Moorea’s eastern bay shelters the island’s largest commune and has magnificent mountain views, secluded swimming spots and a range of hotels and restaurants.
Experience one of Moorea’s finest waterfront destinations when you visit Cook’s Bay. One of the two twin bays on the island’s breathtaking north coast, Cook’s Bay is renowned for its matchless views of Moorea’s mountainous interior and the forested hillsides that cascade into the bay’s calm waters. Travel around the deep u-shaped bay on foot, by scooter or by car and visit the waterfront precinct of Pao Pao, the island’s largest commune.
Also known as Pao Pao Bay for its proximity to the town, Cook’s Bay contains some of Moorea’s most accessible attractions. Jump on your scooter or take a drive around the picturesque bay. The commune of Piha’ena lies on the northwestern edge of the mouth of the bay. The road travels south along the water’s edge, with palm-fringed shores on one side and pretty terraces of pineapple plantations on the other.
Continue south to find St. Joseph Catholic Church, which marks the beginning of Pao Pao’s communal boundaries. This township reaches deep into the valleys of the island’s mountainous interior. From here, you can join up with the road that winds up the slopes of Mount Tohivea to the Belvedere Lookout.
Along the eastern banks of the bay, you’ll find the local seafood market, a collection of restaurants and some waterfront hotels with views of the Moua Puta and Moua Roa peaks. In the distance you’ll see the jagged summit of Mount Rotui. Peruse the daily catch at the market or take a seat at one of the restaurants to enjoy local cuisine, which fuses French influence with the magnificent tropical produce grown locally. On the northeastern mouth of Cook’s Bay, you’ll find Cook’s Beach. Go for a swim in one of the pretty beaches and snorkel amid the offshore coral.
Cook’s Bay is located on the northern coast of Moorea. The bayside drive is easy for a rental car or scooter. Alternatively, join a charter tour of the island. The region is free to visit at any time.