Introducing Bora Bora
Bora Bora will seduce you into buying the Cadillac of paradises, the one loaded with all the luxury trappings you know you don't need but just can't live without. Legendary not only for its lush beauty but also its hedonistic decadence, this island is a fairy-tale creation of jagged volcanic peaks juxtaposed against crystal-clear aqua lagoons. One of the world's most famous dream destinations, Bora Bora lures honeymooners, heiresses and movie stars by the plane load with a potent potion of ostentatiously hip, oh-so-romantic, slightly naughty exotica. A wicked seductress, this island tempts with a Pandora's box of guilty pleasures: but you'll have to decide if they're worth the hefty price attached.
There's no doubt Bora Bora is overpriced - both top-end and basic accommodation cost more here than anywhere else in French Polynesia, and some say this is one paradise not worth purchasing, that it's overpriced, overdeveloped and overhyped. Others argue that the island James Cook baptised as the 'pearl of the Pacific' is worth every penny of the très cher entrance fee. If you're looking to seriously indulge, Bora Bora has plenty of five-star resorts to pamper your every whim - the kinds of places where the glass-floored bungalows hover over turquoise seas, dinner is a multicourse candle-lit affair and breakfast is served from an outrigger canoe. If money's any object, Bora Bora has plenty of quaint family pensions (guesthouses), often situated on some of the best real estate, in which to rest your head.
Best places to stay in Bora Bora
How to choose a South Pacific island
The South Pacific confounds even the savviest map buffs with its splatter of dots spread across the world's biggest ocean. What you can't tell from a map, or even most tourist brochures is that these palm-laden pinpricks are as diverse as the region is vast.
Bora Bora destination guides
Bora Bora beyond the beach
Bora Bora is world-famous for its glinting turquoise lagoon, dazzlingly white sandy stretches of beach and luxurious resorts. With such a dreamlike setting, this magical island is, unsurprisingly, a great spot to decompress. But there’s much more to do than simply sipping a cocktail on your chaise.
Bora Bora Snorkel, Shark and Ray Feeding Excursion
Experience the thrill of watching the reef sharks and rays being fed by hand. Board a motorized outrigger canoe, and depart for a memorable experience in the blue lagoon of Bora Bora. Encounter Black Tip Reef Sharks and discover the wonders of the underwater world of the "Lagoon of Bora Bora" by snorkeling near the barrier reef.
Top 5 tropical islands
Coconut palms and aquamarine waters are only the beginning – Lonely Planet Traveller magazine takes you to five very different island escapes, from diving adventures to luxury on a lagoon.