Ah, Bora Bora, one of the most beautiful and exotic destinations in the world - a dream-like island in French Polynesia with stunningly clear waters, lush green landscapes, breathtaking views, and an atmosphere of complete tranquility and relaxation. Not only is the natural beauty of Bora Bora one of the main reasons to visit, it is also home to top-notch resorts ranging from luxury bungalows sitting on a private beach lagoon to overwater villas offering private pools and the perfect combination of modern amenities and Polynesian culture. From the moment you arrive, you'll feel refreshed, energized, and absolutely captivated by the promise of adventure, great food, and some of the most beautiful sunsets you can imagine. Regardless of how you choose to spend your time in this South Pacific paradise, you're guaranteed to have an unforgettable experience.
The History of Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Bora Bora is a small South Pacific Island located near Tahiti and is one of the most stunningly beautiful and romantic destinations in the world. It is a group of islands located in the French Polynesia and is part of the Society Islands. Bora Bora was voted the World's Best Island again in 2020 and is known for its powdery white sand beaches, Crystal clear blue waters, lush green jungle, towering mountains and bright pink sunsets.
The first known settlers of Bora Bora were the Polynesians who called it "Pora Pora" meaning "first born". They were thought to have migrated to the area from Asia and migrated here around 1,000 BC. The Marquesans also inhabit the island and are known for their wood-carved gods and vibrant tattoos.
European exploration and colonization of the islands began in 1767, when the French explorer Captain James Cook sailed through the area. He named the island "Bureau de Bora-Bora" after his beloved Polynesian island of Bora-Bora. The island was then annexed by France in 1888, who administrated it with the nearby Islands under the name of French Polynesia.
During World War II, the US Navy set up a holding station at Bora Bora and after the war ended, the Island became an island destination for the jet-set and rich. Airlines started to fly in and out of the island and hotels began to pop up all around the islands.
Today, Bora Bora is a stunningly beautiful destination and is renowned all over the world for its luxurious resorts, stunning beaches and lush jungles. Those that visit Bora Bora are often left spellbound by its beauty and its old-world feel, from its traditional Polynesian villages to its long and fascinating history. Whether you're looking for a romantic getaway or a fun-filled family vacation, Bora Bora should definitely be atop your list of places to visit.
The Culture of Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Bora Bora is an incredibly beautiful and diverse island in French Polynesia. It's located in the South Pacific Ocean and is known for its white-sand beaches, crystal-blue lagoons, and lush green mountains. The island is a tropical paradise and it draws many visitors from all around the world every year. Bora Bora is a unique destination with a unique culture and people.
The culture of Bora Bora is a mix of Polynesian, French, and American influences. This gives the island its own special charm. The people are friendly and welcoming and the local language is French. Locals are very warm-hearted and there is a very relaxed atmosphere on the island. Even the dress code is very relaxed and casual, with most people wearing light and airy clothing.
Visitors to Bora Bora can expect to be introduced to a variety of cultural activities and events. Every Thursday night the locals gather to watch a traditional fire-dancing show on the beach. This is an amazing spectacle and it's definitely worth a visit. There are also a number of art galleries, museums, and cultural centers that showcase the rich culture and history of Bora Bora.
Finally, a trip to Bora Bora wouldn't be complete without a visit to a few local restaurants. The food in Bora Bora is mainly French and Polynesian influenced and there are some amazing dishes to enjoy. The seafood here is some of the freshest in the world and the restaurants use local ingredients to create some truly delicious dishes. The restaurants here offer a great opportunity to learn about the local culture and meet local people.
Overall, Bora Bora is an amazing place that offers an incredible cultural experience. With its unique mix of Polynesian, French, and American influences, and its relaxed atmosphere, Bora Bora is the perfect destination for a cultural holiday. Whether you're interested in the local art galleries and museums, the traditional fire-dancing shows, or the delicious food, there is something here for everyone.
The Food of Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Bora Bora in French Polynesia has a variety of culinary experiences for travelers to enjoy. From traditional Polynesian fare to classic French cuisine, visitors to the islands have plenty to choose from during their stay.
When it comes to local cuisine, seafood is a staple in Bora Bora as the surrounding ocean provides an abundance of fresh ingredients. Dishes such as poisson cru, a raw fish salad, and ika mata, a fresh fish dish marinated in lemon juice, are both popular options. Diners can also choose from a variety of traditional dishes such as taro, mashed bananas, or coconut-infused dishes. Many of these dishes are served with a side or two of tropical fruits such as pineapple or mango.
For those interested in French cuisine, there are plenty of options to be had in Bora Bora. Bistro-style restaurants are common on the islands, offering guests various French staples such as coq au vin, mussel and leek quiche and ratatouille. Patisseries are also available and offer a range of pastries, tarts and sweets such as macarons, French pastries and crepes.
Finally, Bora Bora has no shortage of bars and eateries serving up sundowners to enjoy. From beachfront pina coladas and mojitos to tropical martinis, there is something for every taste. Many of these bars serve light snacks such as pizza and fries that complement the drinks perfectly.
Overall, Bora Bora is a paradise for food lovers, offering both traditional Polynesian fare and classic French cuisine. Whatever the preference, there is something for everyone in Bora Bora, making it an ideal destination for those looking for a unique culinary experience.
What to See and Do in Bora Bora, French Polynesia
- Relax on the beaches of Matira, French Polynesia: Nothing compares to the magnificent views that can be had by lounging on the white, sandy beaches of Matira in the south of Bora Bora. Visitors should take in the view of the mountains in the distance surrounded by the turquoise blue water. They should also participate in a range of activities such as kayaking, snorkeling, paddle boarding or just floating in the lagoon.
- Explore Mount Otemanu: For those wanting an active adventure, a climb up Mount Otemanu should be on the agenda. A two-hour hike with rewarding views from the summit, this trail is ideal for taking in the sights of the surrounding islands and bays.
- Dine in the open air: No visit to Bora Bora is complete without at least one dining experience on the island. With the stunning views of the water and mountain peaks, it's almost worth it just to get a meal. One great recommendation is the blissful L'Aqua restaurant in Vaitape, French Polynesia.
- Enjoy a Mai Tai on the Beach: Travelers should make their way to the main beach for a more festive atmosphere. Here, one can sip on a traditional mai tai cocktail and take in the live musical performances from local bands.
- Shop at Vaitape Market: All of the souvenirs and trinkets travelers can imagine can likely be found at the Vaitape Market. From traditional carved Tiki gods and intricate pearls to "made in Bora Bora" fabrics and clothing, explore all that the vibrant market has to offer.
- Go snorkeling with Stingrays: Head to the shallow lagoon to take part in the unique experience of swimming side-by-side along with stingrays. Take a dip with the graceful manta rays and colorful clown fish to experience a real life Finding Nemo.
- Visit the Faanui Bay: The picturesque Farehau village can be found beside Faanui Bay in the south of the island. Here, visitors can find traditional Polynesian fishing boats, as well as snorkeling and windsports.
- Tour Bloody Mary's in Vaitape: If looking for a unique dining experience, try the celebrated Bloody Mary's in Vaitape. Many celebrities, such as Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, have visited the iconic restaurant for the "best burgers in the South Pacific" and the memorable atmosphere.
- Sail around Bora Bora: On a more leisurely note, take a sailboat tour around the island and indulge in the natural beauty of the lagoons and coral reefs. Enjoy a few desserts and welcome drinks as the crew and captain take visitors around the stunning tropical island.
- Enjoy a Vacation at a Luxury Resort: One of the best things to do in Bora Bora is one of the simplest-experience a vacation at one of the island's many luxury resorts. From the overwater bungalows to the overwater spa and the on-site restaurants, visitors can enjoy themselves and take in the surroundings.
Why You Should Travel to Bora Bora, French Polynesia
One of the best places in the world to vacation and take a romantic trip is Bora Bora, French Polynesia. This spectacularly beautiful island encapsulates the stunning South Pacific, with its private beaches and pristine mountain cliffs. The island has become a popular destination for couples in love, travelers seeking a unique beach vacation, and even those simply in search of a relaxing, romantic break.
From the moment one steps foot on the white sands beach, the mesmerizing views and warm, protective atmosphere of the island will captivate their senses. With its crystal-clear waters, vibrant coral reefs, and dramatic, remote mountaintops, you will never want to leave this paradise. There are many activities to do here, from snorkeling and scenic boat Tours, to romantic dinners at local restaurants. During the day, bask in the sun and be prepared for some of the best sunset views you've ever seen.
For those seeking a little more adventure, there are some excellent hiking trails, allowing visitors to explore the island in all its raw beauty. After a long day of exploring, retreating to any one of the luxurious resorts and pampering yourself is a must. Most resorts have their own private swimming pools, spa and fitness centers, giving visitors the chance to sit back and relax in style.
Bora Bora is the ideal destination for anyone looking for an unforgettable tropical getaway. Its breathtaking beauty, world class beaches and resorts, and abundance of activities make it the perfect destination for romantic vacationers, adventurers, and casual travelers. For those who have never experienced the magic of this South Pacific paradise, it's time to pack your bags and make your tropical dreams a reality - a journey to Bora Bora awaits you!
Tips & Tricks for Traveling in Bora Bora, French Polynesia
- Book your Preferred Accommodations Ahead of Time: When planning a trip to Bora Bora, French Polynesia, plan ahead and book your accommodations early. The best places book quickly and often months in advance. Research the most popular resorts and make sure to check out online reviews to get a better idea about the quality and amenities available for each location.
- Choose All-Inclusive Packages: To make your Bora Bora trip as smooth and stress-free as possible, consider opting for an all-inclusive package. Most resorts will offer these, and they often include accommodation, meals, drinks or snacks, activities or excursions, and sometimes even airport transfers.
- Book Discounted Packages Online: Take advantage of online deals and discounts for your Bora Bora trip. Many sites and travel agents offer discounts and deals for lodging, activities, and even flights to and from Bora Bora. Use sites like Expedia, TripAdvisor, and Kayak to compare prices and packages to get the most value for your money.
- Get Vaccinated Before Traveling: Before traveling to Bora Bora, French Polynesia, make sure you get vaccinated against any diseases or illnesses that are common in the islands. Talk to your doctor or primary care provider before the trip to find out which vaccinations are recommended and required.
- Bring the Proper Clothing and Gear: As the temperature in Bora Bora rarely dip below 70 degrees Fahrenheit, make sure to bring light clothing for your trip. The landscape of the island can range from beaches to rain forests, so bring clothing and gear suitable for any environment, as well as closed-toed shoes and hats for lasting sun protection.
- Use Waterproof Phone Cases: With so much water surrounding the island, phone cases that are waterproof and certified for up to five meters deep will come in handy. Invest in one with a universal adapter to charge the device regularly, or carry a handheld device that is dust and water resistant for underwater activities
- Put Together a Snorkeling Set: The underwater life in Bora Bora is breathtaking and should not be missed out on. Invest in a snorkeling set that includes fins, a mask, and a snorkel. If you have the budget, you can even get an underwater camera to take stunning shots of the coral and fish.
- Rent a Kayak and Explore: Bora Bora's most stunning views come from out in the water. Many resorts and public beaches have kayaks and paddleboards available for rent, and some may even offer instruction or guided Tours around the lagoon. This can be a great way to explore the island's majestic landscapes.
- Buy Local Souvenirs: When you're in Bora Bora, take the opportunity to buy some local souvenirs that remind you of your trip and support the local economy. The markets around the central town, Vaitape, and at the airport are full of small crafts and items that make for perfect souvenirs.
- Watch out for Sharks: Although shark attacks in Bora Bora are rare, it's still important to be aware and prepared. Make sure to stay in shallow, protected areas, and avoid swimming when the day is complete. If you want to swim or snorkel, always use licensed guides and observe any safety precautions given.
Other Places You Might Like
Paradise seekers on the hunt for pristine beaches, blue lagoons and mountain backdrops will be tickled pink with the magical French Polynesian Islands.
Moorea, French Polynesia is known as 'The Magical Island.' This stunning island features idyllic beaches, hidden coves, and dramatic peaks and canyons. Fiji is another amazing Polynesian island - swoon-worthy crystal-clear waters, white sand beaches and lush tropical jungle, plus a vibrant culture, make Fiji one of the most popular Honeymoon destinations on the planet. Further along in the South Pacific, Aitutaki, Cook Islands, offers white sand beaches and pristine coral lagoons - locals also host traditional feasts on the beach under a canopy of stars at night.
Another must-visit location is Tahiti, the largest island of French Polynesia. Located halfway between Australia and South America, this tropical paradise features dramatic mountain backdrops, pristine lagoons, and white and black sand beaches. Nearby Bora Bora is known for its shimmering, crystal-clear lagoons, picture-perfect setting, and luxurious overwater bungalows.
Further off the coast of the South Pacific are the Cook Islands - a 15-island archipelago surrounded by white sand beaches and epic blue lagoons. Take a trip to Rarotonga, the largest of the islands, where you can explore the stunning landscape by foot, participate in traditional cultural rituals, and relax in the plastic-free lagoon.
For a more serene, off-the-beaten-path experience, Don't forget Samoa - located south of the equator and known for its lush jungles, cascading waterfalls, and incredible coral gardens.
If you're looking to explore further afield, New Caledonia offers a mix of native Polynesian culture, pristine wilderness, and stunning French-inspired villages. You can swim in clear bays or explore rugged trails, as well as try some of the tasty local dishes.
For an exotic, enchanting escape, these Polynesian Islands offer a dream experience that should definitely be on your Bucket List.