

Hospital: Hôpital Hospital: <em>Hôpital</em>

Bank: Banque Bank: <em>Banque</em>

Telephone: Téléphone Telephone: <em>Téléphone</em>

I'm (…): Je suis (…) I'm (…): <em>Je suis (…)</em>

I'm looking for (…): Je recherche (…) I'm looking for (…): <em>Je recherche (…)</em>

How much is (…)?: Quel est le prix de (…) ? How much is (…)?: <em>Quel est le prix de (…) ?</em>

Do you have (…)?: Avez-vous (…) ? Do you have (…)?: <em>Avez-vous (…) ?</em>

Where can I find (…)?: Où puis-je trouver (…) ? Where can I find (…)?: <em>Où puis-je trouver (…) ?</em>

Where can I buy (…)?: Où puis-je acheter (…) ? Where can I buy (…)?: <em>Où puis-je acheter (…) ?</em>

I'd like (…): Je voudrais (…) I'd like (…): <em>Je voudrais (…)</em>

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Good to know

+689
+ phone number (without 0)
-12 : 00
of time difference with
Paris
There is no daylight savings time in Tahiti

Banks
Usually open Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and from 1:15 p.m. to 3:45. p.m.
Government offices
Usually open Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30. p.m.
220V / 110V 60Hz

Tipping

In Papeete like in all French Polynesia, restaurants and cafes, a supplement for servers is already included in the bill. However, it is customary to leave a tip when you are satisfied with the service.

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