South Pacific

Papeete, Tahiti

Tahiti's must-see main island.

Papeete is the capital city of Tahiti, in French Polynesia. Relatively easy to reach from the West Coast, it's an eight-hour nonstop flight from LAX. Upon arrival at Tahiti's Faaa Airport, we were greeted by ...

Pago Pago, American Samoa

On the soggy trail of Somerset Maugham.

A thick drizzle soaked me one Saturday afternoon in Pago Pago, American Samoa. (Pronounced something like “Pango Pango.) But the drizzle was a welcome relief from the Deluge of Heaven that had just raced across ...

Drinking kava in Fiji

An experience of the islands' unique drink and ceremony.

The Fiji Islands are known for their friendly natives, good-natured spirit and outgoingness of their people. Set in the South Pacific, Fiji is made up of over 300 islands, although most visitors touch base on ...

Tonga: forgotten South Pacific

Want authentic island culture? You'll find it here.

As I was being driven to my hotel by the hotel’s transfer service from Tongatapu’s international airport, the King of Tonga decided to provide me with a personal escort into Nuku’alofa, the capital city. Ok, ...

Chill out in Rarotonga

Under-the-radar South Pacific.

Sitting halfway between Tahiti and Fiji, the Cook Islands are yet to be discovered by most Americans. The vast majority of visitors who do come here are Australians and New Zealanders (for whom it’s a ...

Up a Mangrove Channel in Micronesia

A "Heart of Darkness"–like kayaking experience.

“Whenever you come to a fork in the channel, go left,” the owner of my hotel said as he prepared a kayak for me to paddle into the Mutunnenea Channel in northeastern Kosrae, Micronesia. “Eventually ...

Swim with the Sharks in Bora Bora

Just eight hours from LAX.

Part of Tahiti and French Polynesia, Bora Bora is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful islands in the world. Although it's just an eight-hour flight from LAX, visiting Bora Bora is like stepping ...

Shark Calling in Papua New Guinea

I became interested in shark calling when I met shark enthusiasts like myself who had visited the remote island of New Ireland off the coast of Papua New Guinea. I arrived at the village of ...

Fiji for the Rest of Us

Fiji is best known to travelers as a destination of exclusive white-sand beach resorts, catering more to honeymooners than backpackers or budget travelers. However, the more remote – and unspoiled – Yasawa Islands have a ...

Two Weeks in the Cook Islands

Those travelers looking for an authentic South Pacific experience without the exorbitant price tag should look no further than the Cook Islands. A nine-hour flight from LAX (one weekly nonstop) made the main island of ...

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