Bora Bora is a Pacific island paradise which is often described as ’Heaven on earth’ and as ‘The most beautiful island in the world’. Part of the French Polynesian archipelago, its beauty is simply breathtaking.
Seen from air, Bora Bora has been compared to a tiny emerald in a setting of turquoise, encircled by a sheltering necklace of sparkling pearls. Bora Bora looks like God painted on it with a palette of blue and green to create a heavenly picture.
The imposing Mount Otemau towers over the sky, overlooking the lush tropical slopes and valleys full of hibiscus flowers and palm-groved motus (islets) that circle the island like a delicate necklace. The gorgeous blue lagoon showcases fish and coral of endless variety and beauty. The lovely white beaches entice visitors to a host of water-based activities.
Bora Bora airport, built by American army in 1842, is situated on a palm-fringed motu, about 20 minutes by boat from the main village of Vaitape. Some other remnants of American presence are two cannons hidden in the lush hills overlooking the lagoon. The view of Bora Bora from the airplane is truly breath-taking, though, the island itself is small and can be circled by a car in just one hour.
The lagoon is gorgeous with crystal waters appearing in hues of blue and green. To the Southeast of Bora Bora is the coral Garden, a natural underwater park displaying all kinds of fish and coral. Off the Point Matira is an area where huge Manta ray fish congregate, for great viewing pleasure.
Most of the hotels on Bora Bora have been built on the motus (islets ) facing the lagoon. Hotel Bora Bora was the pioneer in offering ‘Over the Water’ bungalows over 30 years ago. This OTW type of accommodation is now quite common in French Polynesia. The hotels located on the main Bora Bora island include Hotel Bora Bora, the Le Moana Intercontinental and the Le Maitai. The hotels on the motus (islets) around the lagoon include The Intercontinental Spa Resort, the Sofitel Motu, the Bora Bora Lagoon Resort, the Le Meridien and the Pearl Beach Resort.
A trip to Bora Bora is incomplete without the following fun activities:
The waters of Bora Bora are perfect for water sports like scuba diving and snorkeling. Snorkel with friendly stingrays on your hotel beachfront. Tour operators will guide you to the best spots for scuba diving and snorkeling. The island hotels also offer services for surfing as well as wind surfing. Swimming is the easiest, cheapest and most popular activity for water lovers on the island but you have to be wary of strong ocean currents. Jet skiing and wave running are Bora Bora’s high adrenaline activities. Jet boating is an equally exciting way to spend a day in the lagoon. Some other niche activities include water-skiing and kite surfing. Kite surfing has become popular since the last 50 years. It involves being pulled on a surfboard with straps by a strong kite.
Polynesian lifestyle is a classic, laid-back attitude. Bora Bora is a great place to get away from life’s stresses and tensions.
Among the relaxing activities are the many lagoon sightseeing cruises and tours. Private tours or custom lagoon cruises are intended to mesmerize and relax you with the island's beauty and serenity. Glass-bottom boat rides help you to view marine life without getting wet, gliding over over exotic coral and multicolored fish.
Enjoy a sunset cruise along the lagoon while sipping on Tahitian cocktails and learn facts about the history and culture of Tahiti.
There are also bus and mini-van tours that take you to attractive spots on the coastline, where you can view ancient maraes (stone sculptures), vanilla and pearl farms.
Another popular way to relax is to go on a picnic to one of the crystal white sandy beaches of the motus and tour operators may organize fun activities to pep up these picnics.
You can end a day of activities with a relaxing massage at one of the various parlors available.
Some people may want to relax but others may be seeking adventure and excitement.
The Bora Bora Island has a handful of interior roads, which are accessible only by 4-wheel drive vehicles. Most of these roads were cut by the American army during ‘Operation Bobcat’ in the 1940s.From these roads, we can get views of spectacular scenery, get close to giant coastal WW-2 defense guns and generally gain a new perspective of the island.
Another fun activity for all ages is para-sailing. It lasts about 10 minutes and you will soar 600 mts above water. You don’t need to know to water-ski but just have to get
into the harness and you are up and away.
The waters off Bora Bora are rich in sea life and great for deep-sea sport fishing. Many species of large game fish are available, like marlin, swordfish and giant tuna.
One of the most exciting activities around the island is shark and ray feeding. Most of this feeding is done in shallow waters with viewers nearby at a safe distance with snorkeling gear.
Hiking and trekking are also popular activities and mostly limited to the mountains of the interior, Pahia and Otemanu.
There are also lots of fun activities on Bora Bora.
One is Nature/Eco lagoon tours or botanical hiking trips along established trails, to savor historic and cultural facts of the island and touring its archaeological sights.
Then there are lagoon excursions by sailboat, outrigger canoes, jet boats and powerboats or cruisers. There is also an amazing ride in an Aqua scope a remnant of the activities of the famous Jacques Cousteau, by which you can spy on marine life.
An aqua-safari is another exciting experience which you can enjoy without knowing to swim or snorkel. All you have to do is to wear a helmet and wade through the multicolor world of tropical fish.
There is also a submarine in the lagoon in which to explore marine life. It has a 360-degree view for all seats and takes you down to 75 ft in the lagoon waters.
There is also a Bora Bora lagoonarium with host of interesting activities like exploring marine life, shark and ray feeding exhibitions, circle island tours, snorkeling etc.
You could also go horseback riding along a private motu beach or light tackle fishing in the lagoon waters.
For spending time and exploring the island, go for long walks or hire a bike and cycle around the island. There are also facilities for tennis, volleyball, billiards and massage coming up.
Shopping, services and restaurants
From the finest black pearl shops and unique arts and crafts stores to general merchandise, Bora has it all. There are art galleries and studios exhibiting local art. There are interesting gifts shops and boutiques with local merchandise and knick-knacks. There are a number of shops selling black pearls, for which Polynesia is famous.
There are a number of restaurants serving all kinds of cuisine like French and Tahitian. You could also sample the local art of tattooing, which dates back to several centuries.
Bora Bora is a favorite with honeymooners seeking scenery, romance, exclusivity and privacy. It is for those seeking to refresh themselves in a heaven away from home.