By far one of the most beautiful places on Earth, the French Polynesian island of Moorea should be at the top of your bucket list. To complete your itinerary, here are 23 of the most amazing things to do in Moorea.
What Is Moorea Known For?
Moorea (pronounced Mo-or-e-ah) is one of 118 French Polynesian islands scattered throughout the South Pacific.
In particular, Moorea is known for aquamarine lagoons, jutting mountains covered in lush rainforest, and friendly locals.
This is the perfect paradise destination for adventurers, families, and beach-goers alike.
Is Moorea As Good As Bora Bora?
Before we visited the island of Moorea, we had one question: would Moorea be as good as Bora Bora?
It’s true that Bora Bora tops the charts for the world’s most beautiful beaches, but Moorea offers its own breathtaking beauty that often rivals Bora Bora.
If you’re deciding between the two islands, know that it’s much easier to get to Moorea and you’ll likely find cheaper prices, too.
23 Best Things To Do In Moorea
There are so many things to do in Moorea that it’ll be really easy to fill your itinerary with fun adventures.
Here are the 23 best things to do in Moorea:
Note: We also include free things to do in Moorea if you’re traveling on a budget.
1. Rent eBikes
One of the best things to do in Moorea is hit the streets with eBikes!
This island is filled with wondrous views around every corner and the best way to see everything is on two wheels (with the occasional help of an electric motor, of course!).
We highly recommend renting your bikes through eBike Moorea.
This company is focused on sustainable and eco-friendly adventuring to keep this island beautiful for generations to come.
Note: We took the eBikes around the entire island (37 miles). If you’re up for the challenge, it’s an awesome ride.
✔️ Half Day Rental (4 Hours) – €41 (approximately $49 USD)
✔️ Full Day Rental (8 Hours) – €50 (approximately $60 USD)
✔️ Free delivery included
2. Coco Beach
Sail off the coast of Moorea to Coco Beach for a beachfront restaurant with amazing food and the best view of the lagoon.
Be sure to bring your snorkel gear because you won’t want to miss swimming with the blacktip reef sharks and stingrays that encircle this small island.
There are two ways to get to Coco Beach; you can choose to rent a kayak and paddle ashore or you can take the boat provided by the restaurant.
Before you go, be sure to call for a reservation. The staff will give you details about where to catch the boat and how often it runs.
Call Coco Beach at +689 87 72 57 26.
If you decide to eat at the restaurant, which we highly suggest since it is so delicious, you’ll need to pay $5 roundtrip per person for the boat ride plus the food you order.
Alternatively, if you want to kayak to the island, you can rent a kayak at Tipaniers Beach for just $10.
3. Tiki Village Cultural Center
One of our favorite things to do in Moorea is to watch the traditional Polynesian dancers at the Tiki Village Cultural Center.
Come for dinner and the show and watch the dancers tell a story about the culture of the islands and ancient traditions.
It felt like we were watching Moana in real life. Mike even got to go up and participate during our time at the Tiki Village Cultural Center!
To save money, Mike and I skipped dinner and only paid for the show.
The show is approximately $60 USD per person.
We’ve heard mixed reviews about the dinner, which is why we suggest only attending the show.
You can book your tickets here: Tiki Village
4. Swim With Sharks & Rays
You can’t go to Moorea without swimming with the sharks and rays; they’re everywhere in the lagoons surrounding this French Polynesian island.
You might be thinking, “aren’t sharks dangerous? Am I putting myself at risk?”
But interestingly enough, the blacktip reef sharks are very comfortable around people and they are quite harmless, making this one of the best things to do in Moorea.
The easiest and cheapest way to find and swim with sharks and rays is by renting a kayak from Tipaniers Beach and paddling out to the sandy strip.
Note: You can ask the kayak rental lady for directions on how to get there.
If you don’t feel comfortable going without a guide, you can also book an excursion with Alex Lagoon Tours to swim with the rays and sharks. Whether you book a jet ski excursion or a snorkeling trip, you won’t be disappointed.
5. Stay In An Overwater Bungalow
A trip to Moorea wouldn’t be complete without staying in an overwater bungalow, right?
You’ve marveled at the Instagram pictures for too long… now it’s your turn!
Ultimately, we chose to stay at the Sofitel overwater bungalows for a night, but any of the resorts should be an excellent experience.
It’s no secret that overwater bungalows are… well, EXTREMELY PRICEY (to put it lightly).
Typical prices range from $500 per night to well over $1000 depending on the resort and the time of year.
But did you know you can stay in overwater bungalows for free?
Mike and I have stayed in two different overwater bungalows (French Polynesia & Maldives) and we paid ZERO dollars for it.
Check out how we’ve been able to stay in luxury hotels for free with our free guide: Stay In An Overwater Bungalow For Free.
6. Magic Mountain
There’s no shortage of epic views on the island of Moorea.
During our recent two-month stay on the island, it was our goal to find the most stunning landscape views of the lagoon and the surrounding mountains.
One of the best things to do in Moorea and one of the best viewpoints is atop Magic Mountain.
Magic Mountain is located to the west of Opunohu Bay and offers some of the most scenic views of the lagoon below.
You can choose to hike up to the viewpoint or take a 4×4 vehicle tour. Although it’s much easier to drive to the top, hiking is a fun adventure, too.
On the cheaper side, Magic Mountain costs only $2 per person.
You’ll pay the entrance fee at the small outdoor restaurant at the beginning of the road that leads up the mountain.
Note: Bring cash!
If you’re looking for the best snorkeling experience on the island of Moorea, look no further than the Lagoonarium.
The Lagoonarium is a quiet island off the coast of Moorea that is home to some of the most diverse marine wildlife in the world.
Catch a boat to the Lagoonarium on the east side of Moorea. Be sure to arrive before 11:30am to witness the daily feeding where you’ll likely be surrounded by stingrays and blacktip reef sharks.
Note: Arrive early in order to secure a bungalow for the day!
Visiting the Lagoonarium will cost about $40 USD per adult and approximately $30 per child. Bring your own snorkel gear or rent it there for $6.
Be sure to bring cash because they do not take credit cards as of 2020.
8. Swim With Humpback Whales
Our absolute favorite adventure and the best thing to do in Moorea is swim with humpback whales.
Get up close and personal with these gentle giants during the months of July to November. This is when humpback whales migrate to the warm waters surrounding the French Polynesia to give birth.
This is an absolutely unforgettable experience and shouldn’t be missed during your trip to Moorea.
We were very surprised that the cost of a full day tour to swim with humpback whales was so affordable.
We each paid approximately $119 for an 8 hour excursion.
The tour company we chose was called Moorea Moana Tours.
We strongly suggest booking with this company because they were so informative, helpful, and diligent about getting us as close to the whales as possible while still being respectful of these beautiful creatures.
9. Sea Turtles At Te Mana O Te Moana
One of our favorite places on Moorea is Te Mana O Te Moana, an organization that works to protect marine life, in particular, injured sea turtles.
Visiting this sanctuary is a very special experience and one of the best things to do in Moorea.
Not only will you learn all about this organization and the incredible work that they do, but you’ll get a chance to see these beautiful creatures up close.
To visit the sanctuary and learn more about the sea turtles in French Polynesia, we each paid approximately $10 USD.
10. Jet Ski
Another awesome way to see the entire island is by jet ski. There are plenty of jet ski tours on Moorea that are eager to show you an amazing time.
Whether you choose a full day or a half-day tour, you’ll experience adrenaline to the fullest.
In addition, your jet ski guide will likely take you to some of the most amazing snorkeling spots around the island, too.
Expect jet ski tours to range from $100 per person to over $300 per person depending on which tour company you choose.
We recommend booking through Moorea Activities Center for reasonable prices and informative guides.
11. Kite Surfing
Ready to try something you’ve never done before? Kite surfing in Moorea might just become your new favorite hobby.
There are plenty of private tour companies and guides that will show you how to kite surf even if you’re a beginner.
For details on rentals and lessons, check out Lakana Fly Moorea.
Watch Our Best Things To Do Moorea Video
Free Things To Do In Moorea
If you’re anything like us, you love to experience the best adventures while still saving money.
With that in mind, here are the best free things to do in Moorea:
12. Ride Around The Island
I cannot even count how many times Mike and I rode around the island on our motorbike during our two-month stay in Moorea. We enjoyed it THAT much.
Check out the diversity of the island from luxurious resorts to pineapple groves to local villages; you’ll experience it all as you wrap around Moorea.
Note: Rent a motorbike or an eBike for the ultimate thrill.
13. Belvedere Lookout
One of the most iconic viewpoints on the island of Moorea is Belvedere Lookout.
Get the most magnificent picture of both Cook’s Bay and Opunohu Bay divided down the middle by Mount Rotui from the top of Belvedere Lookout.
No need to hike to this lookout, you can simply drive a rental car, motorbike, or eBike to the top.
14. Rotui Juice Factory
Simple, yet surprisingly an amazing adventure is the Rotui Juice Factory.
Not only the name for an iconic mountain on the island of Moorea, but also the most popular fruit juice in French Polynesia, Rotui Juice Factory is something that you can’t miss when visiting.
A tour of this juice factory is completely free; be sure to stop by the gift shop for free samples of Rotui fruit juice and their even more delicious fruit liqueurs.
15. Hike Mount Rotui
We’ve talked about Rotui too many times in this post without actually acknowledging this epic adventure.
Hiking to the summit of Mount Rotui is one of the best things to do in Moorea, but it isn’t for the faint of heart.
Although you’ll get the most breathtaking, unspoiled views of Opunohu Bay and the surrounding lagoon, you’ll need to scale some of the most rigid and exposed peaks in the South Pacific (and the world).
However, if you’re up for the adventure, I say HECK YEAH!
For more hiking trails in Moorea, check out our post here.
How can you resist getting out onto the warm blue waters surrounding Moorea?
Grab a kayak and paddle your way to unexplored areas of the island. Keep an eye out for the opportunity to jump in and swim with stingrays and blacktip reef sharks.
Note: Most accommodation options offer free kayaks. We stayed at four different Airbnbs on Moorea and every place had kayaks for us to use.
If your hotel or Airbnb doesn’t offer free kayaks, you can rent one from Tipaniers Beach for $10.
17. Hike Three Coconut Trees Pass
Our very first hike on Moorea was to Three Coconut Trees Pass.
This moderate hike brings you up and over Opunohu Bay with rugged mountain peaks surrounding you in every direction.
Reaching the trailhead is easy because it’s located at Belvedere Lookout so you can’t miss it. You can also knock out two of the best things to do in Moorea in one go (Belvedere Lookout and Three Coconut Trees Pass).
18. Relax On The Beaches
There are a plethora of pristine beaches on the island. Relaxing on the beach and jumping into the ocean was the perfect way to spend an afternoon in the French Polynesian sun.
A few of the best beaches in Moorea include Temae Beach, Ta’ahiamanu Beach, and Tipaniers Beach.
There are several other swimming spots around the island, so don’t be afraid to explore outside of the main tourist areas.
19. Afareaitu Waterfalls
For a fun half-day trip, drive out to Afareaitu Waterfalls on the east side of the island.
This short and easy hike will deliver in amazing views as you approach a 100-foot waterfall that descends into a pool below.
Bring your swimsuit because this is an awesome place to dive in and cool off.
We’ve been to many places in the world, but the coral and marine life that can be found in the lagoons around Moorea are some of the best we’ve ever seen.
Whenever we didn’t have an activity planned, we grabbed the free snorkel gear that our Airbnb offered and explored under the sea.
The best place to snorkel on the island is right off the north end of Temae Beach. Bring your own gear and keep an eye out for the colorful triggerfish that flock to the reefs in this area.
21. Toatea Lookout Point
When I first thought of Moorea, I thought of luxurious overwater bungalows perched over bright blue ocean water.
Toatea Lookout Point delivered this vision on every level.
This viewpoint is directly off the main road approximately 5 minutes from where the ferry docks. It’s an easy walk from Temae Beach or the Sofitel Resort.
22. Hike Three Pines Pass
If you’re looking for an easier and much safer trek than Mount Rotui, we strongly suggest hiking to Three Pines Pass.
We found this hiking trail to be very easy and therefore can be done by people of all fitness levels.
Find the trailhead to this hike at the top of Belvedere Lookout. The trail starts on the lefthand side of the parking lot if you’re looking away from the ocean.
Note: Be sure to wear durable athletic shoes during any hike on Moorea. The trails are typically muddy and slippery.
23. Build A Beach Fort With Palm Leaves
One of the most exciting things to do on the island of Moorea is building a fort out of palm leaves!
Didn’t think of this awesome idea?
Guilty… we didn’t either!
On our way to a secret beach, Mike and I saw another fort made of palm branches and it inspired us to create our own.
Any area with lots of palm trees will do. Find the fallen branches and relive the magic of creating a fun fort.
How Many Days Do You Need In Moorea?
If you’re planning a trip to French Polynesia, you may be wondering, “how many days do I need in Moorea?”
Mike and I spent two months exploring this paradise island and we still didn’t think it was enough.
With that said, we highly recommend spending at least 7 days traveling around Moorea.
Although you won’t be able to see everything, you will be able to see the best highlights on the island.
Is Moorea Safe For Tourists?
Before we visited Moorea, we were concerned about safety on the island.
Luckily, French Polynesia has a very low crime rate.
While the majority of the island is safe, the younger generation will commit petty crimes such as theft.
With that said, as with any destination, always be smart. Keep valuables locked up and watch your belongings at the beach.
Note: As a popular tourist destination, we were worried that someone would take advantage of us (i.e. charge us more for something simply because we were tourists). But we’re happy to say that this never happened.
How To Get To Moorea
In order to reach Moorea, you’ll need to fly into the largest island in French Polynesia, Tahiti.
Catch a direct 8 hour flight from San Francisco or Los Angeles to the capital of Tahiti, Papeete (pronounced Pah-pee-yet-ay).
From Tahiti, there are several ways to get to the island of Moorea, but here are the two most common modes of transportation:
Tahiti To Moorea By Ferry
In my opinion, the easiest way to get to Moorea from Tahiti is by ferry.
There are numerous ferries that run each day from Tahiti to Moorea and the best part?
For a one-way ticket, you’ll pay just $15 USD, not to mention, the ferry ride will last for only 45 minutes.
Taking the ferry is by far the easiest and most cost-effective way to get from Tahiti to Moorea.
Tahiti To Moorea By Plane
Another quick way to get to Moorea is by plane.
Flights from Tahiti to Moorea typically range from $150 to over $500 roundtrip depending on the time of year.
Since the flight will last for 45 minutes (including takeoff and landing), it’s much easier to take the ferry to Moorea.
Note: Keep in mind that you will probably need to spend the night in Tahiti before going over to Moorea, so although hopping from one plane to the next might seem like the best option, it’s unlikely that you can make it work.
How To Get Around Moorea
One of the biggest questions we had before arriving in Moorea was, “how are we supposed to get around the island?”
Moorea’s perimeter measures 37 miles around and public transportation is scarce, so you’ll need to figure out how to get around before arriving on the island.
Here are four different ways to get around Moorea during your holiday:
The most fun and eco-friendly way to get around the island is by renting an eBike.
eBikes are electric bikes that help you pedal when needed.
Mike and I spent two days exploring the island using eBikes and we highly recommend it.
We rented our bikes through the company eBike Moorea because they are so friendly, helpful, and professional, not to mention they offer competitive prices.
Another way to get around in Moorea is by motorbike.
Renting a motorbike is much cheaper than renting a car and you’ll be able to cruise down the streets with the wind in your hair (helmet.. haha).
We rented a motorbike for the entire two months that we stayed on Moorea and it was really convenient because we could easily get to the grocery store, the beach, and anywhere else we wanted to explore.
An obvious way to get around the island of Moorea is by car.
There are a few car rental companies on the island, but be prepared to shell out some money; as with most things on Moorea, renting a car is expensive.
Note: If you want to save a few dollars on a car rental, consider renting a vehicle on Tahiti and taking the car on the ferry with you to Moorea.
And finally, if you don’t want to rent a car or a bike while visiting Moorea, you can get around by taxi.
There are plenty of taxis on the island, however, you’ll likely pay at LEAST $25 per ride (no matter how far you go).
Although taking a taxi isn’t a budget-friendly option, some people choose this so they don’t have to drive.
If you’re looking for a quality taxi driver, we HIGHLY recommend Tamatoa Taxi. We used his service several times and he was so friendly, honest, and knowledgeable about the island.
You can reach him here:
Phone + Whatsapp: +689 87 21 23 24
He speaks fluent English and will reply via message or phone call.
Where To Stay In Moorea
As a major tourist destination, Moorea has many different accommodation options. Here are the best places to stay during your holiday in Moorea:
During our time on Moorea, we stayed at four different Airbnbs.
Renting an Airbnb was by far the best option for our budget. We were able to find great weekly and monthly deals and every place we stayed had a kitchen so we could cook for ourselves.
Here were our favorite Airbnbs on Moorea:
Our favorite Airbnb on the island was located within Legends Residences. These villas are perched above the ocean and set back into the rainforested hills.
This is a 2-bedroom home complete with a jacuzzi, wrap-around porch, full kitchen, and air conditioning.
We also thoroughly enjoyed this Airbnb, which is a small pool house studio directly next to a family’s home.
Not only did we feel really comfortable around this awesome family, but the pool, Netflix, and privacy made this the perfect place to stay while visiting Moorea.
Note: This Airbnb is also one of the cheapest options on the island, especially if you plan to stay for a week or more.
Finally, this Airbnb, which is located right on the beach is a phenomenal and affordable option as well.
We fell asleep each night to the ocean waves crashing into the shore and we even saw humpback whales right from our porch. Incredible!
There are plenty of hotels on the island of Moorea, each with their own unique amenities.
We stayed at an overwater bungalow at the Sofitel Kia Ora on Moorea and loved every second of it.
If you’re looking for luxury, this is it.
They offer free breakfast, countless amenities, and the most stunning location on the island.
For a cheaper option, check out Lagoon Dream. This guesthouse is in an excellent location and close to some of the best beaches on the island.
In addition, you’ll have access to a relaxing pool.
Things To Pack For Moorea
Along with obvious things to pack for Moorea (clothes, shoes, etc), here are some things you should remember to bring:
Bug spray – There is an insanely large amount of mosquitos on Moorea. Do yourself a favor and bring bug spray with you.
Sunscreen – The sun is intense in French Polynesia; don’t forget to pack plenty of sunscreen.
Raincoat – We were expecting a lot of rain during our trip and we were right! Bring a coat so that the rain doesn’t hold you back.
The Wrap-Up: 23 Best Things To Do In Moorea
There is something for everyone on the island of Moorea; it would be difficult to find yourself bored during your vacation.
Now that you know the 23 best things to do in Moorea, it’s time to finish planning your trip and enjoy your holiday in paradise.
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