Tahiti is easily accessible by air from most parts of the world including the United States, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, France, Chile and Hawaii. Air Tahiti Nui is the primary international carrier, flying once or twice daily from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Faa'a International Airport (PPT). Departure times are usually in the late afternoon or evening with early morning arrivals in Papeete. Weekly flights are also available from Los Angeles on Air France and from Honolulu on Hawaiian Airlines. Flight time is approximately 8.5 hours from Los Angeles and 5 hours from Honolulu (HNL).
Please note Air Tahiti Nui does not have an online check-in service and the counter closes one hour prior to takeoff. We recommend getting to the airport three hours before your departure time. If you are connecting from another flight, please consult with your travel specialist on a suggested minimum connection time.
You must present a valid passport to board any flight to French Polynesia. Your passport must be valid for 180 days beyond your return date and the first and last name listed on the document must match your international air tickets. There are no visa requirements for citizens of the United States, Canada, Mexico or European Union staying up to 90 days in French Polynesia. Citizens of all other countries may need a visa in addition to a valid passport and should consult the nearest French Consulate or French Embassy as early as possible. It can take several weeks to obtain your visa.
Please note that entry requirements are subject to change. It is your responsibility to ensure that all required documentation is complete and up to date for valid entry into the country. You will be asked to present your passport at customs in French Polynesia and again upon your return to your country of origin. We highly recommend making a photocopy of your passport and leaving it with a trusted friend. If you lose your passport while in Tahiti, this simple step can save a lot of time when getting a new one.
The following items are prohibited in both checked and unchecked luggage: live animals and plant material; compressed gas and explosives; flammable liquids; narcotics; and poisons, irritants and other substances or materials that are oxidizing, toxic, radioactive or magnetized. Safety regulations prohibit certain articles from being carried into the aircraft cabin, including firearms, ammunition, knives, scissors and other sharp or pointed instruments.
Each person may legally bring the following items into French Polynesia duty free: 200 cigarettes, 200 cigarillos, or 100 cigars; 50 grams of perfume; 500 grams of coffee; 100 grams of tea; 10 rolls of film; and 2 liters of alcohol. Returning home, U.S. customs allow an exemption of $800 in goods per resident, including one quart of liquor and 200 cigarettes; Canadian customs also allow an $800 exemption, including 1.1 liters of alcohol and 200 cigarettes.
Please note that luggage terms and conditions are subject to change and you should check with the airline prior to your departure.
International Flights (Air Tahiti Nui)
Business Class allows two pieces at 32 kg (70 lbs) per passenger and Economy Class allows one piece at 23 kg (50 lbs) per passenger. Your luggage cannot exceed an overall dimension of 158 cm (62 in). All passengers are allowed one carry-on bag plus a personal item such as a small handbag, portable computer or camera bag. Carry-on bags cannot exceed 10 kg (22 lbs) and a total measure of 115 cm (45 in).
Any piece that weighs over 32 kg (70 lbs), or exceeds 200 cm (79 in) will not be accepted and must be shipped in advance by freight carrier. Air Tahiti Nui will allow surf, golf and diving equipment as long as the dimensions and weight do not exceed the maximum. For more information visit: www.airtahitinui.com
Domestic Flights (Air Tahiti)
International passengers are allowed up to three pieces at 22.5 kg (50 lbs) upon presentation of their international plane ticket. Luggage cannot exceed an overall dimension of 150 cm (59 in). Only one carry-on per passenger is allowed in the cabin, with a maximum weight of 5 kg (11 lbs) and a maximum dimension of 45 x 35 x 20 cm (17 x 13 x 7 in).
An additional 5 kg (11 lb) allowance is available for divers upon presentation of their dive certificate. Luggage with a unit weight over 32 kg (70 lbs) cannot be checked and requires special procedures. For more information visit: www.airtahiti.com
Faa'a International Airport
Faa'a International Airport (PPT) is situated just minutes away from downtown Papeete. Airport amenities include:
Gift and pearl boutiques
Car rental offices
Tour operator offices
Duty free shop
Secure luggage storage
Luggage storage is located in the main concourse, halfway between the international departures and arrivals areas. This storage is open from 6:00AM to midday, and 1:30pm to 10PM Monday thru Saturday, 6:00AM to midday, and 1:30pm to 6PM on Sundays. The price per day can vary according to the size of your items. Mastercard and Visa accepted.
The domestic airline is Air Tahiti. It offers the primary mode of transportation between the islands with regular flight service from Papeete. The island of Moorea can also be reached by daily ferry service from Tahiti, which takes approximately 30 minutes one way. If you prefer to get around by boat, a cruise or private catamaran is a great way to see multiple islands in one trip. Paul Gauguin, the Aranui III and other cruise ships depart from Papeete, while Tahiti Yacht Charter and Archipels Cruises offer a range of itineraries by catamaran.
Public transportation is more common on the island of Tahiti. The most inexpensive option is the local bus system. Taxis are also available at the hotels, airport and ferry terminal. For all other transfers and modes of transportation, we recommend booking ahead of time. For scenic tours, try an escorted excursion by Jeep, bus, boat, Jet Ski or helicopter.
On the outer islands, public transportation is less common.
Rental cars and motorcycles are available in Tahiti, Moorea, Huahine, Bora Bora, Raiatea and Taha'a, but often unnecessary. If you are staying on an outer motu in Bora Bora, for instance, the only way to reach the main island is by boat transfer. On certain islands, especially the Tuamotu Atolls, bicycle is usually the most popular mode of transportation.