The French Polynesian island of Bora Bora may be small at just about six miles long and a little more than two miles wide, but its beauty makes it a popular luxury resort destination. From the dormant volcano that rises up at its center that spills out into a lush jungle and turquoise lagoon to the coral reefs and sunny skies, Bora Bora is a tropical paradise. One caveat is that Bora Bora is expensive, but if you can afford it, you won’t regret visiting the island. Here’s your guide to Bora Bora.
Best Time to Visit
The best times to visit Bora Bora are November and April as they are the shoulder seasons and the temperatures are in the mid-70s to mid-80s. The high season is from May to October and while the weather is great, the island is packed with tourists. Avoid visiting during the low season which is from December to March as it rains a lot and there are a ton of mosquitos.
How to Get Around
Because the island is so small, the best way to get around is by bike. You can also rent a car, but it’s much more costly than renting a bike. Stay away from the local bus system, Le Truck, as it’s unpredictable, and taxis, which are really expensive.
Where to Stay
Intercontinental Bora Bora Resort and Thalasso Spa
The luxury overwater villa overlooks the turquoise lagoon and while staying there you can go scuba dive or cruise on the resort’s private beach or relax with the full-service spa.
Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort and Spa
For a more affordable stay that doesn’t skimp on the amenities, head to Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort and Spa, which has a private white sand beach and freshwater pool. The spa offers hot stone healing as well as traditional treatments.
Four Season Resort Bora Bora
This 5-star hotel has a wave-shaped infinity pool that overlooks the ocean, overwater bungalow suites, beachfront villa estates, and a full-service spa that’s nestled in the lagoon’s edge.
What to Do
For an experience beyond the beaches, explore the island on four wheels. While discovering the island, you’ll learn about history and culture. Tour companies offer everything from half-day cultural island expeditions and deep safari jungle treks to Champagne tours and romantic sunsets.
Just eat of the main island, you’ll find the coral reef where you can swim and snorkel among the coral and sea life like sting rays, blacktip reef sharks, and moray rays.
Matira Beach is the largest public access beach in Bora Bora and with the crystal-clear water and soft sand, it’s no wonder that it’s popular among visitors. The beach also is full of resorts, eateries, and shops, making it easy to spend the entire day there.
What to Eat
Keep in mind that many resorts offer meal plans, which is a good option because Bora Bora restaurants are usually expensive as they import lots of ingredients. Seafood is extremely popular in Bora Bora cuisine, so make sure you try some while you’re there.
Poé is a Tahitian fruit pudding that includes banana purée mixed with brown sugar and arrowroot or cornstarch. It’s served cold and cut into cubes and topped with coconut cream. Sometimes papaya, mango, pineapple, or other tropical fruits can be substituted for bananas.
This traditional Tahitian dish is usually part of a barbecue and it’s a chicken based meal with taro leaves or spinach, onions, garlic, and ginger that’s cooked in coconut milk.
This Tahitian national dish is refreshing and sweet. It consists of raw tuna, lime juice, vegetables, and coconut milk.