Island Time: Papeete, Tahiti (Part 1)

Island Time: Papeete, Tahiti (Part 1)

Island Time: Papeete, Tahiti (Part 1)

Flights from LAX to Papeete Tahiti are not cheap. They range anywhere from $1000 to $2000 or more round trip per person. So just the price of admission for two to get there (and back) is in the realm of  $5,000. But by the time you step on that plane, to the time that you arrive, and get shuttled to your accommodations, all your troubles will have started to melt away.

It’s island time, and we’re off to Tahiti…

Papeete

The moment you step off your 8 hour and 20 minute flight, you are immediately greeted by warm, humid, tropical air. As you walk across the tarmac and through the terminal, you immediately begin to appreciate the air conditioned shuttle.

Our driver took us straight to the InterContinental in Papeete. After we arrived, we pretty much did not want to leave. We were greeted by an open air lobby and chilled fruit drinks immediately upon arrival. Over the coming weeks, we would become accustomed to seeing different variations of this as we arrived at each new destination:

The resort grounds at the Papeete InterCon are pretty amazing. Most of the vibe here is captured in this main view from the grounds. Very beautiful and very serene.

There was a constant breeze over the north western side of the island. Our accommodations came with a sunny patio balcony overlooking the waters of the French Polynesia.

Here’s a picture of the Panoramic Room at the InterContinental that we stayed in (pardon the mess!):

We spent quite a few hours pool side, We enjoyed several great meals from the restaurant overlooking the pool. The infinity pool was pretty amazing. It felt very private given the fact that there weren’t that many people there during our stay. There was a general sense of peace and calm that blanketed the whole place. Right after sunset, there was a torch lighting ceremony that took place over the pool:

Dinner and meals were spent at the Te Tiare Restaurant which is located at the center of the resort overlooking the pool and was usually accompanied by local dance performances and the aforementioned torch lighting ceremony:

Over the course of the three days we simply enjoyed being on the grounds and enjoying the fact that we were in Tahiti!

Reverse Jet Lag

Normally, during a time change after a long flight or trip, you are struggling to keep up and adjust to the new time zone. Arriving in Tahiti is the opposite. You need to force yourself to slow down. You need to disconnect.

I must be a city kid. The first thing I experienced upon arriving in Tahiti was the lack of big chain markets and restaurants. Not going to lie, the sense of cabin fever set in pretty quickly for me after we arrived. Like it or not, this place is going to make you slow your roll and force you to relax! There is a tremendous sense of serenity and almost timelessness on the islands.  It’s pretty awesome but it also may not be for everyone. This is definitely a place to have a good book (or books), a journal, and your camera!

Where to Ride (The Riding Situation in Tahiti)

While the French Polynesia is not known as a cycling destination, there are bikes around the islands. Additionally, the narrow roads and commercial vehicles that run on them can actually make it quite unsafe. We enjoyed the majority of our outdoor activities on the water more so than we did on land. You are in Tahiti after all!

Your single best bet to keep your fitness level up (and to get the miles in) will be the fitness centers at the resorts. They are accessible 24 hours a day.

Otherwise, to get our two wheeled fix, Moorea turned out to be the best bet (more to come on that). That’s where we found a scooter rental and had a blast exploring the island. With only three or four days on each island, we found that this was the best way to maximize the time.

Up Next…

After a second full day of spending time in the resort, we were ready to head back to the airport to catch a flight over to the adjacent island of Moorea…

 

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