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To die for

East Coast
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To die for

I'm planning THE trip I've been waiting for my whole life. Mooreau, Bora Bora & 1 other island. Now I need help with the planning to make it the trip to die for - as I will only get one shot at doing it right. My husband is concerned whether we can do everything I hope to and I haven't even told him all of it ! But I want to do & see so much and know we'd never get there again so I want to plan everything I can.

My thoughts for Moorea were to stay at the Intercontinental Beachcomber or the Sheraton Moorea Lagoon resort & spa for maybe 4 nights?? Any thoughts to which is nicer rooms & beach? I'd like to horseback ride to Belvedere Lookout, see the vanilla & pineapple plantations, rent scooters to explore the island, snorkel Opunohu Bay (is this the best beach? or just the best for seeing tropical fish?) and spend time on a really great beach. Can I rent scooters and where do you recommend? Is 4 nights too long or 3 not long enough? Is Tiahura ranch the only riding? Any suggestions for good cheap eats? I'd rather eat less & do more.

BORA-BORA is where I've always wanted to go, so to me it's the most important island & the one I want to stay in OWB. I had thought of stying at the BB Nui Resort & Spa althought the BB Intercontinental Beachcomber is suppose to have a good location. Of course now there are newer & better resorts so the Thalasso, St Regis & 4 Seasons are in the running. I want to get the BEST OWB whereever that might be....any thoughts?? My husband says we can stay a couple nights in OWB then go to a cheaper room, so any thoughts to which hotel with both the best OWB & nice rooms would be appreciated. How many nights do you recommend on BB? I figure we'd need 7 nights ?? especially if we go to another island for the day. Can I take a day trip to Manihi either from here or Moorea? Can I take a day trip to Tikehau (I want to see the pink sand beach) from here or Moorea? Anyone know the how to's and costs?

I hope to snorkel on Matira Bay (again is this the best beach or just best for snorkeling?) I want to swim with the Manta Rays & feed the sharks....any suggestions who to go with? I'd like to horseback ride. Is Reva Reva ranch the only place? I want to do a jeep safari & explore the whole island...any co. best to book with?? Is the lagoonarium better here than Moorea or Tahiti? Where is the best place to see a polynesian show, here or on another island?? I'd love to do a Motu picnic....suggestions who to go with? I'd love to catamaran sail or sunset sail..does anyone know anything about these? How about places to eat on BB?

For our last island I thought Taha or Huahine for 2 nights. Anyone have any thoughts about preferences?

By the way we'd have to land in Tahiti before going to Moorea. Is this island worth spending a day exploring? I understand Le Marche is good for shopping and maybe a jeep safari would be better here than other places. Thoughts anyone??

I know I'm asking alot but any info I can get will help me figure what I can do & how to go about it. I also need to know when is the best time to go for the best weather. I had thought Sept. or Oct. but was told that's not the best due to rainy days. ??

Thanks to any who can give me info for my dream trip. I appreciate your help.

santa barbara,CA
Destination Expert
for French Polynesia, Cook Islands, Tahiti
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8,455 posts
15 reviews
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1. Re: To die for

Hey Travel:

Well well you have alot of questions but I'll be happy to try to answer them for you....

Personally I think the Sheraton has a better beach than the Intercontinental in Moorea...the snorkeling is better and the beach is better. You can rent scooters or a car and can see Moorea in an afternoon with stops along the way at Belvedere, lunch someplace, photos, juice factory, scenic driving...a lovely afternoon. There are many small restaurants dotted around the island....Four nights is great and three is fine as well.

In Bora Bora your choices are many. The BOB Nui is a beautiful resort...quite spread out with a wonderful beach. The snorkeling in Bora Bora is best at the Hotel Bora Bora and the beach there is fabulous. The Intercontinental is a time tested resort.....it is quite nice. They have just finished doing alot of rebuilding and refurbishing due to last year's rogue wave that swamped the place....it is a great resort. Staying ON the island does have it's advantages as it is easy to get to small shops and restaurants during the day. The resorts on the motus will certainly take you to the main dock and you can arrange transport out to dinner from there....if it is during the day you need to have transporation...I suggest the local bus Le Truck as it is a cultural experience in itself. The schedule is iffy and it will be the cheapest excursion you do in Bora Bora. Great fun. But if you don't want to wait around there are rental cars for about $65 for 1/2 day. Anyway Matira Beach is a wonderful beach but the snorkeling is better elsewhere...Seven nights in Bora Bora is probably the maximum....it is a very very very small island with a big lagoon. It is hard to say what the best overwater bungalow is.....the fanciest are at the IC Thalasso and the St Regis for sure....and the most expensive. The Pearl Resort is much more affordable and is a great place. The BOB Lagoon Resort has the best view from the motu of the island...it's not as fancy schmancy and is more affordable...but oh that view! I have photos of most all these places....just email me at shully123 at hotmail dot com and I'll send you the link to my photos. The polynesian show at the Hotel Bora Bora is the best. Shark and ray feeding is a must do. I'd do the 4X4 in Moorea. The motu picnic is one of the most expensive excursions...hundreds of dollars. The Villa Mahana is the best restaurant in Bora Bora and expensive.

I'd do Huahine personally for your last two nights....I like culture and this is where it is.......home to most all the archelogical sites in the Society Islands, pristine beaches, mountain top vistas and authentic villages. The nicest place is the Te Tiare accomodation wise. Weather wise the driest time is from June - October. Historical weather can be found at www.weatherbase.com

The answers to most all your other questions are here on this board. There are many people here who have just returned from FP and their trip reports are here in the history. Also, you may wish to read their reviews of the various properties. Hope this has been helpful to you.

sunny regards,

shully

S.F.
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6,296 posts
14 reviews
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2. Re: To die for

TE, How I wish you could have experienced Bora Bora before the price and development escalation. I can understand that it's what you are looking most forward to, it has the reputaion and more than lived up to it. Now, just be prepared for a very crowded, hotel riddled island. Choose wisely to minimize this. If that might bother you, then a motu located resort might be the best. Hotel Bora Bora is the best main body of the island resort and I spent all my time on Bora at the "old " version. Matira Beach, has no snorkeling but good swimming. The lagoon there is very pretty but go to the Hotel Bora side, the beach is better there and not clogged with resorts as the east side is. Snorkeling is fantastic just off the beach as well at Hotel Bora. Moorea, Oponohu Bay is not a place to snorkel nor is there a beach. However both Cook's and the previous are beautiful scenic wonders. The beach and lagoon at the Sofitel Ia Ora? was very nice. It was called the Kia Ora Moorea when I went and I know the name has changed. This location also has a view of Tahiti. Huahine is a favorite island of many these days because as of now it has escaped the ravages of development. The quieter more unspoiled conditions that I was fortunate to experience on Bora, can be found here. Tikehau would be a good choice, the Tuamotu atolls will give you a different perspective, no interior mountains. Just beach and palm. May I also suggest to you that you consider the Vahine Island Resort. This wonderful, intimate, reasonable, and locally owned resort is located on a motu in the lagoon of Tahaa-Raiatea. There you be will on a island resort of only 9 bungalows, fod is top class and is not the gougingly priced fare that exists in other resorts in Tahiti. Bungalows are reasonable but also top quality and some nights are free depending on the time of year. It is one of the few places in Tahiti that I would even consider should I ever decide to go back. If I may offer you some further typical opinoinated advice (this comes from vast experience) I would encourage you to seriously consider replacing Moorea with Vahine. I went to Tahiti 7 times for roughly 130 days total. I spent ony 6 nights on Moorea. I actually spent more on Tahiti itself. I know were all different but I feel Moorea is a much prettier island from afar than on it. Apologies to Meherio and Cocoscience. Think about it. Now for your really important question, time to go. You would be surprised how little some think about this but it is so important in a tropic location. You say you want the best weather, while of course there can be bad weather when it's usually fine or vice versa there is a very definite better time. Do you want to maximize beach time, come home with a deep tan? do you want it not too hot and humid? Then Sept-October are good. April- May is better. June-August is the coolest time and the climate can be downright ideal, the sun is the most forgiving then, and humidity at it's lowest. Cooler days and evenings are a fact and multiple overcast days do happen but still were talking a high of 78 or so is not bad. Often it's the heat of the sun that really makes the difference. Nov-early March you are playing with fire. It's the hottest, most humid, and multiple days on end of rain or cloud cover can and do happen. When the sun is out it's directly overhead at noon and brutal. You will not be able to sunbathe for long periods no matter how good you might think your skin is. I have skin a little above average for tanning and have gotten black in the So. Pac, but I never sunbathe betwen 11-2, even in the cooler months when the sun does not get to directly overhead. A t-shirt when snorkeling is also wise, notably if you go in the middle of the day. For what it's further worth, I spent most of my Tahtiian time in April. It was sunny about 85% of the time, rained at night mainly and there were overcast days here and there. Beautiful cloud formations abound and often are on the horizon and never or seldom block the sun. May had lots of sun as well and a bit cooler. July had highs of 78-82 or so and we experienced lots of cloudy days. My buddy who went with me returned a few times after I stopped going and said he had mainly lousy weather in July on those latter trips as well. In Fiji I have had truly idyllic days in July and August, it's all a chance. I spent 12 days in September in 85 which was my last trip. All but two days were sunny and the temps were a literally perfect 84 or so for the daytime highs. Early October will see the sun approaching directly overhead status, while it still should be respected, it will not be as ruthless as it will be in Nov-Feb. In October expect a range of 84-86 or so for highs. Tradewinds will be your savior, they are what makes it so potentially perfect. I think you can tell I know what i'm talking about, let me know if you have anymore questions. Pub

North Carolina USA
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1,356 posts
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3. Re: To die for

I found this link.

Might help with planning;

www.gotahiti.com/bestoftahiti.htm

East Coast
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16 posts
1 review
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4. Re: To die for

Thank you for the info, as you can see with all my ?'s I can use all the help I can get. I was given a heads up that Scully, Pub & Terau are very familiar with the tahitian islands. Terau are you still out there and can you give me your insight please??

128
washington
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187 posts
8 reviews
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5. Re: To die for

About catamaran sunset cruise in Bora bora, we went with Taaroa (sp?) boat. You can book with your hotel once you get there. That way, you have more flexibility and you can choose the day that 's not too crowded.

There's only two couples when we went. It was very peaceful and private. You sit on the rope, sip a drink, and enjoy the sail. The way back was a little exciting coz you go against the wind. It was fun to watch the crew doing their thing. I was never on catamaran before so I was very impressed.

S.F.
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6,296 posts
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6. Re: To die for

TE, been wondering about Terau myself, it's been some time. 128, I used to love the sunset cruises out of hotel Bora Bora. Magic. Pub

128
washington
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187 posts
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7. Re: To die for

Pub-7; "Magic" is the word :)

8. Re: To die for

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