French Polynesia goes beyond Tahiti and Bora Bora. This collection of atolls and islands spans over 1000 miles, and includes more than 115 islands that dot the turquoise waters from Australia and California. This remote paradise is a haven for beach-lovers and one of Oceania’s greatest treasures.
Mo’orea, one of my favourite places in French Polynesia is a paradise for exotic animal encounters, white-sand beaches and lush rainforests.
- 1 Hire a beach buggy
- 2 Swim with Humpback Whales
- 3 You can see the Reef Sharks and Rays
- 4 Visit a Farmers Market and Fruit Stand
- 5 Visit Belvedere Lookout
- 6 Enjoy Hiking at The Pass of the Three Coconuts
- 7 All the Water Sports
- 8 The Poisson Cru is a great choice.
- 9 Enjoy the views at Cook’s Bay + Opunohu Bay
- 10 Stay in an Overwater Bungalow
Hire a beach buggy
My beach buggy was a great way to explore the island. I highly recommend taking the time to drive it for at least an hour. The buggy was perfect for seeing the island edges, even though I didn’t rent a car the rest of my trip.
150,000 Francs was what we paid — it’s not as expensive as it sounds! You can rent a beach buggy for $150 to explore the shoreline.
Swim with Humpback Whales
Between July and November, Humpback Whales depart the Antarctic waters to seek refuge in the warm waters off French Polynesia.
Whales can be found mating and giving birth in the late summer or early autumn, usually around mid-August to October.
You can swim with gentle giants if you’re lucky enough to be there during prime time.
You can see the Reef Sharks and Rays
You can also find a shallow sandbar where you can sit in the clear water and marvel at how these curious little men will approach you.
Another reason to sign up for a tour is the opportunity to see this. They will take you out during feeding times and show you how to best observe the reef sharks and rays.
Visit a Farmers Market and Fruit Stand
You can sample the fresh passion fruit, mangos and bananas grown right outside your door. The freshest fruits are at the little fruit stands, which are worth a visit.
Fire Tutava is a popular farmer’s market that sells delicious jams and fresh snacks. The flavors of fresh fruit straight from the plantation are amazing for those who have grown up with getting it after it has been jetlagged to their side of the globe.
Visit Belvedere Lookout
Belvedere Lookout, one of the most stunning vantage points in French Polynesia is a must-see spot for selfies. Take your camera with you and take a panoramic view of Opunohu Valley and Cook Bays.
There are a variety of ATV tours available that will take you up to the top, or you can go solo. You can expect to hike for three hours, but it shouldn’t be too strenuous. Make sure you wear sturdy shoes.
Enjoy Hiking at The Pass of the Three Coconuts
The Pass of the Three Coconuts is another great hiking destination. It’s a good idea to leave early, before 8 a.m., and plan for approximately four hours of hiking.
You will be rewarded after you have climbed about 850ft. You can also make a quick detour to this amazing spot if you’re heading over to Belvedere Outlook (which I recommend).
Are you still trying to make a travel plan for your next trip? You can check out my guide on how to get to French Polynesia. It’s not as difficult as you might think to reach this remote location.
All the Water Sports
It was impossible to leave the beautiful turquoise waters. The warm waters are inviting and there is always something new to discover. You can dive, snorkel or ride a surfboard or jet ski in these waters.
You will find many hotels in the area that offer beach gear and rentals for free.
The Poisson Cru is a great choice.
For seafood lovers, Poisson Cru (or Tahitian raw fish) is a must-try. Tahiti’s national dish is somewhat like Hawaiian poke or Peruvian ceviche.
There will be many variations on these dishes. However, they all will have the same basic ingredients: raw fish, lime juice and coconut milk.
Enjoy the views at Cook’s Bay + Opunohu Bay
Belvedere Lookout offers spectacular views of Cook’s Bay and ‘Opunohu Bay. After you have taken it up from the top, it is possible to view it from below.
The Cook’s Bay, a two-mile-long bay that runs along the coast of the island’s north coast, can be found in the peaceful village of Paopao.
This shallow, rocky long is surrounded by stunning mountain scenery and waterfalls. It’s perfect for swimming or simply relaxing to take in the views. The ‘Opunohu Bay is a great spot for snorkeling and a great vantage point to watch the sunset.
Stay in an Overwater Bungalow
The overwater bungalow is the best choice for accommodation in French Polynesia. These serene tropical spaces may be exactly what you envision when you think about the ideal accommodation.
Take some time to pamper yourself during your stay.
Are you ready to get in your bikini? This is my Mo’orea essential guide. It will help you plan your big trip.