Mo'orea is a high island in French Polynesia, one of the Windward Islands, part of the Society Islands, 17 kilometres (11 mi) northwest of Tahiti. The true spelling of Mo'orea is Mo'ore'a, which means "yellow lizard" in Tahitian: Mo'o = lizard ; Re'a = Yellow. . An older name for the island is 'Aimeho, sometimes spelled 'Aimeo or 'Eimeo (among other spellings misunderstood by early visitors with no knowledge of the language). Early Western colonists and voyagers also referred to Mo'orea as York Island.
Mo'orea is about 10 miles in width from the west to the east. There are two small, nearly symmetrical bays on the north shore. The one to the west is called 'Ōpūnohu Bay which isn't very populated but many travelers have come into the bay. The main surrounding communes of the bay are Piha'ena in the east and Papetō'ai to the west. The one to the east is Cook's Bay, also called Pao Pao Bay since the largest commune of Mo'orea is at the bottom of the bay. The other communes are Piha'ena to the west and busy Maharepa to the east. The highest point is Mount Tohi'e'a, near the center of Mo'orea. It dominates the vista from the two bays and can be seen from Tahiti. There are also hiking trails in the mountains. The Vai'are Bay is another small inlet, smaller than the two main bays, on the east shore. This bay has been settled a lot and has a lot of business. The main village is located just south of the bay.