3 Day Itinerary in Moorea, French Polynesia

Moorea is a tropical paradise that boasts stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush greenery. Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or a little bit of both, this French Polynesian island has something for everyone.

If you’re planning a visit to Moorea, you’ll want to make the most of your time on the island. That’s why we’ve put together a three-day itinerary to help you experience the best of what Moorea has to offer.

Visiting the French Polynesian islands is a bucket list item and a life-dream of many. Your bags are packed and you’re finally ready for take-off. First stop is the volcanic island of Moorea, and I’m excited to share the perfect 3 day itinerary with you.

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In this post I will provide my recommendations and tips for getting to the French Polynesian Islands, and a full three day itinerary to to help you to make the most of your time on the island of Moorea. But first it’s important to know a little background of the islands.

Where Are the French Polynesian Islands

The French Polynesian islands are a group of over 100 islands located in the South Pacific Ocean, south of Hawaii and east of Australia. French Polynesia is the last Country before crossing the dateline. The islands are volcanic high islands and low islands which all contain a plethora of coral reefs.

The most popular islands for tourists are Tahiti, Bora Bora, and Moorea. In this post, we will be covering the island of Moorea.

What Islands Make Up French Polynesia

There are over 100 islands and atolls which make up French Polynesia, of which only 75 are inhabited.

Tahiti is the largest of the Polynesian islands boasting a population of 304,302. The capital of the French Polynesian islands, Papeete, is located on the island of Tahiti.

Tahiti offers so many epic things to do, that you may want to consider spending a couple of days on the main island before heading to Tahiti’s sister island of Moorea.

Languages Spoken in the French Polynesian Islands

The primary languages spoken in the islands is Polynesian, and you got it, French. Having said that, the residents also learn Eglish and Spanish in school. The majority of the employees working in the tourist industry are fluent in English making communication fairly easy.

Getting to French Polynesia

I won’t sugar coat it. Getting to the French Polynesian islands is difficult and in many cases can be a nightmare. This is especially true when flying from North America like I did.

Because of the difficulty getting to the islands, the majority of visitors to French Polynesia tend to come from Australia and France. When flying from anywhere in Canada or the United States, you can expect to have 24 to 36 hours of travel time which includes flights, ferries, car transportation and boat transportation.

Just One Tip: Due to the difficulty getting to French Polynesia, I highly recommend that you arrange for some island hopping to make the most of your time in French Polynesia

Whichever country you will be arriving from, you will fly into the capital city of Papeete. From there, you will have the option of flying or taking a ferry to the island you will be visiting.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Moorea, French Polynesia

The best time to visit Moorea, French Polynesia is between May and October when the weather is dry and the temperatures are cooler. This is also the peak tourist season, so be prepared for larger crowds and higher prices.

All international flights flying to the French Polysnesia will land in Tahiti.

Itinerary for French Polynesian Islands

My goal when visiting French Polynesia was to experience a blend of scenery, culture, adventure, and relaxation. This itinerary provided the perfect blend of everything that I was looking for.

I don’t typically book my vacations through a tour company, however, given the difficulty and logistics of navigating the islands in French Polynesia, I booked this package through GoWay Travel. A travel company is not necessary, but if you are planning on visiting more than one island, it certainly makes it easier as far as transfers go. For those of you not wanting to book through a tour company, I have provided the links to everything you will need in order to make your own arrangements.

Below is the detailed 3 day itinerary for your time in Moorea which was provided through the GoWay package. I have broken the itinerary down into two separate posts. This post will cover the island off Moorea, and the next post will cover the paradise known as Bora Bora.

3 Day Moorea Itinerary

  • Depart Toronto to Los Angeles
  • Transfer from Papeete Airport to Sofitel Kia Ora Moorea Beach Resort
  • 3 Nights at Sofitel Kia Ora Moorea Beach Resort
  • ATV Discovery Tour (West Coast)
  • Rest and Relaxation
  • Aito 4 Wheel Drive Safari Tour
  • Rest and Relaxation
  • Ploynesian Show and Buffet Dinner
  • Transfer to Moorea Airport
  • Fly to Bora Bora

Travelling to Papeete, Tahiti from Toronto, Ontario Canada

This portion of the trip will differ for everyone, depending on which part of the world you are travelling from. However, this will provide an idea as to how far and difficult it is to get to Tahiti.

I flew from Pearson airport in Toronto by Air Canada. The flight left at 4:30 in the afternoon and arrived in Los Angeles at approximately 9:30 in the evening. Note that Los Angeles is 3 hours behind Ontario in time.

Just One Tip: Food and snacks weren’t provided on this 6.5 hour flight. I highly recommend stocking up on food for your dinner. We purchased sub’s prior to our .

Our flight on Air Tahiti Nui was scheduled to leave Los Angeles around midnight and fly throughout the evening, arriving in Papeete at 6:30 a.m. Tahitian time. Note that French Polynesia is 6 hours behind Ontario in time.

The Tahiti airport isn't large resulting in a lack of personnel to help with your luggage.

While the Papeete airport has a sufficient number of immigration officers, it lacks in spots to put them. This resulted in a delay of over an hour to get through customs. Please keep this in mind when scheduling transfers to the various islands.

Getting To My First Stop in Moorea

My package included a 3 night stay in Moorea prior to continuing on to Bora Bora.

Taxi service was arranged through the tour company to take me from the Tahiti airport to the ferry terminal for my trip over to Moorea. The drive to the ferry terminal was approximately half an hour and will provide you with the opportunity to take in some of the sights of the capital city.

When visiting Moorea, book a taxi before you go to take you to the ferry dock.

We were able to board the 8:00 a.m. ferry to Moorea. The ferry had a cafeteria with food and drinks offered for sale.

Riding the ferry from Papeete to Moorea will provide you with your first opportunity to discover the beauty and turquoise water which is in abundance throughout the islands.

The ferry From Papeete to the island of Moorea takes approximately 45 minutes and offers breath-taking views

Upon arriving in Moorea, we were then greeted by another taxi driver arranged by GoWay Travels and were taken to our resort, Sofitel Kia Ora Moorea Beach Resort

Read Next: My review of Sofitel Kia Ora Moorea Beach Resort

Moorea, French Polynesia

The island was originally known as “Eimeo” or “Aimeho” and was later changed to Moorea, meaning yellow lizzard.

Moorea is a rugged, volcanic island which offers views of Tahaiti, Opunahu Bay, and settlements surrounding Cook’s Bay.

A visit to the island of Moorea, sister island to Tahiti is a must.  Moorea is a volcanic island with sweeping views over the lagoon.

Day 1: Arrival, Rest and Relaxation at Sofital Kia Ora Moorea Beach Resort

We arrived at our resort at approximately 9:00 in the morning Tahitian time, which was 3:00 p.m. our time. Needless to say we were exhausted after close to 24 hours of travel.

Unfortunately, we were unable to check into our room until 2:00, hence, we spent the day relaxing on the beach and catching some zzz’s.

Just One Tip: Try not to sleep on the day of arrival in order to adjust to the new time zone.

The Sofitel Kia Ora Moorea Beach Resort is one of only 3 large resorts on the island of Moorea

Day 2: Adventure with an ATV Discovery Tour of Moorea (West Coast)

I had booked a tour of the island by ATV for my first morning in Moorea. This was a fun and exhilerating way to tour the island which I highly recommend.

I had never driven an ATV before and I thought that Moorea would be the perfect place to do so for the first time. Thankfully, the guide provided extensive instructions prior to taking off on our ATV’s.

An ATV tour is the perfect way to explore the island of Moorea and it should be included in your 3 day itinerary

The group was small with only two ATV’s therefore providing lots of personal attention. The first part of the drive was along the highway (there is only one highway on the island). This was perfect to get us use to driving.

Eventually we left the highway and began winding our way up the volcantic hill to the Belvedere Lookout. The views from the vintage point were breath-taking, providing the opportunity to look out over the island.

Visit the Belevedere Lookout for amazing views over the island of Moorea.  There are hiking trails which can be taken from here.

Next, we drove into the crator of the volcano to a pineapple farm. We had the opporunity to learn how the locals grew the pineapples all by hand. No machinary was used.

We continued on through a rainforest, driving through puddles and creeks (this was my favourite part of the tour 🙂 ). Our guide led us to a natural water creek where he fed eels 😦 . While I thought these creatures were cool to look at, they were gross.

You will be taken to see fresh water eels, an endangered species in Moorea, when on an ATV tour of the island

We learned that they retreated to the ocean in order to lay their eggs. When the eggs hatched, the baby eels were left on their own to find their way back to the fresh water found inland. Many didn’t make it, as they were eaten by sharks and other sealife. The fresh water eels have become an endangered species in Moorea.

By this time, it was late morning and a drink was needed. We stopped at a “local” shop for some jam tasting and pineapples. The jam was made from the local fruit. I wasn’t a fan, as I found them all too sweet, but the others liked it.

The ATV tour lasted the entire morning and I then had the rest of the afternoon to relax at the pool and beach.

Day 3: Aito 4 Wheel Drive Safari Tour

The next morning, I was again picked up at the resort by the guide for a 4 wheel drive safari tour around the island of Moorea.

Since I had done the ATV tour the day before, I would have opted out of this tour, as we went to several of the same attractions.

We again drove to Belevdere Lookout at the top of the volcano, as well as visited the pineapple farm.

In addition, we visited one of over 300 temples found on the island of Moorea. This I found quite interesting. The temple was not as we typically imagine them. All that remained was the rock foundation overgrown with many trees. Notwithstanding the underwelming site, I did feel as if I was taken back into earlier day times.

Visit the past at one of over 300 temples found on the island of Moorea and learn some of the island's history and culture

The island 4 wheel drive tour lasted the entire morning, and again I had the afternoon free to enjoy the sun, beach, pool, and pina coladas.

We spent afternoon relaxing at the resort’s pool and beach, soaking in the breathtaking view of the clear turquoise waters.

Polynesian Buffet and Show

On my last evening in Moorea, I attended a Polynesian show and enjoyed a spread of Polynesian food. This gave me a small glympse into the culture of French Polynesia.

Polynesian food is largely based on fish and fruit which can be found in abundance throughout the island of Moorea. Dishes contain very little spice but tend to focus on coconut milk, lime, and ginger.

During dinner, I was entertained by the Polynesian dancers. The dance of the French Polynesia is also known as the hula. Unlike it’s Hawaiin counterpart which primarily uses the arms throughout the dance, the Polynesian hula focuses on the movement of the hips.

Attend Polynesian night when staying at the Sofitel Kia Ora Moorea Beach Resort and experience a bit of the French Polynesian culture.

Overall, my 3-day itinerary in Moorea was filled with just enough adventure, relaxation, and cultural experiences to leave me feeling satisfied and rejuvenated. I highly recommend this beautiful island to anyone looking for a true Polynesian experience.

Departure For Bora Bora

After 3 days in Moorea, my time on this beautiful, laid-back island has come to an end. However, I’m excited to be departing for 3 days in Bora Bora.

Getting from Moorea to Bora Bora is relatively easy as there are daily flights and ferries available. I opted for a short flight which only took 45 minutes and provided amazing views of the surrounding islands and crystal-clear waters below.

On the day of departure, I was picked up promptly at 11:00 a.m. by the taxi arranged through GoWay Travel. I am enroute to the Moorea airport where I will begin my next adventure onto Bora Bora.

There is only one highway on the island of Moorea.  Be adventurous and travel onto some of the backroads during your 3 days in Moorea

There are small planes which will transport passengers from island to island throughout French Polynesia. It is important to note that due to the size of these planes, there are weight restrictions which are strictly enforced.

Visit Air Tahiti for inter-island flight schedules, fees, and weight restrictions.

In Conclusion…

Moorea is a paradise on earth, and a three-day itinerary is the perfect amount of time to explore some of its top attractions. The island has so much to offer, from luxurious accommodations to adventure activities, cultural experiences and a glimpse of Polynesia’s history.

Whether you are travelling solo, as a couple, or with family and friends, Moorea is a must-visit destination in French Polynesia. With its stunning lagoons, white sand beaches, and crystal-clear waters, it’s hard not to fall in love with this tropical gem. So why not plan on visiting Moorea on your next vacation? You won’t regret it! So what are you waiting for? Start packing for a few days in the French Polynesian Islands.


Kelly xo

Kelly is a writer and solo traveller who shares her adventures with the world. She is a mom, grandma, and lover of all things wine. She encourages solo travel and offers tips and advice on how to do it safely and confidently.


Kelly is a writer and solo traveller who shares her adventures with the world. She is a mom, grandma, and lover of all things wine. Kelly’s passion lies in exploring Canada and other parts of the world and sharing her experiences with others.

As a senior traveller, Kelly aims to inspire others to live their best life and not be afraid to venture out into the world on their own. She encourages solo travel and offers tips and advice on how to do it safely and confidently.

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39 thoughts on “3 Day Itinerary in Moorea, French Polynesia

  1. Pingback: Le Bora Bora By Pearl Resorts A Luxury Resort in Paradise – JUST ONE PASSPORT

  2. James

    Very helpful post for anybody wanted to visit Moorea. Riding the ferry from Papeete to Moorea looks like an enjoyable experience. The country sounds as exotic as it looks and I will be adding it to the places I want to visit.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mitch

    I really enjoyed this post on Moorea. There was loads of practical information about visiting. It does look like quite an effort to reach Moorea but the scenery volcanic island is spectacular and looks to be totally worth it. The views from the ATV tour were wonderful. How great to see the eels and to learn about their lifecycle! We’d also like to taste Polynesian food.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Barry Till

    I had heard that getting to these islands and getting around can be difficult if not planned well, and your post certainly re-emphasised that.
    However, what a sight the islands are, some stunning flora and sights there for sure. It’s the kind of green, lush islands that I love exploring (and I didn’t realise that French Polynesia has over 100 of them).
    Moorea and Bora Bora are etched into my mind as the places to go see but I will have to prepare myself well for the journeys between the islands.
    I feel I would have to combine these islands with many other country island hopping in the Pacific to make to most of being there.
    Great info on transport hire, taxis etc – info that I would definitely need.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: 3 Days In Bora Bora A Tropical Paradise – JUST ONE PASSPORT

  6. Agnes

    Moorea seems to be a paradise with its beaches, clear waters, and lush greenery. I haven’t been to French Polynesian yet, but after reading your article, I add this place to my bucket list. And what I like most is so many activities, not only sitting on a beach. I would love to take ATV Discovery Tour and Wheel Drive Safari Tour.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just One Passport

      That’s also what I loved about Moorea! While I love sitting on the beach listening to the ways, I can’t do it more than an hour or two and not even every day. I love adventure and Moorea had a lot of different options, including snorkelly with sharks (I passed on that adventure lol)


  7. thedctraveler9b7e4f7d4d

    Wow, it looks pretty magical there. While difficult, it does sound like it’s worth it though. I would love to go snorkeling with sharks. The Polynesian show seems pretty awesome too!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Luke Young

    This is my idea of paradise. The photos remind me of the backdrops you see in the tv series ‘Lost’—especially Moorea. Also, what a perfect way to explore the island, buzzing around on an ATV.

    I also love half-day tours because nothing beats a pina colada by the ocean/pool for the afternoon. Perfecto!

    Did you manage not to sleep? One would be very cranky.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Moorea v Bora Bora Which Island In Paradise Is Right For You – JUST ONE PASSPORT

  10. Melanie

    The flight doesn’t sound fun (no snacks?? Come on, Air Canada), but it looks like it was worth it in the end. Those rugged green mountains are quite the welcome to Moorea! Too bad the 4-wheel drive safari was underwhelming and repetitive.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Emma

    Moorea sounds fun, and so worth the effort it takes to get there. Fresh jam, relaxing on beaches and ATV tours – I’m sold. Good to know that once in French Polynesia it’s easier to get around which makes exploring more than one island a lot easier

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just One Passport

      If you ever get there, I highly recommend an ATV tour around the island. It allows you to go “off the beaten path”. There is only 1 road in Moorea, so ATVing through the hills is a lot of fun


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  13. BlondeAroundTheWorld

    French Polynesia always seems unattainable to me because it is almost on the other side of the world from me.
    Getting to its islands can be both an adventure and a headache if the planning is not done right. This article has all the necessary components to not only have an organized trip, but also have an idea of what to do in terms of activities.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Carolin

    I was always focused on Bora Bora and barely gave some attention to any of the other islands in the Atol. Thanks for changing that! I would certainly split my time in the area like you did, too and explore Moorea. I feel with a destination like French Polynesia, you have to make a compromise and book some tours in order to see and experience everything that the island has to offer. Especially as there are 4WDs required I would prefer to get this all organised with a tour as it’s quite a hassle to book individually.

    Carolin | Solo Travel Story


  15. solotravelstory

    I was always focused on Bora Bora and barely gave some attention to any of the other islands in the Atol. Thanks for changing that! I would certainly split my time in the area like you did, too and explore Moorea. I feel with a destination like French Polynesia, you have to make a compromise and book some tours in order to see and experience everything that the island has to offer. Especially as there are 4WDs required I would prefer to get this all organised with a tour as it’s quite a hassle to book individually.

    Carolin | Solo Travel Story


    1. Just One Passport

      This was my first trip booking through a tour company. I’m not sure I could have done it on my own. It was 36 hours to get back to Canada, 1 boat transfer and 4 flights. The tour company also arranged the inter-island connections including flights and ferries. It would have been a lot to do on my own.


  16. Pingback: What to Pack For a Dream Vacation in Bora Bora – JUST ONE PASSPORT

  17. Pingback: Sofitel Kia Ora Moorea Beach Resort Review – JUST ONE PASSPORT

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