Moorea 'Circle the Island' Tour & Belvedere Lookout
Moorea, French Polynesia
- Belvedere Lookout: Enjoy magnificent Opunohu Valley views of Cook's Bay, Opunohu Bay, and the jagged peaks of Mount Rotui between them. The area around Opunohu Bay hasn't changed since Capt. Cook discovered it in 1777.
- Toatea Viewpoint: Take in the breathtaking beauty of the coral reefs that surround the island and marvel at the gradient hues of blue that lie from here to Tahiti.
- Pineapple plantation: Along the 36-mile road that circles the island, you'll see many fruit and vanilla plantations. We'll stop at a pineapple plantation for a taste.
- Roundtrip transportation: Hotel pick-up and drop-off from most hotels is included; a small fee may apply at some hotels.
About This Moorea Tour
Europeans brought many new ideas and inventions to Tahiti. The Tahitians, in turn, showed the Europeans something they had never seen: dirty dancing.
Tahitians had always lived their lives doing what came natural to them. And something that comes very natural is dancing. The village of Temae, which you'll see in your tour, was famous for its dancers, and used to provide them for the Polynesian royal family's court in the 19th century.
One particular dance, called the 'upa'upa, centered on highly sexual and seductive moves. Needless to say, Christian missionaries took one look and decided it was a bit too natural. So they banned it in 1819, along with other immoral actions, like tattooing. But Tahitians continued to dance in secret.
Herman Melville, visiting Tahiti in 1842, snuck in to see a performance; this is how he described the dancing girls:
They softly sway themselves, gradually quickening the movement, until at length, for a few passionate moments, with throbbing bosoms and glowing cheeks, they abandon themselves to the spirit of the dance, apparently lost to everything around.
In 1849, after the French proclaimed themselves the protectorate of Tahiti, the 'upa'upa was again permitted, but only during public feasts, and without the more "passionate" gestures. In 1891, Paul Gauguin painted a group of 'upa'upa dancers, but it's hard to tell which version he saw.
Watch where you're pointing that
This tour visits what's left of some old Tahitian temples. They were deserted so long ago that chestnut trees have burst through the courtyards to tower above the ground. You'll see an elevated platform that had a peculiar use: archery competitions. In Tahitian culture, archery was a sacred sport reserved for high-ranking chiefs. Which is why, in Tahiti, not one arrow was ever shot in battle.
Arriving by cruise ship? Our GoBe representative will meet you on the pier. Staying in hotel? Your guide will be waiting in the lobby. Make sure you specify the name of your cruise ship or hotel at check out. At the meeting time, look for our logo sign.
Juices and other products are available for purchase at the plantation.
Itinerary and order of the visited sites may change without prior notice according to weather conditions or other circumstances.
To see all sights, plan to walk for more than a mile and get in/out of the vehicle frequently. Some paths are not paved and up inclines. If your mobility is limited, you may find this tour too challenging. It is not suitable for wheelchair users.
Private Tour, Scenic, Bus Tour, Walking Tour
Pick Up, Drop Off
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Suitable for travelers 2 years of age and older.
Non-refundable if canceled within 7 days of requested services.
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