The dream destination of Bora Bora just begs to have its picture taken, with lush peaks, white sand beaches, and romantic lagoons. But perhaps Bora Bora’s most iconic image that of Mount Otemanu, with its jagged, emerald-hued peaks rising high above the shoreline. With only 4,225 inhabitants and a laid-back, island vibe, visitors to this beautiful corner of the world can’t help but just relax and take it all in.
Huahine is known as “The Garden Island” for its beautiful rainforests, dramatic terrain, and enchanting lagoon. Travelers will find something new to explore around every bend, from sacred sites and archeological landmarks that are among the best preserved in French Polynesia to the colorful sea life that can be experienced on a SCUBA or snorkeling expedition.
Moorea, often likened to James Michener's mythical island of Bali Hai, is worth a visit just to experience its spectacular vistas. Volcanic peaks, reflected in the waters of Cook's Bay and Opunohu Bay, rise like a shark's jaw above palm tree-lined beaches. The underwater world is just as enchanting, with sharks, tuna, dolphins, and tropical fish—no wonder it’s a popular destination for divers.
A gorgeous collection of volcanic islands strewn across the blue Pacific, Polynesia paints a stunning picture. And, as the capital city on the largest of all 118 islands, Papeete offers endless opportunities for exploration and relaxation. Dynamic dining, nightlife, and shopping can be found around every corner, and Papeete serves as a departure and arrival port for most cruises in the South Pacific.
Enclosed in a common lagoon with Raiatea and accessible only by boat, Taha’a is an ideal island for a relaxing getaway. A sleepy island that boasts only a handful of guesthouses and small hotels, Taha’a maintains an authentic Polynesian flavor. And speaking of flavors, it produces about 80% of French Polynesia’s world-renowned vanilla, a must-buy during a visit to the island.
Taha’a is also home to Motu Mahana, Paul Gauguin Cruises’ private island. Guests are welcomed with traditional music performed by Les Gauguines, a beachside barbecue, and ample opportunities for watersports, swimming, and relaxation.