So we covered a lot of the Caribbean nations — Jamaica, Martinique, and St. Maarten, Barbados. Now it’s time to go to the other side of the world. French Polynesia has captivated tourists for a long time, and there are definitely a lot of things to love about the region.
Bora Bora isn’t just a funny name, it’s truly a great place — and this guide tells you exactly why.
First and foremost, you should know exactly what island we’re talking about here. Bora Bora is an island located in what’s known as French Polynesia. It’s part of a chain of islands called the Society Islands. There’s even an extinct volcano in the middle of the island that has two peaks. The twin peaks are called Mount Pahia and Mount Otemanu. Tourists still check out the remnants of these ancient volcanoes to this day.
Luxury is the name of the game here, as many of the attractions on Bora Bora are designed to feed your luxury side from the inside out. When a small island nation even has a Four Seasons hotel, you know you’re in for a big luxury boost.
There’s a lot to do in Bora Bora, despite its small size.
The biggest category is obviously water sports. You can scuba dive, sail, snorkel, surf, windsurf, jet ski, jet boat, water-ski, swim, and kite surf. Wow, that’s a lot of different activities that all involve water. However, that’s just the way that the people who love Bora Bora most like it. There’s never a lack of things to do!
Speaking of water, did you know that most attractions in Bora Bora are based on the water? Indeed, even the hotels are built over the water so that tourists can get the best of both worlds. The small islands that surround the lagoon of Bora Bora are called motu. Motu host hotels, restaurants and plenty of interesting attractions that vary in price. If you really want to go all out, you can enjoy supreme luxury — but it will cost you big!
Another category of things to do in Bora Bora is seek out adventure. Given the island nature theme, you can go on safari tourists and parasail, as well as go sport fishing and even shark & ray feeding. Veteran hikers will love the terrain of Bora Bora because it gives them a challenge. Beginner and intermediate hikers might find some interesting pieces here but really, it would be best to get your “hiking legs” elsewhere before you go to Bora Bora for that activity. Some of the mountainous terrain can be really steep.
Don’t forget to add in the joy of moving around in a glass bottom boat — you can see the unique aquatic life so much easier this way. There’s a certain peace and tranquility here and the people of Bora Bora can’t wait to show you the beauty of the South Pacific in their own way. Tahitian drinks and food are often served on these tours. They’re referred to sometimes as sunset cruises as well.
Private tours of the lagoon are also available, making them a great thing to add to a honeymooning trip.
A lot of people are interested in nightlife activities, and the reality is that life moves a little different in French Polynesia than you might expect. If you want a massive club scene then Bora Bora really isn’t going to meet your needs. On the other hand, there does come a time where you really want to slow down and actually enjoy what’s around you. That’s when Bora Bora really gets interesting because the beauty of the island just cannot be compared. Even though you’re only a short trip from the island of Tahiti, you still have a strong Tahitian influence on the island.
Still, because there is so much tourism and the demand for certain services, there are some nightclubs on the island, but not very many.
No island experience would really be complete without a little shopping and a little food, right? Right!
In the shopping world you have a lot to choose from. Black Tahitian pearls are going to really be the stars of the show, with a lot of good deals to be had because you’re buying it directly off the island. They are some of the greatest pearls in the world, and because of that you’re definitely going to have to do some price checking in order to make sure that you’re really getting a great deal. You’re not going to be in an Internet wasteland without any connectivity, so don’t be afraid to price compare when you can.
Every hotel has a little shopping section as well, so don’t be afraid to look around or better yet — ask someone who works and/or lives on the island!
So let’s talk about the food of Bora Bora a little bit here. The cuisine of Bora Bora ranges from just fruits and fish all the way up to amazing French cuisine. It is a French territory, after all. The nicer restaurants even bring chefs all the way from Paris to serve guests amazing food. You don’t have to just settle for French food — if there’s something else that you would rather have, you can usually find it. Because Bora Bora is such an international destination for travelers all over the world, many restaurants have grown used to catering to a wide variety of different tastes. Like most island nations, seafood is really going to be in full season, with local fishermen going out every morning to catch great selections for the restaurant owners to cook up later!
Now, we know what you’re thinking — how are you ever going to get to such an amazing island paradise in your lifetime? Well, the key here is to look at where you can cut costs and save money. If there ever was a category ripe for this type of thinking, it’s definitely lodging. Lodging and accommodations can really eat up a big chunk of your budget, but that doesn’t mean that it really has to be that way at all. You can actually go camping, which would be very cheap. If that’s a little too “rough” for you, you can go one step up. This would be the “dorm” style of life, where you have a private bedroom but you share a kitchen, bathroom, and showers with other people staying in the bungalows with you. This can save you money and allow you to hop from island to island without blowing through your whole budget.
Overall, Bora Bora offers a little something for everyone and it’s a great idea to add this nation to your list as soon as you can — check it out today!