Bora Bora is among the most beautiful islands in the world. With turquoise waters, overwater bungalows and world-class beaches, it’s a castaway’s dream. From world-class diving and snorkelling to the best spots to spend lazy days in the sun, here’s our list of the 10 best things to do in Bora Bora.
1. Mount Otemanu
Rising up at 2,385 feet from the surface of a sparkling turquoise lagoon, Mount Otemanu overlooks this Polynesian island paradise. Gaze at the peak from different angles and notice how much its appearance changes in height and shape.
Chances are, wherever you’re staying, you’ll get a good view of Otemanu, but for the best views, you can do a catamaran tour around the island, or drive to the base of the mountain and hike around.
2. Mount Pahia
Next to Mount Otemanu is Mount Pahia, standing almost as tall as its big brother at 2,159 feet. See this towering volcanic peak of black rock on a circle boat tour and try to figure out what mysteries Pahia holds.
3. Matira Beach
One of the most beautiful beaches in Bora Bora, Matira is a postcard-perfect stretch of white sand fringed with lush palms and bright, tropical greenery. It’s one of the best public beaches in Bora Bora, with a shallow and coral-free lagoon, which is perfect for a long (or medium) walk on the beach.
Watch the sky turn a vibrant shade of orange on Matira Beach, as the day turns to night, and watch the sun set behind the ocean.
4. Paroisse Saint Pierre-Celestin Church
Every Sunday, you can hear the church choir fill the room with hymnal praise at Paroisse Saint Pierre-Celestin, the only Catholic church in Bora Bora. Whether you’re religious or not, the building’s simple design and modest nature are admired by one and all.
Step inside and see the beautiful stained glass, or sit in the sunshine and admire the church and its mountain backdrop setting.
5. Tupitipiti Point
Tupitipiti Point is one of the most famous dive sites in Bora Bora. Known for its purple coral, you can spot sharks, stingrays and technicolour schools of fish passing by in the crystal clear turquoise waters.
Brewed in Tahiti, Hinano is the local beer on tap in Bora Bora. A golden lager with a malty flavour and distinct bitterness, Hinano is crafted in the Punaruu Valley. Best enjoyed on a lazy afternoon in the sun.
7. Muri Muri (White Valley)
With rich coral formations, sandy dunes, crystal clear waters and incredible marine life, Muri Muri is one of the islands’ best dive sites. Dive, snorkel or swim and spot schools of parrotfish, Moorish idols, blue squirrel fish, soldier fish, and grey reef sharks.
8. Vaitape town
For a feel of the local life, Vaitape is the place to be. It’s the main entry point on the island and the biggest city in Bora Bora with a population of about 4,927, which is about half the total population of the island. Mingle with the locals, check out the market stalls, and stop for lunch at one of the eateries.
9. Polynesian tattoos
The word ‘tattoo’ is derived from the Tahitian word ‘tatou,’ a Polynesian tradition that dates back hundreds of years. Warriors from Tonga and Samoa were tattooed from the waist to the knees with geometrical patterns. For the people of Tonga, tattoos carried profound and cultural significance. In ancient Samoa, tattoos played an important role in religious rituals and warfare. Tattoos were believed to unite Earth with the spiritual world. If you’re considering getting a Polynesian tattoo in Bora Bora, be sure to find an artist with whom you can discuss your life and aspirations for your own profound (and very permanent) connection with this island. Both traditional stick-and-poke tattoos (tattoos applied with a handmade bamboo tattoo tool) and modern tattoo machine options are available.
Tupai is a heart-shaped island just north of Bora Bora and a marvel to see from above in a helicopter or private plane. Make this heart your home for a while on a walking tour of the island, where you can strut around like you own the place while you sip on champagne.
One of the most breathtaking island escapes in the world, Bora Bora is the ultimate in barefoot luxury. Find out more about Bora Bora holidays from our Expert Travellers.