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Moorea

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Les Tipaniers Hotel
Les Tipaniers Hotel - dream vacation

PK26, Tiahura, Papetoai Moorea

Marks Place Moorea
Marks Place Moorea - dream vacation

Bungalows, BP 41 MaharepaMoorea

Pension Aute
Pension Aute - dream vacation

PK 16.2 \\nHaapiti, Atiha Moorea

Moorea Golf Lodge
Moorea Golf Lodge - dream vacation

Motu de Temae BP 60222 FAA\'A CentreMoorea

Tiahura Dream Lodge
Tiahura Dream Lodge - dream vacation

Lotissement Quesnot, Motu TiahuraMoorea

Te Ora Hau
Te Ora Hau - dream vacation

B.P.4005 AfareaituMoorea

Fare Vaimoana
Fare Vaimoana - dream vacation

Domaine Tiahura, BP 1181Moorea

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Moorea is an island in the Society Islands archipelago, a few kilometers off the northwest coast of Tahiti.

Regions

  • Cooks bay
  • Opunohu bay

Cities

Moorea doesn't really have any "cities" although there are several towns and villages. When entering a village you will see an official road sign stating the name of the village you are entering. When exiting the village, you will see the same sign with village name, but the village name will have an "X" over it.

Other destinations

Understand

If you are visiting French Polynesia on a budget, Moorea is the place to be. Moorea is like Tahiti but cheaper and less touristy. It's mostly rural and farming is big. There are chickens everywhere; the roosters crowing at 06:00 can get old after a few days.

Mosquitoes can be a problem away from the coast.

There are only a few banks on Moorea, and they are in the more populated villages. All banks are closed on Sundays. You can make currency exchanges at the major hotels, but at a lower rate. Plan accordingly.

Talk

Everybody speaks Tahitian and French. Anybody working in tourist services will speak enough English to get by, although it's not well spoken by the general public.

Get in

Take the high-speed ferry from Papeete. It's only a couple of bucks more than the slow one, takes half the time, and it's much more seaworthy. The channel between the islands can be choppy.

Air Tahiti - flights are about fifteen minutes long, and run back and forth several times a day. Be careful if you get airsick. The planes are small and fly at a low altitude so if there is any rough weather you will feel it the whole ride over.

Get around

As the island is administratively a part of France, the roads are surprisingly good. The main roads are all paved and quite wide. You can rent a moped for a day for about US$50 and drive it around the island in a few hours without fear of death. If you don't know how to ride one, take it slow or you will get hurt. Getting around by rental car or taxi is expensive, minibuses ("Le Trucks") are cheaper. There is also a shuttle bus service to and from the ferry terminal that goes around the whole island periodically. Hitching works with the usual caveats and risks.

See

  • Belvedere Lookout. You can see sacred Mt. Rotui, Cook's Bay, and Opunohu Bay. There's also the ruins of an ancient temple located along the road to Belvedere Lookup.
  • Waterfalls. There are several scattered around the island. None are very big. All require some hiking. Some you are supposed to pay a few dollars to see although there may or may not be anybody around to accept payment.
  • Jus De Fruits De Moorea. The pineapple juice factory and distillery. Free tours of the factory floor have been discontinued, but the gift shop remains open along with the free sample of various liqueurs.

Do

  • Snorkeling. You can rent or buy snorkeling stuff but do yourself a favor and bring your own. Just about anywhere in the lagoon is pretty decent. The channel between Motu Fareone and Motu Tiahura off the northwest point is particularly nice. You can swim out to it from the beach but it's a long swim and there are strong currents in this area. Otherwise hire a boat. A good tour to take is Hiro's tour out of Club Bali. It is a reasonable price and you get to do a feeding with sharks, stingrays and also a picnic on a motu.
  • Surfing. Reef breaks mostly, not a good place for beginners.
  • Diving.
  • Hiking. There is a pretty extensive trail network on Moorea. Bring bug spray and lots of water because it's hot and humid and buggy. It also tends to be muddy.
  • 4x4 off-road tour. These are guided tours of Moorea's amazing interior. Trips will vary based on the tour company you choose. Most trips are about 4-hours in length and will travel to four distinct locations. Some of the locations visited are listed in the previous section. This is an easy method for visiting multiple locations in a short period of time. US$50/person.
  • Horseback riding. This is a great way to see the beautiful interior of the island. Your guide will pick fresh fruits from trees and pineapples from the ground for you to eat when you reach the high lookout point. Wear jeans and good shoes. US$55 per person.
  • Tiki Village. Instead of paying for your hotel's Tahitian buffet and show, spend the money and go to the Tiki Village for a much better dinner and show. You will be shown around a replica of a traditional Tahitian village, educated about the local Polynesians' way of life, served a buffet dinner, white and red wine included, then entertained by a talented 60-person troop of dancers, singers, and musicians. Transportation and tickets arranged by your hotel activities desk. US$120 per person.
  • Moorea Store (Shopping), B.P. I380/98729 Papetoai/Moorea. The Moorea Store offers many things from souvenirs, to lotions to Black Pearls. Xavier and his Partner own the store and are very friendly and helpful. Xavier had the best prices for black pearls than anywhere we visited in Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora. He was very grateful for our business and gave us many items as gifts, even a beautiful black pearl to be made as a ring. This store is across the road and to the right of the Intercontinental Resort and Spa. Tuatini Activities is also operated by Xavier and his wife Taina, they provide Sunset cruises, Private tours, Motu transfers with Picnic, Motu rental, fare rental, wedding and Glass Bottom Boat. Tel +689 74 32 50 and email Irioa@mail.pf

Eat

The humid climate can cause a decrease in appetite. Thus locals tend to have many small meals or snacks though out the day.

  • Poisson cru is the way to go. Food trucks (roulottes) are also present though not like in Papeete.
  • Dairy products - Milk is not pasteurized and thus cheeses and yogurts are more flavorful.
  • Across the road from the ferry station is a pizza place well worth a visit. It's run by a French couple that speaks no English, but the menu has English explanations and the ham and pineapple are highly recommended.
  • There are also great pizza places just up the road from Club Bali and the Moorea Pearl Resort. Both are reasonably priced and you will get your money's worth.
  • Baguette. The local bread. Make a sandwich with meat, cheese, etc. Nothing fancy. Very portable. Along with a beer, this makes for good eats on the beach. CFP100.

Drink

Every hotel has a bar and there are lots of little bars and restaurants around. But drinking in bars in French Polynesia is damn expensive. Your best bet is to buy some Hinano bombers at the store and drink on the beach.

You will be charged an additional CFP60 deposit fee when purchasing Hinano bottles larger than 355 ml (12 oz). You can redeem your deposit at any location that sells Hinano. The larger bottles are sent back to the Hinano brewery for reuse/refill.

Tabu is another local beer, only available in 355-ml bottles and slightly more expensive compared to a 355-ml bottle of Hinano. Tabu is better tempered to the Tahitian heat. Unlike Hinano, Tabu is very drinkable at all temperatures: cold, slightly chilled, or room temperature.

Sleep

Budget

There are only 3 really cheap places on Moorea and they are all nearby at the northwest corner of the island. Well there are a couple other cheap places that aren't on the beach and where you might get carried away by the mosquitoes.

  • VAI Moorea Budget Bungalow, Tiahura, Haapiti (7 minutes walk from Le Petit Village, 2 minutes walk from the beach of Ancient Club Med), ☎ +689 774859, e-mail: societyatsea@gmail.com. The bungalow is clean, has a new bed, big fridge, small cooking oven, a TV, a shower, a toilet and is 2 m from the water and your own private beach. The price per week for the bungalow is at US$590 and per night is US$89..
  • Moorea Camping (Camping Moorea?), Tiahura, Haapiti, ☎ +689 56-14-47, e-mail: einui@hotmail.com. Cheap and right on the beach. It's a nice beach too, good sand, in the lagoon, palm trees, the whole megilla. Great reef snorkeling. Nice grounds with trees and flowers. Tent camping is available, as are dorm style, and motel style rooms. Kitchen facilities. Shared bathrooms, cold water (you won't want hot water anyway). Very basic accommodations, bring your own soap, TP, etc. No mosquitoes. Very social. Definitely the backpacker spot. US$12 for dorm.
  • Chez Nelson, Tiahura, Haapiti, e-mail: campingnelson@mail.pf. The other cheap place. Definitely second best beach-wise, and definitely cleaner than Moorea Camping.

Mid-range

  • Club Bali Hai, Cooks Bay, ☎ +1 888-222-5406 (from USA), e-mail: reservations@clubbalihai.pf. Motel rooms and overwater bungalows. Very scenic location. There is only a small artificial beach here. The water is fine for swimming, warm and deep. It's not very good snorkeling though, it's not so clear and there isn't much coral. Good snorkeling can be found nearby though. There is a decent restaurant and a pool. Rooms are in good condition and have AC and some have kitchenette. Within walking distance there's only one other restaurant (Italian) and a small bodega. There's no night life. If you get an over-water bungalow, beware of the one closest to the road, it's not over very much water and it's quite close to the road. Friendly staff, decent poisson cru. US$130-ish for over-water bungalow.
  • Pensions, Various locations along the main highway. Meaning "boarding house" in French, these are very small no frills lodging facilities. Typically less than 10 rooms or bungalows. Family operated along with a few extra employees. Accommodations will vary among the different pensions. Highly discouraged by travel agents as travel agents do not receive any percentage of the booking fees. Traveler's must book their room directly with the pension. Contact info is very difficult to find. And what little information is available on the internet is not the most reliable. Traveler opinions about pensions will vary. But most will agree that their stay was very personalized and a memorable experience. US$130-350.

Splurge

There are some really fancy hotels and resorts here although no super-resorts like on Tahiti. Club-med used to have an outfit here but it's abandoned now.

  • Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa. One of the top-rated resorts on the island and frequented by honeymooners. All rooms are bungalows, either "garden" or overwater. The lagoon around the resort are rife with coral & sea-life, making for terrific snorkeling. US$300 to $800 per night.
  • The Moorea Pearl Resort & Spa. This is the cheapest of the high end resorts. Room types range from motel rooms to overwater bungalows. The views, along with the beach, are not spectacularly and thus the most you should splurge on is the garden bungalow. This redort has more than 80 rooms, and crowds will frequent the common areas. Mainly the pool, bar, and restaurant areas. The resort guest list is a mix of families and couples only. Snorkeling at the resort's beach is not very good. The big buffet dinners are Wednesday and Saturday nights. Wednesday (about US$63 + service fees per person) with song and dance by a local dance troupe. The Saturday buffet (US$76 + service fees per person) concludes with a fire dance. Better non-entertainment dining options are available within walking distance of the resort for half the price. Within walking distance of the resort is a small village. Exit the resort to the main road, turn right, and proceed for five minutes. You will arrive at a market, bank, snack bar, and a pizza restaurant. Exit the resort to the main road, this time turn left, and proceed for ten minutes, and you will arrive at another market with better prices and greater selection. There's also a neighboring Japanese and seafood restaurants as well. US$300-600 per night.
  • The Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort. Quite pricey (more than US$700 for 2 people in overwater bungalow) but is a pristine, beautiful resort with fantastic staff and facilities. They had the best bungalows we saw on the islands. Reefs and coral were not as spectacular off the bungalows as they were at Le Meridien on Tahiti, but Ia Ora's has the bonus of having individual stairways to the water at each bungalow, a big plus.
  • The Intercontinental Resort and Spa Moorea. Also lovely and has overwater bungalows, but they were built on sand/rock instead of on docks over the water, so they are only a little over the water. However, they offer the best variety of activities. It is under construction.

Stay safe

Moorea has almost no violent crime. Petty theft can be an issue. Check your valuables at the desk or keep them on you. At least keep them stashed out of sight. Odd things may be taken, like the beat up old sneakers you left outside to dry the night before you are leaving, forcing you to hitch a ride to the bus stop because you have no other footwear to make the mile walk up the road and the pavement is a million degrees and there's broken glass in the margin, and then buy US$20 flip flops to wear on the plane.

Perhaps due to its lack of reliable public transportation and its outrageously expensive taxi fares, Moorea has a serious drunk-driving problem (with both tourists and locals equally guilty). Take particular care when walking or cycling the island's only paved road after dark; it gets pitch-black and can be quite dangerous away from the main villages (where you'll also be more tempted to walk or cycle in the middle of the road due to the amount of broken glass on the shoulders).

Go next

There are a couple of islets around Moorea you can visit.


Lifetime Journeys: Explore French Polynesia: Tahiti and Moorea

Kim Heinbuch

Explore the exotic islands of Tahiti and Moorea in vivid detail! Stay in an overwater bungalow with the ocean as your horizon. Go on a culinary tour where you are treated to a romantic beach dinner, an authentic French meal, and some of the freshest seafood dishes! You’ll go on some fantastic sightseeing opportunities that cover the entire coastline of Tahiti while zipping around the island of Moorea on a jet ski having personal interaction with sting rays and black-tipped reef sharks. Fall in love with the French Polynesian islands through more than 115 amazing photos!

Best of Moorea Travel Guide: What to See and Do on the Island of Moorea

Stephen K

My wife and I were determined to find a destination for our January honeymoon that had sunny and relaxing beaches, exciting excursions, and excellent dining options that would provide us with a once-in-lifetime experience that was most importantly within our budget. In this guide we’ll share our favorite experiences from Moorea and how to save money on what is considered an expensive trip to French Polynesia. Moorea is a beautiful island with a lot to see and do, but it can also be expensive due to its isolated location. The best way to save money when traveling to the French Polynesian islands is to research ahead of time because you’ll have limited access to the Internet once you’re there and will want to be ready to soak up all the island has to offer.Included in this guide is the history and culture of Moorea, a packing list, transportation recommendations, hotel and restaurant reviews, activity and excursion details, weather trends, shopping advice, a map, and tips to save money.

Hidden Tahiti and French Polynesia: Including Moorea, Bora Bora, and the Society, Austral, Gambier, Tuamotu, and Marquesas Islands (Hidden Travel)

Rob Kay

Presents a guide to accommodations, restaurants, beaches, outdoor activities, transportation, sights, and culture of Tahiti and the islands of French Polynesia.

We're Off...to Mo'orea: French Poynesia

Georgette Baker

A photographic and factual journey to Mo'orea , heart shaped island part of French Polynesia surrounded by crystal clear waters teaming with colorful creatures.

Tahiti & French Polynesia (Country Travel Guide)

Celeste Brash

Nobody knows Tahiti & French Polynesia like Lonely Planet, and our 8th edition offers the best of these island paradises. Whether that's diving in the Tuamotus, floating away the day in Maupiti's lagoon, exploring the market in Pape'ete or hiking in the Marquesas - you decide.Lonely Planet guides are written by experts who get to the heart of every destination they visit. This fully updated edition is packed with accurate, practical and honest advice, designed to give you the information you need to make the most of your trip.In This Guide:No Hype luxury spas and resorts independently rated and reviewedDedicated diving chapter located the best sites in these pristine turquoise watersExpanded coverage of the islands' historic sites and ancient temples

Moon Tahiti (Moon Handbooks)

David Stanley

South Pacific expert David Stanley knows the best way to vacation in Tahiti, from browsing the Papeete market to snorkeling off the island of Moorea. This guide includes unique trip ideas like The Best of French Polynesia and Underwater in the Tuamotu Islands. Complete with details on taking lagoon tours and jeep safaris, lounging in Polynesian spas, and partaking in lavish seafood buffets, Moon Tahiti gives travelers the tools they need to create a more personal and memorable experience.

Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora & French Polynesia (Travel Adventures)

Thomas Booth

Tranquil lagoons in shades of emerald and turquoise, palms swaying gently in the wind, powdery white beaches framed by soaring mountains and lush vegetation, waters teeming with brilliantly colored fish - this is the legendary South Pacific. Today, many of the islands remain as they were when Captain Cook and Captain Bligh of the Bounty sailed here, with traditional Polynesian life little changed. Where to stay, where to eat, how to get around, what to see and do - all of the practical information you need is spelled out in detail, along with maps for all of the islands and photos of all the sights. This guide focuses on French Polynesia: Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea, the Marquesas Islands and many more. This archipelago spread out over several million square miles of the south central Pacific is a mixture of high volcanic islands and low coral atolls. Tahiti, the biggest island in French Polynesia, has the most magical name in the South Pacific and with good reason. Papeete, her principal port, shares this distinction and for years Tahiti has been considered an island where land and sea are bountiful, the girls sensual, and the French administration casually tolerant. Mountainous Tahiti, with an area of about 400 square miles, looks from above like a deformed figure eight, a small round island joined to a large round one. A 75-mile road, called La Route de Ceinture (the Belt Road) circles the bigger part of the island, called Tahiti Nui, and a pair of roads extend eight to ten miles along either side of the smaller part of the island, called Tahiti Iti. Beyond, there are only footpaths. Visit Point Venus, a pretty spot which is fine for picnics, under the trees in the shadow of the old lighthouse. This is where Captain Cook on June 3, 1769 observed the transit of the planet Venus. At nearby Papeari tradition says Polynesians first settled a thousand years ago. It's also where Paul Gauguin lived and worked in the 1890's. At the nearby Gauguin Museum you can see documents and artifacts from his day. The mountains in Tahiti's interior are beautiful and challenging. The 7,000-foot Mt. Aorai climb is the most rewarding. Moorea is 12 miles away. It's a lovely 82-square-mile triangular-shaped island of sharp peaks, deep valleys, beaches, and bays. If you do the round-island trip, you'll see quaint villages, towering mountains, picturesque lagoons, and fine beaches. The most dramatic way to see Moorea is by hiking. Footpaths connect many of these old temples that were the ancestral shrines of local chiefs. Huahine in those ancient days was a center of Polynesian culture. Bora Bora  is 160 miles from Tahiti. The pearl of all islands, it has a beauty borne of lagoon, reef, and green mountains. Tetiaroa is a 4.5-mile-wide atoll comprised of 12 motus (small islands) located just 36.5 miles (59 km) north of Papeete, on the island of Tahiti. It is probably most famously known for its now deceased but legendary owner, the charismatic and moody Hollywood actor, Marlon Brando. Marlon Brando first "discovered" Tetiaroa in the early 1960's while scouting locations for the film "Mutiny on the Bounty". (it was on that same shoot that he met his future wife, Tahitian beauty Tarita Teriipaia, who played the lover of his character.) Brando's son lives on the island now. And then there are the 12 Marquesas Islands. Nuku Hiva, the administrative center, like most of the others, is majestically mountainous and beautiful. This is an in-depth guide to all of them.

Tahiti: Bora Bora Moorea

Color Smart

Tahiti (/təˈhiːti/; French pronunciation: [ta.iti]; previously also known as Otaheite (obsolete) is the largest island in the Windward group of French Polynesia. The island is located in the archipelago of the Society Islands in the central Southern Pacific Ocean, and is divided into two parts: the bigger, northwestern part Tahiti Nui and the smaller, southeastern part Tahiti Iti. The island was formed from volcanic activity and is high and mountainous with surrounding coral reefs. The population is 189,517 inhabitants (2017 census),[1] making it the most populous island of French Polynesia and accounting for 68.7 percent of its total population. Tahiti is the economic, cultural and political centre of French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity (sometimes referred to as an overseas country) of France. The capital of French PolynesiaPapeete, is located on the northwest coast of Tahiti. The only international airport in the region, Fa'a'ā International Airport, is on Tahiti near PapeeteTahiti was originally settled by Polynesians between 300 and 800 CE. They represent about 70 percent of the island's population with the rest made up of Europeans, Chinese and those of mixed heritage. The island was part of the Kingdom of Tahiti until its annexation by France in 1880, when it was proclaimed a colony of France, and the inhabitants became French citizens. French is the only official language, although the Tahitian language (Reo Tahiti) is widely spoken

The Stormrider Surf Guide South Pacific (Stormrider Surf Guides)

Bruce Sutherland

Trying to sum up or describe the definitive vision of “tropical paradise” that floats around most people’s imagination is probably best done in two words – South Pacific. This gigantic expanse of the deep blue Pacific, warmly embraces the randomly scattered island groups that dare break the surface, providing perfect conditions for an abundance of coral life in the form of fringing, platform, patch, barrier, oceanic ribbon, atolls and drowned coral reefs. Where there’s reef, there’s surf and early Polynesian cultures quickly learned how to integrate that surf into their daily lives. It’s not all plain sailing when it comes to catching some of these waves and many waves require a boat to reach them, high tide to cover them and above average skill to ride them.The Stormrider Surf Guide Kindle ebooks are just part of the worlds best selling and most respected collection of surfing guide books. The Stormrider Surf Guides come in just about every format possible including paper, Itunes App and now the Kindle edition ebooks. They are the only comprehensive colour guides to the coastlines of Europe, North America, Central American and the Caribbean, Indonesia and the Indian Ocean, South America, Africa, East Asia, The Pacific and Australia. The authoritative text includes oceanographic, environmental and cultural notes on the entire coastlines. Each guide contains numerous full colour maps and superb photos of the best waves, shot by the best photographers. All information is compiled with the help of local riders whose sensitive approach enables an accurate and knowledgeable appraisal. An essential tool for surfers searching for their perfect wave.

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