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.

Vaitape is at its liveliest on Sunday morning, when numerous food stalls selling such delicacies as pahua taioro (clams marinated in coconut seawater sauce) and firifiri (doughnuts) take position along the main road.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Bora Bora attractions

1. Coastal Defence Guns

0.86 MILES

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…

2. Marae Fare-Opu

1.81 MILES

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…

3. Matira Beach

2.23 MILES

A lovely stretch of white sand lapped by azure waters.

4. Coastal Defence Guns

2.23 MILES

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…

5. Matira Beach

2.31 MILES

A lovely stretch of white sand beach lapped by azure waters.

6. Matira Beach

2.49 MILES

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…

7. Coastal Defence Guns


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…

8. Motu Fanfan

4.01 MILES

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.