The Islands of the French Polynesia consists of five island groups, or archipelagoes, which total 118 islands and atolls (of which only 67 are inhabited) that stretch over an expanse of more than 1,200 miles in the South Pacific – south of the equator, south of Hawaii about 2,700 miles and half way between South America and Australia. All of the islands make up a total landmass of only 1,600 square miles.
The island of Tahiti is the largest of the islands, with a landmass of 403 square miles and is the most populated, with about 184,000 residents, and is the starting point for all international travelers.
The friendly, easygoing manner of the people of the French Polynesia strikes you quickly. It’s probably not coincidence given Tahiti gets just over 165,000 visitors a year compared to the eight million that visit Hawaii annually.
Ask anyone about the French Polynesia and Tahiti and a vision of a beautiful tropical island, with soaring volcanic peaks, the lush emerald green colours rising from the deep blue sea materializes. One glance out of your plane’s window down to an island like Bora Bora will tell it all. This is a place of incredible beauty. You will be treated to wildly varying beauty from the postcard perfect greens and blues to the transparent lagoons edged by white sand.