Meagan and Cameron were looking for a unique honeymoon experience. Something they would remember forever, outdoorsy, and intimate. I knew the perfect slice of paradise for them: Moorea. A French Polynesian Island with stunning jungles and world-class snorkeling. Being able to swim with turtles from the balcony of their overwater bungalow at Manava Beach Resort all week was just the start of their unforgettable adventure in paradise!
Here’s their trip report:
HI Ann! I know you said I could keep it short, but there is SO much to say lol. Thank you for everything 🙂 🙂 we absolutely LOVED our trip!! Moorea is the definition of Paradise! The lush vegetation and the crystal clear lagoon had me staring at the views in awe every single day.
I must have said a million times that the views just do not get old! We knew that it was their rainy season with rain expected daily, which we didn’t care at all, you are still in paradise. We learned that the mornings are the best for activities with sunshine and the rains come later in the afternoon/overnight.
We were up at sunrise daily and took advantage of the deck off of the bungalow to get a morning snorkel in.
We saw and swam with the same couple of turtles and sharks right off our bungalow each morning! We brought our own underwater cameras for all of the wildlife and kayaked out into the lagoon to see everything around us.
There were two Polynesian themed nights as well with a buffet dinner (oops we really wanted to explore the area and check out local restaurants and skipped this). The food is amazing! Expensive like we heard, but SO good and they give you large portions.
Cameron surprised me with a chartered boat from Moorea Ocean Adventures and I can happily say he made one of my lifelong bucket list dreams come true!
We swam with dolphins in the wild, along with sharks, rays, turtles and a TON of other fish. They were INCREDIBLE. It’s a private charter and they send you a captain and a marine biologist. They bring snorkel gear, beverages, and take a video of the entire experience–in the boat and underwater.
They edit the video for you too, we got it back a week later and I can honestly say it was better than some of the wedding videos I have seen!! It was more exciting to receive too lol.
They are so incredibly knowledgeable about the area, and the species, and you can tell they take pride in their work. They asked us our main goals and expectations for the day before we took off and were SO eager to find dolphins with us.
You could tell they loved and appreciated the sea and its creatures! I couldn’t say enough positive things about our experience with that company, even the communication Cameron had before and after with them. 5 stars for sure!
Biggest suggestions for people considering Moorea:
-If you go during the rainy season (November-February) be sure to be active morning people-the resort had umbrellas for everyone throughout the stay and we could walk to town so that was great!
– Rent a car and drive the island–it takes 90 minutes, there is one road around it, and the speed limit is either 60km or 35km if you are driving through a town or school zone.
-There really is no nightlife so don’t expect any nightclubs, bars, or anything like that, besides what the resorts offer in their lounges and bars.
Find the waterfall and hike to it!
– Directions [for the waterfall] are in various reviews on trip advisor, don’t listen to the reviews that say its an easy 20 min walk. It’s a decent hike
-Gratuity really isn’t part of their culture, you are told it’s not expected but can be provided for exemplary service. You find a line to leave it on the checks at the resorts, which we did of course, but at the local restaurants you just pay your bill at a counter and that’s it. We were uncomfortable with this at first and didn’t know what to do, but when one of our shuttle drivers taught us local lingo, told us the history about the various sites we were driving by, stopped at certain spot “that we had to see and take a photo at” and just made us feel SO welcomed, you knew that was someone you gave a gratuity to. We had a bunch of shuttle drivers throughout our transit between Tahiti and Moorea, you could tell this guy (Maui was his name!)was really proud of his island and happy to have us there.
– Rudy’s!! Eat there! It will not disappoint!! Read the reviews and believe every single one you read about the parrotfish. I read them afterward and was so glad we happened to find it. We were supposed to go back a second night, but my nap took a little longer than I had expected ;(
-Food and drinks are expensive on and off the resorts – but omg sooo good
–Belvedere lookout – go here! People leave locks on the fence, but you can tell they get removed. We saw a BUNCH in a photo before we went and there were only a few there when we arrived.
– 1 week is the perfect amount of time to see everything on the island, we saw some things twice! We even rented a car twice and made it to other restaurants and locations. I understand why many people spend more time and island-hop between Tahiti, Moorea, and Bora Bora – but that sounds exhausting to us and we decided to spend our 10 year anniversary in Bora Bora instead to check it out 😉
– Get a black Tahitian pearl 😊 we have a few now!
WELL, I think that covers it…
can we go back now, please?!?!
Thank you SO much for everything, can’t wait to plan the next one!
– Meagan and Cameron