Tahiti. The name alone conjures images of South Seas islands with jagged volcanic peaks covered in lush vegetation, incredibly blue lagoons, white sands beaches sprinkled with coconut palms, and all of it surrounded by tiny motus (islets). If you’ve ever seen the Rogers and Hammerstine musical “South Pacific”, you likely have the soundtrack in your head. The most famous of the islands of French Polynesia are Moorea and Bora Bora. And there the conundrum starts for any visitor. Do you follow James Michener, who wrote, "...but nothing on Tahiti is so majestic as what faces it across the bay, for there lies the island of Moorea. To describe it is impossible. It is a monument to the prodigal beauty of nature." Or do you follow the artists who have given their lives trying to capture the beauty of Bora Bora, with its water every shade of sapphire, topaz and aquamarine, and tropical fish with names that begin with clown, parrot, butterfly, and peacock? The good news is that on this trip, you don’t have to decide, because with Classic Journeys you get a carefully curated week long itinerary designed to give you the best of both.
Itinerary at a glance
DAYS 1 - 3 Moorea Moorea and its fellow Tahitian islands are a geographical marvel. Folklore and science believe they formed from a series of underwater volcanic eruptions that took place millions of years ago. Begin to get a feel for the scale, colors, scents, sights and sounds of Moorea right away as you ‘choose your adventure’: on horseback to discover the Opunohu valley and its plantations or on a guided hike along a forest trail into Moorea`s lush interior along the foot of the ancient caldera. Either way, you’ll pass through pineapple fields where you can smell the ripe fruit, to the site of an ancient archaeological site and even through a forest of Tahitian chestnuts. While the exploration itself is worth every step, the culmination is even better, as you arrive at the Pass of The Three Pines with magnificent views of Cook`s Bay.
Following an afternoon of relaxing poolside or along the beach, start the next day with our friend Dr. Mike, a marine biologist who will introduce you to his research team and then lead you on an amazing encounter wild dolphins and whales. If you fancy yourself a modern-day Captain Cook, you’ll love the next day as you sail the waters around Moorea on a catamaran. Relax as the crew seer a course around the calm lagoon waters and even venture outside the barrier reef of Moorea. Whenever you want to hop out to swim with the stingrays, reef sharks or brightly colored fish you can because your captain has all the gear you need including mask, snorkel and fins. Tahitians’ ancient Polynesian ancestors endowed them with a rich and vibrant culture that includes weaving, woodcarving, and tattooing. The mythology in each of their sacred traditions tells the stories of their life and relationship with nature. You’ll get first-hand exposure to that today when you visit with a local friend.
DAYS 4 - 7 Bora Bora Alain Gerbault was the first Frenchman to sail his yacht around the world and visited Bora Bora in 1926. Like him and so many others, you may be tempted to return to live in Polynesia after you visit Bora Bora. Half island, half atoll, it is widely considered to have the most extraordinary lagoon in the world, with water every shade of sapphire, topaz, and aquamarine, and Mount Otemanu as a backdrop to every view. And if the views are not enough to woo you back, perhaps the pearls will be. Today, join your guide in search of the prized black pearl. The warm lagoons are ideal for its cultivation and it’s also here that you’ll find the only oyster in the world able to produce the rich hues they’re known for, from light silver to the dark of grey, and from pink to green.
The next day, explore Bora Bora’s water and sea life when you join your guide in kayaks to explore the lagoons. But this is unlike any kayaking you’ve done. Because you don’t want to miss any of the incredible coral gardens, sea turtles or other sea life, you’ll paddle in transparent kayaks! If you want to go all-in on the wildlife of Bora Bora, you can even join a turtle rescue center’s scientist for the day, participating in the care of the sea turtles.
It’s your choice today to relax by the resort or join your guide for a scenic walk to spot some of the over one hundred species that make their homes among the islands. Keep your eyes peeled for boobies, tropicbirds, Pacific herons, the rare Marquesas kingfisher, and the colorful ultramarine lorikeet. Later in the day, accept an invitation by canoe to a private motu to watch sunset with a glass of champagne. As the stars fill the Tahitian night sky, relax on the beach as your guide shares stories and legends of how Polynesians were expert navigators and used the stars to help them with their travels.
riding horseback to discover the Opunohu valley and its plantations
hiking along a forest trail into Moorea`s lush interior along the foot of the ancient caldera
exploring Bora Bora’s water and sea life when you join your guide in kayaks to explore the lagoons
We are running this trip privately for individual groups this year. If you would like us to organize a private trip for you, your family or friends, please call or email us to discuss your details.
Accommodations for 7 days and 6 nights
• Breakfasts & 2 dinners • Full-time experienced guide(s) who are with you throughout the trip and handle behind-the-scenes logistics • Admissions to scheduled events as noted in the detailed daily itinerary • Gratuities for hotels, meals, and baggage • All land transportation during the trip
Above & Beyond Benefits
When your group arrives, we whisk you and your bags to your room immediately. No waiting – no tipping.
Privileged Access Events
One-of-a-kind access to remarkable people, places and activities arranged just for you.
7 Days / 6 Nights
During dry season (May through October), midday maximum temperatures average a delightful 82°F, with early morning lows of 68°F. The tropics can have tropical rain showers at any time.