Moorea Atlas Projects
Moorea is Tahiti’s less-populous and smaller neighbor, the second island in the Windward group of Society Islands. Though close in proximity to Tahiti and sharing much of the natural beauty, Moorea nonetheless retains a distinct identity. Known to outsiders principally as a tourist destination (the LA Times listed it among the “World’s Most Romantic Places to Propose”), Moorea has no visible tourist infrastructure beyond its all-inclusive hotels. There is no obvious urban center, or even a true central village; it has no gift shops or markets and few restaurants or even stores. What it does have are rubbly coral beaches, rich archaeological sites, small-scale agriculture producing mainly tropical fruits such as pineapple, scattered horse ranches and a good deal of jungle. The geological transition from high volcanic island to coral atoll is being studied on Moorea at two major research stations – the University of California at Berkeley’s Gump Station and the French National Laboratory.