Best Things to Do in Moorea (French Polynesia): Top 12 Attractions to Visit

by Emil Backup
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Are you thinking about visiting Moorea this year? Here are some of the most fun and unique things to do in Moorea. These idyllic sights, activities, and attractions are sure to make for an unforgettable vacation experience.

Welcome to Moorea, the heart-shaped island of your dreams! Just saying the name out loud feels like a tropical breeze caressing your face. Nestled in the arms of the South Pacific, this heart-shaped island is the epitome of paradise. Imagine waking up to the sound of waves gently lapping against the shore, the scent of frangipani filling the air, and the sight of towering volcanic peaks enveloped in a lush, green cloak.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably yearning for an escape that’s nothing short of magical. Well, you’re in the right place! When it comes to things to do in Moorea, you’ll find a treasure trove of experiences waiting for you.

Whether you’re an adrenaline seeker or a hopeless romantic, Moorea has something for everyone. From swimming with sharks to sipping on coconut water straight from the tree, the island offers a smorgasbord of experiences that are as diverse as they are unforgettable.

So, grab your sunhat and your sense of adventure, because we’re about to dive into the amazing things to do in Moorea (French Polynesia). Trust me, by the end of this article, you’ll be booking the next flight out to this Polynesian paradise! Here’s everything you need to know about these fun things to do in Moorea.

The best things to do in Moorea right now.
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Best Places to Visit in Moorea

Ready to jump into all the coolest things to do in Moorea? As noted above, there’s something for everyone at this beautiful vacation spot in Oceania. So keep reading to discover all these unique Moorea places to visit.

Are you looking to experience thrilling water sports like snorkeling and paddleboarding, and go serene hiking through lush tropical landscapes? Or would you prefer immersing yourself in Polynesian culture through traditional dance performances and local artisan markets? Whatever you’re planning, these must-sees in Moorea can accommodate your needs. Here’s all the best attractions in Moorea that you should know about.

1. Opunohu Bay

If you’re on the hunt for unique things to do in Moorea, let me point you toward the crystalline waters of Opunohu Bay. This isn’t just any snorkeling adventure; it’s a chance to swim alongside humpback whales in one of Moorea’s most stunning natural settings. Between mid-July and mid-November, these magnificent creatures make their way to the warm, sheltered waters of the bay, turning it into a haven of marine life and a snorkeler’s dream.

Moorea is committed to ethical tourism. The tours are carefully regulated to ensure the well-being of the humpback whales. It makes your adventure not just thrilling but also responsible. So, when you’re floating in the azure waters of Opunohu Bay, you can rest easy knowing you’re part of a sustainable experience.

Now, let’s talk about the local expertise. Your guides aren’t just any guides; they’re Moorea locals who have been navigating these waters for years. They’ll take you to the best spots in the bay, where you’re most likely to encounter not just humpback whales but also dolphins, rays, and a kaleidoscope of tropical fish.

Snorkeling with humpback whales in Opunohu Bay is an ethereal, soul-stirring experience that will leave you with memories as vivid as the coral reefs and as deep as the ocean itself.

A tranquil oasis nestled amidst lush greenery, where the emerald waters meet the azure sky, creating a breathtaking natural masterpiece.
A tranquil oasis nestled amidst lush greenery, where the emerald waters meet the azure sky, creating a breathtaking natural masterpiece.

2. Cook’s Bay

For those who’ve always dreamed of a Robinson Crusoe-like escape, Moorea offers the perfect setting. Picture this: you’re kayaking through the calm, turquoise waters of Cook’s Bay. Paddling your way to a secluded motu (small island). This isn’t just one of the coolest activities in Moorea; it’s a chance to experience the island’s untouched beauty up close.

As you step onto the sandy shores of the motu, you’ll feel like you’ve stumbled upon a hidden gem. The most exciting part? You probably have the whole island to yourself! It’s the ideal spot for a romantic picnic or some quality ‘me-time’ with a good book. If you’re thinking about Moorea attractions for a day of pure bliss, this is it.

Local tour operators offer guided kayak trips that include snorkeling stops and even a Polynesian-style picnic. It’s a fantastic way to explore the bay and learn about the local marine life from experts who know these waters like the back of their hands.

So, if you’re making a list of Moorea places to visit, make sure to include a kayaking adventure to a secluded motu. It’s not just an activity; it’s a journey to a quieter, simpler world that feels miles away from the hustle and bustle, yet is just a paddle away. Is this among the top things to do in Moorea for nature lovers? 100%.

A picturesque paradise framed by rugged cliffs and crystal-clear waters.
A picturesque paradise framed by rugged cliffs and crystal-clear waters.

3. Belvedere Lookout

Imagine yourself on a 4×4, cruising through the rugged terrains of Belvedere Lookout, with the wind in your hair and the scent of tropical flora filling the air. This is no ordinary drive; it’s an off-road adventure that takes you to some of the most breathtaking viewpoints in Moorea.

While you ascend the winding roads, you’ll be greeted by panoramic vistas of lush valleys, jagged mountain peaks, and the sparkling ocean beyond. It’s the kind of scenery that makes you want to pinch yourself to make sure you’re not dreaming. And let’s not forget the photo ops; they’re the kind that’ll make your Instagram followers green with envy.

But what makes this 4×4 tour truly special is the cultural pit stops along the way. You’ll get to visit ancient marae (sacred Polynesian sites), where you’ll learn about the island’s rich history and traditions. It’s not just one of the Moorea things to do that you shouldn’t miss; it’s a holistic experience that feeds both your wanderlust and your mind.

A 4×4 tour to Belvedere Lookout is among the cool destinations in Moorea that offers a blend of adventure, natural beauty, and cultural enrichment. Trust me, this is one journey that’ll stay etched in your memory long after the tire tracks have faded.

Belvedere Lookout: A breathtaking vantage point offering panoramic views of the landscape below.
Belvedere Lookout: A breathtaking vantage point offering panoramic views of the landscape below.

4. Ha’apiti

Ever thought about dining under the stars, right on the beach, with the sound of waves serenading you? Well, in Moorea, this dreamy scenario is a reality. One of the best places to go in Moorea for a romantic or even a soul-soothing solo dinner is at a beachside restaurant in Ha’apiti.

As you sink your toes into the warm sand and take a sip of your freshly made Tahitian cocktail, you’ll realize this is no ordinary dining experience. It’s an intimate affair with nature, where the menu is as organic as the setting. From freshly caught mahi-mahi to locally sourced fruits, the flavors are as vibrant as the island itself.

But what elevates this experience from delightful to unforgettable is the Polynesian entertainment that often accompanies these dinners. Fire dancers lighting up the night, and local musicians playing ukuleles, filling the air with melodies as sweet as the ocean breeze. It’s one of those coolest things to do Moorea that you’ll reminisce about long after you’ve returned to the grind of daily life.

After the sun dips below the horizon, head to Ha’apiti for a beachside dinner. It’s not just a meal; it’s a feast for all your senses, set against a backdrop of natural beauty that’s second to none.

Ha'apiti: A tranquil coastal village nestled along the shores of Moorea.
Ha’apiti: A tranquil coastal village nestled along the shores of Moorea.

5. Tiki Village Theatre 

Keen on diving deep into Polynesian culture? Then you can’t miss a traditional dance show at the Tiki Village Theatre in Moorea. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill tourist attraction; it’s a cultural institution that’s been preserving and showcasing Polynesian traditions for years. For an authentic cultural experience, this is your spot.

Located in the heart of the island, Tiki Village Theatre offers more than just a dance performance. From the moment you step into the village, you’re transported to another era. Traditional thatched-roof huts, artisans at work, and the smell of Tahitian vanilla in the air set the stage for the evening.

The theatre comes alive at the sunset with the rhythms of drums and the grace of dancers adorned in vibrant traditional costumes. Each dance tells a story, often rooted in Polynesian mythology and folklore. It’s a journey through time and culture.

Tiki Village Theatre is a cultural odyssey that will leave you with a deeper understanding and appreciation of Moorea’s rich heritage.

6. Mount Rotui

For those who crave a blend of adventure and serenity, Mount Rotui offers an experience that’s hard to match. This towering peak, sandwiched between Opunohu and Cook’s Bay, is a hiker’s paradise and a perfect spot for panoramic views. The trail is a mix of challenging ascents and tranquil plateaus, making it a rewarding endeavor for both novice and seasoned hikers.

You’ll be enveloped by the lush greenery of Moorea’s interior as you make your way up the mountain. The air is filled with the scent of tropical flowers and damp earth, a natural aromatherapy session that calms the mind as you exert your body. And let’s not forget the occasional encounters with local wildlife; from colorful birds to curious lizards, the mountain is teeming with life.

Reaching the summit is an emotional and physical triumph. The view from the top is a jaw-dropping panorama of the island’s bays, coral reefs, and neighboring islets. It’s one of those unique places in Moorea where you can truly appreciate the island’s diverse landscapes.

Thinking of the best things to do in Moorea that combines the thrill of adventure with moments of zen? A hike up Mount Rotui is your answer. It’s a day well-spent, a challenge well-met, and a memory well-earned.

Mount Rotui: A majestic twin-peaked mountain on the island of Moorea.
Mount Rotui: A majestic twin-peaked mountain on the island of Moorea.

7. Moorea Dolphin Center 

For a taste of Moorea’s vibrant marine life without getting wet, a trip to Moorea Dolphin Center is a must. Nestled within the InterContinental Moorea Resort, this center offers an educational and interactive experience that’s perfect for families and marine enthusiasts alike.

Here, you’ll have the opportunity to get up close and personal with dolphins in a respectful and ethical manner. The center is committed to conservation and education, ensuring that your encounter is as enriching for you as it is harmless for the dolphins. From watching them perform playful tricks to learning about their social behaviors, it’s a day filled with awe and wonder.

But the experience isn’t just confined to dolphins. The center also offers educational talks and presentations on marine conservation, making it go-to destination if you’re keen on learning about the ocean and its inhabitants.

Moorea Dolphin Center is more than just an attraction; it’s a commitment to understanding and preserving the world beneath the waves.

Moorea Dolphin Center: An enchanting haven where visitors can connect with these intelligent marine creatures.
Moorea Dolphin Center: An enchanting haven where visitors can connect with these intelligent marine creatures.

8. Temae Beach

For a slice of paradise that’s off the beaten path, make your way to Temae Beach. This hidden gem is a sanctuary of powdery white sand and crystal-clear waters, a perfect destination for beach bums and solitude seekers. If you’re curious about where to go in Moorea for a day of unadulterated relaxation, Temae Beach is your answer.

Unlike the more popular beaches that are often crowded with tourists, Temae offers a sense of seclusion that’s hard to find on the island. It’s the perfect spot to lay down your towel, open a good book, and let the world drift away. The only sounds you’ll hear are the gentle lapping of waves and the distant laughter of children building sandcastles.

The beach is also a fantastic spot for snorkeling. The coral reef just offshore is teeming with colorful fish, making it one of the coolest things to do in Moorea for underwater explorers.

Temae Beach is a haven of peace and beauty, offering a respite from the hustle and bustle of tourist hotspots. Trust me, once you set foot on this beach, you’ll never want to leave.

Temae Beach: A slice of paradise on the island of Moorea, where powdery white sands meet the crystal-clear waters of the Pacific Ocean.
Temae Beach: A slice of paradise on the island of Moorea, where powdery white sands meet the crystal-clear waters.

9. Moorea’s Pineapple Fields

Craving a tropical adventure that’s a bit out of the ordinary? Look no further than Moorea’s Pineapple Fields. Yes, you read that right—pineapple fields! This isn’t just a place to snap some Instagram-worthy photos; it’s an experience that offers a unique glimpse into the island’s agricultural heritage. If you’re thinking about a fun thing to do in Moorea that’s also educational, this should be on it.

Situated in the island’s interior, these lush fields are a sight to behold. Rows upon rows of pineapple plants stretch as far as the eye can see, set against the backdrop of Moorea’s majestic mountains. It’s a setting that’s as picturesque as it is peaceful.

But the real joy comes from taking a guided tour. Local farmers are more than happy to share their knowledge about the cultivation and harvesting process. You’ll even get to taste freshly picked pineapples, which are nothing short of heavenly.

Thinking of what to do in Moorea that’s a little off the beaten path? A visit to the Pineapple Fields is a sweet option. It’s a delightful blend of natural beauty and local culture.

A vibrant tapestry of emerald green, where endless rows of pineapple plants thrive under the tropical sun, showcasing the island's agricultural charm.
A vibrant tapestry of emerald green, where endless rows of pineapple plants thrive under the tropical sun, showcasing the island’s agricultural charm.

10. Teavaro Beach 

For an adrenaline-pumping experience that combines the best of Moorea’s natural beauty with extreme sports, kitesurfing at Teavaro Beach is a must-try. This beach is a kitesurfer’s dream, offering consistent winds and a stunning backdrop of Moorea’s iconic landscapes. If you’re curious about where to visit in Moorea for a blend of adventure and awe-inspiring views, Teavaro Beach is your spot.

Situated on the northeastern coast of the island, Teavaro Beach is less crowded than other popular spots, giving you ample space to launch your kite and ride the winds. The water here is a mesmerizing shade of blue, so clear that you can see the coral formations beneath the surface as you glide over them.

For beginners, several kitesurfing schools operate in the area, offering lessons that will have you up and riding in no time. And for the experienced kitesurfers, the beach’s wind conditions are diverse enough to offer a challenging yet rewarding experience.

In a nutshell, kitesurfing at Teavaro Beach isn’t just about the sport; it’s about immersing yourself in a setting so beautiful, it almost feels surreal. It’s one of those must-see in Moorea experiences that you’ll reminisce about long after your tan has faded.

A serene stretch of coastline on Moorea, where the gentle lapping of turquoise waves harmonizes with the whispering palms.
A serene stretch of coastline on Moorea, where the gentle lapping of turquoise waves harmonizes with the whispering palms.

11. Pao Pao Valley

Let’s switch gears and talk about something that’s as serene as it is soul-stirring: Pao Pao Valley. Perched between craggy mountain ranges, this valley is a haven for those who love to hike. If you’re searching for the best places in Moorea that offer a tranquil escape, Pao Pao Valley is where you’ll find it.

You start your journey at the base of the valley, where a well-marked trail invites you to explore. As you ascend, the sounds of civilization fade, replaced by the rustling of leaves and the songs of native birds. The air smells of damp earth and blooming hibiscus, a scent that’s as intoxicating as it is refreshing.

But here’s the kicker: the higher you climb, the more breathtaking the views become. From certain vantage points, you can see the entire island, enveloped by the endless blue of the Pacific Ocean. It’s a sight so stunning, it almost feels like you’ve stumbled upon Moorea’s most-kept secret.

Pao Pao Valley is a slice of paradise that offers more than just scenic views; it offers a chance to connect with the island on a deeper, more spiritual level.

Pao Pao Valley: A lush and verdant oasis nestled within Moorea's heart, where emerald foliage blankets the valley floor.
Pao Pao Valley: A lush and verdant oasis nestled within Moorea’s heart, where emerald foliage blankets the valley floor.

12. Afareaitu Waterfalls

Ah, Afareaitu Waterfalls—a name that dances off the tongue as gracefully as the water cascades down the cliffs. This is not just another spot on the map; it’s an experience that encapsulates the essence of Moorea. If you’re wondering about the unique things to do in Moorea that combine adventure with awe-inspiring natural beauty, look no further.

See yourself trekking through a lush jungle, the air thick with the scent of exotic flowers. Every step you take is a step closer to one of Moorea’s most awe-inspiring sights. And then you hear it—the distant roar of water crashing against rocks. Your pace quickens, excitement building with every heartbeat.

As you finally break through the foliage, what you see takes your breath away. The waterfall, a majestic force of nature, plunges into a crystal-clear pool below. It’s as if the island itself is inviting you to dive in, to become one with this untamed paradise.

So, go ahead, take the plunge. Let the cool water envelop you as you revel in the sheer joy of being alive, right here, right now. Afareaitu Waterfalls is a must-experience.

Afareaitu Waterfalls: Nature's masterpiece on display, where cascading waters descend gracefully amidst lush greenery.
Afareaitu Waterfalls: Nature’s masterpiece on display, where cascading waters descend gracefully amidst lush greenery.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Best Things to Do in Moorea

Looking for more content on the top things to do in Moorea? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help you plan your trip to Moorea:

What’s the best time to visit Moorea?

Ah, the eternal question! Truth be told, Moorea is a year-round paradise. However, if you’re looking to dodge the crowds and still catch some fabulous weather, consider visiting between November and April.

How do I get around the island in Moorea?

While renting a car is an option, don’t overlook the joy of exploring Moorea by bike or scooter. It’s an eco-friendly way to see the island and lets you take in all the sights, sounds, and scents at your own pace.

Is Moorea family-friendly?

Absolutely! With activities ranging from beach picnics to snorkeling adventures, Moorea offers something for every age group. It’s the kind of place where memories are made, and family bonds are strengthened.

How many days should I spend in Moorea?

The ideal length of stay in Moorea largely depends on your interests and how you envision your trip. However, for most travelers, a stay of 3 to 5 days is recommended to fully experience the island’s beauty and offerings without feeling rushed.

Here’s a breakdown of what you can do in Moorea based on the number of days:

  1. 1-2 Days:
    • Explore the main beaches like Temae and Ta’ahiamanu.
    • Visit the Belvedere Lookout.
    • Snorkel in the Lagoonarium.
    • Enjoy a local meal and watch the sunset.
  2. 3-4 Days:
    • All of the above, plus:
    • Take a circle island tour to explore both the coastal and interior regions.
    • Visit a pineapple plantation.
    • Engage in water activities like jet skiing, paddleboarding, or a boat tour.
    • Explore the Opunohu and Cook’s Bays.
    • Dive deeper into Polynesian culture with a visit to Tiki Village.
    • Go on a hiking trail or a 4×4 safari tour to explore the island’s interior.
  3. 5+ Days:
    • All of the above, plus:
    • Dedicate a full day to relaxation on the beach.
    • Take more specialized tours, such as shark and ray feeding excursions.
    • Explore lesser-known spots and hidden gems.
    • Engage in more extensive water activities, like scuba diving.
    • Enjoy multiple local dining experiences, trying different restaurants and cuisines.

What are the must-try foods in Moorea?

In Moorea, you must try the fresh seafood, such as poisson cru (a local ceviche), and dishes featuring mahi-mahi and tuna. Tropical fruits like pineapple and coconut are abundant, making delicious additions to meals. Don’t miss out on trying the traditional Polynesian dish, ma’a tinito, featuring taro and coconut milk.

Visiting Moorea: Vibrant coral reefs, lush jungles, and friendly Polynesian culture make Moorea an unforgettable paradise for travelers.
Visiting Moorea: Vibrant coral reefs, lush jungles, and friendly Polynesian culture make Moorea an unforgettable paradise for travelers.

What to do in Moorea for one day?

Moorea, one of the idyllic islands in French Polynesia, is a paradise of lush landscapes, crystal-clear lagoons, and stunning beaches. If you have just one day in Moorea, here’s a suggested itinerary to make the most of your visit:

  1. Morning:
    • Belvedere Lookout: Start your day early with a drive or hike up to this viewpoint. It offers panoramic views of Opunohu and Cook’s Bays, as well as the lush interior of the island.
    • Opunohu Bay: After the lookout, head to Opunohu Bay. You can take a short boat tour or kayak in the bay, enjoying the serene waters and scenic surroundings.
  2. Late Morning:
    • Snorkeling at Lagoonarium: Head to the Lagoonarium for a snorkeling experience. It’s a protected part of the lagoon where you can swim with rays, sharks, and a variety of tropical fish. Guided snorkeling tours are often available.
  3. Afternoon:
    • Beach Time at Temae or Ta’ahiamanu: Spend some relaxing hours at one of Moorea’s beautiful beaches. Both Temae and Ta’ahiamanu are popular choices with white sands and clear waters.
    • Pineapple Plantations: Moorea is known for its delicious pineapples. Visit a plantation to learn about the cultivation process and sample some fresh pineapple.
  4. Late Afternoon:
    • Tiki Village: Experience Polynesian culture at Tiki Village. Depending on the timing, you can watch traditional crafts being made, enjoy Polynesian dance performances, or even partake in a traditional feast.
  5. Evening:
    • Sunset at a Beachside Restaurant: Conclude your day with a delicious meal at one of Moorea’s beachside restaurants or resorts. The island offers a range of dining options, from local Tahitian cuisine to international dishes. Enjoying your dinner with a view of the sun setting over the Pacific is the perfect way to end your day.

What’s the currency in Moorea?

The currency in Moorea, as well as in the rest of French Polynesia, is the French Pacific Franc (CFP franc), represented by the symbol “₣” and the ISO code “XPF.” While credit cards are widely accepted at most tourist establishments, it’s a good idea to carry some cash for smaller purchases and local markets.

Is Moorea worth going to?

Absolutely, Moorea is a slice of paradise that’s more than worth the visit. With its stunning beaches, lush landscapes, and a plethora of activities, it’s a haven for adventure seekers and relaxation enthusiasts alike. It’s the kind of place that captures your heart and stays in your memories forever.

What is Moorea known for?

Moorea, often considered the “sister island” to Tahiti, is renowned for its jaw-dropping natural beauty. Known for its crystal-clear lagoons, dramatic mountain peaks, and vibrant coral reefs, it’s a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether it’s snorkeling, hiking, or simply relaxing, Moorea offers a quintessential Polynesian experience.

Closing Thoughts on Visiting Moorea

So there you have it, folks! A comprehensive guide to the coolest activities in Moorea that promise to make your trip unforgettable. From the jaw-dropping beauty of Afareaitu Waterfalls to the cultural richness of Pao Pao Valley, Moorea is not just a destination; it’s a feeling, an experience, a story waiting to be written by you.

Whether you’re an adventure seeker, a romantic, or someone simply looking to escape the mundane, Moorea offers a slice of paradise for everyone. So pack those bags, book that ticket, and come find out for yourself why Moorea is the jewel of French Polynesia.

Best Things to Do in Moorea for all types of travelers.
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