Moorea is a magical place.
It is so lush, mountainous and perfect for anyone who loves the combination of beach and fun.
I think Moorea and the other French Polynesian islands get overlooked because of Bora Bora’s reputation. If you ever visit these islands for Bora Bora, I highly suggest visiting Moorea to get a different experience and it will actually offset your price a bit as well.
I found that things were much more enjoyable and affordable to do on this island where Bora Bora is meant to just “sit and be” if that makes sense?
We took a 30-40 minute Ferry Ride to Moorea from Tahiti, and from there we were on a 15-20 minute shuttle to get to the Hilton Moorea Hotel.
The property was beautiful and you always felt like you had the place to yourself.
Our check in process was slightly bumpy, but after reaching out to our Travel Agent, Jennifer at Pacific For Less, we were upgraded from a garden bungalow to an Over The Water Bungalow which was a dream come true.
We had so many shades of blue, numerous coral formations and colorful fish greeted us on our deck, with the lush green mountains on the other side. The accommodations were exquisite in every single way.
We spent the mornings and afternoons paddle boarding, kayaking and snorkeling. We had no agenda or plans and just wanted to take it all in. We dined at the resort a few nights (sharks would actually visit the Crepery at night), and other nights we dined out.
Our favorite memories on Moorea are from the ATV Tour. In all of our years traveling together, this ATV Tour was our favorite Excursion that we’ve ever done. We truly got to see the entire island in such a fun way and were lucky to have a really great group with us. From black sand beaches, to pineapple farms to breathtaking mountain views – it’s a must do!
If your traveling to French Polynesia or Moorea, here are some Tips:
- Use Pacific For Less (Jennifer) – they specialize in South Pacific Vacations and are based out of Maui. I felt like it was a very personal touch and experience having them there and they had great relationships with everywhere we stayed and encountered. They made planning, booking and planning exceptionally easy so we didn’t have to stress over connecting flights and transfers. They were also able to get us a meal plan where we had Breakfast included in Moorea and Breakfast/Dinner included in Bora Bora.
- Ignore any itch to use Liberty Travel or a local travel agent. I firmly believe that a location this expensive and far from home should be planned with expertise from someone who has visited extensively and has personal relationships. When check in the Hilton was a little chaotic, they were able to upgrade us not only in Moorea, but jumped us up several categories in Bora Bora as well – because of their relationships with the hotels. They will also get you the best prices and potential meal plans over competitors.
- Ask where the local grocery store is. It was a 15 minute walk, but was worth spending less for local juices and snacks!
- BYOB – If you consume alcohol, bring your own. We brought 1 bottle for each of our favorite spirits so we could relax on our deck and not be bothered. You can plan on spending $18-24 USD on any cocktail in French Polynesia if you don’t.
- Don’t be afraid to dine off resort. We found the transportation and locals to be friendly and we felt safe. Generally the local food was better, tastier and cheaper then at the resort.
- Moorea is meant to be explored! DO THINGS! There is so much to see and experience and you likely won’t return, so make the best of it!