Moorea Island is vis­i­ble from Tahiti and is just a 15 minute flight or one hour ferry ride.  If you favor a more laid back atmos­phere, you will enjoy the pris­tine white sand beaches along the north and west coast.  There is also fan­tas­tic sight­see­ing along the coastal road.  It’s a real treat to stop by Cook’s Bay and Opunohu Bay.  Other fea­tures of this spe­cial Island include abun­dant marine life and archae­o­log­i­cal sites.  Mo’orea means “yel­low lizard” in Tahit­ian.  The island was formed as a vol­cano 1.5 to 2.5 mil­lion years ago, the result of a geo­logic hotspot in the man­tle under the oceanic plate that formed the whole of the Soci­ety Archipelago.

Moorea Quick Facts:

  • Loca­tion:    12 miles west of the island of Tahiti
  • Size:  Cov­ers 51 square miles
  • Pop­u­la­tion:  16,191
  • Air­port: Tema’e (MOZ)
  • Gov­ern­ment:  Part of the Munic­i­pal­ity of Mo’orea-Maiao
  • Cur­rency:  Pacific Franc
  • Cli­mate:  Daily tem­per­a­tures run in the 70’s and 80’s Fahrenheit

Those plan­ning a Moorea vaca­tion will encounter one of French Polynesia’s best selec­tions of restau­rants, hotels, resorts, sight­see­ing attrac­tions, and vis­i­tor activ­i­ties.  The top Moorea resort hotels include the Moorea Pearl Resort and Spa at Maharepa, Club Bali Hai Moorea at Paopao, the Sher­a­ton Moorea Lagoon Resort and Spa at Pihaena, the Beach­comber Inter­con­ti­nen­tal Resort Moorea between Papetoai and Tiahura, and the Moorea Beach Club and Hotel Hibis­cus Moorea at Tiahura.

Get­ting there is easy on the fre­quent high­speed ferry from Tahiti to Vaiare Wharf, or on Air Moorea to Temae Air­port. The 59-kilometer road cir­cles the island, and reg­u­lar buses meet the fer­ries. Taxis on Moorea are expen­sive, so make sure air­port trans­fers are included in your travel pack­age (if you’ll be fly­ing). The pop­u­lar cir­cle island Moorea tour usu­ally includes a trip up to Belvedere look­out with its sweep­ing view of the entire north coast. One of French Polynesia’s most intrigu­ing col­lec­tions of old Poly­ne­sian tem­ples or marae is just below Belvedere, and all in all, laid­back Moorea offers the per­fect escape from the bus­tle of Tahiti.

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