Every year, numerous holidays are celebrated in Papeete.
Below are the main dates for these festivities:
The opportunity to experience the Tere Fā'ati the annual Polynesian ritual of shared happiness. Programme: Island tour in ‘trucks' (traditional bus covered with flowers), music, dance, swimming, food tasting and local fruits.5 March: Day of the Gospel or Day of the Missionaries (local)
Religious festival and public holiday in French Polynesia, commemorating the arrival of Protestant missionaries from the London Missionary Society in Matavai Bay (5 March 1797).28 March: Easter Monday (national)
Christian religious festival whose date varies. On the programme: chocolate treasure hunt in the city, games and workshops for children.28 April: Commemoration of the arrival of the Bounty (Bounty Day)
Large annual gathering: descendants of the Bounty mutineers, the British frigate that landed on April 28, 1789, gather on the island of Tubuai. Books and archival footage tell the story of the first Europeans who arrived on the island.1st May: Labour Day (national)
Holiday in all French territories.8 May: Victory of 1945 (national)
May 8, 1945 was the date of the Allied victory over Nazi Germany and the end of World War II in Europe.29 June: Day of autonomy (local)
This civil celebration in French Polynesia is the day in 1880 when King Pomare V donated his States to France.14 July: French national holiday (national)
Soldiers and officials parade to celebrate the storming of the Bastille and the end of the French monarchy. July 14 in Papeete is also the occasion for the Heiva i Tahiti celebrations. On the programme: songs and traditional dances in honour of the island.1st November: All soul's day (national)
The custom of All Saints (Turamara'a) is required under the sun. This is the day when the Tahitians pay homage to their ancestors. The graves are flowered, and brightened with paint or white sand.11 November : Armistice of 1918 (national)
The 1918 Armistice ended the fighting in the First World War, the victory of France and the defeat of Germany.25 December: Christmas (national)
The Christmas holidays are celebrated all over the island, houses are decorated and the children eagerly await the opening of their presents. A large Christmas market is held in downtown Papeete.
|Month||Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Average Rains (MM)||Best Time to Travel|
|January||23 / 73.4||33 / 91.4||251 / 9,88||Not the best period to go|
|February||23 / 73.4||33 / 91.4||243 / 9,56||Not the best period to go|
|March||23 / 73.4||33 / 91.4||423 / 16,6||Not the best period to go|
|April||23 / 73.4||33 / 91.4||141 / 5,55||Not the best period to go|
|May||22 / 71.6||32 / 89.6||101 / 3,98||Not the best period to go|
|June||22 / 71.6||31 / 87.8||75 / 2,95||Good period to go|
|July||21 / 69.8||31 / 87.8||52 / 2,05||Good period to go|
|August||21 / 69.8||31 / 87.8||42 / 1,65||Good period to go|
|September||22 / 71.6||31 / 87.8||52 / 2,05||Good period to go|
|October||22 / 71.6||32 / 89.6||88 / 3,46||Good period to go|
|November||23 / 73.4||32 / 89.6||149 / 5,87||Not the best period to go|
|December||23 / 73.4||32 / 89.6||248 / 9,76||Not the best period to go|
The Tahiti International Airport of Fa'a'ā is located about 5 km southeast of Papeete.
The car is the ideal mode of transport to explore the island, though some sites are not accessible by vehicle, at which point it is possible to rent a bike or even a horse. Public transportation exists but unfortunately they are not widespread and poorly organised; buses and trucks, however, are the most commonly used means of transport by the population. Hitchhiking is also very common.
The best way to travel around Tahiti is by car. You can rent one without problems, at your hotel or guesthouse, or with one of the big name car rental agencies.
Public parking facilities are available all around the centre.
Twenty bus lines serve the city and outlying areas. The buses have no specific stops; just make a sign to the driver and they will pick you up. The main station is located right in downtown Papeete, in front of the Bank of Tahiti. A ticket costs about 200 XPF.
‘Trucks', for their part, are a typical means of transport in the Pacific Islands. They are colourful bus trucks equipped to transport about forty passengers. For reasons of safety and pollution, the government has decided to gradually replace them with buses.
Additional information from the Department of Land Transport (www.transports-terrestres.pf)
There are many taxi ranks in Papeete. There is 1,000 XPF on the metre when you get in and 130 XPF per km.
To visit an island (motu) or a pearl farm, you can hire an outboard skiff, small launches or even a pirogue that you can rent by the day locally. Apart from Tahiti and Moorea, ferries also connect some nearby islands.
Once in Papeete, do not hesitate to connect with tourism professionals to advise you and organise your stay.Office du Tourisme de Tahiti
+689 40 50 40 30
Club Bali Hai
+689 75 01 01 or +689 56 29 09
98730 Bora Bora
98742 Nuku Hiva – Îles Marquises
EUR 1 = XPF 119,33
XPF 1 = EUR 0,01
The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.
Hospitals in Papeete are cheaper, but certainly less equipped than private clinics. Medical care is of good quality and the infrastructure are modern. For emergencies, call SOS Médecins on 42 34 56.LIST OF OBLIGATORY AND RECOMMENDED VACCINATIONS
No vaccination is required to stay in Papeete, except for nationals from risk areas.
But it is better to be up to date with the universal vaccinations: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, poliomyelitis, hepatitis B.
Other recommended vaccinations:
– hepatitis A
– Possibly rabies.
For more information, contact your Air France centre for international vaccinations:
Beware of ‘ciguatera' food poisoning due to algae, which is contracted by consuming certain carnivorous fish from the lagoon. For more information: http://www.ciguatera-online.com/index.php/en/DRINKING WATER
Tap water is potable in Papeete and throughout Bora Bora island. It is however advisable to consume bottled water.
If you are from a country in the European Union, the European Economic Area, Switzerland, Andorra, San Marino, Monaco and the Holy See (Vatican), you must show an identity card or valid passport; you are exempt from a visa.
If you hold a residence permit or a long-stay visa valid from a country of the Schengen area, you must go with a valid passport; you are exempt from having a visa.
If you are from a country with which France has signed visa waiver agreements (see list), you must present a valid passport and regulatory documents indicating the purpose of your stay, your financial means while in French Polynesia and your repatriation guarantee (e.g. adequate and valid travel insurance certificate, a valid return ticket to the country of residence, etc.).
If you are not affected by any of the previous cases: you must present a valid passport, a valid short-stay visa expressly mentioning its validity in French Polynesia (common Schengen visas are not accepted since the territory of French Polynesia does not belong to Schengen), regulatory documents indicating the purpose of your stay, your financial means while in French Polynesia and your repatriation guarantee (e.g. adequate and valid travel insurance certificate, a valid return ticket to the country of residence, etc.).
For more information, visit the website of the French Polynesian State:
And what about tipping?
In restaurants and cafes, a supplement for servers is already included in the bill. However, as in France, it is customary to leave a tip when you are satisfied with the service.