Other Attractions
Black Pearl Shopping
French Polynesia produces the most sought after south seas Black Pearl from the "Pictada margaritifera" oyster. Nurtured in the warm-water lagoons such as Manihi, Rangiroa and Fakarava, these jewels embody the beauty, magic and charm of the South Pacific.

Black pearls come in a variety of shapes, from perfectly round to pear shaped to baroque. Colors range from pure black, green, aubergine, blue-tinged, reddish-bronze, steel gray, pinkish and even white. One of the most sought after colors is iridescent green known as "fly's wing" with spectacular luster. The best prices are obtained in the outer islands where the oysters are framed, along roadside shops and through small independent sellers. Major hotels, large pearl farms and in Papeete generally offer high-quality settings that carry prices several times more than can be obtained through small distributors.
Woodcarving is done mostly by men employing local hardwoods such as "tou," a variety of purple wood, and "miro," a local rosewood. Ancestral graphic and symbolic designs adorn spears, war clubs, "umete" or fruit bowls and other serving utensils. The Marquesans excel in woodcarving and provide many opportunities for the collection of travel gifts.
Hiking and Scenic Photography
Whether it is a hike to volcanic pinnacle, along an isolated beach, through a jungle path or a stroll to town for shopping or croissant and coffee, photo opportunities await around every corner. Bring plenty of film (or disk space), sun screen, water, lightweight hiking shoes and maybe a sweat band or two.

For information on tours or to arrange trips, call James Harlan at 888-390-9675. Additional information on tours is available from the Tahiti Tourism, POB 65, Papeete, Tahiti, Tel: 689-50 -7-00 (Fax: 689-43-66-19) or tahitilax@earthlink.com