When people think of a dream vacation in the islands of French Polynesia, the island that is usually at the top of their list is Bora-Bora. In reality though, the archipelago consists of several other islands worthy of every traveler’s bucket list.
After having the privilege of undocking on a life-changing yacht charter vacation in Tahiti, I discovered the hidden treasures and splendid beauty that reigns supreme throughout the crystal-clear waters of Taha’a. Here’s a recap of my unforgettable Taha’a sailing adventure:
On our first morning, we went ashore on Taha’a and toured one of the local vanilla plantations. The locals who owned the small plantation were extremely friendly. The vanilla plants bloom between July and October. One flower lives for only six hours and they must hand pollinate all the flowers to produce the vanilla beans.
The plantation had a great little shop where you could purchase gourmet vanilla beans, vanilla-infused coffee & sugar, and a variety of other unique products to take home from your travels. The store even accepts credit cards, dollars and francs.
Next we sailed to Apu Bay on Taha’a. This would be our overnight anchorage. After a quick lunch on board our Moorings 4800 sailing catamaran, our group of 6 went ashore to tour a family-owned black pearl farm that was over 20 years old. This farm at Apu Bay produces 20,000 pearls a year. It takes the oysters five years to deliver their first pearl and the oysters live for 20 years on average.
That evening, we had a traditional Polynesian dinner at the nearby Ficus restaurant. We were greeted with a delicious cocktail and then seated in a hut made entirely of palm trees. Live palm trees served as the pillars of the pavilion and palm leaves were used for the roof. The meal was prepared on layers of coals and then covered in banana leaves. The food cooked for over four hours before its big reveal. Everything was delicious, especially the tapioca style pudding dessert, and the live entertainment made the experience extra special and enjoyable.
This trip was something I will be talking about for the rest of my life. Though we thoroughly enjoyed the other Society Islands in French Polynesia and gliding thru the turquoise waters on our Moorings catamaran, Taha’a was by far my favorite. You simply have to see it to believe it. But when you do, it’s truly unforgettable.
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