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Hiking Vaiare to Paopao on Moorea

Vai'are, French Polynesia



4 miles

Elevation Gain

1000 ft

Route Type



Added by Joel Blatt

Breathtaking views and a challenging peak (optional side-routes as well). Moorea is rich with jagged rock skyline with raw beauty.

 One of the cool aspects of this adventure is that you have flexibility and autonomy. You can go point-to-point from Vaiare-Paopao (right at ridge line) which is what we did, or the Vaiare-Belevedere Lookout (left at the ridge line). Otherwise, you can create your own with out-and-back. You could also climb Mouaputa from Vaiare, which is an expert peak. If you go to Belvedere Lookout, there is a whole other set of hikes, which originate at that trailhead. It is tropical island, so avoid a really wet day.

I highly recommend the Vaiare to Paopao route, which you can complete in about 2 hours (~ 4 miles, 1000+ feet of elevation gain). We took a taxi to the trailhead to start and another taxi once we were done. Finding the trail is easy: starting at the "Magasin Chez Meno" store in Vaiare, follow the unpaved road west keeping right a couple times for ~1 mile. If you get to a creek without a bridge turn around and backtrack ~100 meters to the left turn you were supposed to take originally. This is where it starts and you will immediately start to see red and white trail markers which you will see along the entire trail. Once you reach the ridge it will give you right and left turn options plus spectacular views. The left trail goes towards Belvedere and is another hike for another day. The right trail is to Paopao. 

The descent into Paopao is aided by ropes, which is fun. You finally walk along gravel road by remote homes.  Just keep going towards the bay; it ends up on paved road and "Paopao Supermarket".

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