The Polynesian Triangle is a vast section of the Pacific Ocean that was populated by a people who became known as Polynesians. This area is defined by the island groups at its three corners, specifically; New Zealand, from where the Polynesian Migrations began, to Rapa Nui known as Easter Island, 2200 miles off of South America, to the Hawaiian Islands in the middle of the North Pacific. The indigenous people who inhabit this area share many similar traits of culture, beliefs and language. They also share strong traditions of canoe sailing and star navigation.
At the heart of the Polynesian Triangle, mid-way between the giant continents of Australia and South America, lies a world famous paradise known as TAHITI. A jewel of rare beauty, a breathtaking natural display of magnificent tropical islands and coral reefs, these islands were formed hundreds of millions of years ago by the fury of under-water volcanoes and by the spectacular finishing touches of abundant sea coral. The views of Tahiti from land and by sea are unlike anywhere else in the world. The stories you hear about the beauty of Tahiti and of her people are legendary. They are as true today as when the Islands were first discovered by European explorers.
FRENCH POLYNESIA is divided into 5 uniquely beautiful archipelagoes or groups of islands. The territory is an semi-autonomous overseas territory of the French Republic. This Overseas Territory consists of 118 islands geographically dispersed over a 1200 square mile (2000 kilometers) expanse of ocean within the South Pacific. Tahiti, the largest and most populated island with almost 70% of the inhabitants, gives her name to the Tahitian People. The largest of the five archipelagoes are the Society Islands. This group includes the Windward Islands of Tahiti and Moorea and the Leeward Islands of Bora Bora, Raiatea, Huahine and Tahaa. The capital of Papeete, located on Tahiti, is the largest city and has the international airport and the major commercial harbor.
The “Iles du Vent” or the “Windward Group”, which claim Tahiti and its sister-island Moorea, provide lavish displays of beauty to anyone fortunate enough to approach it’s shores from the sea. One will find the most fantastic spectacle of awesome rugged mountain peaks and magnificent turquoise lagoons at both islands. The Society Islands Leeward group include Huahine, Raiatea, Tahaa and Bora Bora, also known as “The Pearl of the Pacific”. Bora Bora is perhaps the most famous of all the islands with its breathtaking emerald-green and turquoise-blue lagoon. Here you will find overwater bungalows on the lagoon with surrounding atolls and reefs. This is where an increasing number of dedicated sun worshipers and spellbound tourists flock every year to pay homage to these legendary shores.
The remaining four island groups within French Polynesia include the Tuamotu Archipelago, The Marquesas Islands, The Gambier Islands and the Austral Islands. Each of these has unique charm and is located many ocean miles and an airplane ride away from Tahiti. The Marquesas Islands, are geologically the youngest of these exquisite islands and are perhaps the most celebrated by world-famous artists, painters and poets. Here you will find a unique and practically unaltered ancient culture with spectacular rugged mountains that leap abruptly out of the ocean. The Gambier Islands are located 1000 miles south of Tahiti. The largest island of Mangareva and the town of Rikitea are in a group of volcanic islands located within a central lagoon of an atoll consisted of surrounding reefs and islands. This is where the famous black pearls of Tahiti were first discovered. The Gambier Islands are at the South West terminus of the longest chain of islands and atolls in the world called the Tuamotu Archipelago. The Tuamotus consist of 77 atolls, one raised coral atoll and numerous coral reefs that are spread across 930 miles. They are famous for their diving, the culture of black pearls, and for their coconut oil production in the form of copra. The Austral Islands are four isolated volcanic islands located 450 miles south of Tahiti. Income here is derived from agriculture pursuits that primarily includes copra production.
Tahiti is a long ways away from the homes of most visitors, so tourism is still a rather small number. Hawaii has in one day what Tahiti receives in one year. Tahiti’s natural beauty and the lives of her inhabitants are still relatively untouched by crowds of tourists. A visit to this paradise in the South Pacific takes an effort that is well worth it. In 2020, several new airlines entered this market. Flights from Paris, France have a stopover in Los Angeles. The direct flight from Paris, supposedly coming soon, will take over 20 hours. Direct flights are available from Honolulu, Hawaii (5 1/2 hours), Los Angeles and San Francisco (8 + Hours), Tokyo, Japan (11 hours), and Aukland, New Zealand (5 hours). Flights from Santiago, Chile stop in Easter island. Visitors living anywhere in the world must first travel to these gateway cities. Tourism is growing quickly with the new routes. Tahiti is still unspoiled and is a stunningly beautiful place to visit.
The exceptional weather conditions of FRENCH POLYNESIA, with an average temperature of 79 degrees F or 27 degrees C, varies very little from one season to the next. A warm rainy season lasts from November to April while it is cooler and dryer from May to October. All of these elements give Tahiti and its islands the quality of a long never ending summer, a true paradise on earth, and a dream location where tourists and residents alike are loathe to let go. Once you visit Tahiti, you will be enchanted for the rest of your life.
How does all of this relate to coconut oil and Monoi Tiare Tahiti? Monoi de Tahiti can be made only from coconut trees located on the coral atolls of Tahiti. They must be harvested at the “ripe” stage and must comply with cultivation and production practices consistent with local customs.