La Orana from French Polynesia!
Our flight from LAX to Papeete landed at 5:30AM via Air Tahiti Nui. As COVID-19 continues to be a concern at this time. We underwent a rapid COVID testing upon arrival before leaving the airport. From there, we hailed a local taxi to take up to Papeete port. Our fairy upon Teravue embarked at 8:10AM. It is a 45 minute fairy ride from the island of Tahiti to the island of Moorea, our first destination on this trip. Upon arrival to Moorea, we first headed to a local grocery story “Champions” to buy some basic necessities. Next, we headed to Sofitel Kia Ora Moorea Beach Resort. We checked into our hotel at 12pm and were taken to our amazing lagoon view horizon luxury overwater bungalow! We had the bungalow at the end of the dock which provided an unobstructed view of the ocean and a beautiful sunrise behind the island of Tahiti every morning!
We walked the ground and enjoyed a few of the amenities at the resort. Sunset occurred around 6:30PM and with current COVID restrictions, facilities close at 9PM - 4AM. We called it an early night to settle in and rest up for tomorrows adventures
We woke up at sunrise and saw how beautiful the sky looked. We took some amazing photos. We then headed for some delicious breakfast. The nicest thing happened when I wanted a flower crown and mentioned to a young lady working at the breakfast restaurant and she kindly gave me one of hers without no charge. We tried to offer her something in exchange, but she refused no, and this really touched my heart. Small act of kindness goes a long way. We then relaxed at the infinity pool and made our way back to relax at the bungalow. Milan went snorkeling around the bungalow and relaxed the afternoon. As sunset time got closer, we got ready to enjoy these moments together. After we went to dinner at the Sofitel and ended the night early since we had an exciting next day.
Once again, an early sunrise and a wonderful breakfast followed. We then went to the spa pool and relaxed. We then got ready for the event we had been waiting for whale watching by Moana tour company. They picked us up from the Sofitel and drove us to the meeting point. We were greeted on the boat and first headed towards the lagoon area. We got to swim with sharks and sting rays. Then we started to head towards the open ocean. Then the moment came when we could go swim with the whales in the open ocean water and be able to see them up close. We jumped into the ocean and swam towards the whales and what an experience this was seeing it in front of you. This is one of the best experiences ever and will never be forgotten. Thank you to Moana Tour company for taking us on this amazing experience.
Our last day at Sofitel. After an amazing stay, it was time to check out and start our next adventure. We enjoyed our overwater bungalow until 11AM and checked out. Our next stay was going to be local at an AirBnB on Moorea. Our transportation wasn’t arriving until 1PM, so until then, we relaxed by the pool to enjoy our last few moments at the resort. Heerali practiced swimming and snorkeling in the pool and she even ventured into the ocean briefly! Our transportation arrived and we were taken to our AirBnB. For the next few days we will be staying in a bungalow style AirBnB overlooking Cooks Bay. Our AirBnB host took us on a 4x4 tour of the pineapple farms of Moorea at sunset. She as very knowledgeable of the land and the agriculture of Moorea. We ended the night with dinner and settled in for the night.
An early morning start. Our AirBnB planned a hike to the inner island of Moorea. We again passed through agricultural farms and gazed in wonderment of the dynamic peaks and valleys of now dormant volcano. After the hike we arrived back to our AirBnB. Our host had provided us with bikes to explore the island. We rode 4km to one of the best public beaches on the island. We spent hours swimming, snorkeling and relaxing in the sun. Soon we were pretty hungry. We headed back in the direction of our AirBnB. Close by, there is a famous pizza shop called ‘Allo Pizza’, it did not disappoint! We split a ‘Mega’ pizza and ate to our hearts content. The pizza shop sits along ‘Cooks Bay’ where we watched the water and sunset as we ate. We then head back to our AirBnB for the night.
We wanted to be able to explore the island of Moorea more independently, so we rented a car from Avis automotive for 2 days. We picked up our car at 10am and took a joy ride around the island. It only took us 1.5 hours to drive the entire island of Moorea! The northern part of the island is where the major hotels and shops are located. Once your pass around the western tip and into the south, it is predominantly residential. It was nice to venture into these areas to see the ‘local life’ and away for the ‘walls’ of a resort. We stopped to eat at local restaurants and got to experience the true ‘island life’ of Moorea. Later in the day, Heerali went to a Polynesia dance class with our AirBnB host. She really enjoyed the class. Guys are not allowed to attend or watch due to customs. Afterwards we ventured to ‘Belvedere Lookout’ to catch the sunset, but luck was not on our side this time. The drive took longer than expected and it started to rain at the lookout. We stayed to take in the views but headed back to our AirBnB for the night. Plan to venture back the next day. That night, our AirBnB host taught us how to make home made ‘Poisson Crue’. We enjoyed our lovely dinner with our host and her husband, shared stories and laughs. With fully bellies and heart, we called it a night.
Our last full day on Moorea. We spent the day exploring more of the northern part of the island and headed to the western tip. A headed to a famous lunch spot called Snack Mahana. Recommend you arrive around 11-11:30am for lunch as it gets busy very quickly. This is a mom and pop restaurant which sit along the coast. They only take cash! Afterwards we ventured back towards “O” Bay to take some photos and hang out at the public beach. We stopped at a local coconut vendor and enjoyed some fresh green coconuts along the shore. It was about mid-day and the rain started to come in hard. We ventured back to our AirBnB to rest. The rain soon passed. Just in time for us to head out to ‘Belvedere Lookout’. This time we arrived early to set up and capture some great photos. It was a cloudy day but the lighting was perfect. Afterwards, we headed back to our AirBnB. We spent some time with our host and her husband and shared some laughs over drinks. It was time to call it a night as we needed to head to Moorea Airport in the morning.
Today we leave Moorea for Bora-Bora! We returned our rental car to Avis and arrived at Moorea airport for our flight at 10:30AM. When flying to Bora Bora, you want the seat on the left side of the plan to get the best view of Bora Bora on entry. We will be staying at the Intercontinental Le Moana on the mainland of Bora Bora. We found our transport which takes you from the airport to the resort via boat. We had a few hours to pass until our room would be ready so we explored the grounds in our free time. Once our room was ready we settled in to enjoy the night!
The resort had scheduled for us a ‘romantic dinner’ in our bungalow which we enjoyed on our private dock. We watched the sunset and enjoyed the night. For more information about Intercontinental Le Moana check out this blog:
Today we have an excursion with Bora Bora Quad Adventures. We woke up with sunrise. The forecast called for rain but luckily today was a beautiful clear day. After breakfast our transport picked us up at 8:30 AM. A 15 minute car ride took us to our meetup location where out ATVs were waiting for us. Heerali and I shared 1 ATV. After a brief demonstration and safety lesson, we were off to explore to island of Bora Bora! The island itself is only 20 miles around. Our guide ventured us around the entire island on the only main road that circumvents the island. Throughout the tour, he would take us off on rugged paths and into the heartland of Bora Bora island. Showing us amazing viewpoints from above the island. To old WW2 remnants that the US Military installed after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Bora Bora was used as a Pacific checkpoint and naval base in case another Japanese attack on US lands. The tour provided a light meal of fresh coconuts and fruits which was absolutely delicious. After the tour completed we returned back to the Intercontinental Resort. We rested for a few hours and in the evening ventured into the waters off of our overwater bungalow. We swam through the coral relief and saw many tropical fish just around our bungalow. As night came, we venture off of the resort for dinner. Nearby to the Intercontinental is a local restaurant called ‘Lucky Restaurant’. We shared a Pizza which was filling for two people. Returned to the resort and relaxed on our private deck. It was full moon and we watched it rise from behind Mount Otemanu. Our night comes to an end, awaiting for tomorrow.
Today can be described in 1 word: RAIN! The entire day we were washed out do to none stop rain! There was a small break for about an hour but afterwards the rain was incessant. We did not have an excursions planned today but unfortunately we were unable to enjoy the resort.
We took the day to catch up on logistics but no new event today.
Today we got up early and enjoyed the sunshine as it was our last few hours the Intercontinental Le Moana. We did some paddle boarding and enjoyed the lagoon area. We went to Matira beach and enjoyed the beach after we checked out. We got ready for our boat transfer to INC Thalasso. This was an exciting day for us as we had our honeymoon here. We were greeted kindly at the resort and got taken to our villa which was the diamond otemanu facing the Ottemanu mountain. The room was huge and had a beautiful view. We decided to relax in and went by the pool and enjoyed the night in,
We got up early to enjoy the beautiful sunrise. This resort is located off on a separate island and so it is very secluded and a great place for a romantic holiday. This resort has many amenities to keep you busy throughout the day such as water activities, culutural activities and much more which is explained more in detail on a separate blog:
That morning it was pouring down raining but you cannot complain being in paradise. We were able to go check out the Terre Moana Villa which is one of their exclusive villas located at the end with a 360 view. We ended the day with a lovely dinner and enjoying the star gazing at night.
We got up early for sunrise and some rain came in. We followed up with breakfast and relaxed all day. We first started off with paddle boarding and then headed to the lagoonaritum place and saw so many fishes. This area has the greatest number of fishes in the resort and is taken care of well. Around this area is the chapel where couples can get married as well. We then got ready for some dinner at the Sand’s Restaurant and had some pizza and wine. We then saw some traditional Polynesia dance show and really enjoyed the cultural show. We then relaxed the night in.
We got up early for our last full day in Bora Bora sadly and started the day of enjoying the sunrise followed by some delicious breakfast. We got lucky cause the weather was in our favor for the last day and no rain was shown. We hung out at the pool for the day and then headed to the beach. We then got ready for our last dinner at the Sands Restaurant, and it was a romantic set up on the beach. We celebrated it with a bottle of wine and pizza, and it felt like we were back on our honeymoon. We also got to encounter fireworks and a clear sky full of stars. This day was perfect and made it even harder thinking that this was our last day here. We will be back here one day in the future.
This was our last morning at the Thalasso and it was a sad one to say goodbye to. This was our second time here, but this place is so special to us as it was where we started our journey from. We had our final breakfast at the Reef. The nice thing about this resort is that they remember your name every time and always treated respectfully. We then relaxed at our bungalow and headed to the pool. We relaxed by the pool until we had to go our Ferry. The pool is the best view at this resort, and it keeps you wanting to go back every time. The view of Mount Otemanu and the Bora Bora water and trees makes it a picturesque view. We luckily got to see one last cultural show of how to open a coconut and it was eye-opening experience. It was time to go, and tears rolled down as we were moving further away from the resort. It is never a goodbye. We were dropped off at Le Moana INC and then we had to take a taxi to the public ferry port (which is free to take to the airport). The ferry ride is less than 20 minutes to the airport and the cost for the taxi from Le Moana INC to the public ferry port was $20.00. We got to the airport, and we had a long journey ahead from Bora Bora to PPT to LAX to ATL. This trip was a dream come true a second time round and a re-do of our honeymoon. We love you French Polynesia we will be back in the future.