Moorea Island is one of the most popular travel destinations in French Polynesia and for a very good reason. It is home to the most unique landscape in the South Pacific, which makes it the biggest competition of Bora Bora and Tahiti for those seeking a vacation steeped in beauty. The island offers eight dramatic mountain ridges surrounded by lush green valleys as well as a lovely coastline made up of both white and black sand beaches. Located just twelve miles from the main island of Tahiti, travel to Moorea for an ideal day trip for those looking to experience a breathtaking landscape or a great starting point for a Tahitian vacation.
There are numerous ways to soak in the vistas of Moorea Island, but the most popular way is by traveling the 36-mile Circle-Island Road. This popular road serves as the main connection for the towns and villages along the coast and offers postcard worthy views to visitors. The coastal road can be explored either by car, bus, bicycle, or on foot. You can opt to enjoy a guided tour of parts of the Circle-Island Road to learn about the various villages or discover the beauty on your own. No matter what you decide, your Moorea vacation must include a stop to the Belvedere Overlook. It is a definite stop on organized tours and offers the most spectacular panoramic views of the plantations and lush vegetation of Opunohu Valley and of the twin bays in the distance. During your exploration of Moorea island be sure to visit the Papetoai Temple, the oldest European structure still in use in the South Pacific. It was built in the northern village of Papetoai in 1822 by the London Missionary Society and is in the shape of an octagon.
The list of things to do in Moorea is seemingly endless. There are activities and tours for all groups and ages with unique opportunities to truly experience the island. Scuba diving is by far the most popular activity the island has to offer. The lagoon's tranquil waters are an ideal spot for beginner divers to discover the thousands of fish, coral, and sea crustaceans of the world below. More experienced divers can opt to explore the expanses of the deep right outside the lagoon to observe barracuda, moray eels, sea turtles, and the migrating humpback whales from August to October. The underwater landscape of Moorea Island is unforgettable with the canyons, chasms, and promontories that it is home to. If you fancy a bit more excitement, you should include a shark feeding and viewing on your Moorea vacation. Experienced crew feed the sharks at a gathered location while visitors view the intense underwater feeding from a safe distance. This opportunity gives visitors a chance to observe the sharks in their natural habitat and how they act when they feed. The Moorea Dolphin Center at the InterContinental Resort Moorea also gives visitors the opportunity to come in close contact with marine creatures. Both children and adults who travel to Moorea are able to play and swim with the dolphins during scheduled times. You can also opt to go on a dolphin-watching boat tour to observe the dolphins and learn about their habitat. No matter which activity you choose at the Moorea Dolphin Center, visitors will certainly become educated about these friendly creatures.
Any Moorea vacation should include a day on one of the relaxing white or black sand beaches. It is said that the beaches on Moorea are among the world's finest due to the beautiful sand and turquoise waters. Many beaches and tours hold motu picnics where you can enjoy local fare such as fresh fruit and juices, fish, and other gourmet items. A motu picnic is an ideal way to soak in the beauty of the island while indulging in traditional food and mingling with other travelers and locals. There are also various watersports offered at many of the beaches to keep you occupied. Parasailing, jetskiing, and glass bottom boat tours are among the most popular activities. Parasailing and jetskiing allow you to experience the waters of the island while your adrenaline is pumping and a glass bottom boat tour provides you with great view of the world below the surface of the water.
Another great activity to include in your travel to Moorea is visiting one of the pineapple plantations. Moorea island is known as the “Pineapple Island” because it is the number one pineapple producer in all of French Polynesia. You can visit the numerous plantations and processing plants and take a tour to learn all about the harvest of pineapples and the processes that take place to produce pineapple products. A great feature of these tours is that at the end, visitors get to taste the delicious fruit and freshly squeezed pineapple juice.
Moorea island offers great options for accommodation whether you are looking to stay for a few nights or a few weeks. The food, panoramic views and relaxation these resorts and hotels provide are unbeatable. Many of these resorts offer spectacular nights that showcase Tahitian culture. Visitors are able to enjoy dinner and drinks while watching traditional Tahitian dancing. If you are looking to splurge, the most popular luxury Moorea resorts and hotels include Club Bali Hai, the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort and Spa, InterContinental Moorea Resort, and the Sofitel Moorea la Ora Beach resort. There are also various smaller hotels, pensions, and guesthouses around the island including Camping Nelson, La Maison De La Nature, and Hotel Fare Vaimoana. Offering a variety of accommodation, activities and a gorgeous landscape, Moorea island most certainly deserves all the praise it receives.