Picture this: lagoons teeming with fish in every color of the rainbow, a champagne toast on the deck of an overwater bungalow, a jaw-dropping sunset and delectable French-inspired cuisine that’s good enough to impress any Parisian. That was our average day in French Polynesia, and if you think it sounds like paradise, you’re absolutely right.
Photo courtesy of Intercontinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa
With more than 118 picturesque islands and islets to choose from, there’s no shortage of scenic beaches, out-of-this-world snorkeling and world-class resorts to knock you off your feet. In fact, I’ve been to nearly 40 countries across six continents, but no destination has even come close to wooing me like the islands of Tahiti.
So when it came to planning our wedding and honeymoon, my husband and I ditched the formalities and opted for an intimate destination wedding in the South Pacific. We chose Tahiti for its undeniable beauty, laid-back atmosphere and proximity to the West Coast.
While French Polynesia seems like it’s a world away, Tahiti is basically a movie and a mai tai away from Hawaii. Nonstop flights from Los Angeles to Tahiti’s capital, Papeete, depart daily and take approximately eight hours. From the capital, it’s common to hop on a ferry to the verdant island of Moorea or take a short flight to dozens of other popular honeymoon destinations, including Bora Bora, Huahine, Raiatea and Rangiroa.
Photo courtesy of Tahiti-Tourisme.com
Bora Bora is referred to as "The Romantic Island" for good reason, my favorite being that the human eye can detect 16 distinct shades of blue in the lagoon. Many resorts occupy their own motu (small island) and overlook majestic Mount Otemanu, a verdant green, extinct volcano that often wears low-hanging clouds like a halo.