Tahiti vs the Maldives – Six tips to help you decide

Idyllic Islands

Honeymooners on Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Tahiti and Maldives are both renowned as top honeymoon destinations in stunning island settings and great places to stay in an overwater bungalow.  As dream destinations, we know some of our travelers stress over which one better suits their tastes and needs, so here we have listed six important points to help you  make that choice. However, let’s be honest at the end of the day, one can’t go wrong – we think both are fabulous vacation spots!

Private dining in the Maldives
Private dining in the Maldives

1. Getting there

When travelling to Tahiti there is only one air routing from North America (via Los Angeles) which takes only 8 hours. Typically people will spend their whole holiday in Tahiti, or they may add on a stay in Australia or New Zealand.  Particularly for clients on the west coast, it is possible to visit for a short trip for those pressed for time.

From North America, the Maldives is farther than Tahiti and it is more common for travellers to make it a multi-country trip (e.g. add on Dubai) to break up the journey.  (Here’s a suggested itinerary: (http://www.goway.com/trip/asia/dubai-maldives-escape-two/) There are numerous airline routings for North American clients (via Asia, Middle East, and Europe). Most clients take a minimum of 10 days to visit the Maldives including flying time.

2. Island hopping

Most travellers who visit Tahiti will “island hop” from Papeete (the gateway) to at least one other island such as Moorea or Bora Bora.  (Here’s a suggested itinerary combining all 3: http://www.goway.com/trip/australia-and-south-pacific/tahiti-moorea-bora-bora-escape/#!itinerary) There are usually several resorts on each island.

In the Maldives it is usually one resort on one island and visitors stay in one place for the duration of their stay unless they are staying in a resort with sister properties. The Maldives are known for their exciting, scenic flight transfers in seaplanes.

Both countries “incentivize” travellers to stay on a resort longer by offering special promotions, such as stay 6, pay 4.

3. Time of Year

Flying in on a Maldivian Sea Plane is one incredible way to arrive
Flying in on a Maldivian Sea Plane is one incredible way to arrive

Tahiti and Maldives experience different seasonalities; both destinations can be visited year-round. In Tahiti, the dry winter period is from May to October and it is the best time for weather. Temperatures rise from November to April, the summer rainy season when it’s humid and wet.  The peak season (most expensive) is July and August, and during this period availability can be difficult. The best time to get a deal is from April-May and November-Mar (with the exception of the Christmas period).

In the Maldives the dry season is from December to March when there is little rain; the wet monsoon season is from May to November. The best time to get a deal is from May to August. The most expensive travel period is end of December to February.

4.  Meal plans and All Inclusive

Poisson Cru, Tahiti’s equivalent of ceviche
Poisson Cru, Tahiti’s equivalent of ceviche

In both Tahiti and the Maldives, it is popular to do a meal plan with the resort, such as half board (breakfast and dinner).  In popular places in Tahiti (such as Papete, Moore and Bora Bora) clients can also choose to dine off the resort at a local restaurant.

In the Maldives there is not an option to dine in a local restaurant as the resort is usually the only establishment on the island.  Resorts here usually have many restaurants on site (sometime as many as 5 or 6) with a large range of international cuisine. Resorts in the Maldives also offer all-inclusive packages (with alcohol) which Tahiti typically doesn’t.

5. Activities and Scenery

Tahiti-snorkel_119077816In both countries travellers can do as little or as much as they like, and interact with as many or few people they want! Both countries are great for viewing underwater life and indulging in spas.

In Tahiti, there is a wide choice of activities such as water-based (snorkeling or diving); cultural, such as a dining on traditional Tahitian feast, or land based like riding an ATV or doing a 4WD safari.

The activities in the Maldives are usually water-based – snorkeling, diving, boat tours and are run by the resort’s excursions desk.

6. Scenery.

Both countries have stunning turquoise waters, and pristine white sandy beaches.

Tahiti has a mountain backdrop and beautiful lagoons.  In the Maldives it has a more “deserted” island feel as there is usually nothing but water in the horizon.

Maldives-sunset_129221429

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