Bora Bora – these are two magical words that open a gateway to endless adventure and unimaginably beautiful sights. I’ve always found it to be more than a hip tourist destination. Along with Tahiti, it not only offers the best of French Polynesia, it is also one of the prime examples of a tropical paradise and all the amenities that come with it. If you ever decided to escape to Bora Bora, here’s what you need to know to get the best out of your vacation to French Polynesia.
You simply need to go on a safari
Bora Bora is mostly renowned for its seaside. The coastline is truly beautiful but it is unfair how the inland can be neglected by the newcomers. This is why, if this is your first visit, you should go on a safari in a versatile 4WD vehicle. You’ll spend half a day marveling at the incredible greenery and learn about Polynesian culture.
Other than that, you will also probably be surprised to find out there are bunkers, cannons and other leftover items from World War II. As a matter of fact, Bora Bora was a base for the American military forces during the war.
Relish in underwater wonders
The greatest selling point of Bora Bora is, of course, its aquatic activities. And it’s no wonder considering the water itself can reach the heavenly temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius. I swear, the water in this corner of the world is to kill for. Swimming and snorkeling are some of the casual activities you can partake in on daily basis, but it would be really unfortunate to let all the other underwater opportunities slip through.
You can go on an immensely popular Aquasafari – where you won’t get even a single strand of hair on your head wet. All of those who embark on this activity are given a wetsuit and a big square diving helmet that will make you feel as if you were watching professional underwater videos in 4K.
Interact with the aquatic fauna
Furthermore, you can go on an unforgettable Shark & Ray safari, a guided tour with all the safety precautions. You will plunge into the bright, shallow lagoon and be in intimate proximity to both rays and sharks that populate the region. This is a blood-pumping experience if you can get close enough, but don’t worry – the fauna mostly avoids snorkeling daredevils.
Where you stay can make all the difference
It’s not that hard to find luxury locations on such an exclusive and lauded island, however, avoid looking for branded hotel chains and other “everywhere it’s the same” international rent-a-thons. When it comes to accommodation, you will hardly get a better experience than renting a beach bungalow at Le Meridien Bora Bora.
This way, your stay will not be a sterile experience in a decidedly generic hotel. There are no luxuries that can replace the magical experience of sleeping right above the waves of this stunning lagoon and waking up to the gleaming water of the azure shallows that stretch out towards the nearby Turtle Sanctuary and Ecological Centre.
A superb place to kick it with your friends
Sure enough, Bora Bora has everything a family friendly tourist trap needs to have, but if you truly want to realize its full potential, you should organize a trip with your friends. Just trust me on this one. Leave your phones and computers in your rooms and just go on a 24/7 rush of mini-adventures (both in the water and on land) and amazing parties.
After all, considering Bora Bora is very influenced by the French cuisine, you and your friends can spend countless hours trying out every possible restaurant on the island. From the dining tables of Mai Kai Yacht Club to the French cuisine of La Villa Mahana, the food on Bora Bora is sinfully decadent. Bloody Mary’s is both a fantastic restaurant and a popular drinking place and Le Récife Discothèque, Tiki Bar and Hurricane are the nightlife hotspots you should definitely check out.
The awe-inspiring volcanic island that rises out of the endless Pacific and gets lost in the mist of low hanging clouds is the sight you’ll wake up to practically every morning while you stay on Bora Bora. It’s truly a vision that etches into your mind and haunts you, in the most beautiful way, till the end of your days. I consider myself a very lucky person indeed for getting numerous chances to return to this paradise, and if you ever get a chance to visit, you’re bound to yearn for another opportunity to come back and recapture the magic of this Pacific tropicana.