Bora Bora is probably the most well-known island of the Leeward Island group, and therefore the most affected by tourism. There are a lot of hotels all around the main island and on several of the motus, however these aren’t the concrete high rises as we had imagined, but picturesque water bungalows with thatched straw roofs sitting on stilts.
- Surface area : 38 sq. Km (14.6 sq. miles)
- Circumference : 32 km (19 miles)
- Highest peak : Mount Otemanu (727 m = 2,385 ft)
- Districts : Vaitape (main village), Nunue, Matira Anau, Faanui.
- Population : 10,605 (2017)
The island is a popular honeymoon destination. Volcanic mountains dramatically soar from the sea, surrounded by the calm of the turquoise lagoon with white sand beaches and clear warm water. It really is the ‘Pearl of the Pacific.’ The lagoon is a beautiful dive spot for so much colorful and varied marine life, manta rays, turtles, sharks and, during the season, humpback whales.
There are restaurants, supermarkets, spas, a yacht club and dive centers. Everything you need for a relaxing holiday.
The ‘Heiva’ dance festival happens throughout Polynesia in June. Every island puts on a great show, with top class dancers performing under the stars in traditional costume to the beating of drums. Wooden huts are erected and decorated with flowers and coconut palms and serve as restaurants, dishing up fantastic smelling and tasting local dishes. Traditional sports of lifting heavy rocks, javelin throwing, fruit carrying races and carving out of coconuts are great fun to watch with a great festive atmosphere.
The increase in tourism has caused a lot of the beaches and motus to become private in Bora. The locals can now no longer have access to parts of their island. This, ultimately, causes tension and Bora is one of the few areas that we felt we were sometimes seen as ‘dollars’. The initial contact is not as easy and friendly as the more remote areas of Polynesia, however it remains a stunning and beautiful island to visit, and we have made great friends here too.
It’s a great lagoon to sail around and dive in, with an amazing coral garden. The humpback whales like to hang out here when in season and our friend Simon can take you swimming and snorkelling with them, whist still respecting their space. And it’s a fantastic stop on the way to Maupiti.
- If you are looking to kitesurf in Bora, Alban, is your man.
- Tohora Bora Bora. For a trip on the lagoon, snorkelling or whale watching contact Simon and he’ll take you outon his super motor boat. He can also organise paintball games for a whole lot of fun.
- Bora Bora Pearl Resort is a good address for a day spa on the motu. If you can’t afford to sleep over, they accept day guests to have lunch in the restaurant and you can access the facilities of the spa and have a good sauna. The view on Bora from the motu, as you wade out from the beach in shallow warm water, is a must.
- A relaxing massage or Wuo Tai session with our friend Virginie will ease away your stresses and be a highlight of any stay in Bora.
- Turtle sanctuary at Le Meridien Bora Bora. Join the healers team of the turtle center for a day.
- Day tours into the lagoon of Bora are brought to life with Fanfan and his family.
- A day at One Soul Spa. We recommend trying a Whatsu treatment in warm water and Yoga with Carlos and Manuela.