Six ways to explore French Polynesia; Vawn Himmelsbach; Toronto Star

France – Taputapuātea

From swimming with a humpback whale to visiting UNESCO World Heritage site, Tahiti has plenty to offer travelers, especially willing island hoppers.

Tahiti is an island, but it also refers to the region’s 118 islands and atolls that make up French Polynesia. If you visit, don’t limit yourself to one island or one resort — Tahiti is meant for island-hopping (and it’s easy, with plenty of domestic flights, ferries and boats). Here are a few options worth the travel time:

Get way off the beaten path:

If you Google “Fakarava,” you’ll see a pencil line in the ocean. Technically, Fakarava is a U-shaped atoll, only 200 to 400 metres wide, encircling a lagoon with 72 motus (islets). Enoha, a local guide and driftwood artist, tells me he moved here because of its authentic Polynesian lifestyle. Life moves at a slower pace, everyone knows each other and there’s only one road.

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