Fly into Tahiti at Faa'a International Airport. This airport can be your launching point to explore other Tahitian islands. Hop on Air Tahiti for an hour-long flight to Fakarava (there's only one flight per day, so don't miss it). Or go to the Marquesas Island of Nuku Hiva (a three-hour flight departing just once a day, except twice on Fridays). Fly to Huahine on multiple flights per day. airtahiti.aero
Stay on those Tahitian islands at these inviting places. On Fakarava, the name says it all at Le Maitai Dream Fakarava, which has just 30 units overlooking a tropical lagoon, 689-93-41-50. On Huahine, venture off the beaten path to Te Tiare Beach Resort, where you'll find 11 deep over-water bungalows and five shallow over-water bungalows, which all face west for optimal sunset viewing. The resort is only accessible by boat (catch it in Fare, the main town on Huahine), tetiarebeachresort.com. Maurii Pension on Huahine features traditionally built beachside bungalows. But to experience overwater bungalows, Le Meridien on Bora Bora is a celebrated place to stay. lemeridien.com
Play "pearl lottery" at the Pearl Guest House Havaiki where you swim out, choose a pearl oyster and keep whatever is inside. Black ones are the most common. Get a green one, and you've hit the jackpot.
Day trip to Tetamanu on the southern coast of Fakarava, where you can snorkel completely surrounded by sharks, rays and lagoon fish. Then visit one of the first Catholic churches built all of coral in 1874.
Eat a low-key island lunch at Tetamanu Village on Fakarava. On Huahine, head to Te Marara, a waterside restaurant in the town of Fare. Try its renowned fresh-caught grilled mahimahi with a sauce made from locally grown vanilla. And, of course, wash it all down with Hinano beer.
Learn more at tahiti-tourisme.com.