Exploring Moorea: A Travel Expert’s Guide
September 11, 2023
A picturesque heart-shaped island in the archipelagoes of French Polynesia, Moorea is Tahiti’s second most popular destination. But this island is so much more than a quiet romantic getaway. It is ripe for adventure with friends and family, your travel companions, or as a solo trip. Here, we will cover your biggest questions about Moorea and give some of our expert tips for experiencing Tahiti’s second-largest island.
Where Is Moorea?
Moorea (or Mo’orea) lies in the heart of French Polynesia, just ten nautical miles from the famous island of Tahiti. It is a destination, barely showing as a speck on the world map, halfway between Central America and Australia. You can reach Moorea by a 30-minute to one-hour ferry ride or a short 15-minute plane ride from Papeete Tahiti.
Its location in French Polynesia gives Moorea a wet and dry season, and it maintains a lovely climate in the 70s and 80s year round, with the lowest temperatures reaching the 60s in August. The dry and most popular season to visit is May through October. At the same time, you can expect the rainy season from November through April, with the wettest days typically falling in January and February. While most travelers like to explore Moorea during the dry season, it is a beautiful destination all year long, with better deals and more room to explore when visiting during the wet season.
Our Favorite Things To Do In Moorea
Our Tahiti expert and founder, Roseann, visited with friends in April 2023, and they enjoyed feeling right at home while having some t spectacular experiences. Roseann collected her favorite tips from the trip and made them into our current itinerary, exploring the Marquesas and Moorea. You can read more about some of our favorite experiences below.
Hike or 4×4 Magic Mountain
If you want to start your trip off by grounding yourself on the island, we recommend a trip to the top of Magic Mountain (Mount Toniea), where the views from the top display the division between the lagoon and ocean, the beautiful mountain Rotui, and the island’s north side. The steep, paved trail takes about 30 minutes to hike. Opt for an early start to enjoy some crisp air and more of the vista to yourself at your ascent. Another fun way to experience this mountain is by 4×4 (ATV) through a tour agency. Our team can help get this excursion added to your itinerary.
Visit A Pineapple Plantation
The volcanic soil on Tahiti Moorea is perfect for growing flavorful and sweet pineapple. You can find many plantations across the island that offer tours. You will be amazed at the seemingly endless pineapple crowns popping up across acres of land, framed perfectly by the movie-like mountains on the island. Tours like these are an excellent way to learn about the island’s history and get to know a local’s intriguing stories.
Photo By: Dena Meeder Photography
Cruise The Lagoon On A Catamaran
To truly experience Moorea, exploring the lagoon and barrier reef is a must. Let us set you up on a half-day catamaran with a total of just eight people, where you can snorkel next to a sand bar with beautiful manta rays and small sharks. When you get back on board, indulge in a fruit platter for a light snack before your next excursion, swimming to the underwater Polynesian statues and coral gardens that are awe-inspiring for any traveler. The catamaran was one of our favorite experiences on our trip, and one none of us will soon forget.
Rent A Transparent Kayak
A few tour companies rent out transparent kayaks for you to explore the lagoon. If you are a little shy about getting into the water, or you just want some extra time taking in all of the beauty beneath you, this offers you a way to take in the incredible life below from the comfort of a vessel. Plus, you can do this at your own pace with a guide to support your journey and explain some of what you see below. This is a perfect solo excursion or one you could take a whole family or travel group on.
Relax at Tamae Beach
This stunning beach located at the Sofitel Moorea is a favorite of travelers because of its white sand and easy access to snorkeling and water sports. Relax on the beach, snorkel or paddle board, and enjoy lunch and drinks at the beach bar.
Photo By: Dena Meeder Photography
The Best Place To Stay In Moorea
There is a lot to consider when looking for a place to stay, but the Sofitel Kia Ora Moorea Beach Resort has it all! Garden bungalows, overwater bungalows, and the only luxury beach bungalows with unobstructed views of the Island of Tahiti line this property. This resort has four incredible restaurants, an infinity pool, a fitness center, a spa, and an activities desk to use water sports equipment at your leisure. One of our favorite experiences was the Polynesian Evening, offered every Wednesday and Saturday, where you can see a cultural performance that will make you appreciate the beautiful and inviting culture surrounding you. The Sofitel is the best of what Moorea hotels and resorts have to offer.
If you are considering traveling to Moorea or would like to learn more about the other islands in Tahiti, we are here for you. You can view our established itineraries or let us build a custom trip that works with your travel style. Contact us today to see how we can help you.