The Best Moorea Travel Guide – Tahiti’s sister island. At 12 miles from Tahiti, the landscape that resembles a vast star-shaped garden branching out into eight valleys. Captain Cook’s island has one of the most beautiful lagoons. Its turquoise waters reflect the sumptuous harmony of the underwater world where divers might meet turtles, leopard rays or even some scorpion fish amidst coral roses hosting many other species.
Moorea is a tropical garden filled with silver pineapple fields, the main agricultural product of the island. Visit beautiful Afareaitu’s waterfalls or the famous Cook and Opunohu Bays, and make this a magical place to stay. Despite the growth of pensions, hotels, bars and restaurants of all kinds, Moorea has not long any of it’s charm. With plenty of land and water activities, children and parents can experience this tropical world together.
The central focus of a Moorea vacation is the water. From boating and snorkeling to the discovery of gentle sea creatures, you and your family can enjoy and learn about this pristine aquamarine world. And transportation is cheap from Tahiti island (due to the Ferry transfers which are less expensive then airplanes), Moorea is a must do island for a great family vacation. Visit The Best French Polynesian Islands here, The Most Beautiful Beaches in French Polynesia here, or visit us on Pinterest.
Moorea Weather – Best Time to Visit Moorea
High Season For Hotels: June Through October
During the “winter” months the temperatures are a bit cooler and the humidity is a bit lower. Also, rainfall tends to be far less frequent, but you’ll still get an afternoon cloud burst or two each week during this period.
In July in particular there are many local Polynesian festivals on the islands, so even though most tourists don’t attend them, it’s worth noting if you are the type that might enjoy it.
With the weather being more ideal, a major reason why June and July have the highest rates for hotels in the area, including over water bungalows, which is an enormously popular destination for honeymoons, and summer is prime time for weddings in North America. Hotel rates will be higher and availability will be more limited, but those who plan in advance should find an excellent resort with availability and rooms that are only 10 to 20% more than their off-season rates.
Best Scuba Diving: June Through November
The scuba diving and snorkeling are quite good all year, but it’s considered even better during the drier months from April through November, when fewer downpours upset the clear water below. With this in mind, those who are coming mostly for diving should consider April, May, or November, to take advantage of great conditions and lower room rates.
Off Season: November Through May
The lowest room rates can be found from November through May, though the December holidays do tend to get busy as well. December through March are the wettest months, although as mentioned above, the differences can be quite minor depending on the week you are actually there.
It’s more humid during this period, but cool sea breezes are never far away, especially in the afternoons. There’s also more persistent cloud cover, so if sunbathing is your main focus then this time of year is not ideal, but for other purposes you’re likely to find that the fast-moving clouds around sunset can produce some of the most beautiful scenes of your life.
Best Moorea Beaches
A large golden sand beach awaits visitors at the tip of Opunohu Bay. The view of the lagoon and the sailboats is breathtaking, and the place benefits from a very active aquatic fauna due to the presence of a pit nearby. It is a spot appreciated for snorkeling and the discovery of turtles, rays and multicolored fish. Bordered by palm trees and coconut palms, the beach is well maintained and offers regularly cleaned showers/toilets. During the week, the beach will be deserted, and thus perfect to enjoy nature intensely. The sunsets are exceptional and contribute to make this place a must-see.
The Private Beach of the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort
Most of the hotels and resorts offer their clients beautiful, private and well-maintained beaches. The general public does not have access to them, even if in principle no regulations prohibit it. However, it is still possible for non-residents to eat in the hotel restaurant or bar and then go to the beach. Some hotels prefer to sell a day pass like the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort. For 80€, you will have access to one of the finest private Moorea beaches, to snorkeling and kayaking equipment. Directly across from the Hilton’s private beach is one of the finest diving spots in Moorea.
Probably the most popular beach in Moorea, Temae is located in the northeast of the island. Bordered by a row of coconut and palm trees, its white sand and crystal clear waters make it a must for swimming, snorkeling and contemplation. The lagoon is not deep, so the beach is ideal everyone. In these warm waters and thanks to a light current, the aquatic fauna and the coral massifs are right on. Stingrays and multicolored fish accompany you during your snorkeling trips.
The Private Beach of the Coco Beach Restaurant
Ideally located on an islet in the northeast of the island, Coco Beach offers a magical dining experience. It offers an extraordinary view of the turquoise blue lagoon and the green mountains of Moorea. You can reach it by shuttle from the pier of the Tipaniers hotel. This small beach allows a time of bathing or digestive relaxation. Enjoy snorkeling here, and seeing black tip sharks and rays in abundance. When you come to Coco Beach, it is an enchanting experience.
Tiahura Beach is located on the west coast of Moorea. The beach offers a relaxation area and amenities such as showers/toilets. All this in the shade of palm trees and close to shops to better enjoy a picnic in the park and a morning at the beach. The beach is beautiful with an incredible view of the lagoon and the immensity of the ocean. Less popular with tourists and day-trippers, it offers peace and quiet, and snorkeling is as easy as ever: the areas are indeed shallow. The west orientation offers breathtaking sunsets until the last rays and the play of colors becomes quite stunning.
Best Moorea Restaurants
Moorea Beach Cafe by Bruno Jamais $11 – 30
Featuring Polynesian-Asian-French-fusion cuisine, this contemporary-chic beachfront eatery in Maharepa, owned by French-born restaurateur Bruno Jamais, is a sunny spot where you can indulge in some upscale Papeete-meets-Paris dining—maybe paired with a glass of bubbly. Telephone: 689 40 56 29 99 Web: Moorea Beach Cafe by Bruno Jamais
Restaurant Te Honu Iti $30 & Over
Over on Moorea, the Restaurant Te Honu Iti offers you a chance to eat on a deck over the water while watching rays swim around. It’s a bit more affordable than comparable Papeete restaurants, and has well-prepared food. The crowd’s here for the rays, amazingly soft and velvety, who are drawn by the restaurant’s underwater lights and swim right up to the edge of the deck. Telephone: 689 87 79 29 98 Web: Restaurant Te Honu Iti
K Restaurant $40 – 200
For a truly special and elegant dining experience, book dinner at K. The restaurant, on the grounds of the Sofitel la Ora Beach Resor. The tables are draped in white linen and decorated with shells and driftwood. Candles create a romantic glow and the floor is sand. Dinner is a 3-, 5-, or 7-course tasting menu by renowned Chef Guillaume Burlion, and the house has a superb vintage wine list that sommelier Fabrice Jarry is happy to help pair. Telephone: 689 40 55 12 43 Web: K Restaurant
Holy Steak House
Located in Haapiti, this Moorea restaurant boasts unique, contemporary decor indoors with floor-to-ceiling windows and wood-beamed ceiling with modern chandeliers. The varied menu changes monthly, though you can, of course, expect excellent steaks. An elegant outdoor wine bar, with comfortable chairs and water views, has a strong wine (and cocktail) list, with vintages from around the world. Reservations suggested. Telephone: 689 40 55 15 14 Web: Holy Steak House
Snack Mahana $11 – 30
This family-owned eatery, with its shady tables right next to the lagoon, has a delicious and affordable menu options with generous, freshly prepared plates of poisson cru, garlic shrimp (a specialty), grilled mahimahi, burgers and more. Lunch only; cash only. Telephone: 689 40 56 41 70 Web: Snack Mahana (TripAdvisor)
Best Moorea Nightlife
Eimeo Bar (Located in the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa
This newly refurbished lounge bar has wonderful views over the pool and the lagoon, making it perfect for evening cocktails. There’s live music most nights. Telephone: 689 40 55 11 11 Web: Eimeo Bar
This lively three-star hotel right on Cook’s Bay has a traditional island band on Friday and Saturday nights. Telephone: 689 40 56 50 50 Web: Hotel Kaveka
Motu Iti Bar
Savoring a breathtaking sunset sinking into the lagoon at this lovely little spot on the island’s northwest corner is a great end to the day. Telephone: 689 40 55 05 20 Web: Motu Iti Bar
Rudy’s Moorea Steak & Seafood
Owner, Syd Pollock, has been running restaurants and bars in French Polynesia for 40 years. Now his elder son, Rudy, is turning on the fun with live music Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday nights to accompany the good food. Telephone: 689 40 56 58 00 Web: Rudy’s Moorea Steak Steak & Seafood