For many, visiting the atolls at the end of the world is an unattainable dream. The island of Maupiti is no exception to the rule. It is the last of the Leeward Islands, the last islet before the infinite ocean. Its remoteness from North America can make your head spin. However, getting to Maupiti remains feasible and accessible. The island is well connected to the rest of French Polynesia and to its capital Papeete on Tahiti.
Getting to Maupiti requires to prepare your stay well in advance. Finding a flight and choosing a hotel are naturally priorities. A good organization will allow you to fully enjoy your stay in Maupiti. Here are the steps to go to Maupiti and optimize your stay.
1st Step: Flight To French Polynesia
Only the Tahiti Faa’a International Airport in Papeete welcomes long-distance flights. In other words, before reaching Maupiti, a stopover on the island of Tahiti is mandatory. For flights departing from Europe, departures are usually from Paris airports in France.
Flights From The United States
From the United States, regular flights to French Polynesia depart from Los Angeles and San Francisco airports, California. United Airlines operates direct flights almost daily. For the return trip, it is also common to fly with French Bee and Air Tahiti Nui. In any case, it takes about 8 hours to fly to French Polynesia from the West Coast of the United States.
For round trip fares, prices range from 800 to $1,600. In general, prices are more expensive during the high season. The summer months are naturally the most popular times, especially for Polynesian residents flying back to Europe. This may affect your return to the United States. Therefore, the timing of your return is extremely important. Shortening or lengthening your trip by two days can sometimes save up to half the cost of your airfare. It is important to be flexible.
Entry Requirements And Travel Documents
For people coming from the United States, Canada or New Zealand, only a regular passport valid for at least three months after the date of return is required. It is therefore not necessary to have a visa to come to French Polynesia. Only stays longer than 90 days require a visa. No other certification or electronic travel authorization will be required by the French authorities at Tahiti International Airport.
2nd Step : Arrival In Papeete Before Getting To Maupiti
The arrival at Tahiti Faa’a International Airport will be the occasion of a first Polynesian impression. It is to the sound of the ukulele that the visitors receive their first flower necklace as a sign of welcome. After such a long journey, such a reception can only put a smile on your face. Some travelers will try to leave Tahiti and get to Maupiti immediately. It is true that it takes only one hour of flight. Others, more cautious, will have the good idea to make the last purchases before leaving.
Beyond the exhaustion caused by the flight, it is good to take advantage of the stopover in Tahiti to relax and discover the city of Papeete. This will be the opportunity to enjoy one last time the advantages (and disadvantages) of city life: the crowd, the stores and the restaurants.
Taking Pacific Francs To The Bank
In Papeete, travelers must make sure they have enough cash to avoid being caught off guard later on. Indeed, there is no bank or ATM on Maupiti. In addition, the managers of the guesthouses on the island rarely accept credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, etc.). Knowing that the Pacific franc is preferred to the US Dollar (and even to the Euro currency), It is important to have enough cash on you..
It is possible to exchange dollars directly at a currency exchange office at the airport. However, you can also go to one of the many banks in Papeete, where you will get a better exchange rate. Start on a broad base of xpf 100.000 (about $1,000) for three days/nights for two people on site.
Last Minute Shopping: Pharmacy, Drugstore And Supermarket
A visit to the shops in Papeete will not be a waste of time. This will allow you to stock up on sunscreen and mosquito repellent. On the main island of Maupiti, parasites are few and far between in good weather. On the other hand, in case of rains and on the motus, mosquitoes become bolder and a permanent nuisance. A good protection is necessary. Another important item to consider is to buy water sandals that fit. This is an essential purchase for anyone who wants to venture into the lagoon to avoid injuring themselves on the coral or certain fish. Otherwise, you will have to hope that your host has quality sandals to provide you with.
Those with a sweet tooth will certainly think about buying the extras that they cannot get elsewhere. Indeed, the main grocery store on Maupiti depends on a sometimes hazardous supply. It is therefore time to plan for the little treats that you feel are essential to your stay. Besides, prices in Papeete will always be lower than in Maupiti: you might as well take advantage of it.
3rd Step : Arrival On Maupiti
If it is technically possible to go to Maupiti by sea, there are no sea shuttles from Papeete. Therefore, air travel seems to be the only solution for travelers outside of Polynesia. Finding a flight to Maupiti requires that you plan well in advance. For the owners of the famous pass, the last flight is not only short but also very impressive. The propeller plane flies over the Leeward Islands, offering magnificent visuals. The airport is also impressive, as the ends of the runway touch both the ocean and the lagoon.
Maupiti’s airfield is located on a motu. Once your luggage is collected, you must take a shuttle to reach the main island. It is necessary to count approximately $5 per person and the payment in cash is carried out with the rise. After such a journey from the United States, it is customary for the hosts to pick up the travelers by car at the pier. Sometimes, they will even bring a necklace or a wreath of flowers as a welcome gift. Please note that there is no car rental store on the island: it is advisable to inform your host of the arrival time at the airfield so that he can organize himself to pick you up. After almost 10 hours of flight, you finally put your bags in your room. Your vacation in Maupiti can now begin.
After Maupiti, which islands to visit ?
Hard to find better than Maupiti ? It’s up to you to discover it. It is possible to integrate the island in a multi-destination trip in French Polynesia. Want to continue the journey? Simply get in touch with us to receive our advice and selected itineraries.