We did 12 days with Sunsail there 5 years ago in July. It was our best charter trip ever. I'm sure you're looking at all the options and see there are 4 key islands. Realistically you can only do three unless you really move aggressively. We didn't go to Huahine so can't speak to that - but gives us a good reason to return. Sunsail will have good advice. Don't worry about nightlife or towns - you have to work hard to find them, not avoid them. It's mostly a quiet piece of paradise there with the ability to just pick one of hundreds of quiet spots, drop anchor
, and enjoy. Lot's on empty coastline on the main islands and the barrier islands to anchor
ashore, and explore/enjoy.
We loved Bora Bora. If you watch the weather/wind forecasts and stay flexible you can avoid the painful beat back. We had beautiful sunshine/temps every day, but highly variable winds. Sailing inside the expansive barrier reefs
at Bora Bora and Tahaa in strong winds but flat seas is a blast. Go as far around the lagoon of Bora Bora as your daft will allow. The far reaches along the barrier islands define paradise.
In July in Bora Bora the local towns hold a dance/drum competition for a couple weeks that we lucked into. It's not contrived for tourists, it's truly authentic Polynesian performances with each village putting their hearts into it. Just wonderful. The competitive performances happen in the main town of Viatape but the villages seem to practice every night so when you're out at anchor you often hear the tribal drums in the distance, sometimes from several directions. Seriously cool. Of course all the local dancers and their costumes are stunningly beautiful.
I forget the name but on the west side of Raiatea there's a smallish bay that hundreds of porpoises frolick in. The entry is tricky but worth a night. Not far from the Sunsail base, but you have to go out and back in the barrier reef to get there.
One pleasant surprise, unlike most of the Caribbean
, is the food
in the restaurants is outstanding. It is French
Polynesia of course and while overall the islands certainly do not feel French, they did adopt the culinary delights. We couldn't eat enough.
Another interesting twist here is that the sailing is not dominated by charter boats, unlike everywhere else we've been. Instead you meet many circumnavigators that had to work hard to get there and love to tell their stories. We felt like frauds having flown there and chartered, but they didn't care at all. Make a point to stop at yacht clubs where these folks hang out and you'll meet great people willing to talk all night. You'll instantly spot their "real" boats wherever they are.
Writing this has brought back great memories. Thanks! Enjoy!