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Mo’orea Island

Tuesday, April 16, 2013
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A few minutes from the island of Tahiti by plane, and only thirty minutes by high-speed catamaran, a high island in French Polynesia, Moorea soars magically out of the ocean in an explosion of green velvet – what you would imagine a South Seas island to be. With its shape resembling a heart from high up in the sky, Mo’orea, French Polynesia, is the perfect romantic destination. So super perfect!

Shallow lagoon surrounds the island’s vertical mountains where poetic threads of waterfalls tumble down fern-softened cliffs. Peaceful meadows flanked by pinnacles of green will fill your senses and renew your belief in the majesty of nature. Pastel-painted houses surrounded by gardens of hibiscus and birds of paradise, circle the island in a fantasy of happy, yet simple villages. The best way to get around the island is by scooter. You will need to sometimes put both hands on your heart as you drive around and explore because this place will take your breath away, literally. The feelings you will have here – are indescribable.

A bit of history

Like many of the other islands, was first settled by Polynesians from the islands west of Mo’orea. They arrived on canoes coming down from South Asia looking for islands to settle. It is estimated that they arrived on Mo’orea roughly 1000 years ago. There are some ancient landmarks on Mo’orea known as marae, which consists of ancient stone rocks shaped like pyramids. On the rocks are carvings that tell when sacrifices occasionally took place. The oldest marae is the ‘Āfareaitu Marae, located in the island’s main village. It was made by the early Polynesians in the year 900.

The first settlers who were Europeans arrived during the 18th century. The first European to arrive on the island were Englishman Samuel Wallis and James Cook. Captain James Cook first settled on Tahiti and then he took his ship with Samuel Wallis and went onward to Mo’orea. The bay he first settled in was later named Cook’s Bay in his honor.

Best time to go

The wet season generally runs between the months of November to April. During this time, you can expect very high humidity with brief and frequent storms. The wet season is also referred to as the “off season.”  If you’re looking to do Tahiti on a budget, you’ll probably find better deals this time of year and you’re likely to have a fair amount of sunshine

The dry season runs from May to October and you can expect less rain, although occasional nighttime downpours are not uncommon. This time of year is the “high season” and you should expect to encounter more tourists on your trip than in the off season. July is usually the most crowded time of the time. If you’re going to Tahiti to scuba, the dry season is probably the best time to go because the visibility is better.

Although the year round temperatures remain tropical, trade winds are usually blowing, which will help keep you cool. For this reason, you may want to pack a light sweater or jacket, especially for the evening.

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Travel Junkie Diary

A bohemian traveler

One comment

  1. paul masal says:

    Beautiful beyond words…didn’t know about it before these photos. Will go to the library for more info. paul

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