The rugged beauty of the French Polynesian island of Moorea (“yellow lizard” in Tahitian) has captured the imagination of photographers and filmmakers for decades. Its jagged mountain landscape, a result of an ancient volcanic explosion, has appeared in postcards, Hollywood movies, and honeymoon photo albums. There are no cities here, only small settlements. Verdant valleys and dramatic cliffs, blue lagoons and white beaches cover the island. One can take a “circle tour” of the island on one’s own, traveling by bike or boat, or hop on a bus tour that stops at all the popular sightseeing spots, where a knowledgeable guide lectures on local customs and attractions.
Visitors are welcomed at Moorea’s pineapple processing plants, they can tour the grounds and purchase products made possible by the islands abundance of pineapple plantations. Vanilla is another crop harvested in Tahiti, and its processing facilities are also open to the public. Archaeology buffs may enjoy visiting the Maraes, ancient gathering sites dotting the island, many of which are in good condition to this day. The film Mutiny on the Bounty (1962), and its remake, The Bounty (1984) were shot here. The island is also a popular honeymoon destination.