Virtuoso Voyages Directory - 2017-2018 - 220
Clockwise from top: Romantic Tahitian beach;
Beach in Moorea; Mount Belvedere.
Welcome to paradise
For travelers seeking pristine water, protected reefs, and perfect swimming and
snorkeling conditions, Tahiti, the heart and soul of the South Pacific, is the place
to be. Located between Australia and Peru, and a smidge below the equator,
Tahiti is the largest island in French Polynesia, a collection of five archipelagos
and 118 islands and atolls.
The most well-known archipelago is the Society Islands, which includes Tahiti,
Moorea, Bora Bora, Huahine, Raiatea, Taha'a, and Maupiti. The Islands of Tahiti
span a nautical surface the size of Western Europe, yet make up a total landmass
of only 1,600 square miles. (Many of these islands are teeny tiny.) Coconut
palms dot the shores, while coffee and pineapple plantations span the hillsides.
The idyllic islands have attracted the likes of actor Marlon Brando, painter Paul
Gauguin, and writer James Michener.
Our Virtuoso shore experience includes a visit to Moorea. The day starts at the
base of Opunohu Bay, followed by a drive into the interior to explore Opunohu
Valley. There, take in perfect photo-op views from Mount Belvedere before
heading back to the coastal village of Pao Pao at Cook's Bay.