Climate & when to go
The dry winter period from May to October is the best time to visit; the weather is cooler and there is much less rainfall. Temperatures rise during the November to April summer rainy season when it's humid, cloudy and very wet. Three-quarters of the annual rainfall occurs during this period, generally in the form of brief, violent storms, although torrential rains lasting several days are not uncommon.
French Polynesia is south of the equator, but school holidays fall in line with those of the northern hemisphere. This means the peak season is July and August, and during this period it's no mean feat getting flights and accommodation. Christmas to early January, late February and early March, the Easter period, early May and early October are also quite busy times. The peak July-August season coincides with the Heiva festival, held throughout July, when the region comes to life.
Diving is popular year-round, and each season brings its share of discoveries. Surfing is also a year-round activity, but if you are sailing, it's best if you avoid the November to March tropical depressions. Walking is best in the dry season, as some of the trails are simply impassable when it's wet.