With its coconut white sand beaches and cobalt skies, Bora Bora promises escape and adventure all on one French Polynesian island.
Tucked in the South Pacific, Bora Bora possesses a rare beauty, with landscapes and colors found in dreams and paintings. Here, the water curls into a thousand greens and blues, turning sky blue and sapphire, then cyan and emerald in the sunlight.
In “Tales of the South Pacific,” author James Michener called Bora Bora “the most beautiful island in the world.” Michener said the island was “so stunning, there are really no adequate words to describe it.”
Today, nature lovers and curious travelers flock to the island to experience its beauty first-hand. So, whether you come to explore the outdoors or to indulge your senses, you’ll find everything you need here.
Below are three ways to experience this island, along with tips from travelers. See the slideshow below (view in the browser) to learn more about Bora Bora or skip ahead to the adventures.
Adventure #1: Hike the Twin Peaks
Mount Otemanu and Mount Pahia promise the perfect viewing points to see the lagoon in full. Nestled in the heart of the island, Otemanu and Pahia form the twin peaks of an extinct volcano and mark the island’s highest points. Legions of hikers hit the trails each year, says USA Today’s Leo Champion.
But beginner hikers beware: You may want to start small. Beginner hikers may want to start with Mount Pahia, the smaller peak, says Jean Adams, 64, a veteran hiker who tackled both peaks in 2014.
“Mount Pahia is less intimidating, so I’d start there,” she says.
Still, you don’t have to be a hiking champion to enjoy these scenic spots. You’ll find plenty of other ways to explore the peaks, says travel agent Nicole Humphrey. For instance, hire a jeep, a boat, or a helicopter tour, Humphrey says, or just snap pictures from the beach.
But whichever route you choose, you won’t soon forget your adventure.
Adventure #2: Private Boat Island Tour and Snorkeling
Private snorkeling tours are another exciting way to explore Bora Bora. Book your three- or six-hour tour through your hotel or travel agent and enjoy a spacious boat to yourself.
You’ll snorkel with a certified captain, who will customize your trip and teach you safety tips before you start. So, bring your suntan oil and soak up the sun as your captain whisks you out to sea. Later, enjoy lunch on a private beach before your snorkeling tour begins.
Then, swim with the stingrays. Although you’ll snorkel in shallow water, look out for blacktip reef sharks, known to frequent the area. So, prepare to use those safety tips your captain taught you.
Three-hour tours last from morning until noon and include hotel pickup and drop-off. Six-hour tours last from morning to mid-afternoon and include lunch, with prices from $565.
Adventure #3: Skydiving
All you fearless travelers out there will want to book a tandem skydiving session for an adrenaline-fueled adventure. However, this adventure isn’t for everyone. If you have a heart condition—or are just terrified of heights—you may want to reconsider. Otherwise, prepare for the thrill of your life.
After your training session, take a 25-minute flight overhead. Next, prepare your parachute, count to three, and hope for the best as you shoot to the ground at breakneck speed.
Then, free fall at 124 mph (200 km/h) for a heart-thumping 40 seconds. Feel the wind whip your face and enjoy the 360-degree island view as you hurtle toward the earth like a human missile.
Your session includes 25 minutes flight time, six minutes parachute time, 15 minutes of training, and a 40-second free fall, says Viator. Prices start at $1,110 for three hours.
Watch this video to see Bora Bora skydivers in action.
Bora Bora Flight Information
To get to Bora Bora, fly to Pape’ete and then catch a 50-minute flight to Bora Bora. A popular route for U.S. travelers is to fly Air Tahiti from Los Angeles to Pape’ete and then continue on to Bora Bora.
COVID-19 Travel Tips
As of August 22, 2021, French Polynesia reports 36,372 total COVID-19 cases and 257 deaths, according to the Reuters COVID-19 Tracker. So, you may want to plan your trip now but delay travel.
When you travel to Bora Bora, you’ll find this island offers the best of two worlds. It promises a sanctuary for travelers seeking escape and adventures for nature lovers. With its year-round warm weather and natural beauty, Bora Bora guarantees fun for most travelers.
But whenever you visit this island, you’ll likely find it as unforgettable as author James Michener once did. Here, you’ll create memories to last for life. And those memories of the island’s coconut white sand, tangerine sunsets, and marbled blue waters will never leave you.