If you're looking for paradise, go to Moorea. This is your dream vacation spot in French Polynesia—clear blue waters, verdant vegetation and a quiet, laidback, easy-going lifestyle. Unlike overly crowded and very touristy Bora Bora, Moorea has retained an air of tranquility that still has the power to inspire the most worn out soul. From the seas that offer great diving and snorkeling to the island's lush interior filled with numerous places to hike, this pristine paradise offers rest and rejuvenation for the most jaded of spirits. Indeed, inspiration can be found here.
Things to Do
Beach activities are the best thing about Moorea. Whether you want to swim, snorkel or dive, the waters at Temae's public beach and Opunohu's public beach offer great coral views and underwater features. However, because of the water currents, make sure that you get to know the area first before heading out. Take a snorkeling or diving tour and head to the Lagoonarium of Moorea where you can feed the stingrays and baby sharks. The trails in Moorea also make it ideal for hiking as well—just be sure to bring insect repellent and lots of bottled water since these are not easy treks. Another way to explore the island is to take a 4x4 road tour, where you can see waterfalls or go to Belvedere Lookout, which offers magnificent views of the Mt. Rotui and Cook's Bay. Ruins of an old temple may also be seen on the way to the magnificent panorama of Belvedere. The Toatea View Point also offers fantastic sunset views of Tahiti and the lagoon. You can also explore Moorea's rich and lush interior on horseback. You can also swim with the dolphins at the Moorea Dolphin Center inside the Intercontinental Resort and Spa Moorea.
There are many restaurants in Moorea that serve simple and appealing fare. Most of them are centered in the hotel districts of Maharepa and Tiahura. If you want entertainment and dinner combined, arrange with your hotel to go to Tiki Village. Bars are normally located within your hotel as well, although drinks can be quite expensive.
Black pearls make good memories of your Moorea vacation and there are many jewelry stores that sell them. In Maharepa, these jewelry boutiques include Jewelry Eva Perles, Art Marquisien and Jewelry- Pure Passion. There are also many local craft stores on the island. Visit Taimana Creations, Gallery Green Lagoon and Kerebel Golden Nuggets. Don't miss Te Matete no Moorea -- or the Moorea craft market -- which features shows and sales of local products.