The best known island in French Polynesia, Bora Bora, known as the “Pearl of the Pacific” is a very special place indeed.
The most beautiful lagoon in the world, and in the middle of it, the majestic Mount Otemanu rises up on the mythical island of Bora Bora. Any vacation in the “Pearl of the Pacific” is an unforgettable experience. Here’s our suggested itinerary for a four day break.
Bora Bora and its blue lagoon
You’ll see it from the air as you come in to land, and you’ll immediately understand why Bora Bora is reputed to have the most beautiful lagoon in the world. The first thing you’ll want to do, no matter what itinerary you had in mind, is to go for a long swim in that crystal clear water. So let’s start there. Take a boat trip around the island to visit some of the motu and spend the day swimming, snorkeling and basking in the sun on the beach. For lunch you’ll be served a delicious picnic at the water’s edge, as you admire the views over the main island and the majestic Mount Otemanu.
The island’s interior
After all that sun on the lagoon, spend the next day on the island itself. Start with a hike to see the canons left by the American military at the end of the Second World War. You’ll find them dotted all round the island at strategic points. If you’re feeling energetic, take the Traversière trail across the island or walk to the summit of Mount Popoti, from where you have one of the best views over the lagoon.
The interior on a quad ATV
If you’re seeking thrills (but hopefully not spills!) go on a quad ATV excursion. Follow the narrow trails through the ups and downs of the island’s unspoiled interior, stopping every now and then at scenic viewpoints to take photos for your Instagram account.
Diving in the Garden of Eden
Like most of the islands in French Polynesia, the waters of Bora Bora offer a magic spectacle. There are dives to suit all levels, including beginners, and you’ll be able to observe myriads of tropical fish, sea turtles, manta rays and lemon, nurse and blacktip sharks.
Relaxation and sport
The beaches on the motu are idyllic, but Matira beach on the main island is something very special indeed. Beautiful clear turquoise water as far as the eye can see makes this one of the best beaches in all of The Islands of Tahiti. There aren’t many other places in the world where doing absolutely nothing is the very best way to spend your day. If you do get the urge to do something more active, hire a paddleboard, kayak or jetski and set off to explore the lagoon. Stop at one of the island’s many seaside restaurants for a delicious poisson cru.
The night sky is invariable clear and star-studded and you can observe constellations that aren’t visible in the northern hemisphere. These are the stars that ancient Polynesian explorers used to guide themselves across the ocean. You’ll learn more from your guide on an evening campfire trip to one of the motu.
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A bird’s eye view
The “Pearl of the Pacific” is truly beautiful when you’re on the lagoon, but it’s even more stunning when you see it from above. Take a helicopter flight over the island and you’ll understand why those majestic frigate birds spend so much time circling around mount Otemanu! You’ll also have the chance to see the romantically heart-shaped island of Tupai, just next door. For a more thrilling flight, you can take a tandem parachute jump or go on a tandem paraglide over the lagoon.
Round island tour
For the more down to earth, take a tour round the island by bike, e-bike or mini-moke (a small electric jeep-like car). Take a picnic lunch and stop off at Matira Beach in the afternoon, it’s only about 3 miles from the main town.
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