Planning to visit Belvedere Lookout in Moorea? Here is the detailed Belvedere Lookout guide that will help you make the most out of this place.

When we talk about the islands of French Polynesia, many people think of their beautiful beaches, turquoise waters and overwater bungalows. However, there are some islands like Moorea that not only have stunning beach views but also entice tourists with their lush green mountains.

Moorea has many amazing viewpoints, each offering unique and breathtaking views. Among them, Belvedere Lookout stands out as a must-visit spot.

This spot is perfect for those looking to experience a different environment away from the waters.

What really is Belvedere Lookout?

Belvedere Lookout is the most famous and prominent scenic spot in Moorea. This is the highest viewpoint that you can drive to in Moorea situated at an elevation of approximately 820 feet (250 meters).
It is located near the Opunohu Valley, top of the hill surrounded by jagged mountains with stunning views of lush tropical forest.

From the observation deck, you get a panoramic view of the northern half of the island. The giant mountain you see is Mont Rotui which is separating the island’s two central bays, Opunohu Bay and Cook’s Bay.

Another thing that makes this destination great is its price, which is absolutely free. You don’t have to pay for anything, all you need to do is make your way here and start having a great time.

Cook's bay-Mount Rotui-and-Opunohu bay-views-from-Belvedere-Lookout-guide

Moorea Belvedere Lookout Facts

“Belvedere” is a French word that means “lookout”. Most people commonly refer to this place as Belvedere Lookout, which technically becomes “lookout lookout”, but you can’t really blame the people.

As more and more people started using that name, it eventually became the unofficial name of this place.

From the lookout point, you see two bays:

On the right, you’ve Cook’s Bay which was named after Captain James Cook who discovered the island of Moorea. Before this people used to call this bay as “Bay of Paopao”, Pao Pao is the name of the village which means ‘two holes of water’ located near the viewpoint.

On the left, you see the Opunohu Bay which means ‘stomach of stonefish’. Opu means stomach/belly and Nuho means stonefish in Tahitian.

Moorea Belvedere lookout point is also a cultural site for Tahitian people and you can see remnants of ancient religious platforms and temples there.

Mount Rotui which you see from the Lookout is also considered a sacred mountain for Tahitian people.
Around this mountain, you’d see a lot of pineapple fields that cover an area of 65 acres.

It’s rumored that Moorea has one of the sweetest pineapples in the world.

Belvedere Lookout Weather

It’s important for tourists to check the weather before going to Belvedere Lookout. Sometimes visitors feel disappointed when all they can see are clouds obscuring the views from the lookout point. So make sure to plan your tour when the skies are clear and there are no chances of rain.

Rainy weather not only affects the views but also makes the Belvedere trails more difficult which can be daunting for hikers.

How to get to Belvedere Lookout?

Getting to Belvedere Lookout in Moorea is not that difficult, it’s a quite straightforward journey. However, the level of difficulty may rise depending on the route you choose and the vehicle you use to get there.

A car on the main road going to Belvedere Lookout

There are two main routes that go to Belvedere viewpoint, one is the Opunohu Bay route and the other is Cook’s Bay route. Both of these routes branch off from the main road which is the only main highway on the island.

Opunohu Bay route

The fastest route to get to Belvedere Lookout is the Opunohu Bay route. This route is well-paved and surrounded by greenery all the way to the lookout point. This 5 km track is perfect for those who are driving cars and are in a hurry.

When you turn left from the main road onto the Opunohu Bay route, you’ll notice that the road gets narrower and curvier which makes it difficult to overtake or pass two vehicles simultaneously.

Although there isn’t much traffic on this road, still be careful when driving here due to the limited space and winding nature of the road.

If you’re a person who just wants a smooth road that gets you to the destination without any problems, then you should take this route.

Cook’s Bay route

While this may not be the fastest way to get to the lookout point, it is undoubtedly the most scenic route that goes up to the Belvedere Lookout.

Cook’s Bay route is so rough and unpaved that many car rental companies don’t allow you taking cars on this route. And when it’s raining, the condition of the road worsens making it even more challenging to navigate.
So if you intend to travel on this route, make sure to plan it based on the weather conditions.

This may not be the best route for cars but if you’ve got an ATV or scooter then I’d highly recommend taking this route.

Cook’s Bay route is also known as the Pineapple route.

Along this route, you’ll pass through the fields of pineapples and be treated to picturesque landscapes that make this challenging route entirely worthwhile.

From Ferry Port to Belvedere Lookout

Belvedere lookout is 28 km away from the Moorea ferry port and the duration between these two points is around 45 minutes.

If you didn’t bring a rental car with you on the ferry when coming from Tahiti to Moorea, then you’d need to book a taxi or rent a car/bike that would take you from Marina Viarea to the Belvedere lookout point.

If you book a taxi, it would cost you around $40 from Ferry Port to Belvedere point, which is expensive. I’d say it’s better to consider other options to save some money.

If you need directions to the site, you can ask the locals for help, they are very friendly. In Moorea, there’s only one main road that goes around the island. Additionally, there are link roads that take you to the interior of the island and to the viewpoint.

From Airport to Belvedere Lookout

You’ve just landed at the airport in Moorea, and you have the entire day ahead of you that you don’t want to waste at your resort. Then head to the Belvedere lookout to enjoy the breathtaking views and kick off your exciting adventure on the island.

The distance between the Moorea airport and Belvedere Lookout is about 23 km, and it takes around 40 minutes to reach the lookout point.

Views of pineapple fields and mount tohivea on Pineapple route
Pineapple route to Belvedere Lookout

Moorea Belvedere Lookout Hikes

There are many hiking trails in Moorea, and the best place for trails is the Belvedere Lookout. This place isn’t just about great views but also offers many hiking trails. So if you’re up for an adventure and enjoy hiking, it’s a great place for you.

Hike to the Belvedere Moorea

Some people may consider walking to the Belvedere lookout from hotel, which I don’t recommend as it would be a quite long and tiring hike. But if you’re physically fit and up for the challenge, then by all means, go for it.

However, I recommend a better option, which is to drive to the Opunohu Bay route, find a suitable parking spot and look out for the trails.

Trails to the Belvedere are not well defined so you might have to walk along the road and look out for trail signs. Once you spot a sign pointing towards the woods, follow it to make your way up to the viewpoint.

The walk to the Lookout could take you at least an hour, depending on where you start the hike and which trail you choose.

No matter which path or way you choose to get to Belvedere Lookout, the views up there are truly worth every penny and drop of your sweat.

Pines Trail

From the viewpoint, on the left side of the parking area, you’ll see a trail with a sign that reads “Col des 3 pinus” leading into the forest. This marked trail is known as the Three Pines Pass and is great for both heading up to and coming down from the Belvedere Lookout

This trail is approx. 3.1 km (2 miles) long and takes about an hour and a half to complete. This is one of the easiest hike in Moorea, but you’ll encounter a few uphills and downhills along the way.

As you hike forward, you’ll notice that the trail becomes rocky and slippery, with many roots along the way. And if it rained, then be ready to get your feet muddy.

Moreover, the trail is shaded which protects you from the sun and prevents the temperature from rising too high.

Along this trail, you’ll pass through the lush green tropical forest and come across the remains of ancient Polynesian temples. The trail offers captivating views of both bays and Mount Rotui, making it a scenic journey.

Aerial view of Belvedere Lookout Point showing road, trees and mountains
Aerial view of Belvedere Lookout Point

Coconut Trail

This trail also starts from the Belvedere parking area but on the right side with a sign that reads “Col des 3 cocotiers.” This trail is famous as Three Coco Pass and is almost twice as long as the Pines trail.

Coconut Trail is another path that leads to and returns from the Belvedere Lookout. It’s a 6 km long trail that might take you around 3 hours to complete. The trek on this trail can be challenging and tiring for some people due to its moderate difficulty level.

The trail is fairly steep and you’ll be walking mostly on the rocks and roots that make it slippery. I’d highly recommend good hiking shoes for this trail.

The temperature on this trail remains moderate due to the ample shade provided by the surrounding trees & leaves. But be prepared to get sweaty as the humidity can be quite high in this area.

On this treacherous trail, you’d see orange and blue trail marks, I’d recommend following the blue trail because the orange one is more extended and gets pretty hard.

Your journey on this trail won’t be boring as you’ll be passing through the bamboo trees & there’s a small waterfall. At the top of this trail, you get the views of both bays on the north along with the majestic Mount Rotui and Mount Tiura.

Moorea Belvedere Lookout Tours

Another great option to explore the Belvedere Lookout is by booking a tour. Most of the tours to Belvedere also include other activities in their package.

Below I’ve listed some of the best tours to Belvedere Lookout in Moorea from which you can choose a tour based on your preference.

ATV tour to Belvedere Lookout with view of Mount Tohivea

Moorea Solo or Twin ATV Tour

This small group tour on ATVs takes you not only to the Belvedere but also helps you to explore the beautiful Moorea Island along the way.

The quad tour begins in Maharepa and takes you through the scenic Cook’s Bay route. On your way, you’d see different sites like the agricultural school, beautiful fields of pineapple fruits, cross rivers and more.

After enjoying all the activities and exploring Belvedere Lookout, you’d arrive at the Magic Mountain to end the tour with magnificent views from the top.

Franckyfranck Tours Moorea

If you are on a tight budget, this is the best budget-friendly option to visit the Belvedere Lookout. This tour of a maximum 8 individuals takes you to Moorea’s famous lookout points on a 4WD vehicle.

You’ll visit a liquor factory to get the taste of Moorea’s local fruit juices. There’s a stop at a tropical forest site where you’ll learn about vanilla plantations and possibly try some marmalade.

When you reach the top at Belvedere, you’ll have a picturesque moment with Mont Rotui in the background.

This informative tour will end at Magic Mountain with stunning views of the north shore of the island and a 360° view of Opunohu Bay from the top.

Wrapping up the Moorea Belvedere Lookout Guide

Belvedere Lookout is a must when in Moorea because not only do you get amazing views of the northern part of the island, but you also come across different places on your way to Belvedere that make this trip much more interesting.

You can visit Belvedere on your own but to enrich your experience, I’d recommend booking a tour of Belvedere viewpoint. These tours have got a variety of activities and things to do that make your trip to Belvedere Lookout a whole lot fun.

Some quick answers

Is Belvedere Lookout worth it?

Yes absolutely, it’s worth every penny and time you spend here and you won’t even regret it.

Can you drive a car to Belvedere Lookout?

Yes, you can easily drive to the Belvedere Lookout, no matter if you have an ATV, a regular car, or a scooter.

Is tap water safe?

Yes, you can drink tap water on most parts of the Moorea but it’s better to double-check with your accommodator. If you are health conscious, you can buy bottled water which isn’t much pricey.

Is Moorea safe?

Moorea is a completely safe island as the majority of the French Polynesian islands are. Crime rate is very low, it’s a very safe destination for travelers.

How many days do you need in Moorea?

I’d say 5 to 7 days are more than enough for this small island if you don’t want to get bored.

Is it expensive?

No, Moorea is not that expensive when compared to Bora Bora and some other famous islands of the world. Prices are moderate and best for budget travelers.

Which month is best for Moorea?

May to October is generally cooler and are the best months to visit Moorea.

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