Overview - Activities

On the Leeward island of Raiatea, an international yachting and sailing Mecca, the Moorings, Sun Yacht and Stardust Marine charter companies drop anchor. Boats can be chartered, crewed or bareboat, and sailing lessons are available. Papeete Port Authority offers marina services for sailboats and yachts.

Steady Pacific breezes and quiet turquoise lagoons mean Tahitian sailing is superb. Viewing Tahiti's cloud-topped mountains from the sea on a sailboat makes the hills seem to float in the sky.

Perfect diving and snorkeling is the plat du jour in Tahiti. Year-round average water temperature of 79F and abundant coral reefs explain why. Remarkably, water temperature is nearly constant to depths of around 150 feet, and visibility is good to an astounding 130 feet. Lightweight diving suits (1/8 inch) suits are sufficient.

With diving centers on 12 Tahitian islands, Rangiora and Manihi rank as world-class sites. Lagoons, ocean drop-offs, and passes (strong currents flush abundant sea life in and out) provide amazing contrasts between diving sites.

April through November are prime diving months. Visitors swim with sharks, giant Barracuda, moray eels, sting rays, tunas and hammerheads.

French Polynesia is an unusually safe place for diving, with top rank diving instructor-guides and rescue facilities, should an accident occur. Diving rental equipment is widely available. Serious divers seeking certification can enroll in internationally recognized training programs.