The Ultimate Bora Bora Travel Guide
Planning on going on a relaxing and memorable vacation in Bora Bora? Whether you’re seeking the holiday of a lifetime or honeymooning, we got a plethora of tip-offs and information to ensure a Bora Bora trip that’s incredibly awesome and unforgettable. Check them out!
And, by the way, you obviously need to pack some trendy swimwear for your Bora Bora trip. Remember, it's a tropical haven with tons of sunshine, sand and salt water. I buy my trendy and eye-catching swimwear at this shop.
About Bora Bora
Bora Bora is a supremely picturesque island in French Polynesia’s Society Islands archipelago. Although it is rather small (just 12 square miles), Bora Bora is major international tourist destination that beckons throngs of visitors every year, including famous celebrities like Jennifer Aniston Chelsea Handler and Nicole Kidman. Famed for its romantic ambiance and dreamlike setting, this Polynesian island is well-known all over the world for its high-class resorts, over-the-water bungalows, and tropical climate.
Why visit Bora Bora?
French Polynesia is made up of 118 islands wonderfully scattered like jewels across a staggering vast area of 2 million square miles. Of these tropical islands, Bora Bora is truly the most romantic, and arguably the most beautiful. Billed as the world’s ultimate honeymoon destination, Bora Bora overflows with mesmerizing natural beauty as well as offers indulgent delights to romantic couples and weary single travelers alike.
An unadulterated tropical paradise, this French Polynesian island is laced with cotton-wool soft, white beaches as well as crystal clear blue-green waters that lap gently its sand shores. Dormant volcanoes and lush green hills rise up above this majestic hub, dotted with luxury hotels and little white villas that peek out from the green leaves. Ranked as one of the world’s most beautiful places, Bora Bora also has fine dining restaurants, high-end boutiques, open air markets, local crafts, art galleries as well as traditional dances and songs.
Bora Bora holds such beauty and mystery that for many folks, it remains a dream. As a matter of fact, it is so beautiful that James Michener – the author of “Tales of the South Pacific” – dubbed it as the “world’s most beautiful island”. The legendary 18th-century explorer James Cook also coined the island as “the pearl of the Pacific”. Epitomizing a tropical getaway, this blissful destination abounds with deluxe resorts, friendly locals, warm waters and sunny skies.
Tahitian and French are the main languages spoken by the people on this Polynesian island. Most locals that inter-act with tourists, however, can understand and speak English. Most visitors that come to the island are Europeans, Japanese and Americans.
By the way, here are few important words in the local language that may come in handy during your Bora Bora vacation.
- Poipoi – Morning
- Iti – Small
- Nui – Big
- Ma’ohi – Polynesian
- Hoa – Friend
- Tamarii – Child
- Vahine – Woman
- Tane – Man
- Aita – No
- E- Yes
- Nana – Goodbye
- Ia Oran a – Hello
Do I need a visa to enter Bora Bora?
Citizens of the European Union – Norway, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Andorra – will only need a valid passport to enter the island. Additionally, they are not required to secure a visa for a stay in French Polynesia of any length.
Swiss nationals are visa-exempt only in French Polynesia, for a stay up to 90 days. Likewise, they are not required to obtain a visa for a stay that exceeds 90 days.
Nationals of the countries listed below don’t require a visa for a stay up to 90 days:
|Antigua and Barbuda||Costa Rica||Marshall Islands||Paraguay||Switzerland|
|Argentina||Croatia||Mauritius||Saint Kitts and Nevis||Taiwan|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||Israel||New Zealand||Seychelles||Uruguay|
People who have Macau SAR, Hong Kong SAR and British National (Overseas) passports can stay in French Polynesia up to 90 days.
For more information regarding passport and visa requirements, contact the French embassy.
Other things to keep in mind
Currency – The island’s official currency is CPF (French Pacific fran). 1 USD is equivalent approximately to 108 CPF. To get real-time currency exchange rates, I suggest that you visit Mataf.
Bora Bora weather – Temperatures on the island are pretty stable year-round, with highs that reach up to mid-80s °F and lows that average in the mid-70s °F. Rainfall is fairly common during the months of summer, from November to April, which may come with high humidity as well.
How to get to Bora Bora
Wondering how to get to Bora Bora? To get to this pristine island, first you need to fly to Tahiti. For the most part, flights to Tahiti from Sydney or Los Angeles will take around 8 hours. Also, flights to Tahiti are often full, so it’s a good idea to make an early reservation. For more information about flights to Tahiti, make sure to check out Bora Bora Island Guide.
Once there, you need to take a 45-minute flight to Bora Bora.
Getting around the island
Le Truck – the island’s local bus system – is quite frankly a little unreliable. Still, it is one of the most affordable ways to get around Bora Bora.
Water taxis and taxis can practically take you almost anywhere in Bora Bora. Unfortunately, rates for these rides are quite expensive. As a matter of fact, a 10-minute taxi ride will cost at least 1,817 CPF. Water taxis, meanwhile are around 5 times more expensive than regular taxis. A two-passenger trip can cost you 8,500 CPC on this Polynesian island.
The humble two-wheeler is by far the best means of transportation in Bora Bora, especially when you consider that the whole island takes only 4 hours to travel. For 15 USD, you can rent a bike, and use it to travel around the island. As an added plus, biking lets you travel around this tropical haven at your own pace.
There are a few car rental companies on this island, including Fare Piti Rent-a-Car, Bora Bora Tours, Avis and Europcar. For those who prefer scooters over cars, you can rent a moped too from Fare Piti Rent-a-Car. You can rent a car at the airport or at select resorts like Hotel InterContinental Le Moana and Club Med throughout the island.
Things to do in Bora Bora
While most people think of this island as a simple sunny paradise, there’s more to do in Bora Bora than just soaking up the sun. With its exotic overwater accommodations, emerald green mountain peaks, and breathtaking lagoon, Bora Bora offers a myriad of exciting and unique diversions that promise to amaze even the most discriminating travelers. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or a shopaholic, you will find something to enjoy on this Polynesian nirvana.
As gorgeous as the island is by day, it is even more impressive and awe-inspiring at night. When the sun sets in Bora Bora, you will notice how the stars shine brightly in the sky, just like a bunch of glittering diamonds in utter darkness. Grab an astrology map, and find out how many constellations you can spot.
Stingray and shark feeding
Go on guided tour of the pristine lagoon of Bora Bora, where you will get a chance to feed sharks and stingrays. Afterwards, the boat will exit the lagoon, and take you to the ocean, where you may swim with a bunch of Lemon Sharks.
Snorkeling in the Coral gardens
The Coral Gardens are hands down an awesome place to do some snorkeling. A guided snorkeling tour in this part of the island will take you to the top places to wet your flippers as well as some striking fish. And if you are lucky, you may catch sight of a moray eel.
Snorkeling under the bungalow
You don’t have to go far to enjoy a fascinating snorkeling escapade on this island. Just ask the pool boy of your resort for a pair of flippers and a set of equipment. They are complimentary at the Hilton, Four Seasons and Saint Regis.
Climb Mount Otemanu – the highest mountain in Bora Bora – and see the extraordinary beauty of the island from the top.
Need a break from the island’s glorious beaches? Then, explore the island through a customizable 4×4 jeep tour. Not only will it let you discover the island’s crannies and books, but it will also allow you to learn more about its legends as well as its cultural and historical aspects. Whether you’re a looking for thrilling bumpy adventure or a relaxing ride, there are 4×4 tours that appeal to all types of travelers.
Enjoy Bora Bora’s lovely waters in a different fashion by taking a boat tour, whether it’s on a sailboat, glass-bottom boat or sailboat.
Enjoy local food
Fond of seafood? The poisson cru – a raw mahi-mahi or tuna bathed in coconut milk and lime juice – is a must for any foodie visiting this island.
Try their miracle oil
Pick up a bottle of monoi – an all-purpose oil made from tiare blossoms and coconut. It can be used as a moisturized, a salve for insect bites, and a hair conditioner.
Are you an adrenaline junkie who’s looking for a heart-pumping experience during your Bora Bora island holiday? Experience the ultimate thrill on the island by going on a parasailing trip. Not only will give you a mind-blowing escapade, but it will also give a fabulous bird’s eye view of the Mount Otemanu, the outlying islands and the supremely beautiful lagoons.
Sunset gazing with your loved one at the beach
The sunset views in Bora Bora are nothing short of spectacular. As far as I’m concerned, it is one of the best places on the face of the earth to watch the sun set.
Think the island is beautiful on land? Trust me, you’ll be stunned by its exquisite beauty in the air.
Looking for romantic things to do in Bora Bora? Sip some delicious champagne, and watch the sun fade into the horizon of one of the most famous lagoon in the world.
Additional travel planning tips
The average room rate for an overwater bungalow on this island is close to 1,000 USD a night. You can, however, get lower rates, if you visit it during it between December and March.
Bring your own drinks
Pack a lot of sunscreen and alcohol before leaving for the island. There are plenty of shops here that sell drinks and basic necessities like bug spray and sunscreen at extremely high prices, meaning you need to pack these things in surplus.
Be prepared to disconnect from the digital world
Even the most deluxe accommodations don’t guarantee a stable WiFi access. Instead of getting irritated, embrace to be free from a multitude of digital distractions for a few days. You are going to be amazed how much focused you are on the glorious surroundings, when are not trying desperately to post a sun-drenched photo or selfie on Instagram.
Drink tap water
You don’t have to spend dozens of CPF bills on bottled water, while in Bora Bora. Tap water, throughout French Polynesia’s developed islands, is perfectly safe to drink.
Pack a good pair of water shoes
French Polynesia is truly a paradise for snorkelers. Most resorts on the island have an activity desk, wherein you can borrow both flippers and snorkels. Water shows, though, are only available at gift shops, and everyone knows that gift shop merchandise does not come cheap. Though it’s not essential, these shoes will come in handy, if you are planning an excursion on a smaller and more secluded island.
Hop on a Pacific Ocean Cruise
There are tons of cruise lines that stop at Bora Bora, allowing you to get taste of the luxurious life, without spending a fortune.
Recommended places to stay in Bora Bora
- Bora Bora Eden Beach Hotel
- Bora Bora Beach
- Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach and Private Island
- InterContinental LE MOANA BORA BORA
- InterContinental BORA BORA RESORT &THALASSO SPA
- Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa
- The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort
- Le Meridien Bora Bora
- Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa
- Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora
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Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips & Tricks
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