What’s the worst time to visit French Polynesia?

Devon Weetly
Devon Weetly

Visiting French Polynesia is usually a dream come true, but timing is key.

The absolute worst time to visit the islands is during the months of between October and May as cyclone season begins at this time.

Even though French Polynesia’s location in the tropics tend to make the weather pleasant throughout most of the year, these months bring storms that can be quite volatile and strong.

Tourists would be wise to plan a trip before or after the onset of cyclone season in order to have safe, secure and most of all enjoyable excursion to one of the most sought-after tropical destinations in the world.

Why cyclone season the worst time to visit French Polynesia?

French Polynesia is an incredibly beautiful and diverse travel destination, boasting some of the most stunning beaches, lagoons, and mountains in the world. But while it’s an ideal spot for many travelers, there is one time of year that you should avoid visiting this paradise cyclone season. Here are five reasons why cyclone season is the worst time to visit French Polynesia. 

❖ Inclement Weather Conditions: When cyclone season hits between November and April, tourists can expect heavy rainfall, strong winds, and rough seas. This kind of weather makes outdoor activities such as hiking and swimming quite dangerous. Tourists may also find it difficult to enjoy sightseeing due to the potential for flooding or other damages caused by high winds. 

❖ Closed Attractions & Businesses: Many attractions in French Polynesia close during cyclone season due to safety concerns or inclement weather conditions. This includes popular sites like Moorea Island Lagoonarium, Teahupo’o Beach, and Tahiti’s Museum of Tahiti and Her Islands (Musee de Tahiti et des Iles). Additionally, many restaurants and shops close during this time as well since they’re unable to stay open due to bad weather conditions. 

❖ Lack of Accommodation Options: Due to the decreased amount of tourists during cyclone season, many hotels in French Polynesia close or reduce their services during this period—so be sure to check availability before booking your trip! Those who are able to book accommodation may find that some hotels have limited amenities available due to closure for renovations or maintenance. Additionally, some resorts may offer discounted rates but may not provide their full range of services during this time either.

❖ Flight Cancellations & Delays: Bad weather conditions often lead to flight cancellations or delays throughout cyclone season which can mean more expensive flights and additional costs from airline companies due to rebooking fees or other charges associated with changing flights last minute. It’s important for travelers booked for a flight during cyclone season to be prepared for any potential changes in their plan so they don’t get stuck with unexpected costs when flying back home.

❖ Increased Prices: During Cyclone Season Tourist prices tend to increase significantly during cyclone season as fewer people visit French Polynesia at this time due the aforementioned issues above (closed attractions/businesses; lack of accommodation options; etc.). So if you do decide on a trip here at this time make sure you budget accordingly!  

Precaution During Cyclone Season:

with its crystal clear waters and vibrant culture. But it is also located in an area that experiences frequent cyclones throughout the year, so if you’re planning to visit during this time, it’s important to take extra precautions. Here are five things you should keep in mind when visiting during cyclone season.

Check the Weather Forecast Before You Travel: It’s never a good idea to travel during cyclone season without checking the weather forecast first. Cyclones can be unpredictable and can form quickly, so make sure to stay up-to-date on any changes in the forecast before heading out. It’s also a good idea to check ahead of time what type of cyclone warnings are issued in the area, so that you know exactly what to expect and how to prepare for them.

Bring an Emergency Kit: No matter when you travel, it’s always a good idea to bring some basic emergency supplies with you. This includes items like flashlights, extra batteries, non-perishable food items, water purification tablets or iodine drops, and a first aid kit. Having these items on hand can help you stay safe and comfortable if the power goes out or if access to food and clean water is limited due to flooding or other damage caused by the cyclone.

Know Your Options for Shelter: When travelling during cyclone season, it’s important that you know your options for shelter should a storm hit while you’re there. Many hotels will provide emergency shelters for their guests during a storm, but it’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with local evacuation shelters as well just in case they are needed. Make sure that all members of your party have this information as well just in case they become separated from the group at any point during your travels.

Be Prepared For Evacuation: If a severe storm hits while you are visiting French Polynesia, be prepared for possible evacuation orders from local authorities. This means having an emergency plan already mapped out ahead of time which includes where each member of your group will go if evacuation is necessary and how they will get there safely without putting themselves or anyone else at risk. It is also important that everyone knows who will be responsible for contacting family members back home should an evacuation occur so that everyone remains apprised of the situation and knows what steps need to be taken next if necessary.

Stay Informed Throughout Your Trip: No matter where you go during cyclone season, make sure that each member of your group stays informed on current weather conditions throughout their trip by monitoring local news sources or apps such as Accuweather which provide up-to-date information on storms forming in nearby areas as well as tips on how best to stay safe during inclement weather events. The more informed everyone is about potential threats before they arrive at their destination, the better prepared they can be once they get there.

How do I avoid the worst time to visit French Polynesia?

With its crystal-clear lagoons, white sand beaches, and lush jungles, it’s no surprise that this remote archipelago is one of the most sought-after vacation spots in the world. While visiting French Polynesia can be a truly unforgettable experience, there are certain times of year when you should avoid travelling there. Keep reading to learn more about when the worst time to visit French Polynesia is and how to plan your trip accordingly. 

Avoid The Rainy Season: The rainy season in French Polynesia typically runs from November through April. During this time, rain showers are frequent and can be intense at times. This can make it difficult for tourists to enjoy outdoor activities such as swimming or sightseeing. If you’re planning a trip during this time of year, consider bringing plenty of rain gear with you.

Don’t Go During Hurricane Season: Hurricane season in French Polynesia officially runs from November through March but can last until May in some areas – so it’s best to avoid travelling during this period if possible. Hurricanes can cause significant damage to structures and disrupt transportation networks across the islands, making them difficult to navigate during these months.

Beware Of High Humidity Levels: High humidity levels can make it uncomfortable for visitors during certain times of year in French Polynesia – especially between June and August when humidity tends to peak. To stay comfortable during your visit, consider packing lightweight clothing made from natural fabrics such as cotton or linen which will help keep your skin cool and dry even when humidity levels rise above average.

Avoid Visiting During Peak Tourist Seasons: The busiest tourist seasons in French Polynesia are typically between mid-December and mid-January as well as July and August – so you may want to avoid visiting during these months if possible due to increased prices for hotels and flights as well as long lines at attractions like museums or restaurants due to high demand from other travellers.

Watch Out For Local Festivals And Celebrations: If you’re planning on visiting any of the local festivals or celebrations while in French Polynesia, be sure to check dates beforehand – some events may overlap with other activities that could interfere with your plans (such as sports tournaments or holiday shopping). Additionally, many festivals require advance tickets which may sell out quickly – so be sure to plan ahead.


While French Polynesia is sometimes called a tropical paradise, it’s important to be especially mindful of cyclone season when planning a trip.

The worst time to visit is between October and May since cyclones can bring strong winds, torrential rains, rough waves, and flooding.

Travelers should make sure to check the weather forecasts before booking their trip to reduce the risk of being caught in a cyclone.

Ultimately though, no time is truly “worst” if you come prepared and weather any cyclones that blow your way.

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Devon Weetly is a passionate and adventurous traveller from Toronto with a knack for storytelling. He has embarked on countless journeys seeking new experiences, cultures, and landscapes to explore. His travels have not only been enriching, but also have inspired his writing career. As an aspiring writer with experience in creative fiction and travel journalism, he continues to find new avenues to express himself through his words and discover the hidden beauty of this world we live in.
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