If you’ve heard of Mo’orea, you probably associate it with beautiful beaches, sting-ray filled lagoons, and fancy resorts. But you may not have heard about the rugged mountains and stunning views they offer. During my visit to Mo’orea, we decided to hike a mountain and chose Mount Rōtui – a magnificent mountain that overlooks Cook’s Bay and offers a stunning view of the amphitheater of an old volcano. Fun fact: In Polynesian mythology, Mount Rōtui is purgatory for dead souls before their rise into Paradise.
About Mount Rōtui
Mount Rōtui is an 899 meters/2949 foot high mountain located on Mo’orea. It is the second highest peak on the island and, though challenging, is possible to hike (many of the mountains on Mo’orea are not hikeable).
Mount Rōtui’s narrow ridges ridges and steep sides can be intimidating, so you should be comfortable with easy scrambling and a lot of exposure. There are fixed ropes in two places, but they don’t look well-maintained so don’t rely solely on the ropes. We hiked Rōtui on a dry day and there were some very slippery areas, so be extremely careful if you hike after or during the rain.
Be prepared for a full day – it takes about 5 hours to get to the summit and 2 or 3 to hike back down.
How to Get There
From the Hilton, walk west on the road toward Opunohu Bay and walk down the third driveway, which has a sign that says “Art Deko.” A bit down the driveway, there is another sign which says “Rotui.”
At this sign, walk to the right along a fence next to a house. Once you pass the fence, the trail will become apparent and is easy to follow for the rest of the hike.
You can hire a guide, which I highly recommend if you are not experienced or are uncomfortable with scrambling and/or exposure.
What to Wear
Choosing the right clothing is crucial for hiking Mount Rōtui – there is a lot of growth on the trail that can scrape your legs if not covered and the heat is brutal.
I wore my Vast Terrain Excel 7/8 Leggings in Black and Aeris Technical Tank in Purple. Vast Terrain’s premium activewear is perfect for hiking in the tropics because the technical fabrics wick away sweat and are soft, stretchy, and easy to move in – a necessity when scrambling! Vast Terrain’s fabric also reduces odor with EPA registered silver salts that are embedded at the fiber level and kill 99.99% of odor-causing bacteria! I’m sure my hiking parters appreciated that 😉 An added bonus is that Vast Terrain is entirely made in the USA!
Wear hiking boots or sneakers with good traction. The ground can be slippery and the hike is exposed.
I also recommend bringing a hat and light long-sleeved layer for sun protection.
What to Bring
Mo’orea can get VERY hot and the sun is strong, so be prepared! Below is what I brought on my hike:
- 6 liters of water
- lip balm with SPF
I partnered with Vast Terrain in writing this post. As always, all opinions are my own.