Moorea is Tahiti’s sister island and part of paradisiacal chain of tropical islands that is French Polynesia. The flight is long but the rewards are great; here are a few reasons you might want to start saving now for your trip to the South Pacific gem.
Note: Ferries from Papeete on Tahiti to Moorea are frequent, but if you are not staying at a five-star resort with an over-water bungalow, you probably want to pick up a few munchies from the grocery store before you leave for the more primitive and more beautiful island of Moorea.
Top Ten Reasons to Go to Moorea:
1. For the white sand beaches that surround the island. The soft powder caresses your feet and body as you beach, and the pale hue is the perfect foil to the turquoise blue waters.
2. Because Captain Cook did, and the island and his landing point (Cook’s Bay) still look much the same as they did when he visited Moorea during his second voyage of discovery in 1769.
3. To get a tattoo. Tattooing is an ancient Polynesian art, and both modern and traditional tattoo opportunities abound. Ask around for tips on shops from the locals before you ink that whale on your wrist, the Polynesian symbol of freedom.
4. To meet Muk, one of Marlon Brando’s friends and the inventor of the over water bungalow (so he claims, anyway.) This character will be wondering around the island telling stories and is just one of the interesting people you will meet in paradise.
5. To traipse through the jungle looking for hidden waterfalls and come across ruins that are hundreds of years old- and all yours between the steamy leaves of the tropical flora.
6. To picnic on a beach at sunset with mango juice dripping down your elbows, a bottle of world-class wine in your head and fresh French baguettes and cheese in your belly. French Polynesia is just that- French, and its culture has been colored by its colonizer.
7. Because you are in love. Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora and the other islands of French Polynesia are made for lovers, and in fact the islands have had a sexy reputation ever since Westerners showed up and discovered the natives personal philosophy: clothing optional. Romantic resorts and annoyingly in-love couples abound.
8. To try Poisson Cru, one of the local specialties, whose name translates into raw fish, prepared here with coconut milk and limejuice and served as a fresh and cool salad on a hot afternoon.
9. To go to the top of the Belvedere lookout and drink in a view of half the island of Moorea, gazing at the same time at Opunohu Bay and Cook’s Bay from one of the highest points on the island.
10. BECAUSE IT IS PARADISE. The brochures aren’t lying; this place really exists on earth and you can go there. What are you waiting on, your next life?