Good Evening ,
As I promised I would write about our 4×4 Jeep Safari experience. It was on this excursion that we really felt that we got to know Moorea on a much more personal level- outside of the resort, away from it all. We were picked up in the morning by our lovely guide and headed straight to what Moorea locals call Magic Mountain. Our trusty 4×4 jeep took us up the steep incline (which was a one way dirt road). If you are afraid of heights, this is not the excursion for you. You are sitting on a bench seat in the back seat of a truck, wearing a seatbelt as you turn around corners and head higher and higher up the mountain. It was exhilarating and we felt completely safe.
Once we made it to where the mountain came to a plateau we got out of the car and hiked up to the very top where the viewpoint is. There is only word that came to our minds when we gazed upon this view: spectacular. At the top of this mountain you can see every color of the turquoise blue lagoon as it shimmers below. As if this was not beautiful enough in unto itself, you are fully surrounded by lush tropical forest. After we pried ourselves from this view we were taken to a second Belvedere that boasted equally as stunning views of both Cooks and Opunohu Bay.
As the tour progressed we were taken to a gigantic pineapple plantation that no matter where we looked there were bushes of pineapples growing. At the risk of displaying our own ignorance, everyone on our tour assumed pineapples grew from trees- turns out, we were mistaken. After the pineapple plantation we arrived at a local agricultural school where Tahitian vanilla is grown/harvested. Smelling true Tahitian vanilla beans was just heavenly, as was sampling the local jams made from fresh fruit grown on the island. Our next destination was a stop at a open air ancient Marae (temple) where our guide spoke to us about ancient Tahitian culture and how they used these grounds for ceremonies and rituals. As I said above, after this three hour tour and our wonderful stay at the Intercontinental Moorea Resort and Spa, we both felt that we saw the true heart of the island- and it certainly did not disappoint.