With a vivid blue lagoon, foliage-covered mountains, and sublime white-sand beaches, Moorea rivals neighboring Tahiti and Bora Bora when it comes to natural splendor. And these postcard-perfect landscapes lend themselves well to an array of activities, from diving to hiking. Here are some must-try outdoor adventures in Moorea.
Diving and Snorkeling
Moorea’s lagoon is home to hundreds of species of marine life. Stingrays, hawksbill turtles, spinner dolphins, and humpback whales all frequent the waters here. Snorkeling excursions often anchor at Opunohu Bay and Cook’s Bay, or at the protected Lagoonarium, where rainbow-colored fish slalom their way around the reef. Divers can find sharks, from lemon sharks to blacktip reef sharks, at Tiki Point and the Garden of Roses.
4WD and All-Terrain Vehicle Tours
To explore the rugged island, opt for a 4WD safari tour. Drive by pineapple fields, enjoy stunning views from Magic Mountain, and stop at a local distillery. Many of these same sights can be reached by all-terrain vehicle, which visitors can drive following a guide along a designated route.
Kayaking and Lagoon Cruises
The bright turquoise waters of the lagoon are Moorea’s crown jewel. Rent a kayak and paddle through the fish-filled lagoon—transparent kayaks offer a view of the underwater realm that’s hard to beat. For an even more relaxing option, opt for a cruise, floating around the lagoon on a catamaran or sailboat.
For land-based adventures, Moorea has a collection of well-signposted hiking trails. Follow Three Coconuts Pass from the Belvedere for views of the green peak of Mt. Mouaputa, or attempt to summit the 2,951-foot (900-meter) Mt. Rotui. The Mt. Rotui ascent is steep and strenuous, but the views from the top more than make up for it.