Everything you need to know before you leave home to travel to our islands, to ensure you have a wonderful stay.
Bring summer clothes, suitable for the beach and for sports, preferably made of cotton. Include a sweater for the evenings, which can be cooler by the lagoon, on cruises or in the mountains.
For your feet: thongs (flip-flops), sandals, trainers or maybe “deck” shoes.
The essentials: swimsuit, sunglasses, hat, “total” sunblock cream (due to the intense glare from the lagoons) and anti-mosquito lotion (can be useful depending on the island and the season). These items are of course available in large stores and specialist shops on Tahiti and the main tourist islands, as well as in hotel shops.
French Polynesia is known for the quality of its health services, thanks to the opening of the new hospital in Tahiti, equipped with the best of facilities, and its network of clinics, private medical surgeries, dispensaries, infirmaries and first-aid posts on each inhabited island (according to the number of inhabitants), backed up by medical transfers to Tahiti in case of emergency.
Travelers that vaccination against yellow fever is obligatory for anyone who has stayed in a endemic country and wishing to visit to The Islands of Tahiti.
Yellow fever is a viral disease found in tropical regions of Africa and the Americas. It principally affects humans and monkeys, and is transmitted via the bite of Aedesmosquitoes.
Since the beginning of 2017, these reports are consistent with the increased yellow fever activity observed in the southern areas of Bahia State, bordering Espirito Santo and Minas Gerais States, and in the areas of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo States, all sharing the same ecosystem - tropical and sub-tropical moist broad leaves forest.
Occasionally travellers who visit yellow fever endemic countries may bring the disease to countries free from yellow fever.
In order to prevent such importation of the disease, under the International Health Regulations, vaccination against yellow fever is mandatory for any person over 9 months who has stayed in an endemic country and wishes to visit The Islands of Tahiti. Visitors may be asked for proof of vaccination upon arrival in Tahiti and should be able to provide such documentation to be granted entry.
List of countries, territories and areas - Vaccination requirements and recommandations for international travellers, including yellow fever and malaria here
List of countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and countries requiring yellow fever vaccination here
More information on the World Health Organization website.
The currency used in French Polynesia is the CFP franc (international abbreviation: XPF). An interesting feature of this currency is that its exchange rate with the euro never varies and is set at 100 F.CFP = 0.838 Euros (or 1 Euro = 119.33 F.CFP).
The following are accepted: all legal currencies, international credit cards, travellers’ cheques (a commission of approximately 3.5 Euros is charged to exchange these). The international banks on Tahiti and the most visited islands (Banque de Tahiti, Banque de Polynésie, Banque Socredo), have a foreign exchange facility. International hotels also offer this service. Most of the tourist islands have one or more bank agents.
But beware:some atolls in the Tuamotu and the Austral and Gambier Islands have no exchange facilities. At Tahiti-Fa'a'a airport, two foreign exchange offices (Banque de Polynésie and Banque Socredo) are open at the arrival and departure times of international flights.