Polynesia

POLYNESIA

IN SHORT:

  • Day 1: TAHITI
  • Day 2, 3 & 4: TAHA’A
  • Day 5, 6 & 7: BORA BORA
  • Day 8 & 9: TIKEHAU

AN OVERVIEW

Matisse wrote during his time in Polynesia:”...it is as if the light was immobilized, frozen in magnificent stance, a blue that is impossible to paint or reproduce”. Tahitians call it Ninamu or deep blue and Matisse swam underwater with locally made wooden goggles to “understand” the color. This is what will strike you when you fly over Bora Bora, how the blue of the lagoon changes with depth and time of day. And why Polynesia has maintained over the years a great hold on the words “tropical paradise”. 

This remote French department, in the middle of the South Pacific has everything we dream, superb hotels, incredible food and wine, fantastic marine life amongst 5 archipelagos regrouping over 118 islands. What is amazing is the size of the country. These islands are spread out over 2 million square miles!!! It has an amazing history, many of the islands and countries in the South Pacific had ancestors who came from Polynesia, they were/are the best celestial navigators in the world and one of their national sports is canoeing either single or multi hull crews with races between some islands that last 3 days and 2 nights...

French Polynesia has, in one year, the same number of tourists that Hawaii gets in one day. There is no doubt you will feel and hear the French culture and flair mixed in with the deep Polynesian background which is reflected by the singing, dancing and tattoos on many locals. Throughout our itinerary we have planned events so you understand what this country is all about. From 4x4 inland excursions to pearl farms visits, snorkel trips to lunches on private islands. Polynesia is about water, beaches, amazing diving and snorkelling, great food and friendly people.

Each island has it’s own character. Tahiti is less touristy and very imposing with steep mountains and valleys, the capital, Papeete is on the island and is the commercial centre. Taha’a is the most stunning resort, pearl and vanilla farming and great snorkelling. Bora Bora is the lagoon, the most popular island name in the world, shark feeding and great diving. Tikehau is the real Polynesia, a very remote location, the nicest people on earth and a lagoon so huge it takes 16 minutes to fly over it.

Ia Orana, Bienvenue en Polynésie!

COST:

Depending on number of people,  room type and meal plan. Domestic airfares are included and due to remote location of our resorts, all meals are taken on site (except in Tahiti where local restaurants are optional. are available and will be discussed upon booking.

Accommodation is in exclusive resorts and villas are offered on beach or over water. Optional events, meal plan options and exclusive tours are discussed at time of booking and costed separately. Private jet landings are possible at each island of our itinerary and we can also provide an exclusive private yacht itinerary (5 cabins with en-suites) ideal for divers and families, includes crew and all activities.

Day 1, 2 TAHITI (2 nights)

Commercial flights from Europe and the USA usually land very early in the morning. Our preferred hotel is away from the downtown area of the capital Papeete and will allow you to rest in peace away from traffic noise. Your rooms all face the island of Moorea and the resort is fully equipped with a great spa and sports facilities.

The following 2 nights allow you to rest from the long flight. Due to the appeal of other islands, most operators connect with domestic flight immediately but we have found several activities and events on Tahiti Island that make it worth our while to stay and experience. We have several options on offer from an exclusive excursion to the island’s interior, picnic with a local family, informal presentations by an expert on the history of Polynesia and a morning walk through the local market to look at the incredible variety of local produce grown and harvested around the island.

We can also arrange a short private flight to the nearby island of Moorea so you can experience a unique experience with swimming with bottlenose dolphins.

On your final evening on Tahiti Island, we can make reservations in the most exclusive restaurant where you will be hosted by an entertaining group of local professionals who can discuss with you the details of living in the middle of the South Pacific. Tahitians are always keen to discuss politics, daily life and what is good (…or challenging) about this amazing area.

Day 3,4 & 5, TAHA’A ISLAND (3 nights)

This morning we leave the island of Tahiti for the remote atoll of Taha’a, a secluded island, off the bigger island of Raiatea. The flight is only one hour and upon landing, you will be transferred directly to the Le Taha’a’s private boat, moored in front of the airport terminal. The resort on Taha’a Island is one of the most exclusive in Polynesia and the best place to completely forget about emails, cell phones, traffic and CNN (although they are available, of course).

Much less commercial than Bora Bora, Taha’a is an ideal platform from which to learn about “life in the slow lane” for most Polynesians living outside of Tahiti. We organize private tours on the nearby islands where you meet locals who will explain their livelihood from black pearl farming to vanilla plantations. This with a stunning champagne picnic on a secluded hilltop with superb views over the reef is a memorable moment.

If lucky enough and your stay coincide on a Sunday, we take you to one of the local catholic or protestant mass services and listen to incredible singing choir. The resort includes a fantastic spa and is located within walking distance of a great snorkelling reef.

Day 6 & 7, BORA BORA ( 2 nights)

From Taha’a to Bora Bora is a skip and a jump. The flight is only 15 minutes and you will land on the most incredible lagoon you can dream of. This is what Bora Bora is all about! The island is spectacular with it’s jagged peak and we have selected the best two properties with sunset facing views right in front of the island and the most amazing villas overwater, complete with a section of glass floor so you can actually feed fish with baskets of bread left by your door every day.

Bora Bora has a mystical name with images of local Tahitian women, sensuous dancing and superb beaches. Which means everybody stops at Bora Bora….and this has unfortunately made the whole island very touristic. Sometimes the lagoon includes 2-3 cruise ships and the island is overrun with tourists wearing nametags.

To Si Fang, Bora Bora means the lagoon and our events are aimed at giving you the most superb experience combining snorkelling, sailing and diving with incredible luxury resorts. One of our resorts has the most elaborate and exclusive spa we have seen in the South Pacific. Bora Bora is also a great place for families, there are many activities involving children and coral reefs surround your villas which means at any given time you can reach in your wardrobe for your own fins and mask and step out of your private terrace and jump in the water.

Day 8 & 9, TIKEHAU ( 2 nights)

A trip to Polynesia is not complete if you do not venture further out and experience the less visited islands. Bora Bora may be stunning but to us, Tikehau exemplifies how amazing this country is all about. The flight lasts less than an hour and you realize the magnitude and the size of Polynesia. You understand why every single item we take for granted becomes so expensive….It’s all about getting from A to B and the only way to do it is by plane or by ship….

This vast expanse of blue water  brings home the reality of a fantastic isolation, something hard to achieve in this day and age. The Tikehau airport terminal is actually an open air small hut and the five ground crew staff either walk or bike to work every day, there is only 5 cars on the island and one daily flight…. In the middle of this splendid isolation lies a gorgeous and very private resort right on the fringe of the atoll, very soon you are transferred by private launch to your luxury beach villa with all the modern conveniences. Less than 20 villas, a small spa, a dive centre, a beach and a reef less than 4 meters from the beach complete with foot long black tip sharks (they are very well fed on bread….) You have the island to yourself in a way and you can walk to the windward side of the atoll to watch waves crashing on the outside reef and collect sea shells.

Tikehau means superb diving, remote excursions on a motu (low lying sheltered islands) for picnics or to watch sea birds nesting, boat excursions to look at manta rays, dolphins and sea turtles plus incredible sunsets. Tikehau means a complete two days of stillness and peace, a perfect way to finish your trip as you sip French champagne watching the most glorious sunset. Gauguin would definitely approve.

Day 10 TAHITI

Every holiday has an end and your flight back to Tahiti brings you in by mid-day. We will arrange for you to stay in a close by hotel for last minute swim and shopping before your evening flight back to Europe or the USA. All your transfers and luggage handling will be looked after.

SOME COUTURE POLYNESIA TRIP IDEAS:

  • Two couples wanted to combine a 4-night stay on Bora Bora and a great diving trip, so we arranged a helicopter transfer from the resort to the ship where they enjoyed a 5 night diving expedition in a remote part of the archipelago.

Contact Us

Email: info@sifangexpeditions.com

24 Matariki St, Dunedin 9014, New Zealand
Fax: (+0064) 3-4478-0085
Cell: (0064) 27-223-0364

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Find out more about Denis Pagé by visiting his photographic website: www.denispage.com

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