Bora Bora in brief
With open water bungalows to taming wildlife and tropical jungle, Bora Bora’s reputation of exotic getaways has carried away the tides to all corners of the world. Shimmering in the South Pacific Ocean, sheltered by pristine lagoon and barrier reef, this French Island group is just an hours flight away from Tahiti.
This island paradise, Bora Bora is a small South Pacific Island located northwest of Tahiti in French Polynesia. The island is surrounded by sand-fringed motus (islets) and a turquoise lagoon protected by a coral reef. It is known for its scuba diving and a popular luxury resort destination where bungalows are perched over the water on stilts. Once a sleepy tiny island, today Bora Bora is created just for one thing – RELAXATION.
Bora Bora is an island that provides abundant of natural beauty – both on land and sea. It packs in travel inspiration for paradise-seekers in spades. The journey is the reward when visiting Bora Bora and is a part of the world that is on many peoples’ bucket-list. When a destination is this dreamy, it is easy to forget that a holiday here can be a reality. It is one of the most beautiful, expensive and exotic holiday destinations in the world, a place where sun, sand and sea that visitors come to enjoy. Bora Bora is the largest draw-card in all of French Polynesian Islands.
Having seen it on TV travel shows, travel glossy holiday brochures and Hollywood movies has made it a fantasising idyllic tropical escape. With high expectation, it was time to explore and experience this jewel of the French Polynesia Island – Bora Bora. The thought of worrying, was that when I get there, the chance of visiting this fabled dream destination, won’t live up to its lofty expectation. However, my imagination couldn’t fathom what I was about to experience and was left absolutely awe-struck with what lied in front of me.
Arriving on the island and the first moment, I stepped on the island, I knew why, this island is loved by so many. Truly, Bora Bora is the Pearl of the South Pacific Islands. This island paradise, surrounded by crystal clear waters are famous for their dazzling turquoise blues and are one of the biggest draw-cards for visitors from around the globe. I could see and experience that when combining that with the vibrant marine life below the surface and the luscious rugged mountains that run right to the water’s edge, it is easy to see why this island is so popular.
I couldn’t wait to indulge myself in this paradise haven island and tick it off my long-line of bucket-list. Falling in love for this beautiful island is so easy in Bora Bora. The people are so friendly, the beaches are crystal clear with shiny white sands and being on island time – taking things at my own pace means rushing has no value in this part of the world. I just felt in love with this place at first instance and I was only on the island for few hours and it was just only the beginning. I didn’t have to be an expert diver nor world-class swimmer to make the most of the underwater world here which was a huge bonus. In fact, Bora Bora and most of the surrounding islands are in very shallow waters which has encouraged me to stand up and make the most of this clear crystal waters. What a thrill to be experiencing this paradise in a very unique way.
Exploring Bora Bora
Bora Bora is widely promoted as a dream destination worldwide for honeymooners, but once you get, there a lot more things to do than relaxing in an out-water bungalow with someone special. There are plenty of activities and attractions to fill up your travel itinerary. I have found that, even though, it is a tiny island, there is no shortage of things to do and see on the island.
My first few days on island was simply relaxing in this beautiful crystal clear waters and white sandy beaches – fulfilling my island dream holiday.
After few days of relaxation, it was time to take a Jeep tour that has taken through the interior of the island. Having not done any jeep ride tour before, the experience of jeep-trekking was intriguing and couldn’t wait to experience it. I thought to myself, this was going to be a fun way to see the island. I signed up for this tour at the resort that was located on the main island. Our local guide who has never moved out of the island was very informative, funny and had a great sense of humour. He was very knowledgeable about not only Bora Bora but also the surrounding islands and the history of the colonisation. He was very passionate about sharing his ideas, knowledge and caring about the island.
The tour began with a great introduction to the island with a ride along the waterfront, with lush and unpopulated coastlines with crystal clear waves bumping against the sands on the shore made you think you were on a different planet. From the coastline, it takes you inwards up the steep, rugged, rough and bumpy hillside. The views leading up to the hilltop were spellbinding. With views of lush green shorelines and crystal clear blue seas as far as your eyes could see, can only be describe in one word – Paradise. It was incredibly amazing and mesmerising. The white sandy beaches and luxurious resorts that are perched over waters on stilts can be seen in all directions from the hill-top definitely created a sense of dream island. Having time to absorb the views were absolutely breathtaking and my doubtful expectation on this tour was just beyond. What a great way to see the island and it was so much fun. I felt like I saw the entirety of Bora Bora. We had plenty of stops for pictures, my camera never stopped clicking and was definitely worth the time and value for money.
Getting to Bora Bora is only accessible by air, unless you’re visiting island on a cruise. You have fly into Tahiti and then take a ferry to Bora Bora and take a short fly away from the main island of Tahiti.
Where to stay?
There are various types of accommodations in the area to suit all budget and are inexpensive. Most of the accommodations that are perched over waters are very expensive. However, they are absolutely amazing places to stay and you will be incredibly surprise and mesmerised of these bungalows on water. I highly recommend to stay in one of them to experience real Bora Bora. However, there are cheap and inexpensive accommodations in the township of Bora Bora from hostels to backpacker style rooms.
Bora Bora is home to many iconic resorts, pristine beaches and lagoons. Driving around in the island is possible if you have the time and want to see more of the area on your visit. To fully enjoy your stay in this area and to make the most of the region’s activities and attractions, I’d recommend staying in one of the bungalows perched over the water, an ideal introduction to the Bora Boras life. This way, you get to sample the beautiful beaches, lagoons and most importantly – “Relaxation”. Unfortunately, this is where the true heart of the area shines.
Though, this island of Bora Bora is relatively small but it is an activity giant destination as well. It offers visitors to experience sunbathe and swim at white sandy beaches with crystal clear waters, dive in a natural underwater among fish and corals, experience thrilling shark feedings and 4×4 safari or simply circle the turquoise lagoon by boat. This island is a superlative romantic spot. Many come to fall captive to this lush gen of Polynesian island by sharing an intimate midnight dinner on the beach, visiting the Lagoonarium, the Diving Centre, the Coral Gardens or the Leopard Rays Trench or taking it all in from the lofty heights of 2,300 foot Mount Otemanu.
Exploring the area
Bora Bora is a tiny island and it is entirely possible to get around and visit many attractions and places in this area with the help of public transport. However, it is easier to hire a car and do a self-drive around the island and explore the area on own time in a day but my recommendation is to go on a tour. Most tours have knowledge of the area and are very passionate about sharing their knowledge to the visitors. Driving in this area is straightforward and most locals are vary of tourists. When visiting new areas, be aware of no-drive zones and one-way streets. Sometimes, you will save yourself a few headaches when it comes to parking or driving around places to locate the area, it is best to go on a tour and get away with less stress.
My stay in Bora Bora, The Pearl of the Pacific has truly given me an experience of a lifetime. The stunning views, natural beauty- both land and sea, pristine and crystal clear lagoons. Yes, my camera never stopped clicking the moment I set foot on the island. This is the destination that I highly recommend to travellers hoping to visit this paradise island.