The aquamarine water, white sandy beaches, and overwater bungalows synonymous with French Polynesia are what daydreams are made of, but before you start planning your trip, we’re sharing our Mo'orea vacation guide with you to help you plan the ultimate travel experience in French Polynesia.
Tahiti is the largest island in French Polynesia, and while certainly worth exploring, it's also the jumping-off point for the magical island of Mo'orea, where Team ALOHA spent one adventure filled week together.
In this blog, we'll share exactly what to pack for your trip to the tropics, including our NEW Tahiti Capsule Collection, as well as what to see, eat, and do while you're in Mo'orea.
Talk like a Tahitian
Hello: Ia Orona (yo-rah-nah)
Thank You: Māuruuru (mah-roo-roo)
Goodbye: Nana (nah-nah)
Cheers: Manuia (mah-nwee-ah)
SEE + DO
Mo'orea is the perfect destination for those who are looking for adventure. Here are some of the things you should see and do while visiting Mo'orea!
We went on an off-roading ATV trip with Mo'orea Activities Center. The tour lasts about 3 hours and makes several stops including Cook’s Bay, Magic Mountain, Belvedere Lookout, and the pineapple fields.
This is definitely an adventure-packed excursion, so you can expect to get a little muddy as you cross rivers, hang with river eels (yes, they are real!), climb steep terrain, and off-road throughout lush valleys and mountain roads.
We ended the tour at **Manutea Tahiti **the Rotui Juice Factory & Distillery where we got to sample the famous Tahiti Drink, a coconut cream liquor (AMAZING! ), a ginger liquor, and pineapple rum.
The perfect chance to practice saying "MANUIA"!
Tama'a Street Food Tour
We snacked our way around the island with local guide Heimata who was born and raised on Mo'orea and runs Tahiti Food Tours. “Tama'a” means to eat in Tahitian and we definitely did just that on this tour! Tahitian food is influenced by three different cultures, Tahitian, Chinese, and French, so on this tour, we got to sample local favorites from all three backgrounds.
Jet Ski Excursion
Our Jet Ski tour was so much fun! As part of this guided tour, we cruised through Cook's Bay and 'Ōpūnohu Bay before our first stop: snorkeling with rays and black-tipped reef sharks! We took a short break on one of the local motu (island) where we got VERY up close and personal with the island’s friendly string-rays.
Spend the Day on a Motu
This was a highlight for the entire ALOHA team! After being picked up at the dock of our hotel by boat, we cruised to a motu (island) for a day of swimming, exploring, and sun!
On the way, we stopped to see sea turtles, reef sharks, and sting rays! Once we arrived at the motu, our guides prepared a traditional Polynesian lunch of Poisson Cru and fresh fish while we spent the day swimming, snorkeling, and relaxing.
Don't miss the chance to ask about making Poisson Cru, its the national dish of French Polynesia and one we haven't stopped dreaming about!
It wouldn't be an ALOHA trip if we didn't seek out the best shopping on the island! French Polynesia is known for its sophisticated yet laid back style, after all, it is called "French" Polynesia! Here are some of our favorite must stop shops!
Shop Eimeo Clothing
EIMEO Clothing is a true reflection of Polynesian feminine energy. Founder (and friend) Moehau Aumerand is a local vahine (woman in Tahitian) who has always lived not too far from her home island Eimeo or Mo'orea as its is called today. The retro-tropical ambiance of Mo'orea inspires the mood of EIMEO collections which feature very light and soft fabric with exclusive prints and timeless designs. Eimeo's clothes range from beachwear to evening outfits and unique Polynesian muʻumuʻu to casual wear.
Every piece from EIMEO will have you feeling like a true tropical goddess!
Shop for the Perfect Tahitian Pearl - Ron Hall
Remember Heimata from Tama'a Street Food Tour?! Well, his sister, VaiTiare just happens to run the best pearl shop on the island, Ron Hall Pearls. VaiTiare took over the family business and has been making custom, one of a kind pieces ever since. Her magic lies in the care she takes with every piece she makes and the unique pearls that she sources from all over French Polynesia. Stop in for a Pearl School Lesson before you shop, trust us, you wont want to miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity!
WHAT TO PACK
Here are the top 15 things to pack for a trip to Mo'orea. It may be tempting to overpack, but resist the urge and keep it light with these easy essentials.
2. 2-3 Lightweight Dresses
We love Tiare Hawaii dresses! They are super lightweight and can easily be dressed up for a nice dinner or down for shopping around town.
3. 2-3 Bikinis
If you are going to overpack one thing, make it a bikini!
4. 2 T-shirts
You will want to pack a few tees for hiking, or ATV off roading!
5. 2 Pairs of Shorts
You can wear joggers, like our favorites from Vuori, on the flight and use when relaxing for sunrise coffee!
7. Lightweight jacket
8. Slippers (or Flip Flops)
9. Hiking shoes
10. Reef-safe Sunscreen
Caution, the sun is strong on Mo'orea! We recommend packing more sunscreen than usual and opt for one with a higher SPF for maximum protection. Remember to choose a reef-friendly sunscreen like THIS one from our friends at Coola!
11/12. Mask + Snorkel
13. Bluetooth Speaker
We don't leave home without our favorite, waterproof travel speaker from our friends at Speaqua! Opt for the smaller Cruiser 2.0 that is small but packs a sound punch or choose the Barnicle Pro and load up over 2,000 songs so you can leave your phone behind and jam out no matter where your adventures lead!
HOW WE USED ALOHA
We love sharing how we travel with our bags, so Team ALOHA is sharing which bags they packed for this incredible week away!
My go-to bag for this trip was my Paradise on Repeat Reversible Tote! It's the perfect size bag to pack for a day on the water. I toss in my fins, mask, and pareo, plus a small pouch with my smaller things like phone, sunglasses, and room key. An added bonus is that I can flip it inside out for a whole new look depending on what I feel like each day!
I packed my MAX Mānoa Pouch in Ocean to carry my tropical vacation essentials: my snorkel, mask, and fins! They fit perfectly if I arranged them just right. My MAX Pouch helps keep salt water off the dry items in my Paradise on Repeat Day Tripper after a snorkel sesh.
Customer Experience Manager
I packed my ALOHA MAX Pouch! I used it for suitcase organization on the way there and after unpacking, I brought it everywhere to tote around an extra change of clothes and pareo! It was perfect for all of our excursions—it kept everything dry and clean on our boat days and while ATV-ing and jet-skiing! I'd usually have a small pouch inside it for easy access to smaller items like sunscreen and sunglasses.
Office / CS Coordinator
I can't travel anywhere without my all Black Mini Hip Pack! It's great to keep all your travel essentials easily accessible; passport, boarding pass, and phone right at your fingertips! I like to keep all my sunscreen, oils and other beach goodies in my MAX Leopard Cub Pouch! I love my sunscreens and my MAX pouch holds them all.
DESTINATION FRENCH POLYNESIA
Whether you're planning a trip to French Polynesia or you've already been and plan to return someday, we hope our ALOHA-approved travel tips and packing list help make the most out of your tropical vacation. Until then, be sure to check out our NEW Tahiti Capsule Collection by Samudra! Each piece in our Tahiti collection was designed to bring a piece of the islands with you wherever you travel.
Mo'orea, the "Magical Island", will always hold a special place in the hearts of our team. While we had an amazing time playing together in paradise, we were especially humbled by the warm, welcoming nature of the Tahitian people, their beautiful culture, and their never-ending hospitality. We want to send a special shout out to our friend Hinatea Boosie for helping make our dream trip come true!
Mahalo and Māuruuru!
xo - Team ALOHA
Mo'orea is located in the South Pacific Ocean, halfway between California and Australia
French is the National language of French Polynesia
There are 118 islands in French Polynesia
The word tattoo comes from the Tahitian word “tatau”
Over-water bungalows were invented in French Polynesia in the 1960s, on the island of Mo'orea
Bora Bora is known as The Romantic Island, Mo'orea as The Magical Island, and Tahiti as The Queen of the Pacific Islands.
Tahitians are considered to be among the most genuinely friendly people in the world
The national flower of French Polynesia is the Tiare. They are worn by both men and women, either as necklaces, crowns or behind the ear.