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Insider's Guide to Moorea

Major attractions, tips and our top things to see and do.

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Located on the western side of Opunohu Bay, Papetoai (Papeto'ai) is frequented by visitors who want to explore the village's art and shopping center. Various galleries litter the area, like Galerie API, Arts Polynesiens and Atelier Stanley Haumani and allow people to browse creative works done by local artists. Additionally, shops and boutiques like Paki Paki, Dany Creations, Carole Boutique, Woodys Sculpture sell local handicrafts, jewelry, clothing, shells, books and more.

Papetoai also has a rich history, as it was once the seat of the Pomare I government when he conquered Moorea in 1790, and where the conversion to Christianity took place. Additionally, it is home to the oldest European building in use in the South Pacific, an octagonal church established by the London Missionary Society in 1822.

Nearby, you'll find the tomb of the first missionaries. And for some aquatic adventure, the beaches of Papetoai offer calm, crystal clear waters perfect for snorkeling with colorful coral and fish. After you're done exploring, local restaurants can give you a taste of Polynesian and international fare. For example, while Le Papayer and Le Bateau serve up traditional French and Tahitian cuisine, Tumoana offers delicious Oriental cuisine.

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