The soft sand is warm, the turquoise lagoon is shimmering, and all tghat swimming and snorkeling has mad you feel a little peckish. Well, you’re in luck! The table’s been set in the shallow water, and a delicious poisson cru and a glass of frsh coconut juice are waiting for you! Tāmā’a maita’i!

Motu is the Tahitian word for an islet and they are some of the most idyllic sites in The Islands of Tahiti. Visiting the motu is a major tourist activity in all the islands. A short boat trip, or an excursion on a traditional outrigger canoe, will take you across the lagoon in just a few minutes. A motu is a small islet with soft white sandy beaches, surrounded by crystal clear, turquoise water. Whether you’re in Bora Bora, Moorea, Huahine, Taha’a or Maupiti, a day on the lagoon with a picnic on a motu is one of the most popular activities in the Society Islands. And it’s also the favorite excursion in The Tuamotu, Gambier and Austral Islands. The picnic is usually a delicious poisson cru, but some guides will actually go fishing for lunch and return with fish to cook on the barbecue on the beach. To wash down your meal, you’ll be given a cool glass of fruit juice or the juice of a freshly picked coconut.

A picnic tour of the lagoon

Many of the motu are completely deserted and you, your tour guides and the other members of your group will be the only people on the islet. A real ‘Robinson Crusoe’ experience. Lunch will be served on tables placed in the water, to keep your feet cool while you eat. This is the occasion for all the tropical fish and rays in the area to swim over for a free meal, but please don’t feed them, however much they insist. We don’t have the same diet and they get by perfectly well without us! After lunch, you can stroll to the shore and find a nice shaded spot where you can fall aslepp to the gentle lapping of the waves.

A picnic on the motu is an experience that all visitors should try at least once. However, it’s important to remember that the motu are part of a fragile ecosystem, and you can help preserve it with a few simple gestures. Use an eco-friendly suncream, make sure that you take your litter back with you, and avoid the temptation to feed bread to the tropical fish. After lunch, you can have a short nap in the shade of a coconut tree, but choose your spot carefully. If you’ve ever heard the sound of a coconut thumping down onto the beach, you’ll know that it’s not a good idea to be lying where it lands!

Local dishes for you to try

The menu for your picnic on the beach of a deserted motu is usually poisson cru. The favorite dish of The Islands of Tahiti somehow tastes even more delicious when you’re sitting at a table with your feet in the warm, clear water of the lagoon.

Sometimes the poisson cru will be just a starter to be followed by grilled fish, often caught once you’ve arrived and cooked on a barbecue on the beach. A salad of fresh bananas, pineapple, papaya .and cocoonut will help you digest your meal. The meals provided on some excursions are culinary delights, so check out the comments left by satisfied customers on the websites before making your reservation.

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