Moorea, French Polynesia
Robust with lush valleys, verdant volcanic peaks, and crystalline waters, Moorea is the definition of a tropical delight. It's also a hop, skip, and a jump from more industrial Tahiti, making it a popular spot for locals to do a weekend getaway. Despite its desirability, the island feels blissfully crowd-free all year-round.
What We Love
Swimming With the Dolphins: Splash around with dolphins in shallow waters, or opt for a boating excursion for deep-water sightings. Healing properties, mental calmness, and boosted immunity are just some of the benefits that devotees of interacting with these aquatic animals tout.
Nature's Candy: Moorea's interior flaunts a seemingly endless expanse of farms cultivating coffee, sugarcane, and pineapple. Visit the famous Just de Fruits de Moorea for free tastings of nearly 20 juice varieties, including the adult-friendly Tahiti Punch, a blend of liquors, vanilla, and coconut.
Best Known For
Black Pearls: Despite their name, these organic gems synonymous with French Polynesia are an iridescent blend of dark green, silver, charcoal, and deep purple. There are many boutiques specializing in the cultivated goodies on the island.
Snorkeling: Spend the day at the Lagoonarium to spy sharks, moray eels, stingrays, and a bonanza of colorful tropical fish in the outpost’s protected waters.
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Who It's Best For
Day Warriors: From challenging hiking trails to standup paddleboarding and snorkeling, Moorea is a pleasure for soft adventure fanatics.
Nature Gazers: Moorea is nicknamed the “Magical Island” for good reason: Its natural beauty is so pristine, it’s otherworldly. Rent a car if you want to stop and snap the scenery whenever you fancy.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Book Tours in Advance: Ships tender in a port that offers little more than a refreshment stand and a few shops, so getting to the goodies of this paradise requires a taxi or car rental. Organize excursions ahead of time to make the most of your time.
Jenna Mahoney is a Brooklyn-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for Allure.