If you close your eyes and think of an island paradise, you will likely imagine something like Bora Bora. The Island is surrounded by picturesque and inviting clear blue water that effortlessly becomes the focus of any visit.
While the laid back vibe that comes from being on a small island in French Polynesia lends itself to lazily lounging around, I recommend mixing things up with some adventure and fun.
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Here are 7 Awesome Things to do in Bora Bora, French Polynesia
The clear waters and exciting wildlife make snorkeling a must-do activity when in Bora Bora. Most likely you are at a resort on the beach or even in one of the overwater bungalows. Either way, going snorkeling is very accessible. After you have explored the waters closest to you, venture a bit further to find a greater variety of underwater sights.
Some of the best snorkeling is only approachable by kayak or boat. First, talk to your resort to see what is included in your stay. Some resorts are near snorkeling areas and provide kayaks for free. The Lagoonarium is a very popular location for snorkeling. It is on the eastern side of Motu near the St Regis resort. The waters are calm and clear, giving you a great view of the wildlife and recovering coral reefs below.
Booking a boat tour or excursion Is the best way to snorkel. They will not only take you to the best reefs close to shore but can take you out into the Pacific ocean to get you a better view of sharks, manta rays and other fish not always found close to shore. But another option when snorkeling and is much more comfortable and accessible when you live in a hotel with a house reef. Choose such hotels and check prices at Wiotto.com.
For a really crazy experience, you can have a boat take you out to find and swim with blacktip reef sharks. They may not be dangerous to humans, but it is hard to remember that and keep your cool while you have several sharks circling around you. 2. Scuba Diving
Whether you are an advanced diver or learning for your first time, Bora Bora is an amazing location to go to greater depths by going scuba diving. With warm waters and forgiving reefs, the conditions are very friendly to first-time divers. The waters are so clear that snorkeling should give you a clear view from above of any wildlife, but scuba diving will get you right in the thick of the action.
3. Dinner on the Beach
Whether you are on your honeymoon in Bora Bora, celebrating an anniversary, or just enjoying an evening with friends, dinner on the beach is an amazing way to enjoy a meal. Most resorts can easily provide this request to make your evening special. Alternatively, you can always find a restaurant with outdoor seating or go on a dinner cruise.
4. Dolphin & Whale Watching
If you visit Bora Bora from July to November, you are in a prime time to see humpback whales. Each year they migrate to the tropical waters to give birth to their young and breed. While you need to keep a reasonable distance, you can go snorkeling around the whales for an unforgettable experience. As you snorkel around you may even hear the whales singing before you even see them.
5. Sunset Cruise
Another experience that is perfect for couples is taking a sunset cruise. You will make your way out to sea, enjoy some champagne and snacks on some fruits while enjoying some island-inspired music and the beautiful sights of the setting sun. The water at night is still warm allowing you to jump back in the water for some more snorkeling.
6. 4WD Tour
An accessible and convenient way to see the area is taking a 4wd tour. There are several tour operators, and most will take you to several villages and to lookout points to see amazing views of the island and surrounding areas.
As you go along the tour, you can expect to see and hear about the history of the island from an experienced tour guide (likely a local) including visiting world war two sites and learning about the culture and religion of the Bora-Bora locals.
7. Climb Mount Pahia
The largest mountain in Bora Bora is actually Mount Otemanu, but it is better seen from below due to the brittle volcanic rock at the summit. As an alternative, if you like to climb, enjoy adventure, and would like to see an incredible 360 view of Bora Bora, then Climbing Mount Pahia should be on your list. This is a tough climb that should be done with a guide since there is not a marked trail. It will take at least an hour and a half up the mountain and at times will go from walking to crawling to climbing to make your way up. It is all worth it when you make it to the top and look around to see the amazing view of the island and surrounding waters. Once again this is not a casual climb and I only recommend if for advanced climbers. Make sure you pack your hiking shoes!
If you love the water and wildlife, Bora Bora is an amazing destination. Make sure you make the most of your trip and don’t spend too much time just laying on the beach or the deck of your private bungalow!
Did I miss anything? Comment below, if there are any other, must-do activities in Bora Bora!
Where to Stay in Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Best Budget Hotel in Bora Bora, French Polynesia – Maitai Hotel
This property is a 1-minute walk from the beach. Le Maitai Polynesia is situated in the south of Bora Bora on Matira Point Beach. Guests have a choice between rooms with garden or lagoon views, and bungalows with direct beach access or over the water.
Each room and bungalow include air conditioning, satellite TV, and a minibar. The bungalows situated over the water feature a glass table to allow guests to watch the fish below. Free use of fishing, snorkeling and kayaking equipment is included. The tour desk can book island cruises and scuba diving trips. Motu Mute Airport is 10 km from Le Maitai Polynesia Bora Bora.
In the heart of a tropical garden, “Haere Mai” restaurant specializes in French and Polynesian cuisine. Guests can enjoy traditional Polynesian singing and dancing.
Best Mid-Range Hotel in Bora Bora, French Polynesia – Sofitel Resort
Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach Resort is 3 km from Motu Roa Beach. It is a 20-minute trip by shuttle boat from Bora Bora Airport. There is a 2-minute shuttle boat to a private island offering secluded swimming and snorkeling areas. Offering a unique island paradise experience, Sofitel Marara Beach Resort features private bungalows built over stunning blue waters or set on the white sand beach. Guests enjoy a bar, restaurant, and a spa area.
Enjoy a swim in the infinity pool or visit Le Spa for a massage or beauty treatment using Tahitian plants and traditional techniques. Boat hire, jet skiing, and kayaking are all available on-site. Each luxurious bungalow offers a deck with sun loungers, a rain shower, and a plasma-screen TV. All bungalows are air conditioned and offer a separate toilet.
The stylish restaurant overlooks the lagoon and offers cuisine theme nights and a Tahitian oven. The beachfront bar serves poolside snacks throughout the afternoon and cocktails each evening. Some nights offer live entertainment.
Best Luxury Hotel in Bora Bora, French Polynesia – Four Seasons Bora Bora
The Four Seasons Resort is located on Point Matira in Bora Bora, which was voted ‘the best island in the world’ by U.S. News in 2012. Motu Mute Airport is a 15-minute boat ride away.
Overlooking the magnificent turquoise waters of a private beach, Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora boasts luxurious over-water bungalows and beachfront villas with views of Mount Otemanu. After an invigorating workout in the open-air fitness center, you can enjoy an afternoon of pampering at the waterfront day spa. The resort boasts an infinity pool, a tennis court and free guided snorkeling tours of the lagoon sanctuary, which is home to many exotic marine animals. Guests can also enjoy kayaking, catamaran cruises, windsurfing and shark feeding.
The spacious bungalows and villas each feature traditional wooden furnishings, high ceilings, and thatched roofs. All accommodation features fluffy down pillows and iPod docking station. You can sample a variety of cuisines at the four on-site restaurants, offering Polynesian, French and Asian specialties. Watching the sun set over the lagoon at Sunset Bar & Lounge offers the perfect ending to your day.
About the Writer
Dan Bagby is a travel writer that believes you should never leave the honeymoon phase and experiencing travel together makes that easier. He blogs about couples travel at HoneymoonAlways.com