My fiancée and I visited French Polynesia in what has remained to be the most memorable experience ever. Although I have travelled widely, I cannot think of any destination within the Pacific that beats Tahiti. Our three days there were simply magical and I would not mind going back there for our honeymoon.
We arrived at the Faa’a international airport just as the sun was setting after about six hours of travel from Los Angeles. Our pre-arranged airport transfer was on standby so we simply stuffed our bags into the car and proceeded to our hotel. Along the way, we passed through some villages before getting to the luxury resort. There was no better welcome to Tahiti Island (one of the 118 Islands in French Polynesia) than the scenic view of the fiery sunset meeting the ocean at the horizon from the balcony of the InterContinental Resort that was overlooking the shores of the ocean.
One of the things that I liked about our hotel room is that it had huge Jacuzzi that we got in soon after
checking in. This was a great way to relax before heading to the Lotus restaurant for dinner. My fiancée had made a reservation for a private romantic candle lit dinner so we savored the exceptional meal complete with red wine. It is here that my fiancée surprised me by making a marriage proposal just as I was finishing off my desert in what was a well-coordinated plot with the help of the hotel staff. Although I never saw it coming, it was an awesome engagement surprise. I accepted his proposal and we made a toss to it with the hotel staff cheering us on. We then spent some time at the restaurant before going back to our hotel room for the rest of the night.
The next day, we woke up early ready to explore the beauty of Tahiti. We began by going to the Topdive Tahiti dive center that is strategically located at the centre of the Intercontinental Tahiti Resort and opens up to other diving spots. Here, we sampled diverse flora and fauna that included the lemon sharks, whitetip reef shark, the blacktip reef shark and colorful nudi branches. Although my fiancée and I are new to diving, we had purchased a gold pass that would allow us to dive in Tahiti, Bora Bora and Moorea but we only dived in Tahiti. Although this was our first time to dive in the ocean, we had a lot of confidence and in the competent and friendly dive guides, so no tinge of fear was going to stop us. The helmets are light and you can see clearly. The entire experience was awesome and I would advise anyone visiting French Polynesia not to miss this.
After the amazing diving experience, we also got a feel of the wild beauty of Tahiti by embarking on an excursion that was arranged by the Ciao Tahiti Excursions 4x4 tours. During the trip, we felt one with nature because we got a view of an ecosystem that has not been encroached by any form of human activity. We got spectacular views of waterfalls, amazing valleys and natural swimming pools that exist along rivers. Our package also included a visit to archeological sites among other attractions. Cruising through the natural terrain was worth every penny we paid thus I highly recommend the tour to any nature lover. We returned to our hotel freshened up before having dinner. We later sat at the balcony where we enjoyed the cool breeze that blew our way.
On the second day, we took a public bus to Papeete (this is also the capital city of French Polynesia) to see what the city had to offer. Hardly had we been at the bus stop for five minutes before the bus arrived. The city is dotted with peculiar attractions. I particularly liked the town hall because it is quite pretty. The Polynesian parliament was also a great place to visit as well as the market where we got some sweet and salty crepes. We settled for a great meal at Les 3 Braussers before proceeding to Tahiti Aventures for some real fun. We began by going on a dolphin tour, which was followed by snorkeling among multicolored fish and shipwrecks before finishing with jet skiing. Tahiti Aventures have the best jet skis that are comfortable and easy to navigate. From our experience here, I can rightfully say that this is another must visit attraction. Later in the evening, we sat in the swimming pool at the hotel to cool off from the heat.
On the third day, which also happened to be our last, we took time to go shopping. Since we had already toured the municipal market the previous day, our main target was the Flea market that is known to have rare and unique items that are priced well by the locals. We got some handicrafts here and moved on to Sibani Perles Joallier where we got some pearl jewelry that is also considered to be modern souvenir. Since we were not doing any major shopping we opted not to go to the duty free shop at Papeete airport. Instead, we dedicated the rest of the afternoon to one of the pristine beaches. We both love to swim and felt that it is only fair for us to get a feel of the beaches in Tahiti.
We took a taxi from town back to the Intercontinental resort where we dumped the items we had purchased in our hotel room before grabbing our swimming costumes and dashing to the public beach. The heat was stifling so the beach was the ideal place to be. Ironically, the afternoon seemed shorter, probably because of the amount of fun we were engrossed in, and soon it was evening so we had to retreat to our hotel room. We once again sat at the balcony and watched the sun set as we had made it a habit. Soon it was time for dinner and being a Friday, the hotel served seafood buffet. This was followed by the Tahiti dance show courtesy of the internationally renowned Les Grands Ballets de Tahiti that went on for hours. Since we had an early morning flight to catch, we retired to bed early with the hope of visiting this great pacific island again.