After months of not traveling in 2020, I am excited to get back to writing travel guide posts for you after getting back from my trip to French Polynesia for the second time. I wrote a pretty extensive guide on my first trip there, as well as 2 VLOGS in posts you can find here, but this time I visited some of the smaller & less visited islands that I look forward to sharing my thoughts with you on. I spent 23 days this time in French Polynesia, so lots of great info coming your way!
I started my trip in Bora Bora and spent 9 days there. My trip to French Polynesia last time was 9 days TOTAL split amongst 3 different islands, so this time I got to spend some nice quality time in Bora Bora. I split my time between 4 different resorts: The Intercontinental Moana Resort & Spa, The Four Seasons Bora Bora, The Conrad Nui Bora Bora, and The Intercontinental Thalasso Resort & Spa.
*I am not going to bombard you with an overwhelming amount of info, because I still want you to watch my VLOG 🙂 you get a better idea of everything by seeing it through video anyway!
RECENT UPDATE: Tahiti has been currently closed to International travelers, but I just found out through the tourism board that French Polynesia is re-opening its borders for travel May 1st, 2021!!!
Traveling to French Polynesia during Covid-19
I went to French Polynesia September- October 2020 during the pandemic, and there were a few guidelines and regulations in order to travel there. First, you had to show a negative Covid test 72 hours before your arrival in French Polynesia. You also had to fill out documents provided by the airline that the airport in Tahiti collected when you landed prior to going through customs. The airport also gave you a Covid self-test kit upon your arrival. After 4-5 days of being in French Polynesia, you had to take your self Covid-test and turn it into your resort concierge for them to send back to Tahiti for testing. If you tested negative you don’t hear anything back and you are good to stay. If you tested positive (which luckily we all didn’t), then they would send a private plane to come get you to take you back to Tahiti to quarantine.
*I posted a VLOG where I do room tours of all the rooms I stayed in on this trip so you can really get a good idea of the feel for each room when planning your trip!
Intercontinental Moana Resort & Spa
Our first stop was Bora Bora at the Intercontinental Moana. We landed in Tahiti early morning, had a 3 h0ur layover, and took a flight straight into Bora. We spent two nights at the Intercontinental Moana, which was my first time staying there. We had an overwater bungalow at the way end of the dock with beautiful views of Mount Otemanu. The resort went above and beyond to make sure the sanitary regulations and safety procedures were in place in regards to Covid. There were hand sanitizing stations all around the property, and guests were required to wear masks in common areas around the resort. What is cool about this resort is that it is on the mainland- the actual Bora Bora island.
This resort is absolutely stunning. I was so bummed we only decided to stay there for one night- one of my biggest regrets of the trip! I definitely want to go back to the Conrad and stay at least for a few nights next time. The property is so beautiful, but my favorite part about this resort are their bungalows. They are super luxurious and spacious and all of them have epic views. We stayed in an overwater bungalow and their bungalows feel super airy and spacious. Next time I am going back here for a minimum of 3 nights!
My favorite resort in Bora Bora. Thats the number 1 question I get asked too- my top favorite resort in Bora and it is for sure the Four Seasons. I’ve stayed there twice now and it is one of the most beautiful properties in the world to me. We stayed 4 nights in an overwater bungalow, and it just never feels like enough- my stay always goes by so quick!
I love all the crystal clear lagoons all over the property, and it has the most picturesque views of Mount Otemanu that you can see from all over the resort. Everywhere you look is a postcard.
Intercontinental Thalasso Resort & Spa
Our last stop in Bora was the Intercontinental Thalasso for 2 nights. Another beautiful property (honestly every resort in Bora Bora is stunning and you can’t really go wrong no matter where you stay)- but it was great to experience this resort for my first time. We stayed in another overwater bungalow here as well (room tour on my VLOG), and we got to also experience their Brando Suite which was their luxury overwater bungalow with private plunge pool (and can accommodate 8 people). If you are going with a family or group the Brando Suite is a great option. Another property with a gorgeous spa and stunning lagoons.
My 2nd time on Bora Bora Romantic Tour- we went on our first trip as well! We did their lagoon tour both times, a group tour that takes you to a reef to snorkel, a place to swim with sting rays and sharks, and to a really delicious island lunch. This is a great tour option in Bora Bora.
We took a quick flight from Bora Bora to Raiatea. We stayed at Le Tah’aa by Pearl Resorts for 4 nights and we loved it! I really enjoyed visiting the smaller islands this time around- I know most people just go to Bora Bora and maybe Moorea, but every island has a different feel and if you have the time it’s worth exploring the other less-touristy islands. A lot of them have more of a “local” feel.
At Le Tah’aa we stayed in an overwater bungalow for 2 nights, and their Royal Pool Beach Villa for 2 nights. It was perfect to experience both. (I give room tours of both on the VLOG!). The food at the resort was great, and they have some of the greatest snorkeling right off the resort’s shore. We also did a jet ski tour and swam with sharks which was sooo beautiful and fun. They offer a lot of activities on property too!
I am SO glad I decided to go to Tikehau. It may have been one of the highlights of the trip (besides swimming with whales). Tikehau is a very special place and different from the other islands- it feels more like an atoll. There are no mountains or greenery, it is more of an atoll in the middle of the ocean with beautiful pink sand beaches and turquoise water. A lot of people go to Tikehau to dive- it is known for great shark diving which I totally wish I did.
We stayed at Le Tikehau by Pearl Resorts in a beach bungalow. The bathrooms are indoor/outdoor which was one of my favorite parts about the bungalow. This place just had a magical feeling that I can’t explain. We went on a lagoon tour one day and were taken to the most stunning crystal clear Motu amongst pink sands. We also visited “Bird Island”- an island solely inhabited by several different kinds of bird species which was pretty cool!
I always tell people to visit Tahiti for the day or for a night. We use Tahiti has our base when we land and before we leave on our international flights back to Los Angeles. Tahiti has beautiful black sand beaches, but to be honest I don’t love staying there for more than 1 day. We stayed at the Le Tahiti by Pearl Resorts for 2 nights which is located on a black sand beach, and because we were there for 2 nights we actually had the time to actually explore the island. We met some locals on our flight on our way back from Tikehau who were divers, and they took us out on their boat to look for whales one day. It was actually my first whale encounter EVER! It was an experience I’ll never forget.
To see more on Tahiti, it’s all in my VLOG~
ohhhh Moorea…my favorite 🙂 I love love love Moorea. Moorea also holds a special place in my heart because my dream of swimming with whales came true there. But even before that, I had always loved Moorea since going for my first time in 2019. This time we stayed at the Sofitel Kia Ora Moorea Beach Resort. I would def stay there again, it’s so pretty. I rarely was at the resort because swimming with whales took up the majority of my time in Moorea this time around…
Voila Moorea- This is my favorite tour company in Moorea for lagoon and sunset boat tours. Leo is the owner of the company and is extremely hands on, and on every tour. He knows the best places to take you for photos and truly just gets it. I’ve done his tour twice and can’t recommend it enough! The first time I did a lagoon tour in the morning, and the 2nd time I did a lagoon and sunset cruise. Both were amazing!
Ok- so the main reason I wanted to visit French Polynesia in September/October was because of whale season. My dream was always to be in the water with them in the wild. I had swam with whale sharks in the Philippines in 2014, and it was an experience of a lifetime- I had to do it again. I can not recommend Moorea Moana Tours enough. It was the best experience and I felt like they were the most knowledgeable about the whales and I really liked their approach. They conducted their tour ethically and respectfully. We went out with Pierrick who has been doing it for years and is also a professional free diver. When I go back again for whale season, he will definitely be my go-to.
We also went out with Corallina Tours to swim with whales, who is also an amazing tour company. I especially loved Kelsea who they bring along as their photographer to shoot photos of you with the whales underwater. She is the sweetest and also very respectful to the whales.
I am leaving my whale segment short because I want you to watch my whale experience on my VLOG 🙂 It’s a pretty life changing experience and it’s almost impossible for pics to do it justice.
To know more details about everything, there is so much more info on the VLOG. I have an entire guide and video from my 1st trip to French Polynesia as well that is worth checking out. You can always message me on here or on Instagram @nicoleisaacs if you have any more questions!