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The Ultimate Mo’orea Travel Guide


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Marnia Jamison



Welcome to Mo’orea, a tropical paradise nestled in the heart of French Polynesia. With its lush green mountains, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and pristine white sandy beaches, Mo’orea is a dream destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a solo adventure, this enchanting island offers a wide array of experiences to suit every traveler’s taste.


Mo’orea is located just a short 30-minute ferry ride from Tahiti, making it easily accessible for visitors arriving by air. As you step off the ferry and set foot on the island, you’ll be greeted by warm breezes and a sense of tranquility. The laid-back vibe and friendly locals make it easy to instantly unwind and embrace the slower pace of island life.


One of the best things about Mo’orea is its natural beauty. The jagged peaks of the island’s mountain range create a stunning backdrop, while the vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life offer unparalleled snorkeling and diving opportunities. Whether you choose to hike to the summit of Mount Rotui, explore the hidden waterfalls, or simply relax on the beach, you’ll be surrounded by breathtaking scenery at every turn.


In this ultimate Mo’orea travel guide, we’ll delve into everything you need to know to make the most of your trip to this tropical paradise. From tips on when to visit and where to stay, to the top attractions, activities, and even the best spots for shopping and dining, we’ve got you covered. So, grab your sun hat and flip flops, and let’s embark on an unforgettable adventure in Mo’orea!


Getting to Mo’orea

Getting to Mo’orea is a breeze, with several convenient options available depending on your travel preferences. The most common way to reach the island is by flying into Faa’a International Airport in Papeete, Tahiti’s capital, and then taking a short 30-minute ferry ride to Mo’orea. Many major airlines offer flights to Tahiti, making it easily accessible from various international airports.


Once you arrive in Tahiti, you can choose between two ferry companies – Aremiti and Terevau – that operate regular services between Papeete and Mo’orea. The ferry ride offers stunning views of the surrounding islands and is a great way to kick off your Mo’orea adventure.


If you prefer a faster and more luxurious option, you can also charter a private helicopter or seaplane to Mo’orea. This allows you to bypass the ferry ride and enjoy a scenic flight over the turquoise waters and lush landscapes of French Polynesia. This option is not only convenient but also provides a mesmerizing aerial perspective of the islands.


Once you arrive on the island, transportation is easy to arrange. Taxis are readily available at the ferry terminal and airport, and you can also rent a car or scooter to explore at your own pace. Alternatively, many resorts offer shuttle services, so you can arrange for a pick-up to take you directly to your accommodation.


It’s important to note that you will need a valid passport to enter French Polynesia and Mo’orea. Check the visa requirements for your country before traveling, as some nationalities may require a visa or a permit upon arrival.


Now that you know how to get to Mo’orea, it’s time to start planning your adventure. Whether you choose to fly, ferry, or soar above the islands, the journey to this tropical paradise will be nothing short of extraordinary.


Best Time to Visit Mo’orea

Mo’orea enjoys a warm and tropical climate year-round, making it a fantastic destination to visit at any time. However, there are certain times of the year that offer optimal weather conditions and unique experiences, depending on your preferences.


The most popular time to visit Mo’orea is during the dry season, which falls between May and October. During this period, the weather is typically warm and sunny, with minimal rainfall. The temperatures range from 75°F (24°C) to 85°F (29°C), making it perfect for outdoor activities such as hiking, snorkeling, and sunbathing.


The months of July and August are considered the peak tourist season in Mo’orea, so expect larger crowds and higher prices during this time. If you prefer a quieter experience with fewer tourists, you may want to consider visiting during the shoulder seasons of May-June or September-October. These months still offer plenty of sunshine and pleasant weather, but with fewer crowds and more affordable accommodation options.


Another great time to visit Mo’orea is during the wet season, which runs from November to April. While this period does see more rainfall, it also brings lush green landscapes and vibrant flora. The temperatures during this time range from 80°F (27°C) to 90°F (32°C). If you don’t mind occasional showers and want to take advantage of lower prices and quieter beaches, the wet season can be an excellent choice.


One thing to keep in mind is that Mo’orea is a popular destination for honeymooners and romantic getaways. If you’re planning a romantic trip, consider visiting during the shoulder season or low season to enjoy a more intimate and serene experience.


Overall, the best time to visit Mo’orea depends on your preferences and priorities. Whether you want to enjoy perfect weather, avoid crowds, or take advantage of lower prices, there’s a time of year that will suit your needs. Just remember to pack sunscreen, swimwear, and lightweight clothing, as the island’s tropical climate beckons you to soak up the sun and enjoy the stunning natural beauty.


Where to Stay in Mo’orea

Mo’orea offers a variety of accommodation options to suit every traveler’s taste and budget. From luxurious resorts to charming guesthouses, you’ll find the perfect place to make your stay on the island unforgettable.


If you’re looking for a luxury experience, there are several high-end resorts dotted along the coast of Mo’orea. These resorts feature overwater bungalows and beachfront villas that offer stunning views and direct access to the crystal-clear lagoons. Many of these resorts also provide a range of amenities, including spas, gourmet restaurants, and private pools, ensuring a truly indulgent stay.


For a more budget-friendly option, consider staying at one of the mid-range hotels or guesthouses on the island. These accommodations still offer comfortable rooms and often have their own beach areas or swimming pools. Many guesthouses are owned and operated by locals, providing a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the Polynesian culture and experience true island hospitality.


If you’re an adventurous traveler or prefer a more rustic experience, camping is also an option in Mo’orea. There are designated camping areas where you can pitch a tent and enjoy the beauty of nature beneath the starry skies. Just make sure to check the camping regulations and bring your own equipment.


No matter where you choose to stay in Mo’orea, you’ll be surrounded by picturesque landscapes and breathtaking views. From waking up to the sound of gentle waves lapping against the shore to watching the vibrant sunset paint the sky, each day will begin and end with a sense of peace and serenity.


Whether you’re seeking luxury, comfort, or a more immersive experience, Mo’orea has a range of accommodation options to cater to your needs. It’s best to book in advance, especially during the peak season, to secure your preferred choice of lodging. So, take your pick and get ready to enjoy a blissful stay in this tropical paradise.


Top Attractions in Mo’orea

Mo’orea is a treasure trove of natural wonders and captivating attractions that will leave you in awe. From pristine beaches to majestic waterfalls, here are some of the top attractions that you must explore during your visit:

  1. Temae Beach: Considered one of the most beautiful beaches in French Polynesia, Temae Beach boasts powdery white sand and crystal-clear turquoise waters. Relax on the beach, go for a swim, or embark on a snorkeling adventure to discover the vibrant marine life.
  2. Belvedere Lookout: Located in the heart of Mo’orea, the Belvedere Lookout offers breathtaking panoramic views of Cook’s Bay and Opunohu Bay. Marvel at the lush mountains and soak in the beauty of the surrounding landscape.
  3. Tiki Village Cultural Center: Immerse yourself in the rich Polynesian culture at the Tiki Village Cultural Center. Experience traditional dance performances, learn about local customs, and indulge in a delicious Polynesian feast known as a “luau.”
  4. Mo’orea Lagoonarium: Discover the incredible underwater world of Mo’orea at the Lagoonarium. Snorkel alongside tropical fish, rays, and even sharks in a safe and controlled environment. It’s a must-visit for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers.
  5. Afareaitu Waterfalls: Hike through the lush rainforest to reach the Afareaitu Waterfalls. Marvel at the cascading waters and take a refreshing swim in the natural pool beneath the falls. The picturesque surroundings make it a perfect spot for nature lovers and photographers.
  6. Opunohu Valley: Explore the breathtaking Opunohu Valley, known for its verdant landscapes and stunning views. You can hike or bike through the valley, or take a guided tour to learn about the local flora, fauna, and ancient Polynesian history.
  7. Dolphin and Whale Watching: Join a guided tour to witness the incredible sight of dolphins and whales swimming in the waters around Mo’orea. These marine creatures are often spotted playing and leaping, providing a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

These are just a few of the many amazing attractions that Mo’orea has to offer. Each corner of the island reveals a new adventure, whether it’s exploring the vibrant coral gardens, hiking to hidden viewpoints, or indulging in the warm hospitality of the locals. So, make sure to include these top attractions in your itinerary and get ready for an unforgettable journey in Mo’orea.


Water Activities in Mo’orea

Mo’orea is a haven for water enthusiasts, offering a plethora of thrilling activities that will satisfy your adventurous spirit. Whether you want to dive into the depths of the turquoise lagoons or glide across the surface on a kayak, there are plenty of water activities to keep you entertained. Here are some of the top water activities to experience in Mo’orea:

  1. Snorkeling: Dive into the crystal-clear waters and explore the vibrant underwater world of Mo’orea. With an abundance of coral reefs and diverse marine life, snorkeling here is an unforgettable experience. The famous snorkeling spots include the Coral Garden and the Tiki Reef.
  2. Scuba Diving: For certified divers, Mo’orea offers exceptional diving opportunities. Discover the hidden treasures of the ocean, swim alongside colorful tropical fish, and explore fascinating coral formations. The dive sites around the island cater to divers of all levels of experience.
  3. Kayaking: Rent a kayak and paddle your way through the calm lagoons of Mo’orea. Explore remote beaches, discover hidden coves, and soak up the breathtaking views of the island. You can also opt for guided kayak tours that take you to the best spots.
  4. Paddleboarding: Test your balance and glide across the tranquil waters on a paddleboard. From standing up on the board, you’ll have a unique perspective of the surrounding landscape and may even spot some marine life swimming beneath you.
  5. Jet Skiing: For those seeking a more exhilarating water adventure, hop on a jet ski and zoom across the lagoon. Feel the rush of the wind as you explore the coastline, visit neighboring motus (islets), and perhaps even encounter dolphins frolicking in the waves.
  6. Boat Tours: Take a boat tour around the island to discover hidden bays, secluded beaches, and stunning viewpoints that are only accessible by boat. You can choose from a variety of tours, including sunset cruises, snorkeling expeditions, and island-hopping adventures.
  7. Swimming with Sharks and Stingrays: Embark on an unforgettable experience by swimming with blacktip reef sharks and stingrays in their natural habitat. These gentle creatures are harmless and swimming alongside them is a truly surreal and captivating encounter.

With its warm waters, diverse marine life, and stunning natural landscapes, Mo’orea is a playground for water activities. Whether you’re an experienced diver or a beginner snorkeler, the island offers something for everyone. So, dive in and embrace the wonders of the ocean that Mo’orea has to offer.


Land Activities in Mo’orea

While Mo’orea is renowned for its stunning beaches and turquoise waters, the island is equally captivating on land. From hiking through lush rainforests to cultural encounters with the locals, there are a variety of land activities to experience during your visit. Here are some of the top land activities in Mo’orea:

  1. Hiking: Lace up your hiking boots and explore the picturesque trails that wind through Mo’orea’s verdant mountains. The network of well-marked hiking paths caters to all levels of experience, offering breathtaking views of the island’s valleys, waterfalls, and coastline. Don’t miss the popular trails to the Belvedere Lookout and Three Coconuts Pass.
  2. ATV Tours: Embark on an exciting ATV adventure and explore the rugged terrains of Mo’orea. Ride along dirt trails, venture into hidden valleys, and discover breathtaking viewpoints. This thrilling activity allows you to explore the island with a sense of adrenaline and freedom.
  3. Biking: Rent a bicycle and cruise along the scenic roads of Mo’orea. Marvel at the majestic mountains and stunning coastal views as you pedal your way through the island. You can also join guided biking tours to explore the less-traveled paths and learn about the local flora and fauna.
  4. Visit Marae: Immerse yourself in Mo’orea’s rich Polynesian culture by visiting the ancient religious sites known as marae. These sacred places offer a glimpse into the island’s history and cultural traditions. Join a guided tour to learn more about the significance of these spiritual sites.
  5. Visit a Pineapple Plantation: Mo’orea is famous for its delicious pineapples, and a visit to a local pineapple plantation is a must. Take a guided tour to learn about the cultivation process, taste fresh pineapple, and purchase some juicy treats to enjoy during your stay.
  6. Zip-lining: For those seeking an adrenaline rush, zip-lining through the lush forests of Mo’orea is sure to deliver. Soar through the treetops and enjoy panoramic views of the island as you glide across the zip lines. This thrilling adventure offers a unique perspective of the island’s natural beauty.
  7. Photography Tours: Mo’orea is a photographer’s paradise, with stunning landscapes and vibrant cultural experiences to capture. Join a photography tour led by a local expert who will guide you to the best viewpoints and share tips on how to capture the essence of the island through your lens.

From exhilarating outdoor adventures to cultural immersions, Mo’orea’s land activities offer a unique way to connect with the island’s natural beauty and vibrant heritage. With an abundance of options, your time on land in Mo’orea will be just as memorable as your time in the water.


Exploring the Local Culture in Mo’orea

Mo’orea not only captivates visitors with its natural beauty but also offers a rich and vibrant Polynesian culture to explore. From traditional dances to authentic cuisine, immersing yourself in the local culture is an essential part of any visit to this tropical paradise. Here are some ways to experience the unique culture of Mo’orea:

  1. Attend a Polynesian Dance Show: Witness the mesmerizing beats of traditional Polynesian music and dances by attending a cultural show. These performances showcase the graceful movements and vibrant costumes of the local dancers, providing a glimpse into Polynesian folklore and mythology.
  2. Visit Marae and Sacred Sites: Mo’orea is home to ancient marae, which are sacred sites significant to Polynesian culture. Take a guided tour to learn about the history and religious practices associated with these cultural landmarks. Respectful exploration of these sites allows visitors to appreciate the island’s deep-rooted traditions.
  3. Participate in Craft Workshops: Engage in hands-on activities such as traditional weaving, carving, or pareo (sarong) painting. Local artisans often conduct workshops where you can learn these traditional skills and create your own unique memento to take home.
  4. Visit Local Markets: Explore the vibrant local markets in Mo’orea to experience the lively atmosphere and discover authentic handicrafts, fresh produce, and local specialties. Interact with the vendors, try some exotic fruits, and savor the flavors of Polynesian cuisine.
  5. Learn the Art of Polynesian Tattooing: Polynesian tattoos hold deep cultural significance, and Mo’orea is a great place to learn about this ancient art form. Visit a tattoo studio to understand the symbolism behind the designs and perhaps even get a traditional Polynesian tattoo as a lasting memento of your journey.
  6. Indulge in Polynesian Cuisine: Sample the diverse flavors of Polynesian cuisine by trying local dishes such as poisson cru (raw fish marinated in lime juice and coconut milk), taro-based dishes, and tropical fruit desserts. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor a traditional Tahitian feast, known as a “fei po’e,” which showcases the island’s unique flavors and culinary traditions.
  7. Engage with Local Communities: Mo’orea’s warm and welcoming locals provide an opportunity for cultural exchange. Engage in conversations, ask questions, and embrace the hospitality of the Polynesian people. From friendly encounters at the local markets to interactions during organized village visits, connecting with the community will deepen your understanding of Mo’orea’s culture and way of life.

Exploring the local culture in Mo’orea allows you to truly appreciate the island beyond its natural splendor. Through these cultural experiences, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the traditions, customs, and identity that shape the unique spirit of this enchanting destination.


Dining and Nightlife in Mo’orea

When it comes to dining and nightlife, Mo’orea offers a variety of options to tantalize your taste buds and keep you entertained after the sun sets. From seaside dining to live music performances, here’s what you can expect when it comes to dining and nightlife in Mo’orea:


Mo’orea boasts a range of dining options, from casual beachside eateries to upscale restaurants. Local Tahitian cuisine takes center stage, featuring fresh seafood, tropical fruits, and unique flavors. Many resorts on the island offer exquisite fine dining experiences, often with breathtaking ocean views. Don’t miss the chance to try the local delicacy, poisson cru, which is raw fish marinated in lime juice and coconut milk.


In addition to international cuisine, Mo’orea also offers a variety of dining experiences influenced by Polynesian, French, and Asian flavors. From traditional Tahitian feasts known as ‘ahi ma’a’ to gourmet fusion creations, there’s something to satisfy every palate.


As the sun goes down, Mo’orea comes alive with its vibrant nightlife scene. Many resorts host themed dinner shows featuring traditional Polynesian music, dance performances, and fire shows. These cultural showcases provide a captivating and immersive experience, allowing you to immerse yourself in the rich traditions of the region.


For those seeking a livelier night out, there are a handful of bars and lounges on the island where you can enjoy cocktails, live music, and dancing. These establishments offer a relaxed and laid-back ambience, perfect for unwinding after a day of exploration.


It’s worth noting that the nightlife in Mo’orea is more low-key compared to neighboring islands like Tahiti. However, the island’s enchanting atmosphere and the company of fellow travelers create a delightful ambiance as you make new friends and share stories with like-minded individuals.


If you’re looking for a unique dining experience, consider arranging a private beachside picnic or a romantic dinner under the stars. Many resorts provide customized dining options, allowing you to create memories in a truly memorable setting.


Whether you’re savoring the local cuisine, enjoying a cultural performance, or dancing the night away, the dining and nightlife scene in Mo’orea offers a delightful blend of flavors, entertainment, and relaxation to enhance your vacation experience.


Shopping in Mo’orea

While Mo’orea is known primarily for its natural beauty and outdoor adventures, the island also offers a range of shopping opportunities. From local crafts to unique souvenirs, here is a guide to shopping in Mo’orea:


One of the best places to start your shopping excursion is at the local markets. Here, you’ll find a vibrant array of handicrafts, including woven baskets, shell jewelry, and traditional pareos (sarongs). These markets offer a chance to support local artisans and take home a piece of Mo’orean culture.


For those looking to purchase iconic Tahitian black pearls, Mo’orea is an excellent destination. Many jewelry stores and boutiques on the island offer a stunning selection of these lustrous gems. Take the time to learn about the quality and authenticity of pearls, and consider taking a guided tour to a pearl farm for a more immersive experience.


While exploring the island, you’ll also come across various boutiques and gift shops. These establishments offer a curated selection of unique products, such as locally made skincare products, artwork, and home decor items. From intricate wood carvings to vibrant paintings, these shops provide an opportunity to bring a piece of Mo’orea’s beauty into your own home.


If you’re a fan of tropical fruits or want to take home some flavors of the island, consider visiting local fruit stands. Here, you can purchase an assortment of exotic fruits, such as papayas, pineapples, and passion fruits. These sweet and juicy treats make for a delicious and healthy souvenir.


In addition to the local markets and boutiques, some resorts also have their own shops where you can find resort-branded merchandise and luxury goods. Keep in mind that prices may be higher in these establishments, but they often offer convenience and a greater variety of products.


Lastly, don’t forget to bargain when shopping at the local markets. It is a common practice in French Polynesia, and you may be able to secure a better deal on your purchases.


Whether you’re searching for unique handicrafts, luxurious pearls, or delicious local produce, shopping in Mo’orea offers a chance to explore the island’s artistic and cultural offerings. Take your time, wander through the markets, and indulge in the pleasure of finding that perfect souvenir to commemorate your time in this tropical paradise.


Practical Tips for Traveling to Mo’orea

Traveling to Mo’orea, the enchanting island paradise in French Polynesia, requires some planning and preparation. Here are some practical tips to ensure a smooth and memorable trip:

  1. Passport and Visa: Ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned departure date. Check if you require a visa to enter French Polynesia, and make sure to obtain the necessary documents before your trip.
  2. Weather and Packing: Mo’orea enjoys a tropical climate, so pack lightweight, breathable clothing for warm temperatures. Don’t forget essentials like sunscreen, a hat, insect repellent, and comfortable footwear, especially if you plan to explore the island’s trails and engage in outdoor activities.
  3. Language: The official language of Mo’orea is French, but Tahitian is also widely spoken. English is understood in tourist areas, but it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with a few basic French or Tahitian phrases to enhance your interactions with the locals.
  4. Local Currency: The local currency in Mo’orea is the French Pacific Franc (XPF). While major credit cards are widely accepted at hotels and resorts, it’s advisable to carry some cash for smaller establishments or local markets. ATMs are available on the island for currency exchange or cash withdrawals.
  5. Transportation: Mo’orea has a reliable public transportation system, including taxis and local buses. However, renting a car or scooter provides more flexibility for exploring the island at your own pace. Remember to drive on the right side of the road, and always follow local traffic laws.
  6. Health and Safety: Ensure that you have comprehensive travel insurance to cover any unforeseen circumstances. Though Mo’orea is relatively safe, it’s always wise to take precautions and secure your belongings when visiting crowded areas. Mosquito repellent is also recommended, as dengue fever does occur in some parts of French Polynesia.
  7. Time Difference: Mo’orea operates on Tahiti Time, which is 10 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-10:00). Adjust your plans accordingly to avoid any scheduling conflicts.
  8. Reservations and Bookings: As Mo’orea is a popular tourist destination, it’s advisable to make advance reservations for accommodations, popular activities, and dining experiences, particularly during the peak season. This helps ensure availability and allows for a smoother travel experience.

Remember that traveling to Mo’orea is an opportunity to disconnect, relax, and embrace the island’s natural beauty and tranquility. Embrace the slower pace of island life, immerse yourself in the local culture, and create lifelong memories in this tropical paradise.



Mo’orea, with its breathtaking landscapes, turquoise waters, and vibrant Polynesian culture, is a destination that offers an unforgettable vacation experience. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, this enchanting island has something for everyone.


In this ultimate Mo’orea travel guide, we’ve covered everything from getting to the island and the best time to visit, to where to stay, top attractions, water and land activities, exploring the local culture, dining, shopping, and practical tips for a smooth trip. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be well-equipped to make the most of your adventure in Mo’orea and create lasting memories.


Mo’orea’s natural beauty, from its lush mountains and vibrant coral reefs to its pristine beaches and stunning sunsets, will leave you in awe. The island offers a wealth of activities, whether you choose to dive into the turquoise lagoons, hike through the rainforests, or connect with the friendly locals and their rich Polynesian heritage.


As you embark on your Mo’orea journey, remember to embrace the vibrant culture, sample the mouthwatering cuisine, and soak in the warm hospitality that the island has to offer. Take the time to connect with the locals, explore the markets, and savor the breathtaking views that await you at every turn.


Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, an adventure seeker, a romantic couple, or a family looking to create unforgettable moments, Mo’orea is ready to welcome you with open arms. So, pack your bags, embark on an incredible journey to this tropical paradise, and let the beauty of Mo’orea captivate your heart.


Mo’orea awaits, ready to provide you with an experience that will leave you yearning to return time and time again.