Must-Have Item for the Islands

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What is the must-have item for the islands?

The pareo is the Tahitian word for a wrap-around skirt. In other parts of the world, it is known as a coverup, sarong, or wraparound. It refers to women’s skirts as the men wore an item known as a loincloth or maro. Today, a pareo is best known as an item you wrap around your body.

Seen as a symbol of the island, the pareo is worn by men, women, and children. It’s beautiful coloring and cool comfort makes it a staple piece of clothing among island inhabitants. One’s imagination only limits its versatility in wear. During a recent visit to Moorea, we were fortunate enough to run across one of the locals at the bar at the Moorea Pearl Resort & Spa. He took the time to demonstrate just some of the many ways to wear a pareo. Click on the image below of my dear travel colleague and friend Sarah Bush of Bali Ha’i Dreams to see a video of our lesson.

More than being the most versatile piece of cloth you have ever worn, the pareo is a work of art. While many pareos are mass-manufactured now, there are still artists in the islands’ hills that hand paint the beautiful and colorful designs. You can actually visit the artists in their home/workshop during a 4-wheel drive tour and select your very own one of kind hand painted pareo.

Are you ready to adorn the islands? Tie on a pareo, put a tiaré flower behind your ear, rub on some monoi oil, add a puka shell anklet, and voila!


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Lisa RossmeisslMust-Have Item for the Islands

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