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January 2012    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 27, No. 1   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Cheaper Ways to Dive French Polynesia

from the January, 2012 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

While our writer indulged his champagne tastes and caviar dreams, there are ways to dive French Polynesia much less expensively.

Caradonna Dive Adventures is a big U.S. dive travel agency that offers dive packages in the area. Currently, it has a double-occupancy deal at the Hotel Kia Ora that offers six nights in a beach bungalow (that includes two free nights), 11 dives with Topdive, breakfast and dinner daily, and airport transfers starting at $2,293 per person. The deal is valid through May 31, and you must book it by March 31 ( www.caradonna.com ).

Another of our writers visited Rangiroa (see our article in the June 2007 issue) and stayed at Pension Bounty, which charges approximately $130 per night (based on mid-December Euro rates) for a double with breakfast and dinner included ( www.pension-bounty.com ). Topdive was also his choice of dive shops, which partners with e-Tahiti Travel to offer dive packages ( www.etahititravel.com ). A seven-night, doubleoccupancy package with three nights each in Bora Bora and Rangiroa, airfare from LAX, interisland flights and transfers ranges from $3,732 per person for two-star accommodations to $4,372 for four-star accommodation. (It only includes eight dives, so you'll have to pay extra for more).

For straightforward advice on what you'll get for your money, we like Dive Tahiti Blue, founded by Laurel and James Samuela, a California divemaster and a Tahitian native, who give their honest opinions about Tahitian lodging, and prefer smaller family pensions over the luxury resorts. On Bora Bora, they recommend the Pearl Beach Resort on the top end, and Novotel Bora Bora Beach Resort and Hotel Matira as bargain finds. They'll book dive packages catering to whatever your budget ( www.divetahitiblue.com ).

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