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When is the best time
to travel to French Polynesia?

Excellent question!

Many people ask us "what is the best time to come to French Polynesia? Is there a rainy season to avoid? Is the weather the same all year round? What are the temperatures like?" 

The truth is that the answer is a little more complex than you might imagine! There are many things to take into account! In this short article, we will summarize the important criteria to take into account. Then you can decide when is the best time for you! The truth is that French Polynesia can be visited all year round, but for different reasons which will depend on individual preferences. 

What is the best season
to travel to French Polynesia? 

French Polynesia is located in the southern hemisphere of the globe. The southern winter, from April to October, is the dry season. The southern summer, from November to March, is the “rainy season”. Most guides will therefore tell you that the most favorable months to visit French Polynesia are April, May, June, July, August and September. However, you have to be careful. That's a pretty simplistic answer! 

French Polynesia covers an area almost as large as Europe! The weather is therefore not exactly the same everywhere and there is a lot to say about the different archipelagos. While the Society Archipelago, the Tuamotu and the Austral Islands experience a little more rain from November to March, the Marquesas Islands are drier during this period and it is the perfect time to go there! 

Then, we must put the notion of “rainy season” and “dry season” in French Polynesia into perspective. Some people imagine that the seasons will be very clear and very marked and that they will have sunshine all the time at the right time and deluges of rain at the wrong time. However,  things don't exactly work that way. The reality is that the seasons are not so clear all the time. You can travel in the rainy season and have a great trip with lots of sunshine, just as you can travel in the dry season and find yourself in a rainstorm. 

As I write this guide, we are in the middle of the rainy season in Rangiroa in the Tuamotu archipelago. The sky is blue, there is not a cloud, not a bit of wind, the lagoon is perfectly flat and we haven't had a drop of rain for days. 

In the middle of the dry season, I welcomed touristsyou who had to cancel all their activities because it was raining heavily. 

The truth is that yes, there is a dry period and a rainy period. But it will not be exactly the same across the different archipelagos and it is not 100% infallible. 

When is the best time
to travel to the Austral Islands?

On average, there is less rain between May and November in the Austral Islands. It is also during this period that humpback whales migrate from Antarctica to French Polynesia! 

Whales can be observed in the Austral Islands from July to October. 

The rainy season in the Austral archipelago lasts from November to April. It is warmer during this period. 

From April to November, temperatures are cooler and there is on average less rain. 

What is the best time
to travel to the Tuamotus? 

As the Tuamotus are atolls, there are no mountains that "catch" the clouds and therefore they tend to pass quickly and the rain is therefore generally short-lived. We sometimes find bad weather that lasts for several days, with a lot of rain. But it's rare... and it can happen at any time! 

Ultimately, the wettest season in the Tuamotus is from November to April. There is on average more rain during this period. But be careful, because this does not necessarily mean that you will spend a vacation in the rain when traveling during this period! 

Traveling to the Tuamotus between November and April is actually very pleasant. There are fewer tourists, we find lower prices on certain accommodation, the atmosphere is calmer. There may be showers more frequently, but honestly, as someone who has spent the last few years living in the Tuamotus, I would have no problem traveling during this time. I even prefer this time of year, because there are fewer people. I would therefore recommend with my eyes closed to travel to the Tuamotu in the "rainy season". 

From my experience in recent years, the rainy episodes that last tend to be in June or November, during the off-season. But once again, it's quite random and frankly, the weather is also very good during this season. The temperatures are warmer, it's nice if you do a lot of diving. 

Speaking of scuba diving, the Tuamotu have surprises every month of the year when it comes to diving. 

The best time to observe hammerhead sharks in Rangiroa is from December to March. There is the reproduction of many species (groupers, surgeonfish, parrots, etc.) which takes place on different full moons of the year. 

Ultimately, the Tuamotu Archipelago is an ideal destination all year round for different reasons! Whether you want to get away from the crowds by traveling in low season, or come to try to see great hammerhead sharks, or to observe the reproduction of certain species, there is always a good reason to come to the Tuamotus all year round. 

When is the best time
to travel to the Marquesas? 

In the Marquesas archipelago, the wettest season is from January to July. But the wettest period is really March April! The second part of the year is drier, from August to December! This is also why many diving cruises in the Marquesas take place between November and January! This period is ideal and there is very little risk of rainy days. 

 

 Beyond the weather aspect, it is very interesting to visit the Marquesas in December to attend the famous Marquesas Festival! It takes place every two years on a different island. Every 4 years there is a big festival and every 4 years there is a small festival. They take place staggered, which means that at least one festival takes place every two years. 

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