I’ve always seen beautiful pictures of Bora Bora, so when my family announced that we were taking a family trip to French Polynesia, my brother and I were stoked. Here, I will give you an idea on what you could do in French Polynesia whether you are on a family vacation, couples trip, honeymoon, etc.
This is my 10 day trip to French Polynesia from December 2019 in detail.
Day 1: Flying to Tahiti
The first day, December 15th was dedicated to flying. Since Los Angeles was the closest city with flights to Tahiti, we had to fly from the Bay Area down to LAX. When we arrived at LAX, we had to wait three hours before checking into our flight to Tahiti. Meanwhile, we sat around till then.
Unfortunately, as we were in the check-in line I randomly fainted, which raised a lot of concerns. The medical team at LAX ran some tests and told me I was able to fly but I needed to rest. I have never been wheeled around in a wheelchair through an airport till that day.
On the plus side, they let me upgrade to first class so I was able to lay down throughout my flight. Our flight on Air Tahiti Nui took off late in the night and we arrived in Tahiti eight hours later around 6 A.M.
Day 2: Hotel Check-In
Once we arrived at the airport in Tahiti, we had a hotel transfer take us to the InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa which we stayed at for two nights. Since we arrived several hours before check-in, we walked around the resort, had lunch, and scheduled some things to do for the next few days till check-in time.
After we settled into our rooms, I took a power nap and then headed to the pool. The pool that was right next to my hotel room had a swim-up bar, so I got to enjoy a few drinks in the pool. My family decided that we were just going to relax at the hotel for the day and wait to do things the next day.
At some point during the day, I also noticed the insane amount of bug bites I had all over my body. I’m very allergic to bug bites, so when I get them they swell up a lot. I had to buy some anti-itch cream from the hotel store. I highly recommend bringing bug spray or anti-itch cream prior to coming if you know bugs like you!
For dinner, we ate at the hotel’s restaurant Le Lotus Restaurant. The restaurant is beautiful and sits overwater. From the food to the atmosphere, everything was very elegant. I do wish the food tasted a little better because it looked fantastic.
Day 3: Half Day Island Tour
We woke up at 8 A.M. and had breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant Te Tiare. They have a nice breakfast buffet with tons of different options.
At 9 A.M. our tour guide picked us up at the hotel for our half-day circle island tour. The tour consisted of the tour guide, my family, and one other couple. Our first stop was at the Water Gardens of Vaipahi and Maraa Fern Grotto where we got to see small caves, freshwater pools, and beautiful plants. We spent a good amount of time exploring the area and walking along the trails.
The second stop was at Vaimahutu Falls, which was my favorite stop. Vaimahutu Falls is a very tall waterfall that is pretty to admire, and also a spot for swimmers. There were many people in the water when I visited. My brother and I wanted to get in, but we only had time to take pictures there.
After we left the waterfall, we stopped to see the Arahoho Blowhole. Our tour guide gave us a few minutes to walk around the area and watch the blowhole. There were tons of people out surfing too which was entertaining to watch.
By the last stop, I was starting to feel hangry but we didn’t have time to stop for food. I had to wait till the tour was over which was at 1 P.M. The last place we went was Point Venus, a peninsula on the north coast of Tahiti. After our time was up our tour guide drove us back to the hotel and we were finally able to get lunch.
My family ate at Te Tiare again for lunch and then relaxed at the pool for the rest of the day till dinner came around. For dinner, we had the hotel call us a driver to take us out for dinner. We decided to go to an Italian restaurant called La Casa Bianca, which was actually pretty good. Their restaurant is also located right next to a marina so you could look out into the ocean.
When we got back to the hotel, we ended our nights early since we were headed to Bora Bora the next day.
Day 4: Flying to Bora Bora
In the morning, we woke up and had breakfast at Te Tiare and then packed up our belongings so that we could check-out of the hotel. A hotel transfer took us to the airport where we had to wait for our flight to Bora Bora.
We got to the airport in Bora Bora around 3 P.M. At the airport, there are different docks for boats from the different hotels in Bora Bora. Since we were staying at the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa, we waited for a boat at their dock. The only way to get to the hotel is by boat, so our hotel transfer picked us up and dropped us off at the dock at the hotel.
We were greeted at the dock and then taken to the front desk in a golf cart. The resort is so spread out that there are golf carts available to pick you up from any location within the resort.
After checking into the hotel we were taken to our villas. It felt like a literal dream. The villas sit above the water and look like little huts, but when you walk in the room is pretty big! There’s a living room, an outdoor patio with stairs that lead you into the water, one and a half baths, and a full bedroom with an immaculate view.
The view from the room felt so serene and unreal. It was definitely exciting being there but I would soon realize that there is nothing to do on the island besides relaxing.
By the time we had settled down, it was close to dinner time. We got ready and our golf cart pickup took us to the hotel restaurant Reef. Their food was always beautifully presented, but always tasted average. By the end of the trip, my family was so sick of island food. Their menu also didn’t change so for the remaining days we were picking off the same menu for dinner. The only change was breakfast and lunch. They also had other restaurants at the resort, but at the time they weren’t opened.
After dinner, the resort felt dead and dark. We headed back to our villas and went to bed.
Day 5: ATV Tour
We woke up for breakfast and went swimming and kayaking at our villa for a bit till we had to leave for our ATV tour. We were taken by boat to the other side of Bora Bora to the sister hotel Le Moana.
Our tour guide met us at the lobby of Le Moana and took us to the ATV site where we hopped on our own ATVs. Then we went sightseeing around the island. I’ve been on several ATV excursions that have all been laid back, so when we practically went mudding, my white shoes were not ready. Besides that, the excursion was really fun, we got to see a lot of cool spots!
When we got back to our hotel, we got ready and went to dinner. Once dinner was over the same feeling of boredom hit. Bora Bora is more of a honeymoon spot, so being there with family felt odd. It’s definitely a pretty place but there is actually nothing to do after 9 P.M. Most of all the lights are out and the resort is quiet. The bar closes at 9 P.M. too so realistically you’re just going back to your villa after dinner.
Day 6: Jet Ski Excursion
I started off the day by having breakfast and going for another morning swim. My family had lunch together and then met up with our jet ski tour guide for our excursion. This excursion was super fun. We got to stop in some cool areas to take photos. Halfway through the excursion, we got to stop on this little beach where there were tons of coconuts. Our tour guide taught us how to break open the coconuts and turn the coconut meat into coconut milk. Not only was it a fun excursion, the couple with us on the excursion just so happened to be Pink Sweat$ and his girlfriend. I love his music and being able to talk to a celebrity casually was really exciting.
After the excursion ended, my family went to the cocktail-making class the hotel put on. We got to make our own drinks while someone guided us through the process. Meanwhile, my brother and I got to hang out and drink with Pink Sweat$ and his girlfriend till dinner time.
When dinner came my brother may or may not have had one too many drinks. During dinner, they had a live Polynesian dance performance and asked if anybody wanted to get on stage to dance. Of course, my brother got up and volunteered himself. Not going to lie, it was pretty funny.
Day 7: Spa Day
We had no planned excursions for the remainder of the trip, so we decided to hit up the spa after our morning swim. I went to the spa and booked a 1-hour deep tissue massage. The massage rooms were absolutely stunning, just like our villas. Once the massage was over I was able to utilize the spa facility which was the best spa facility I have ever been in.
There were tons of different areas to relax in. There were saunas, private hot tubs, communal hot tubs, lounge rooms, tea lounge, etc. It truly felt like paradise.
Day 8: Relax
I didn’t do much on day 8. I’m not the best when it comes to relaxing. I don’t know how to just sit by the pool or beach and just relax. I feel like I always need to be doing something, which is why I’ve always enjoyed trips to big cities better than tropical vacations.
Even my parents were getting bored from being so isolated. However, we spent our day lounging around till there was a stingray feeding session the hotel had set up. We got to go watch the feeding and stand in the water with them.
That pretty much summed up day 8.
Day 9: Last Day
This was our last day in Bora Bora, so our check-out time was at noon. However, our flight wasn’t until 6 P.M. so we waited around the hotel all day. For most of the afternoon, I relaxed by the water in a cabana.
Once 5 P.M. rolled around, we got in the transfer boat and took it to the airport. We flew from Bora Bora back to the airport in Tahiti so that we could fly back to LAX.
That day was exhausting. Our travel time was insane and I have never flown or waited at an airport for so long in my life. We got back to Tahiti around 7 P.M. and had to wait for our flight to LAX which was leaving sometime between 11 P.M. and 12 A.M.
I just remember all our phones dying and having to take turns using our extra battery packs and then having those die too. The Tahiti airport is also super small so there was really nothing to do for about four hours.
After several hours we realized we had waited in the wrong area and almost missed our flight, but thankfully they let us in. Now we just had to wait eight hours to get back to LAX.
Day 10: Flying Home
After landing at LAX at 8 A.M. we had another three-hour layover till we could fly back home to the Bay Area. We were all so dead from all of the flying. Oh, did I forget to mention it was also Christmas day?
By the time we got home, it was just in time for my brother and me to celebrate Christmas with our mom and relatives. Somehow we were still awake and alive for it all!
Overall, the trip was a trip of a lifetime and I am so grateful to have been able to experience it. However, that was the most exhausting trip I have ever been on. It also was too relaxing for me like I mentioned previously. Even my parents agreed that it was a little boring after a few days.
I do highly recommend going if you like to relax and sit around. It’s a great spot, especially for couples. I personally would not go back but would consider it if I went with my significant other. Going with the family to a romantic destination was just not it.
Depending on when you go, don’t be surprised when it rains and pours on some days. There were so many days where it would downpour for hours at a time and then be beautiful and sunny.