Moorea, French Polynesia on a Budget

Long before our ‘Round the World plan was ever realized we had our sights set on Moorea and an overwater bungalow at the Hilton Resort. I spent years racking up Hilton Honors points that we would cash in for our luxurious stay. Perhaps for our 5th wedding anniversary, we thought. That was long before we decided to visit Moorea, French Polynesia on a Budget. 

We arrived on Moorea with more than 300,000 Hilton Honors points and closing in on 5 years of marriage, yet we had no intention of blowing them all on an overwater bungalow. Our perspective has changed. We have changed. Big, fancy resorts are an escape and, right now, we aren’t trying to escape anything. We want to see life from a more local perspective, not from an ivory tower…or an overwater cabana. And, besides, all of my points were barely for one night.

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Budget Island Accommodations: Easter Island and Moorea

With limited flights to Easter Island and on to Tahiti – always a risk for standby passengers – we were quite unsure if we would make it to either destination. Not wanting to be on the hook for accommodations we couldn’t use, we waited until we arrived to book our accommodations. We had a few places in mind, but options – budget options – were limited. As it turned out, we found budget island accommodations on both Easter Island and Moorea.

Budget Island Accommodations: Easter Island

On the recommendation of several previous budget travelers, we had picked Tojika Hostal as our desired choice for budget island accommodations on Easter Island. Upon arrival at the airport, we were pleasantly surprised to see they had a booth at baggage claim and we made a beeline for it. Unfortunately, their ‘Matrimonial Room’ was booked, as was the rest of the hostel.

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Moorea French Polynesia

Slow motion in Moorea, French Polynesia

Things move a little slower on Moorea, French Polynesia – and that’s not a complaint. The days drift by as leisurely as the puffy, white clouds above the lush mountain peaks. I’m in a dreamlike state – half awake, but still dreaming – as my surroundings seem unreal. The calm waters of the lagoon display a rainbow of blues; an entire Crayola crayon box full of nothing but shades of blue wouldn’t be enough to color the scene.

And then I turn around and look toward the land at another colorful sight, this one an array of greens and splashes of reds of the trees and tropical flora covering the rocky mountains that soar high into the sky. Like the light breeze that floats through the air, a thought floats through my mind: This is Moorea, French Polynesia and I’m in love. 

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