Why Give Travel?
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If you ask any Travel Advisor at Love of the Magic Vacations what the best Gift is, guaranteed every one of us would say Travel. It’s why we’re here, and why we love what we do. The Gift of Travel is the surprise when it’s opened; it’s the anticipation leading up to the trip; it’s the Wonder and Magic of discovering a new place (or rediscovering a familiar one); it’s coming home changed somehow; it’s memories and stories that your family tells and retells for lifetimes, maybe even generations.
When you travel, you learn to appreciate differences in culture and tradition, you understand that there are more ways to live life than just the way you do, you build bridges to meet people where they are instead of deepening the divide between you; when you travel, you open your mind and heart to other people and places in ways you may never have realized were possible.
And Travel isn’t just the best gift to receive, it’s also the best Gift to give, too, which is why in this Holiday Month so focused on giving, our Inspiring Itinerary for December features the Ultimate Travel Gift Destination: Tahiti.
When you imagine the most picturesque and idyllic island paradise, the image you create in your mind probably mirrors what Tahiti looks like in real life. Located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Tahiti encompasses 118 islands, many of them uninhabited, and some of them sparsely populated, with certain groups of islands being more remote than others. While some are more suited for luxury travel than others, all offer lush landscapes, blue lagoons, mountainous terrain and the wilds of nature.
The romance of the Polynesian Islands has made Tahiti and some of her sister islands, especially Moorea and Bora Bora, a popular destination for honeymooners and destination weddings, though recently, families have also been drawn to the wonder of this Pacific Paradise, from natural wonders like waterfalls and the scent of vanilla that floats through the air, to the opulent wonder of the Overwater Bungalow, which has been considered the pinnacle of Luxury Vacation for decades. There is no better way to experience this sought-after accommodation than in the location of its inception: French Polynesia.
Though the Islands of Tahiti are a far journey for most people, the feeling of being at the edge of the Earth, experiencing a Paradise many only ever dream of, will not only make the trip totally worth it, but also, will make it the journey of a lifetime.
After some high altitude cruising over the unbelievably vast blueness of the Pacific Ocean, you’ll spot little islands of perfection as you arrive to the capital of Tahiti, Papeete, where you’ll be whisked from the airport to your Resort, complete with Overwater Bungalows, of course. With the business of airplanes and transfers behind you, you’ll have the rest of the day to adjust to the time zone, maybe take a nap or refresh however suits you best, and then explore and enjoy the kind of Resort people travel across the globe for. You may choose to relax on your private balcony, or take a dip in the infinity pool, or even start your vacation in the most luxurious way at the spa. For dinner, you can order to the room as you get acclimated, dine at the Resort restaurant, or even venture out to a local spot on the excellent recommendations of the Resort.
Time to explore the Island of Tahiti! A private guide will take you on a tour of the best of Tahiti, starting with some historic sites in the capital itself, Papeete. You’ll visit Matavai Bay and continue on to see the unique black volcanic landscapes and black sand beaches that seem to transport you to another world. Making your way through the Faarumai and Orofero Valleys, you’ll be treated to majestic mountain views like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Then it’s on to discover the local arts and crafts, where you will meet the artisans and other locals as the Polynesian culture comes to life before you. Once you’ve experienced some authentic Tahitian culture, you’ll be brought back to your Resort with time to relax in your own way before heading out to local dinner at the recommendation of your guide.
With 118 islands, you can’t go all the way to French Polynesia and just visit one of them! So today, you’ll leave the Island of Tahiti, and after just a fifteen minute flight, you’ll arrive on the beautiful Island of Moorea. After settling into your new resort, where you will be staying in a Luxury Beachfront Bungalow, your private tour guide will come pick you up for a tour of some of Moorea’s famous highlights, including Le Belvedere point, which overlooks both Cook Bay and Opunohu Bay, the Plateau de la Bounty, and a volcanic crater. You’ll also drive through Pineapple Fields and Vanilla Plantations (be sure to keep your windows open and breathe deeply, as sweeter scented air cannot be found!), before visiting an agricultural school and Juice Factory to taste some of the local fruit delicacies. After such a full day, you’ll surely want to get in a little relaxation time before heading to dinner at the expert recommendation of your guide!
There’s nothing that immerses you into the local culture quite like the cuisine, and today, that’s what it’s all about: the food! The cuisine of the Tahitian Islands is a unique blend of three different cultures: Polynesian, French, and Chinese. The fusion of these flavors puts Tahitian cuisine in a category of its own, and today, you’ll get to learn how the masterful melding of ingredients creates the taste that defines a cuisine. Your private guide will give you an insider tour of the best markets, food stalls and restaurants to show you first hand how locals choose the finest vanilla, tamarind and ginger, and where the most flavorful taro and coconuts can be found. You’ll also learn local cooking techniques, like using the underground oven, and how to expertly season fish dishes. Of course, no food tour would be complete without some tastings, so you’ll be taken to a few highly curated local spots to try Tahitian favorites such as coconut ceviche and po’e (sweet taro pudding).
After your Foodie-centric tour, you’ll be brought back to your resort for the afternoon and evening, where you’ll have time to soak in the incredible ocean views and enjoy all the luxury your accommodation has to offer. You may choose to have a quiet dinner delivered right to your bungalow, or of course, indulge in one of the resort’s restaurants.
Ready for some adventure? Today a private guide will take you on a hike of the Valley of Afareaitu, where waterfalls and lush greenery are in abundance. You’ll discover plants and flowers that you never knew existed, and you’ll learn how the Polynesians use them in everyday life, while along the way hearing of the legends that make the valley come alive. You’ll have time to stop for a dip in natural pools, waterfalls and a river lined with flowers (so be sure to wear appropriate attire in order to experience these natural wonders!). Part of your Valley tour will also include lessons on the coconut and its many uses, and you can even try your hand at weaving with coconut leaves, and taste fresh coconut of course! Depending on your preference, your guide can recommend a local place to eat before heading back to your bungalow, or you can return to the resort to relax before heading out to dinner, or dining at the resort in the evening.
Although you could spend weeks enjoying the Island of Moorea, today you’ll be off to discover another slice of paradise, the Island of Bora Bora, where an Overwater Bungalow awaits you! The transfer from Moorea to Bora Bora is just about an hour long flight, during which you’ll get a glance at the archipelago that makes up the Tahitian Islands. Once in Bora Bora, you’ll have the rest of the day to explore the resort, or simply sit on the balcony of your bungalow and marvel at the mountains and ocean before you as far as the eye can see. You’ll enjoy a lovely dinner at the resort as the sun sets on your first night in Bora Bora.
Time to explore this tropical heaven you’ve landed on! Today you will take to the majestic blue water on an outrigger canoe (complete with a motor to help you cover more ground, or should I say “sea”) as you discover the oceanic landscape of Bora Bora. You’ll cruise to a coral garden to observe colorful fish and reef, then sail on to swim with stingrays, and watch from a distance as black tip sharks enjoy their own natural environment. Then, you’ll take a break from boating for lunch of Tahitian fare on a private islet as you’re serenaded with ukulele music (can you imagine anything more amazing?). Once finished with lunch, you’ll have as much time as you’d like to spend on your private white sand islet before heading back to your Bungalow. As always, your guide will be happy to provide recommendations for dinner, or you can choose to dine at one of the resort restaurants for the evening.
Now that you’ve explored the island from the water, it’s time for a land adventure! Today you will venture into the lush mountains on a private four-wheel-drive safari. As you make your way up the mountain, you’ll stop to take in many different vantage points of the lagoon below. You’ll learn about the unique plants and flowers of the area, and your expert guide will teach you about Bora Bora’s culture, history and local traditions. You’ll also get a lesson on the presence of Americans in Bora Bora during the Second World War.
Then, one of the highlights of this tour is definitely the visit to Bora Bora’s only pearl farm, where you may find something just too irresistible not to take home with you! Your day’s adventures will surely have you ready for an afternoon of relaxation back at your Bungalow before heading off to dinner of your choice.
Your last full day in paradise; sigh. Instead of focusing on your vacation winding down, direct your attention to soaking up as much of the picture-perfect landscape, culture and atmosphere as you can today. Spend time relaxing on the deck of your Bungalow, gazing at the horizon, dip in and out of the crystal clear ocean beneath you, watch for lively and colorful fish as they swim by. Allow your heart to fill with appreciation that such beauty exists in the world, and that you got to be part of it and experience it for yourself over the last week and a half.
Then, spend your last evening on a private Sunset Cruise over the lagoon. Onboard your catamaran, you’ll indulge in local refreshments and tapas, and toast to your time in paradise with champagne as you watch the sky set itself ablaze in brilliant oranges, pinks, and purples with the setting of the sun. In the rosy light, with your champagne in hand, you’ll feel like the ocean and sky are celebrating with you on your last night.
Of course, the last day of any vacation is the saddest day, but as you begin your journey home, retrace your steps through the Tahitian Archipelago, remembering the scent of vanilla tickling your nose, the taste of taro, the song of the ukulele dancing through the trees, the ocean breeze on your skin, the sun resting on the horizon, and let your heart fill with gratitude for everything you experienced in this far corner of the world. Whether it was a once-in-a-lifetime-type trip, or whether you plan to return each year, take all the gifts this paradise has given you, all the memories and experiences, and infuse them into your daily life. That’s how travel changes us, and also stays with us, even when we’re back home.
Ready to Plan?
If you are ready to plan The Perfect Gift of Travel to Tahiti (for someone you love, or even for yourself), contact your Love of the Magic Travel Agent today. And of course, whether you want to travel to the middle of the Pacific Ocean to French Polynesia, or you’d like to stay a little closer to home, your LOTMV Travel Agent will work with you to create the unique experience you’re looking for.
Looking for more of our Inspiring Itinerary series?
So far, we have:
February – The Perfect Hawaiian Vacation
A new Inspiring Itinerary comes out each month!
And don’t forget to check out our New Blog Series: Jamie’s Destination “Do”s and “Don’t”s, where our favorite Travel Planning Aficionado shares her wealth of knowledge and experiences about traveling the world!
Ready to plan The Perfect Gift of Travel to Tahiti? Contact your Love of the Magic Vacations Travel Advisor today or email hello@LOTMV.com