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The Best Time To Travel To French Polynesia


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Penni Nunez



French Polynesia, situated in the South Pacific, is an enchanting paradise famous for its stunning turquoise waters, pristine white-sand beaches, and vibrant coral reefs. Comprising 118 islands and atolls, this archipelago offers a unique blend of tropical beauty, rich culture, and adventure.


Before planning your trip to French Polynesia, it’s essential to consider the best time to visit to make the most of your experience. The archipelago enjoys a tropical climate, characterized by warm temperatures and high humidity year-round. However, there are distinct seasons that can impact your travel plans.


In this article, we will explore the different seasons in French Polynesia, including the high season, low season, and shoulder season. We will also discuss the best time to visit based on your preferences and interests. Whether you’re looking to soak up the sun, experience thrilling water sports, or immerse yourself in the local culture, understanding the climate and tourism patterns will help you plan an unforgettable trip to this tropical paradise.


Climate in French Polynesia

French Polynesia experiences a warm tropical climate, ideal for those seeking a beach getaway and outdoor activities. The average temperature ranges from 24°C (75°F) to 29°C (84°F) throughout the year. The archipelago is divided into two main seasons: the dry season and the wet season.


The dry season in French Polynesia occurs from May to October, with June, July, and August being the driest months. During this time, you can expect less rainfall, clear skies, and greater visibility for diving and snorkeling. The temperatures are slightly cooler, making it a pleasant time to explore the islands and engage in outdoor adventures.


The wet season, on the other hand, spans from November to April, with December and January receiving the highest precipitation levels. While the wet season brings occasional rain showers and higher humidity, it also offers lush vegetation, blooming flowers, and impressive waterfalls. This time of year is favored by surfers, as the swells increase, creating perfect conditions for riding the waves.


It’s important to note that French Polynesia is located in the Southern Hemisphere, so the seasons are opposite to those in the Northern Hemisphere. This means that December to February is considered summer in French Polynesia, while June to August is winter.


With its year-round warm climate, French Polynesia is an idyllic destination regardless of the season. However, understanding the weather patterns can help you plan activities and make the most of your visit to this tropical paradise.


High Season in French Polynesia

The high season in French Polynesia coincides with the dry season, attracting a large number of tourists from around the world. It runs from May to October, with July and August being the peak months. This period is considered the best time to visit for those looking for sunny weather, calm waters, and optimal diving conditions.


During the high season, the temperatures are slightly cooler, ranging from 24°C (75°F) to 26°C (79°F), providing a comfortable climate for outdoor activities. The clear skies and minimal rainfall make it ideal for exploring the stunning landscapes, taking leisurely walks on the beaches, and indulging in water sports such as snorkeling, paddleboarding, and kayaking.


One of the main advantages of visiting French Polynesia during the high season is the exceptional visibility for divers. The crystal-clear waters and abundant marine life make it a haven for underwater enthusiasts. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced diver, the reefs, coral gardens, and vibrant underwater ecosystems offer an unforgettable diving experience.


Keep in mind that the high season also coincides with school vacations and holidays in many countries. As a result, popular tourist spots and accommodations tend to be more crowded, and prices may be higher. It is advisable to make reservations well in advance to secure your preferred accommodations and activities.


If you’re planning to visit French Polynesia during the high season, be prepared for peak tourism and plan your itinerary accordingly. Taking advantage of early morning or late afternoon activities can help you beat the crowds and fully enjoy the beauty of the islands.


Low Season in French Polynesia

The low season in French Polynesia falls during the wet season, from November to April, with December and January being the months with the highest rainfall. While this period sees more frequent rain showers and increased humidity, it also offers unique experiences and benefits for those looking to explore the islands with fewer crowds.


Visiting French Polynesia during the low season can be a great option for budget-conscious travelers, as prices for accommodations and tours tend to be lower compared to the high season. You may find more availability and take advantage of discounted rates, making it an ideal time for a more affordable trip.


The wet season brings with it lush greenery, blooming flowers, and impressive waterfalls. It’s a fantastic opportunity for nature lovers, photographers, and those seeking a more serene and tranquil atmosphere. The landscape becomes even more vibrant and picturesque, providing breathtaking views and scenery.


While rain showers can be expected during the low season, they are usually short-lived and followed by sunshine. It’s essential to pack waterproof gear and flexible itineraries to make the most of your time on the islands. Indoor activities, such as exploring museums and cultural sites, can be enjoyed during occasional showers.


Water sports enthusiasts will also find the low season appealing, especially surfers. The swells are larger during this time, providing excellent surfing conditions. If you’re an experienced surfer or interested in learning, the wet season can offer some fantastic waves and thrilling experiences.


It’s worth noting that some businesses, particularly those on smaller islands or in more remote areas, may operate on reduced hours or close for renovations during the low season. It’s advisable to plan ahead and inquire about any potential closures before finalizing your travel plans.


Overall, the low season in French Polynesia may not provide the same dry and sunny weather as the high season, but it presents unique opportunities to explore the islands at a more leisurely pace, enjoy discounted rates, and witness the natural beauty of the archipelago in full bloom.


Shoulder Season in French Polynesia

The shoulder season in French Polynesia falls between the high season and the low season, typically during the transitional months of April and November. This period offers a balance between favorable weather conditions and fewer tourists, making it an ideal time to visit if you’re looking for a quieter experience.


During the shoulder season, you can expect pleasant temperatures ranging from 26°C (79°F) to 28°C (82°F). The islands experience less rainfall compared to the wet season, and the humidity levels are lower as well. This creates comfortable conditions for outdoor activities, including swimming, snorkeling, hiking, and exploring the islands.


One of the benefits of visiting during the shoulder season is the opportunity to enjoy the best of both worlds. You can still experience relatively good weather with fewer tourists, allowing you to explore popular attractions and beaches without the crowds. This provides a more relaxed and intimate experience, where you can truly immerse yourself in the natural beauty of French Polynesia.


The shoulder season is also a favorable time for marine activities such as diving and snorkeling. The water is still warm, visibility is generally good, and the underwater ecosystems are thriving. This makes it an excellent time to explore the vibrant coral reefs and encounter diverse marine life.


As the shoulder season falls between the high and low seasons, you can often find more affordable rates for accommodations and activities. This can make it an attractive option for budget-conscious travelers who want to experience French Polynesia without breaking the bank.


It’s important to note that while the shoulder season offers many advantages, there may still be some variability in weather conditions. It’s advisable to check weather forecasts and be prepared for occasional rain showers. Flexibility in your itinerary and packing appropriate gear will ensure you can still make the most of your trip.


Overall, the shoulder season in French Polynesia provides a perfect balance between favorable weather, fewer tourists, and affordable prices. It’s an ideal time to explore the islands, indulge in water sports, and immerse yourself in the natural wonders of this tropical paradise.


Best Time to Visit French Polynesia

Deciding on the best time to visit French Polynesia ultimately depends on your preferences and what you want to experience during your trip. Each season offers unique advantages, so it’s important to consider your interests and priorities before planning your visit.


If you’re looking for dry and sunny weather with optimal diving conditions, the high season from May to October is the recommended time to visit. This period offers calm waters, excellent visibility, and comfortable temperatures for outdoor activities. However, keep in mind that this is also the peak tourist season, so popular destinations may be more crowded, and prices may be higher.


If you’re a budget-conscious traveler or prefer a quieter experience, the low season from November to April may be the best option for you. Although there’s a higher chance of rain, the landscapes are lush and vibrant, and prices for accommodations and activities are generally lower. It’s a great time to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of French Polynesia and enjoy activities like surfing.


For those seeking a balance between good weather and fewer crowds, the shoulder season in April and November is ideal. The temperatures are pleasant, rainfall is minimal compared to the wet season, and there are fewer tourists, allowing you to explore popular attractions with more tranquility.


Another factor to consider when planning your visit is the specific activities you want to engage in. If you’re interested in whale watching, the best time is from July to October when humpback whales migrate through the region. If you’re keen on attending cultural festivals, such as the Heiva in July, then planning your visit during that time would enhance your experience.


Ultimately, French Polynesia offers something magical throughout the year, and the best time to visit depends on your preferences. Whether you’re looking for a sun-soaked beach holiday, a thrilling diving adventure, or a relaxing getaway, there’s a season that will cater to your desires. By considering the climate, tourism patterns, and your personal interests, you can choose the perfect time to visit this tropical paradise.



French Polynesia, with its stunning landscapes, crystal-clear waters, and rich culture, is a dream destination for many travelers. When planning your visit, it’s important to consider the climate and the different seasons to make the most of your experience.


The high season, from May to October, offers dry and sunny weather, making it ideal for those seeking pristine beaches and optimal diving conditions. However, it can be crowded and more expensive due to its popularity.


The low season, from November to April, brings occasional rain showers and lush greenery, creating a more tranquil and affordable atmosphere. It’s a great time for nature lovers and surfers, but be prepared for some closures and reduced hours of operation.


The shoulder season in April and November provides a balance between favorable weather and fewer tourists. It’s a recommended time for those seeking a more relaxed experience while still enjoying pleasant temperatures and lower prices.


Ultimately, the best time to visit French Polynesia depends on your preferences and interests. Whether you’re looking for sunshine and water sports, vibrant landscapes, or a combination of both, there’s a season that will suit your desires.


It’s important to plan ahead, make reservations in advance, and be flexible with your itinerary, especially during the high season. By considering the climate patterns and the activities you wish to engage in, you can ensure a memorable and enjoyable trip to this tropical paradise.


No matter when you choose to visit French Polynesia, you’ll be greeted with the natural beauty, warm hospitality, and unique culture that make this archipelago a truly magical destination.