Ah, Bora Bora. The stuff of dreams. As you arrive by plane, the view says it all. How not to be mesmerised by this stunning palette of sapphire, indigo and turquoise, all mixed together in modern-art abstractions? And these sand-edged motu (islets) and soaring rainforest-covered basaltic peaks? With such a dreamlike setting, Bora Bora is, unsurprisingly, a honeymooners’ choice. But there’s much more to do than clink glasses with your loved one in a luxurious hotel. The good thing is that you can mix slow-paced sun-and-sand holidays with action-packed adventures. Diving, snorkelling, lagoon tours, hiking and parasailing are readily available. What you shouldn’t expect, though, is a thriving nightlife. Bora Bora is a quiet island. And this dream destination is much more accessible than you think. As well as five-star resorts, a handful of low-key midrange hotels beckon.
Discover some of the most unique and fulfilling experiences your next destination has to offer.
Tips & Travel trends to help you pick the perfect time to visit this destination.
Browse the various transportation options to make your trip that much easier when you arrive.
Ways to maximize the fun without spending a dime on your next great adventure.
These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Bora Bora.
The island’s main settlement, Vaitape is not the most evocative town, but it's a great place to do a bit of shopping, take care of banking needs and just get a feel for the way locals really live.
Faanui Bay was the site of the US military base during WWII. At the southwestern end of the bay, a steep and often muddy track climbs up to an old WWII radar station atop a ridge complete with two giant defence guns that were installed by the US troops. There are stupendous views of the lagoon and the motu. These vestiges are difficult to find (no sign), so it's not a bad idea to join an island tour.
Up a small hill on the eastern coast, a track peels off to the east and leads to two massive WWII coastal guns and a concrete bunker that were left by the US troops. The walking trail along the ridge starts behind the first house (where you'll pay the entrance fee), at the sharp bend in the road. From the site there are fine views out over the lagoon to the motu.
There are only a handful of marae (traditional temple) ruins on Bora Bora, including Marae Fare-Opu, which is squeezed between the roadside and the water’s edge. Two of the slabs are clearly marked with the turtle petroglyphs seen incised in stones at numerous other sites in the Society Islands.
Bora Bora’s only real beach, this stunning stretch of snow-white sand and pinch-me-I’m-dreaming turquoise sea is perfect for sunbathing and swimming (but less so for snorkelling). Matira Beach graces both sides of Matira Point, a narrow peninsula that extends south into the lagoon.
Coming from Faanui Bay, continue until you reach the quay of the Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa on your left. Walk for another 50m and you'll see a steep track on your right. It climbs up to two WWII coastal defence guns, one of which is very well preserved.
The small, private Musée de la Marine has a collection of model ships made by architect Bertrand Darasse. The opening hours are fairly haphazard, so you might like to call ahead.
An idyllic spot blessed with a lovely strip of sand and superb coral gardens just offshore. It's privately owned, so you'll need permission to get there.
A lovely stretch of white sand beach lapped by azure waters.