We love exploring the islands of the Pacific, and so do you. A long-time Beat of Hawaii favorite, other than Hawaii, is the islands of French Polynesia. Hawaii’s sister in many ways, Tahiti, is five air hours from Hawaii, in the same time zone. Like Hawaii, it is beautiful, fascinating, and, above all, exotic. Tahiti is also 8.5 to 9 air hours southwest of California. It is French-speaking, which is part of its charm. But English-speaking visitors will have few problems while staying on the beaten path.
No longer just ultra-expensive, Tahiti wants to take you away from Hawaii. Will you follow?
Last year was the first time we saw Tahiti drop in price from the US Mainland, and today it has gone to a new low. But not only are the airfares cheap. You can also avail yourself of very reasonably priced accommodations and car rentals.
If you want to add to your Hawaii islands experiences, or are ready to try something new to compare, here’s a great option to consider. Tahiti is on sale today from LAX and SFO!
These islands have unequaled lagoons surrounding them, teaming with amazing sea life. That is unlike Hawaii, which is far more exposed to the open ocean. So get ready for superior snorkeling and scuba diving.
Flights to Tahiti are on sale from $249.
Airfares to Tahiti have always been costly. What’s changed is the arrival of French Bee Airlines, which flies to Papeete from San Francisco. It’s creating a competitive stir with Delta/Air France, which flies from Los Angeles. As a result, you can, for the time being, visit Tahiti for much less money than usual.
Los Angeles to Papeete is $249 each way on Delta Airlines/Air France, based on round-trip.
Available from through February. Many departures but not all days or flights.
San Francisco to Papeete is from $270 each way on French Bee Airlines, based on round-trip.
Available from January through May. Many departures but not all days or flights. Start using Google Flights to find the cheapest fares, which range from $270 to $296.
Flights from Hawaii to Tahiti start at $500 each way.
Hawaiian Airlines flies weekly between Honolulu and Papeete, and the only way to get between Hawaii and Tahiti. The least expensive round trip is about $1,000 for the 2,731-mile jaunt. In comparison, that is roughly the same distance as flying from California to Hawaii, which you can regularly purchase for as little as $198 roundtrip. Contrast that distance and cost with flying from Los Angeles to Papeete, a distance of some 4,095 miles.
This is a great example of airline competition in action.
The cost to fly from LAX to Tahiti is under 7 cents per mile, while the price from Honolulu to Tahiti is about 20 cents per mile. The only difference is competition.
Reasonable Tahiti accommodation and car rental prices.
We checked for Moorea, just as an example, and found some great, well-rated accommodations fronting the lagoon for as little as $200 per night in January. We were stunned. We also found Hertz economy car rentals in Tahiti for just $200 a week total.
Tahiti – places to go.
Papeete is the country’s business hub and where international flights arrive. It also has resorts, shopping, and great dining.
Moorea is just 10 minutes from Papeete by plane or 30 minutes by boat. Papeete’s bedroom community is close yet a world apart.
Bora Bora. pictured above, is perhaps the most famous of all the islands that make up French Polynesia. It has seen massive development and tourism but remains beautiful and features an incredible lagoon teaming with fish and rays.
Huahine is an editor’s favorite in French Polynesia. It is a secret hideaway to this day, being quieter than Moorea or Bora Bora. We’ve been there, which is like returning to a Kauai from years ago.