Moorea Travel Guide
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Plan Your Moorea Vacation

Moorea is called the "sister island" of Tahiti and its proximity—just 19 km (12 mi) away across the Sea of Moon—has assured a steady stream of both international and local visitors. Many Tahitians have holiday homes on Moorea and hop over in their boats or take the 30-minute ferry. The draw is South Seas island charm and a relatively slow-paced life. Moorea is an eighth of the size of Tahiti but packs all the classic island features into its triangular shape. Cutting into the northern side of the island are the dramatic Opunohu Bay and Cook's Bay, the latter backed by the shark-toothed Mt. Mouaroa and home to many resorts and restaurants. Between the two bays majestic Mt. Rotui rises 2,020 feet (616 meters) and steep, jagged mountain ridges run across the island. From the Belvedere lookout there are awesome views of these bays and mountains, including the tallest peak—the thumb-shaped Mt. Tohiea reaching 3,960 feet (1,207 meters) into the clouds.

Moorea is ringed by a coral reef enclosing a beautiful and quite narrow lagoon. Unlike other islands in the Society group, Moorea has only a couple of motu (islets) and they are located off the northwest corner. The island's rugged peaks and deep bays are said to be the inspiration for James A. Michener's mythical isle of Bali Hai, although historians dispute this claim. It's also believed to be the "birthplace" of the legendary overwater bungalow: a trio of Californian guys who came to Moorea in the 1950s and became known as the Bali Hai boys reportedly dreamt up this unique style of hotel room. Today there are seven resorts and about 24 smaller hotels and pensions, acres of pineapple plantations, and one of only two golf courses in French Polynesia.


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Top Reasons To Go

  1. The lush paradise Moorea retains an authentic island feel, with many traditional villages to be discovered on a circle-island tour. Pineapple plantations dot the hillside, residents tend their luxuriant gardens, and wild rain forest dominates the inland peaks.
  2. Take a hike This is the place to put on the walking boots and head for the hills. There are ridge and valley walks and treks to high points for awesome views.
  3. Arts and Culture Moorea is home to more artists than any other island in French Polynesia. There are painters, woodcarvers, and sculptors, and jewelers working with pearls and shells. For cultural entertainment, check out vigorous hip-shaking, the swishing of grass skirts, evocative drumming, and the blaze of fire-dancing at the Tiki Village.
  4. Cheap sleeps Moorea has the greatest concentration of pensions, guesthouses, and villa rentals in French Polynesia which means there's a wide choice of affordable accommodation.

When To Go

When to Go

There are two seasons: the wet summer season from November to April when temperatures peak at 85°F (with night temperatures dropping to around...

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