Bora Bora
Best months:
April to October
LAST UPDATED 09/04/2010
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Hardouin: Bora-Bora map, 5th April 2006

270 kilometers northwest of Taihiti, the pearl of the Pacific, Bora Bora, undoubtedly has the world's most beautiful lagoon. And the lagoon is what you first see when touching down the airport "motu". A lagoon with some of the best dives in the world, in clear and warn waters where mutli-colored fish plau at brushing against over-curious visitors.

Bora Bora is a gem set against the jewelry box blue of the Pacific, a romantic island where each hotel has created a private paradise for honeymooners who will enjoy the quiet and the privacy of luxurious bungalows over the turquoise lagoon. Waiting for the sun to set behind the glowing Otemanu's peak is an unfortgettable spectacle.


PHGCOM: Abel Aubert Dupetit Thouars taking over the Tahiti archipelago on September 9, 1842

The Island was first inhabited by Polynesian settlers around the 4th century. Its previous Polynesian name was Vava'u. The first European sighting was made by Jakob Roggeveen in 1722. James Cook sighted the island in 1769 and landed in 1777. A London Missionary Society arrived in 1820 and founded a Protestant church in 1822. In 1842 Bora Bora was made a protectorate of France following the actions of Admiral Abel Aubert Dupetit Thouars.


Sba2: Matira beach and lagoon, Bora Bora, 16 July 2006

Several flights per day and regular boat schedules. Bora Bora is a 50-miute flight and a 10-hour boat trip from Taihiti. The airport is located on a small motu (islet) north of the main island. Transfer to the main island or to accommodations located on other motus is done by boat. The major accommodations have counters at the airport. For the accommodations located on the main island, you will need to take the (free) ferry to Vaitape. From there, small buses will usually pick you up.

Vaitape is the arrival point of the ferry from the airport, and is the only "town" of any size of the island. At the southern tip of the main island, Matira is the location of the largest beach as well as several hotels and restaurants. The central part of the island is extremely mountaineous, tough to access and not inhabited (and furthermore devoid of roads of any kind).

The way you get around in Bora Bora depends greatly on your accommodation and its location. Several resorts are actually located on motus and not on the main island, hence the need of boat transportation to get anywhere. Boat transfers from those motus resorts to the main island or between the resorts and the airport are usually provided. Accommodations located on the island generally also provide a transfer to and the Airport ferry quay.

On the main island, there is only one sealed road. Public transport on the island is limited, consisting of a single bus that goes halfway around the island and back approximately every hour. Taxis are also available.

Operators of activities and restaurants sometimes (but not always) provide a transfer to and from the accommodations - be sure to ask when booking.

where to stay

Top1963: Bora Bora , 12 April 2007

Thirty years ago, Hotel Bora Bora built the first over-the-water bungalows on stilts over the lagoon and today, overwater bungalows are a standard feature of most Bora Bora resorts. The quality of those bungalows ranges from comparably cheap, basic accommodations to very luxurious - and pricy - places to stay.

It is possible to keep some money for the activities by staying in one of the family pensions or even in a camp, such as Chez Henriette..

Some of the more expensive and luxurious hotels average above 1000USD per night.

what to pack

PHG: Mount Otemanu in Bora Bora, 16 June 2006

Being practical while lazing under the sun in a white sand beach, a good book will be in every case a very useful item to bring. As weird as it may sound it actually sometimes rains in Bora Bora (and sometimes even a lot). The vast majority of the activities take place outdoor, and there are no cinemas, libraries or museums to visit, so even if large resorts do lend books and games, bring some good reading with you.

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