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April 24, 2024

Moorea Island

Moorea, French Polynesia Travel Guide: How to Plan the Perfect Tropical Escape

Picture-perfect landscapes, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant marine life await you in French Polynesia’s hidden jewel – Moorea Island. Whether you’re seeking relaxation on pristine beaches, snorkeling right off the coast, or embarking on thrilling outdoor adventures, Moorea promises an unforgettable experience for all kinds of travelers. So, pack your bags, and let’s dive into this ultimate Moorea travel guide so you can plan your very own dream adventure yourself.

Moorea Island: The Jewel of French Polynesia

Nestled amidst the turquoise waters of the South Pacific, Moorea Island emerges as a true oasis in French Polynesia. Its lush greenery, jagged peaks, and secluded coves paint a mesmerizing tapestry of natural beauty. From the majestic Mount Rotui to the breathtaking Belvedere Lookout, every corner of Moorea exudes an energy of serenity and adventure.

If that wasn’t enough, the island is beaming with natural beauty and wildlife. Humpback whales and graceful reef sharks are not uncommon visitors of these crystal blue waters. When you visit Moorea, French Polynesia, you’re not just embarking on a typical beach vacation. Instead, you’re immersing yourself in a one-of-a-kind experience that offers vibrant culture, fresh local cuisine, and countless days basking in the Tahitian sun.

Where is Moorea Island & How Do You Get There?

By Ferry

Located just a short ferry ride from Tahiti Island, Moorea is easily accessible from Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia. With the islands being just 26 miles away from each other, Moorea is conveniently accessible by ferry. The most popular route to go from Tahiti to Moorea is by boat, and there are two ferry operators that run daily services. Departures leave from the port of Papeete and arrive in Moorea’s Vaiare Marina. The cost of a one-way ticket is around $16 for adults and $10 for children.

The Terevau and Aremiti ferry operators provide daily journeys from 6 am to 5:30 pm, with each trip lasting between 30 to 60 minutes. One advantage of traveling by ferry is that there’s no need for advance reservations.

By Flight

While it might not be as convenient as the ferry option, visitors can also choose to fly from Tahiti to Moorea island with Air Tahiti Airlines. These scenic flights last just 15-minutes and cost around $115 in low season.

How Long Should I Stay in Moorea, French Polynesia?

While a long weekend getaway can offer a taste of Moorea’s magic, ideally, plan to spend at least five to six days on the island to fully take in all the beauty this island has to offer. This allows ample time to explore its natural wonders, indulge in thrilling Moorea island activities, and unwind amidst the idyllic surroundings. Whether you’re seeking adventure or relaxation, Moorea island offers a plethora of experiences to suit every traveler’s preference. 

How to Get Around Moorea

Navigating Moorea’s enchanting landscapes and vibrant communities is made easy with various transportation options:

  • Rental Cars and Scooters: Explore the island at your own pace by renting a car or scooter from one of the many rental agencies available. This allows for flexibility in your itinerary and the freedom to discover hidden gems off the beaten path.
  • Taxi Services: Taxis are readily available on Moorea and offer convenient transportation between popular tourist destinations, hotels, and restaurants. Be sure to negotiate the fare beforehand or ensure that the meter is used for transparency.
  • Bicycle Rentals: Embrace a slower pace of exploration by renting bicycles to traverse Moorea’s scenic coastal roads and charming villages. Many accommodations offer bicycle rentals, allowing you to pedal your way around the island’s breathtaking scenery.
  • Boat Tours: Discover Moorea’s stunning coastline and neighboring islets through guided boat tours and excursions. From snorkeling adventures to sunset cruises, boat tours offer a unique perspective of the island’s natural beauty.

Whether you opt for the convenience of a rental car, the leisurely pace of cycling, or the excitement of exploring by boat, getting around Moorea is part of the adventure, offering opportunities to uncover its hidden treasures and scenic vistas.

Where Should You Stay on Moorea?

Choosing where to stay on Moorea can significantly impact your island experience, with each area offering its own unique charm and attractions. Whether you’re drawn to the allure of the ocean or seeking seclusion amidst the island’s majestic mountains, Moorea provides a range of accommodation options to suit every preference and budget.

By the Water

Temae Beach: With its stunning beachfront properties, overwater bungalow huts, and close proximity to the beach, this area is perfect for those seeking easy access to water activities like snorkeling and kayaking.

Hauru: Situated along the coast, Hauru offers a tranquil escape amidst swaying palm trees and gentle sea breezes, with charming guesthouses and cozy bungalows dotting the shoreline.

Haapiti: Located on the western coast of the island, Haapiti is another area known for its overwater bungalows and beachfront accommodations. 

Closer to the Mountains

Papetoai: Nestled amidst verdant hillsides and lush vegetation, Papetoai offers serene surroundings with panoramic views of the island’s rugged interior, providing a peaceful retreat within reach of Moorea’s attractions.

Moorea-Maiao: Staying in Moorea-Maiao while visiting the island offers the advantage of experiencing a quieter, more secluded atmosphere away from the bustling tourist areas, giving you a more tranquil and private vacation experience. Additionally, it provides opportunities to explore lesser-known beaches, hiking trails, and cultural attractions.

  • Villa Eutierra: Positioned within the prestigious Legends Residency located in Moorea-Maiao, Villa Eutierra stands out as an exclusive retreat for all types of travelers. Surrounded by Moorea’s majestic mountains, this luxury villa offers complete privacy and upscale amenities, including a private plunge pool, a sprawling terrace, and views of both the mountains and ocean.

Whether you’re seeking the tranquility of the mountains or the allure of the ocean, Moorea’s diverse accommodation options cater to every taste, promising an unforgettable island getaway.

Top Activities in Moorea Island

Embark on a journey of discovery as you dive into Moorea’s natural wonders and outdoor adventures. Below are some of the top things to do in Moorea Island.

  • Snorkeling in the Lagoon: Explore vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life.
  • Hiking Mount Rotui: Ascend this picturesque mountain for breathtaking panoramic views of the island and surrounding ocean.
  • Swimming with Sharks and Rays: Encounter blacktip reef sharks and stingrays in their natural habitat.
  • ATV Tours: Embark on an adrenaline-filled adventure through Moorea’s rugged interior and coastal landscapes.
  • Dolphin Watching: Take a boat tour to spot playful dolphins frolicking in the waves.
  • Pearl Farm Tours: Learn about the process of cultivating Tahitian pearls and shop for unique souvenirs.
  • Jet Ski Excursions: Zip across the crystal-clear waters of the lagoon on a thrilling jet ski ride.
  • Sunset Cruises: Relax onboard a yacht or catamaran and admire the stunning sunset over the Pacific Ocean.
  • Helicopter Tours: Soar above Moorea’s lush landscapes and iconic landmarks for a bird’s-eye view of paradise.
  • Hiking Mount Rotui: Ascend this picturesque mountain for breathtaking panoramic views of the island and surrounding ocean.
  • Belvedere Lookout: Visit this iconic viewpoint for breathtaking vistas of Cook’s Bay, Opunohu Bay, and the surrounding lush valleys.

Best Beaches in Moorea:

Moorea boasts an array of stunning beaches, each offering its own unique charm and opportunities for relaxation and adventure. From tranquil coves with powdery white sand to vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life, here are some of the island’s top beach destinations.

  • Temae Beach: Known for its powdery white sand and calm, turquoise waters, ideal for swimming and sunbathing.
  • Tiahura Beach: A picturesque stretch of shoreline surrounded by lush greenery, perfect for snorkeling and picnics.
  • Lagoonarium Beach: Home to a natural aquarium where visitors can snorkel among tropical fish and coral formations.
  • Opunohu Bay Beach: Offers stunning views of the bay and Mount Rotui, with shallow waters ideal for wading and relaxing.
  • Ta’ahiamanu Beach: Nestled in a secluded cove, this beach is renowned for its tranquil atmosphere and clear waters.
  • Cook’s Bay Beach: Set against the backdrop of towering mountains, this beach is popular for kayaking and paddleboarding.
  • Mareto Beach: A favorite spot for surfers, with consistent waves and a laid-back vibe.
  • Papetoai Beach: Fringed by palm trees and coral reefs, this beach is great for snorkeling and beachcombing.
  • Haapiti Beach: Offers a picturesque setting for sunbathing and swimming, with views of Moorea’s rugged coastline.
  • Motu Fareone: Accessible only by boat, this uninhabited islet boasts pristine beaches and excellent snorkeling opportunities.

Best Restaurants on Moorea Island

Looking for the best restaurants on Moorea? We have you covered! Savor the flavors of French Polynesia as you indulge in a culinary journey through Moorea’s best restaurants. From freshly caught seafood to exquisite poisson cru, here are some popular dining spots:

  • Coco Beach Restaurant: Offering a blend of romantic ambiance and oceanfront dining, Coco Beach Restaurant sets the stage for unforgettable evenings accompanied by delicious cuisine.
  • Holy Steak House: Indulge in steaks and fresh seafood amidst a laid-back atmosphere, perfect for a relaxed yet satisfying dining experience.
  • Manuia Grill: Immerse yourself in Polynesian hospitality at Manuia Grill, where traditional Tahitian dishes are expertly prepared.
  • Moorea Beach Cafe: Delight in a fusion of international flavors and local ingredients at Moorea Beach Cafe, where each dish is a culinary masterpiece paired with stunning views of the turquoise lagoon.
  • Tasty Moorea by Fare Tutava: Experience the essence of Moorea’s cuisine at Tasty Moorea by Fare Tutava, where traditional recipes are reimagined with a contemporary twist, promising a gastronomic journey experience.

Whether you’re craving traditional Tahitian cuisine or international fare, Moorea’s dining scene has something for everyone.

Wrapping Up

Moorea Island beckons travelers with its unparalleled beauty, captivating culture, and boundless adventures. From its pristine beaches to its lush interiors, every corner of Moorea exudes a sense of wonder and tranquility, inviting visitors to lose themselves in its enchanting embrace. 

Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or cultural immersion, Moorea offers a paradise like no other. So, if you’re ready to plan your next adventure in the South Pacific, be sure to pencil Moorea into your travel itinerary. 
And if you’re looking for a place to stay, Villa Eutierra is the perfect haven to call home during your trip. Staying at Villa Eutierra offers an unparalleled blend of natural beauty and complete privacy. Book your stay today to reserve an unforgettable vacation.