For budget travelers intimidated by the extravagant resorts found on the northern coast of the island, Moorea Camping (or "Backpacker's Paradise") fits the bill just fine. I pitched my tent on the beach and relaxed here for a few days. It turned out to be the ideal base for exploring the island and lounging on the beach. It's conveniently located near the essential services and yet still feels relatively private. An attached cooking and dining room makes it possible to self-cater. During my visit, there were a lot of people staying here, but they were a decidedly different crowd from the one you might encounter at the nearby Club Med.
Adjacent to the campground is a small store where you can buy baguettes, fresh fruit, and a variety of quick snacks and groceries.
At the time of my visit, rates for accomodation were as follows:
Dorms--CFP 800 (1000 for a single night)
They also have some individual rooms from CFP 2000 to CFP 4000.
One of the nights I stayed here, a number of young Polynesians showed up and congregated on the paved area on the beach side of the cooking and dining room. They started to play intense rhythyms on some drums and within minutes we had a full-on dance show in progress. Very entertaining. I highly recommend this place, especially if you're already accustomed to camping and staying in dorms.
Please note that a number of travelers have reported theft here. If you do stay at Moorea Camping, keep an eye on your valuables.
Unique Quality: Low-budget travelers will find that Moorea Camping is arguably their best choice for accomodation on the island. With a gorgeous white-sand beach out front, a store next door, and a petrol station nearby where bikes can be rented, this is a good place to base one's self while not breaking the bank. The tent space is rather tight, but this will probably only be an issue for North American travelers who are not accustomed to close quarters in a campground. It could also get a bit noisy and eventful in the evening, although this could be either good or bad depending on your personality.
Directions: Hauru Point
Papetoai, (formerly Sheraton Moorea Lagoon Resort and Spa), Moorea
BP 28, Maharepa, Moorea
Papetoai, PO Box 1019, Moorea
Haapiti, French Polynesia
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Address: Tiahura, Haapiti, French Polynesia