What to see in French Polynesia
Tourist attractions Bora Bora
An earthly paradise, Bora Bora has long been considered one of the most beautiful islands on planet earth. The popularity of honeymoons to Bora Bora have gifted it the reputation as a top travel destination for romance, and with soul-stirring sunsets, luxury over-water villas and fragrant tropical blooms, it’s little wonder this Pacific island is one of the world’s most sought-after holiday spots.
This volcanic archipelago is composed of one central island, surrounded by a lagoon and barrier reefs, along with countless smaller ‘Motus’ and sandbanks, perfect to explore by kayak or canoe. Covering a total land area of just 30 square kilometres, Bora Bora is tiny, and therefore an exclusive destination that comes with a suitable price tag! Belonging to the Leward Island group of the Society Islands, Bora Bora is the most famous of all of French Polynesia’s 118 islands and atolls.
The island’s population is concentrated in the settlement of Vaitape, but the chances are, if you’re travelling to Bora Bora, you’re in search of blissful beachside relaxation and total immersion in nature. These are the things that Bora Bora offers in great abundance, with high-end resorts designed to cater to your every whim.
Truly spectacular, the scenery here is beyond description. Lagoons in a hundred shades of blue, rainforested hills and the splendour of volcanic Mount Otemanu are the quintessential image of Bora Bora. At all times, the warm waters of the South Pacific are within view and the best way to get around Bora Bora is by boat, preferably a traditional Polynesian outrigger, or to rent a bicycle.
The 18th-century explorer, Captain Cook, described Bora Bora as the ‘Pearl of the Pacific’, and it’s easy to see why! A true tropical paradise, travel to Bora Bora doesn’t need to be a distant dream. Easily reached from the French Polynesian capital of Papeete, take a holiday to Bora Bora and see how quickly the troubles of everyday life melt away, replaced with the vibrant colours and sweet-smelling aromas of this island paradise!
Things to do in Bora Bora
For some travellers, there’s only so much beach lounging they can do before they get restless for a little adventure. Although resort life in Bora Bora is simply idyllic if you’re ready to get out and explore there are many things to do on the island to keep you occupied! Firstly, the largest town on the island, Vaitape, is a great place to spend a few hours. Get a taste of island life as you explore its charming churches, shops and local eateries. The best time to visit Vaitape is on Sunday mornings when market stalls fill the main thoroughfare and the whole town comes to life!
Of all the souvenirs to bring home as a memory of your trip to Bora Bora, an authentic pearl is among the most sought-after! One of the best things to do in Bora Bora is to visit one of the local pearl farms to learn about the cultivation of this natural treasure. In fact, the Society Islands are famed for their production of rare black pearls and a visit to one of the nearby farms offers the chance to understand what it takes to produce and collect these precious jewels.
If you travel to Bora Bora, you’ll want to spend as much time as possible exploring its unique and abundant underwater world. Therefore, one of the best things to do in Bora Bora is to take a tour of the enchanting Bora Bora Lagoon, the protected waters which surround the main island. Boat tours of all shapes and sizes are available, from sunset cruises to glass-bottomed boat excursions and jet ski tours. Many tours include stops at a variety of tiny islands and picnics on secluded beaches. If you opt for a snorkelling trip, you’ll have the opportunity to come face to face with the amazing marine life that inhabits the warm waters of the South Pacific. Black-tip reef sharks, rays and tropical fish are just a few of the species you can expect to see.
Finally, a trip to this paradise isle would be incomplete without contemplating majestic Mount Otemanu, the centrepiece of the island. Rising 2,400 feet above the lagoon, this masterpiece of nature is a must-visit. Although you can admire it from pretty much anywhere in Bora Bora, guided hiking trips or 4x4 excursions to its peak offer spectacular views and the chance to immerse yourself in the pristine natural environment.