Be aware that everything is very expensive in French Polynesia. Even budget accommodation is tough on the budget, as is food, even groceries. So if you visit, take lots of money, you will need it.
The following forms of payment are accepted: all legal bank notes, international credit cards and traveller's check. The international banks with foreign exchange offices on Tahiti and the most frequently visited islands are the Bank of Tahiti, the Bank of Polynesia and Socredo. International hotels also provide this service but be careful: some atolls and islands in the Austral and Gambier group have no banking facilities.
Currency Exchange/Buy rates: As of 04/04/2011
1 Euro = 118.79 FCFP
1 USD = 83.65 FCFP
1 GBP = 134.79 FCFP
1 CAND = 86.39 FCFP
Black pearls are the high-end purchase in this part of the world. They are beautiful, and of varied quality, so the buyer beware, and the sky's the limit. There is lots of inexpensive mother-of-pearl jewellery that make very nice gifts.Created only by the giant black-lipped oyster Pinctada Margaritifera which thrives in the lagoons of the Tuamotu Archipelago, the rare Polynesian black pearl varies in color from silver through dark grey with green and pink highlights. This Tahitian jewel makes an exquisite and unique souvenir.
For visitors who wish to discover the secrets of Tahitian pearls, a visit to one of the pearl farms on the island of Tahaa or on one of the low islands in the Tuamotu is an experience not to be missed.