Photo Credit: NIAID

European Union passport holders and most North or South American citizens do not need visas to stay in Tahiti or French Polynesia for up to a month. All foreign French Polynesia visitors must possess return tickets, except those living in mainland France with 10-year residence cards and European Union citizens. French Polynesia has no departure tax or vaccination requirements. The France Diplomatie website ( has further information about French Polynesia visa requirements.

Health and Safety

The crime rate may be low in Tahiti and the rest of French Polynesia, but visitors should nonetheless watch out for purse snatchers and pickpockets, especially in Papeete after dark. Visitors should not leave valuables in rental cars. France’s military and gendarmerie provide defense and law enforcement to French Polynesia. Papeete’s tap water is safe for drinking, but visitors should boil water or stick to bottled water outside of Tahiti’s capital.

Old sneakers and jelly-type sandals are the most recommended footwear for walking along Tahiti’s beaches and coral. Many snorkelers and scuba divers may be nervous about shark or stingray encounters, but bites from the moray eels lurking inside Tahiti’s corals can cause even more serious injury. Tahiti’s two major hospitals and numerous smaller private clinics provide good quality 24-hour medical service. Insect repellents provide the best prevention against mosquito bites and occasional dengue fever outbreaks.

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