A Tahitian Adventure Turns Into Happily Ever After
You will hopefully travel places you love in this lifetime and see things that amaze and awe you. The more places you visit, the more likely it is that you will begin to categorize and rank them (just like we did on this trip). Each of these lists will hold places for the things you treasure most, from the view, the culture, the warmth of the locals, the pace of life, or even the clearness of the water. I can promise you that your list is incomplete if you have not visited the islands of Tahiti. Taha’a is a postcard come to life. Bora Bora is the screensaver on your co-workers desktop that she stares at while eating her packed lunch. Huahine is a #nofilter needed Instagram post. Tahiti is more beautiful than anything you could imagine. Best Tahiti Itinerary
What You Should Know Best Tahiti Itinerary
The islands we visited in French Polynesia are a combined no larger land mass than Rhode Island. They became their own colony in 1880 and all 118 islands and atolls are scattered over an area nearly half the size of the United States. They are a part of the Society Islands and are approximately equidistant from California and New Zealand. The distance from one end of the island groups to another is nearly 2, 000 miles. The wet seasons on the islands are from November to April and the temperature usually ranges between 70-88 degrees. Language is a hard barrier to cross when on traveling adventures. French is by far the most common language spoken outside of our resorts, but we found that most people within the resorts spoke great English.
The First Steps Into Paradise
Our flight from LAX to Tahiti only took about 8 hours and was very comfortable. We kept remarking how close it felt to previous destinations we traveled to like Hawaii and New York City — it had us wondering why we hadn’t considered this destination before. Our flight was with Air Tahiti Nui, and we thought it provided the island spirit we needed to begin this trip of a lifetime. As we boarded, we were greeted by a smiling crew member and a fragrant Tiare, or a Tahitian Gardenia, to place behind our ears. The attendants were very well dressed at takeoff, changed into more comfortable island wear during the flight, and then back to their original outfits before we landed. It was the perfect mixture of the French and Polynesian cultures. The cabin was clean, bright and decorated with a soothing aqua and gray landscape. The seats were very comfortable, and we loved the two-four-two seat configuration. It made our two seats near the window seem even more private. We had an interactive IFU (an in-flight entertainment system) with plenty of movies (we watched two), music and some very unusual local comedies. We flew into Papeete, Tahiti from LAX on Air Tahiti, and arrived late at night. From there, we shuttled to a hotel, slept for 7 hours and then went back to the airport for our inter-island flight to Huahine.
The Mark Patterson Story Best Tahiti Itinerary
I went to Tahiti with more than a vacation on my mind. My girlfriend Erin and I had been dating for 3 years, and I was ready to pop the question. Of course, there were several steps to take before doing so, and the first and probably most important was finding the perfect ring. I knew that I wanted it to be different, elegant, classy and hopefully handcrafted. One day after a walk on the beach at Crystal Cove, we were driving home through Corona Del Mar when I stopped in front of Mark Patterson Jewelry. With the cover that we needed to say “hello” to one of our partners, we quickly stepped in. Once inside, Erin and my daughter Makena looked around the showroom commenting on all of their beautiful jewelry. I made my way to the case that held the engagement rings and asked if we could peek inside. You should have seen Erin’s face. Makena was shocked also. They showed us several rings before settling on some that she favored. We left the store that day and never talked about the ring or our visit again.
I contacted Mark and Josette at the store and told them I was ready to get a ring for Erin. I was so nervous. We decided on a ring and the stone, soon after they went straight to work in their on-site manufacturing facility building on the exact ring I chose. She was going to love this. I told them that I needed it before we ventured to Tahiti, and sure enough it was ready the day before we left.
It was hard keeping this a secret, and even harder packing it undetected and not giving her any clues for 2 full days.
When we arrived in Huahine at the Relais Mahana Resort, I knew that this would be the place I would ask her. We stayed in the cutest hut right on the sand. You could literally jump from our back patio onto the white sand and within three big steps, have your toes in the crystal clear water. There was a lazy palm tree bowed outside our back door that framed the scene into a perfect postcard.
That night, the resort was nice enough to set up a beautiful table on the sand decorated with shells and flowers. There was a dock in front of the resort that extended out about 75-feet and had lights shining into the water so you could see the fish swimming at night. I asked her to go look at the fish with me, and we left our dinner table. When we reached the end of the pier, I tapped her on the shoulder, and when she turned around, I was on one knee. She was not expecting this. She turned quickly and swatted at my hand. The ring came free, and I watched it floating freely in the air. I was lucky enough to catch the ring before it made its way to the ocean floor — and even luckier to hear her say yes.
5 Must Try Activities Best Tahiti Itinerary
The calm water in the lagoons makes paddling a breeze. Paddle out as far as possible and lay down on your board for a serene experience.
Paddle up a river through the mangroves of Taha’a and take in the untouched beauty of the island. When you get tired of paddling, arrange for the captain of the catamaran to follow you upstream and tow you home in the dinghy.
Jet Ski Around the Island of Bora Bora
Take in the beauty of the island, the sea life beneath you, and experience the thrill of speeding at 40 mph across what looks like the world’s largest swimming pool. Please be careful and only do this if you are adventurous — make sure you maneuver your ski at least once, hard enough to toss yourself off the craft and into the lagoon’s remarkably clear and warm water.
Hike to the Top of Bora Bora
Mt. Otemanu rises 2, 200 feet above the lagoon. It is about a 3-hour climb to the top. Some sections require rope to navigate up steep inclines, so we would suggest seasoned hikers only try to attempt this one. At the top, you are rewarded with a breathtaking view of the island, lagoon and reef surrounding it.
Swim With Sharks and Manta Rays
This is not for the faint hearted. Join a group for an excursion to find some wildlife. Curious Black Tip Sharks and Lemon Sharks swim within arm’s distance of you. It is a truly unique experience.
Photography Provided By: St. Regis Bora Bora, Relais Mahana, Le Taha’a Private Island & Spa and Tahiti Yacht Charters
Erik Hale is the visionary and publisher behind LOCALE Magazine. He launched the magazine in 2010, wanting to give the community of OC a premiere lifestyle magazine that knew all the native knowledge behind OC. “Six years ago Ashley and I sat at a table scratching the name LOCALE (among some other names) onto a sheet of paper,” says Erik, “coming up with story ideas and basically dreaming. Everything we imagined has happened and we have been blessed with so much more. I am so grateful as we start another year for my family, my two wonderful children, my health, our amazing writers, designers and photographers, our advertising partners and you.”