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Travel Guide Oceania Polynesia French Polynesia Tahiti Papeete



Church of the Immaculate Conception - Papeete

Church of the Immaculate Conception - Papeete

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Papeete is the capital and largest city in French Polynesia. It has a population of about 26,000 inhabitants and is located on the island of Tahiti, in the administrative subdivision of the Windward Islands, which are part of the Society Islands. It is a rather chaotic, albeit small, city and by far the largest in the region and has all the amenities you basically need. Most people don't stay here though but only visit for the day.




Papeete has a warm and humid climate year round with average temperatures around 29 °C during the day and 23 °C at night. January to March is just slightly warmer and June to August slightly cooler but variations don't go further than a few degrees. Variation is much bigger concerning rain fall so it is best to visit Papeete or Tahiti for that matter during the relatively dry months of June to September although rains is still possible. The rainy season lasts from November to March, with a peak in January averaging 300 mm of rain.



Getting There

By Plane

Faa'a International Airport (PPT), 5 kilometres southwest of Papeete, handles all international flights to and from French Polynesia. The national carrier, Air Tahiti Nui, flies to Auckland, New York, Los Angeles, Osaka, Paris, Sydney and Tokyo.

Other airlines flying into PPT include Air France (from Los Angles and Paris), Air New Zealand (Aukland), Hawaiianair (Honolulu), Air Tahiti (Rarotonga), Aircalin (Nouméa) and Lan Chile (Hanga Roa, Santiago de Chile).

By Boat

Tahiti - Moorea vv
There are ferries and catamarans travelling between Tahiti and Moorea several times daily. It takes between half an hour and an hour to travel between Tahiti and Moorea, depending on which company you go with. The car ferries, such as those run by Mo'orea Ferry, are slower than the high-speed ferries, which take only passengers, motorcycles and bicycles. The Ono-Ono has at least four crossings daily. The Aremiti 5 and the Moorea Express travel between Tahiti and Moorea six or more times daily between 6:00am and 4:30pm and this takes only 30 minutes.

Outer Islands
There are also services, often combined with cargo, to more outlying islands, but on an less frequent basis, sometimes even only once a month. Boats usually leave from Papeete. Destinations include the Marquesas Islands, Austral Islands, Tuamota Archipelago, Bora Bora and even as far as the Gambier islands (Mangareva). An brief overview of the boats travelling to island further afield include:

  • The small cargo ship Maupiti Tou Ai'a goes to Maupiti from Papeete once a week, leaving on Wednesday evening, arrives at Maupiti the following morning, and returns to Pape'ete on Friday.
  • Vaeanu operates the Pape'ete-Huahine-Ra'iatea-Taha'a-Bora Bora return trip, leaving Pape'ete on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 5:00pm and from Bora Bora on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.
  • Hawaiki Nui also travels the Society Islands circuit, and has two departures a week (Tuesday and Thursday at 4:00pm).
  • The Aremiti 3 travels from Papeete on Monday and Friday for Huahine and Ra'iatea.
  • About 10 ships operate through the Tuamotus. Rroutes and fares vary, so it's best to check with the offices for the individual ships. They include the Dory, Cobia I, Rairoa Nui, Saint-Xavier Maris-Stella, Nuku Hau, Mareva Nui, Vai-Aito and the Kura Ora. All these ships, except for the Dory, go to the Gambier Archipelago. The Nuku Hau sails to the Gambier Archipelago via the Tuamotus. The Taporo V sails through the eastern Tuamotus and the Gambier Archipelago once or twice a month.
  • The Aranui and the Taporo IV go to the Marquesas, stopping in the Tuamotus en route. together, they go about 2-3 times a month.
  • Services to the Austral islands are limited. The Tuhaa Pae II ( goes three times a month, stopping at Rurutu and Tubuai on every trip and other islands less regularly.

Check the ferry link about all possibilities.



Keep Connected


See also International Telephone Calls


as well as Hien (13%)

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This is version 10. Last edited at 11:54 on Sep 29, 11 by Utrecht. 12 articles link to this page.

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