WA­TER HAS AL­WAYS BEEN AN IN­TE­GRAL PART OF LIFE IN THE IS­LANDS OF TAHITI.”

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BE­COME ONE WITH NA­TURE IN TAHA’A

Raiatea’s neigh­bour­ing is­land, Taha’a, shares a com­mon la­goon but the vibe is en­tirely dif­fer­ent. In fact, Taha’a is about as laid-back as it gets, mak­ing it the per­fect place to shack up dur­ing your time ex­plor­ing these two So­ci­ety Is­lands. As far as ac­com­mo­da­tions go, you’re spoiled for choice. Splash out on an over­wa­ter suite at Le Taha’a Is­land Re­sort and Spa, the only Re­lais and Chateaux prop­erty in French Poly­ne­sia, where five-star ser­vice meets tra­di­tional de­sign. Or book one of the nine vil­las at Vahine Is­land Re­sort & Spa, a fam­ily-owned lux­ury prop­erty on a pri­vate is­land.

HAVE AN OTH­ER­WORLDLY EX­PE­RI­ENCE ON THE WA­TER IN MOOREA

Wa­ter has al­ways been an in­te­gral part of life in the Is­lands of Tahiti. Emerg­ing from the sea af­ter great vol­canic erup­tions, these is­lands and atolls were orig­i­nally set­tled by ocean-go­ing peo­ple who nav­i­gated their way to par­adise us­ing the stars as their guide. These days, the area is con­sid­ered home to the most ma­jes­tic swath of sea on earth and its crys­talline wa­ters are one of the big­gest draws for vis­i­tors. The is­land of Moorea, in par­tic­u­lar, pro­vides once-in-a-life­time ex­pe­ri­ences at sea for mod­ern-day ex­plor­ers.

Set­tle in at the In­ter­con­ti­nen­tal Moorea Re­sort and Spa, a luxe prop­erty nes­tled be­tween strik­ing moun­tain peaks and a trop­i­cal la­goon, then get out and ex­plore the ocean. For ad­ven­tur­ous hon­ey­moon­ers, Moorea Jet Surf, a com­pany owned by veteran wa­ter­man De­nis Gros­maire, of­fers a unique way to ex­plore the la­goon on a mo­tor­ized surf­board, while Co­ral­lina Tours op­er­ates ex­cur­sions that will have you head­ing out past Cook’s Bay and Opunohu Bay, while spin­ner dol­phins swim along­side your boat. You’ll drop an­chor in a play­ground for st­ingrays and black tip reef sharks where you can hop in the wa­ter and come face to face with these fas­ci­nat­ing sea crea­tures. Each re­sort has its own coral gar­den with world-class snorkelling and both are a short boat ride away from the main is­land of Taha’a.

In ad­di­tion to its fab­u­lous ac­com­mo­da­tions, Taha’a is also the big­gest pro­ducer of vanilla in all of French Poly­ne­sia. Pay a visit to one of the is­land’s farms and you’ll learn about the magic that sprouts from the soil on “the vanilla is­land.” In fact, the process of cul­ti­vat­ing French Poly­ne­sia’s unique strain of vanilla in­volves hand-pol­li­na­tion or “mar­ry­ing” the plants to pro­duce the trea­sured crops.

Few travel ex­pe­ri­ences can com­pare to watch­ing the sun set over a South Pa­cific la­goon.

Snorkel with black tip reef sharks.

Kick back in seclu­sion at the In­ter­con­ti­nen­tal Moorea.

Check swimming with stringrays off your bucket list.

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