Christmas in Tahiti
The holiday season might be Tahiti’s down season, but Americans flock to the islands over Christmas for warmth and relaxation. Tahiti can give you both beach and mountains in one destination. Whether you’re taking family, traveling over the holidays with friends, or are longing for a week by yourself, Christmas in Tahiti can be just the ticket. Not to mention you can show up at New Year’s Eve parties back at home looking relaxed and tanned.
Where am I going, exactly?
Tahiti is located in the South Pacific Ocean, about 2600 miles from Hawaii. It’s the largest island of French Polynesia, in a group of islands called the Society Islands. French Polynesia itself has over 100 islands, only 67 of them are inhabited. Tahiti is the economic, cultural and political centre of French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity (sometimes referred to as an overseas country) of France. The capital of French Polynesia, Papeete, is located on the northwest coast of Tahiti.
While Tahiti is known for its beaches, it’s also known for spectacular mountain scenery. Just off the beautiful beaches you’ll find coral reefs surrounding the islands. The minute you are in Tahiti you’ll feel surrounded by nature. It doesn’t take long to start soaking in the sights and feeling that deep relaxation that comes when you are in a tropical paradise.
Weather in Tahiti
Tahiti’s summertime is November through April. While temperatures are balmy year round, summertime is the rainier and more humid season. Christmas is considered “off season” by Tahitians, but Americans traveling to French Polynesia consider winter the “in” season because they want to escape the cold. It’s guaranteed you’ll trade snow and ice for warm sand if you visit Tahiti over Christmas.
Tahiti’s Christmas Traditions
French Polynesia is primarily a Roman Catholic country, so you will find holiday religious traditions in Tahiti similar to other Roman Catholic parts of the world. Just like in the United States, the Christmas season in Tahiti is a time for family reunions and dinners.
From December 14th to Christmas Eve, you’ll find a Christmas Village just past the waterfront on Tahiti. Open from 8 AM to 6 PM daily, it includes rides and games for children and a wide selection of fantastic gifts. [Travel Tip: Christmas Village is where the locals do their Christmas shopping.] There’s also a Christmas Fair each year, held at the Salle Aorai Tina Hau in Pirae, near Papeete. Check with your hotel or locals for dates and open hours.
Christmas Cruising in Tahiti
It’s not too late to book a once-in-a-lifetime cruise and spend Christmas in Tahiti. Paul Gauguin is offering a week long over-Christmas cruise that promises a holiday season you won't soon forget. Click To Tweet. Their current price includes airfare from Los Angeles or San Franciso. Here are just some of the features of this special Gauguin cruise.
- Single traveler special offer
- Family friendly activities
- Visits to Bora Bora and to Motu Mahana beaches
As usual, your trip is inclusive of shipboard meals, 24 hour dining, beverages, and crew gratuities. The cruise is 7 nights. Contact us at email@example.com for the current pricing, and we’ll make sure you get any specials the company is offering.
Your ship will be The Gauguin, which was designed specifically to glide through the shallow seas of the South Pacific. She carries only 332 guests and has a crew of 217. Because of her size, she is perfect for these islands, as she can visit ports that larger cruise ships can’t get into at all. The Gauguin is a luxury ship, with most staterooms offering private balconies. A special troupe of local Tahitians serve as cruise staff, entertainers, and storytellers for the ship.
Things to do in Tahiti
- Take a break from your beach chair and visit the interior of the island. Tahiti is home to many waterfalls, and since December is a part of the rainy season the falls will be full and beautiful. You can arrange a four wheel drive tour in the back country, or you can hike. Be sure to take in Fautaua Waterfall. If you hike down to the bottom of the falls you’ll be rewarded with a natural pool, but you can see the waterfall and get great views from above, as well.
- Visit Papeete – The capital of Tahiti, Papeete has a busy vibe and offers good shopping. Browse the boutiques and fashion stores. Don’t miss the Marche de Papeete, the market for traditional goods like baskets and hats. Go to Venus Point to see the black sand and a working lighthouse.
- Head to Paofai Park at the end of the day to get in a walk or a run – you’ll find locals doing the same. If you’re not up for the exercise, visit to see the sunsets.
- Sample the fresh seafood at local restaurants. [Travel Tip: Try the Roulottes (food trucks) for local cuisine that’s budget friendly.]
- Try the dishes with fresh vanilla, which is harvested locally.
- Take a side day trip to Bora Bora or Moorea, both stunning islands you don’t want to miss.
- If you’re into splurge shopping the thing to buy is black pearls. [Travel Tip: Cultured black pearls grow naturally only in two places, Tuamotu and Gambier. Check for certificates of authenticity before you open your wallet.]
- Enjoy surfing, stand up paddleboard, scuba diving, snorkeling and swimming in Tahiti’s clear waters.
How Long Does it Take to Get to Tahiti?
Tahiti is halfway between Los Angeles and Sydney, Australia. Almost all international airports offer service to the capital, Papeete. From the United States the shortest flight times are from Los Angeles or San Franciso (and the Paul Gauguin cruises include airfare from these gateways). If you’re flying in to Tahiti from Los Angeles (LAX) you can expect it to take approximately 8 hours 15 minutes. It’s about 15 minutes longer if you’re flying to Papeete from San Francisco. I can help you figure out the least amount of travel time from your home. Spending Christmas in Tahiti will be worth the flight, won’t it?