May 10, 2018 - National Geographic Orion

Considered one of the most beautiful locations of French Pollynesia, Tahiti’s sister island Moorea is crowned with majestic peaks and surrounded by stunning coral reefs. Pristine and secluded, the bay of Paopao is nearly circled by a rocky fortress, pierced here and there as if giant warriors had tried to destroy it with their magical spears. At sunset the mountains here look like they are set on fire, inspiring many local painters whose work is exhibited in the island’s various art galleries. The underwater seascapes reflect the mesmerizing landscapes above the water, unveiling a bright range of shades of blue. Canyons, chasms, and promontories descend from a broad shallow lagoon perfect for snorkeling. Fish feeding is common off Moorea and schools of marine life typically surround and greet divers and snorkelers, so close encounters are nearly guaranteed. The mountainous interior is adorned with mystical valleys and clear streams.

Most of the island’s population resides near the shore, leaving the interior of the island feeling almost untouched and ancient. Moorea retains an authentic island feel, with many traditional villages to be discovered on a circle-island tour. Pineapple plantations dot the hillside and wild rain forest dominates the inland peaks.  It was the perfect invitation for an unforgettable adventure. Our guests had the opportunity to scuba dive, tour on Zodiacs, hike, and 4WD discovering this lush paradise. Surrounded by rainforest, beaches, and pristine seas, Moorea is a nature-lover's dream. Unfortunately, it was time to say our farewells as National Geographic Orion sailed through calm seas to Papeete, Tahiti. This journey has been a remarkable adventure exploring some of the most remote and untouched sceneries across the Pacific.

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About the Author

Cristiana Damiano

Cristiana Damiano


Cristiana was born and raised in Brazil.  Being surrounded by natural beauty and diverse culture instilled her desire for exploration at a young age.  Her passion for wilderness, different cultures and inhospitable regions led her to pursue a career in ecology, oceanography and, ultimately, the pursuit of a Ph.D. in environmental sciences and coral reef ecology in Australia.  Her travels have taken her to the Amazon and Borneo jungles, the higher mountains of Southeast Asia, the Great Barrier Reef and Far Northern Reefs, Papua New Guinea villages, volcanoes in Guatemala and the deep seas in many remote islands around the globe. 

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