Tropical Paradise or Topical Parasite???

The hardest part in offering my opinion on places that I've visited, is to view the place with clean sheet. By that, I try not compare it to other places that I have visited and to truly have an open and objective mind in forming those opinions.

Tahiti for me was really a tale of two entirely different places. There are some truly wonderful sights, sounds & smells that hold true ones notion of a tropical paradise: The azure blue crystal clear waters, swaying palms, cascading waterfalls, lush green rain forests, towering peaks crowned with wispy clouds, pitch black beaches while others were pure white powdery sands.

Countering this perceived perfection is that everyone is into your pocket. Across the board, Tahiti does not represent even a notion of value for money. In fact, aside from the resorts, the country reminded me of a Third World developing nation while happily charging the very top dollar for everything.

Discussions with my fellow travelers, who were staying in the same accommodations, aired the same sentiments, so I refuse to believe it to be simply down to me. Summing it up best were a couple of Italians, that I shared a table with at La Roulottes. They visited an all inclusive resort on Móorea 2 years ago, based on that experience they planned on returning to strike out on their own and visit Bora Bora, Miripati and Tahiti Nui. In their own words they were disgusted with the level of accommodations, service at those venues and the incredible prices they were forced to pay.

One figure that is indicative of the situation was offered by Beni (our host from the Fare Suisse), was that according to Tourism Tahiti, they enjoy a full 8% repeat patronage. I would think that an 8% rate of returning consumers would be some cause for concern, considering the brand name that Tahiti evokes in the tourist dollar marketplace.

I think if you're honeymooning or want to be pampered and get a way from it all, then Tahiti fits the bill terrifically. If, like me, you are prone to simply lobbing up somewhere to go Walkabout and check the joint out, then you will be sorely disappointed, primarily because of the facilities, lack of tourism infrastructure and lack of value for your money.

In closing, did I enjoy my visit? Yes I did. Would I return? Not ever – if I'm paying for it.

Stay Happy ;-)