Visit Moorea – Snorkeling
Visit Moorea for one of the best snorkeling locations in the world. Guests at the Hilton Moorea rave about the variety of fish seen from the overwater bungalows. Tropical fish are even visible through glass floor sections in the bungalows. The InterContinental Moorea has very good snorkeling too. There are coris, chromis, triggers, brown clownfish, damsels, squirrelfish, bright blue parrotfish, an eagle ray, numerous varieties of butterfly fish, reef sharks and lots of Picasso triggers. If you enjoy snorkeling, Moorea is for you.
Visit Moorea – Sharks & Stingrays
The shark and stingray excursion is one of the most popular tours in Moorea. The stingrays congregate inside the reef a short distance from the InterContinental Moorea. Read about our Stingray Reef Shark Snorkel.
Visit Moorea – Swim with Whales
Humpback whales are typically present from July to October, which makes September an excellent time for viewing whales and their newborn calves. Rules about whale watching are slack in French Polynesia. Some excursions include snorkeling with humpbacks and their calves. Humpbacks don’t have sonar, so recognize that makes their motions much less predictable. Take an excursion to Swim with Whales, Sharks, Rays and Dolphins.
Visit Moorea – Circle Island and Belvedere Lookout
Circle Island Tour – travel the 61 km (40 mi) road that circles the island via rental car, rental dune buggy or with an excursion. It’s impossible to get lost on Moorea, as it’s the only road on the island and it always brings you back where you started.
Belvedere Lookout Off Road Excursion. Near the viewpoint are ruins of the Polynesian temple of Titiroa Marae. From the parking lot at Titiroa, a trail leads through the forest to the altar at Marae Ahu-o-Mahine. Try the Moorea Circle Tour and Belvedere Lookout or Albert ATV Fun Tours.
Day Trips on Moorea
- Moorea Sunset Cocktail Cruise
- Moorea Circle Tour and Belvedere Lookout
- Swim with Whales, Sharks, Rays and Dolphins
- Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort and Spa – overwater bungalows with glass floor panels. Snorkeling from the bungalows is world class.
- InterContinental Moorea Resort & Spa – great snorkeling and extra large overwater bungalows. See our review below.
- Sofitel Moorea la Ora Beach Resort
- Moorea Pearl Resort & Spa
Weather in Moorea
Expect very little variation in temperatures throughout the year. Average highs will be about 85 F (30 C) and lows will average 75 F (23 C). The rainy season extends from November to April. Temperatures can be slightly higher during this period, because this area of French Polynesia is south of the equator. June through October are the popular tourists months, because they are drier. It can rain any time of year though and global warming influences of El Nino bring inconsistency to weather forecasting. We think September is a good bet for the best month to visit Moorea.
Moorea is located about 16 km (10 mi) from Tahiti and is easily accessible by air on Air Tahiti Nui or regularly scheduled ferry service on Aremiti or Terevau. Many people who live on Moorea use the ferry to reach jobs on Tahiti every day. The ferry system also transports vehicles. Walk on passengers can leave suitcases and packages with an attendant and pick up their luggage on the other side without ever tagging it.
Moorea Local Transportation
The road around the island has markers at each kilometer from the airport and you need to pay attention to whether you are going clockwise or counter clockwise. Haapiti is the intersection of the marker systems at PK 24 clockwise or PK 37 counter clockwise. Cars are easy to rent and tour bus companies like Moorea Explorer travel around the island regularly. Local bus service on Le Truck is inexpensive and coordinated with the arrival of the ferry. Le Truck service around the island can be irregular at other times.
Visit Moorea – More to See
- Scuba diving, kayaking, rowing on an outrigger canoe, paddle boarding, kite boarding and deep sea fishing.
- Visit Opunohu Bay, Opunohu Valley and Cook’s Bay with views of Mount Mouaputa, the Shark’s Tooth. At Cook’s Bay you will find the Moorea Fish Market and the Church of St. Joseph.
- Ebenezer Temple Papetoai – first missionary building on the island.
- Tiki Theater Village has a Tahitian dinner and performance.
- Toatea Overlook has views of the Sofitel overwater bungalows.
- Atiraa Waterfall and the unmarked Polynesian ruins of Umarea Marae on the waterfront at PK 10, both near the village of Afareaitu.
- Moorea Green Pearl Golf Course Polynesian – one of the rare opportunities for golf in French Polynesia. The course was designed by Jack Nicklaus.
Moorea – Cost of Living
Moorea is a much more natural and uncluttered island than Tahiti. Typical of all of Polynesia, the cost of living is extremely high. Nearly every food, except swordfish and tuna, are imported. French Polynesia is famous for its black pearls and there are plenty of opportunities to purchase them on Moorea.
Visit Moorea – Background
The name Moorea refers to an island and not a city. It is also sometimes called the Magical Island. Moorea has no urban centers, but rather it is home to a series of small villages along its shores, such as Vaiare, Paopao and Haapiti. The island is about 80 square miles in area and has a permanent population of under 20,000. Moorea is ringed by a low coral reef. The reef protects the island and creates its fabulous blue waters. Opunohu Valley is lush with fruits and tropical plants. A series of mountain ridges makes Moorea picturesque when viewed from the ocean.