(Tahiti) – Bora Bora Island - Pearl of the Pacific

Emerging from the ocean about 3 million years ago, Bora Bora means “first born”in Tahitian. This mythical island, once known as “Mai te pora” (created by gods), was the first earth to come out of the waters after Raiatea and was ruled by women for a long time.

(Tahiti) – Bora Bora Island - Pearl of the Pacific
(Tahiti) – Bora Bora Island - Pearl of the Pacific

“The Pearl of the Pacific”, as Captain Cook baptised her bears the magic of the most beautiful Polynesian islands. This ancient stretched volcano shows its two peaks, Mounts Pahia and Otemanu, whose green colors stand out against the jade, turquoise and sapphire shades of the lagoon.

Known to be the most beautiful in the world, the lagoon, linked to the ocean by the Teavanui pass, is a natural swimming pool which offers a large variety of aquatic activities such as diving, sailing, jet skiing, snorkelling or even cruising on glass bottomed canoes.

Bora Bora is the ideal place for enjoying aquatic activities as well as sunbathing on the white sand beaches of Matira Point or on the motus (islets) scattered in the warm crystal-clear waters.

One can also take unforgettable walks on those motus, especially on “Motu Tapu”, where visitors will enjoy the forbidden pleasures of an islet formerly reserved for kings.

Bora Bora displays one aspect pf the traditional way of life in the Polynesian architecture of her luxurious hotels (the famous overwater bungalows). It is also the final stage of the most important canoe race of the South Pacific: The Hawaiki Nui Va’a.

The lagoon in all its splendor: a volcano located in one of the most beautiful lagoons in the world surrounded by translucent water and fringed with idyllic motus.

(Tahiti) – Bora Bora Island - Pearl of the Pacific
(Tahiti) – Bora Bora Island - Pearl of the Pacific

Perfect for island romance and a special destination for honeymoon couples, Bora Bora enjoys a varied hotel infrastructure from grand luxury to the small family boarding houses all perfectly merging with the magic of the exceptional natural beauty of the island.

The unique over-water bungalow experience should not be missed: designed in pure Polynesian style, it offers an outstanding level of comfort in a most picturesque setting. Look through the turquoise waters of the lagoon to the bottom through a glass floor in your room. Wake up to the special treat of enjoying breakfast delivered to you by canoe.

(Tahiti) – Bora Bora Island - Pearl of the Pacific
(Tahiti) – Bora Bora Island - Pearl of the Pacific

The underwater world of Bora Bora will satisfy even the most demanding diver: the manta ray’s ballet; majestic sharks; encounters with the gentle napoleons; and the multitude of multicolored fish. Beginner and advanced divers alike will don flippers and mask to join them in their amazing underwater world.

A broad range of land and water sports activities offered by the island’s hotels or private providers: helicopter tours; hiking or outings in 4x4 to the interior of the island; horseback riding; parasailing; lagoon rides in glass-bottomed boats or outboard canoes; sailing on standard or luxury yachts; deep-sea fishing; picnics on a motu; feeding the rays and sharks. These are only some of the activities to be enjoyed.

(Tahiti) – Bora Bora Island - Pearl of the Pacific
(Tahiti) – Bora Bora Island - Pearl of the Pacific

Getting to and around Bora Bora

Bora Bora is within the same island chain as Tahiti and Moorea and is easily reached with regular flights.

Bora Bora is served by Air Tahiti with frequent 45-minute flights from Papeete and Moorea, and 20-minute flights from Huahine and Raiatea. Air Tahiti also has regular flights to the Tuamotu Atolls and a weekly flight to the Marquesas.

The airport, built on a beautiful motu, is accessible only by a short ferry ride to the port village of Vaitape. Resort transport is either by private motorboats from the airport operated by some of the luxury resorts or by shuttle from Vaitape. Also, helicopter transfer is available from Bora Bora airport for reserved guests of Le Taha'a Island Resort and Spa.

(Tahiti) – Bora Bora Island - Pearl of the Pacific
(Tahiti) – Bora Bora Island - Pearl of the Pacific

Transport to your resort should be arranged in advance.

Bora Bora has few taxis and operates the public transit systems, Le Truck. In the evenings, some restaurants provide transportation to and from your resort. The roads can be explored through hired excursion or rental car while the lagoon can be navigated by motorboat and outrigger canoe. Helicopters can also be hired for island tours.

Dining on Bora Bora

The resort and island restaurants on Bora Bora are as famous as the island itself.

Each of the resort and hotel restaurants offers world-class dining with magnificent lagoon views, while regular after-dinner Polynesian shows feature the island's best musicians and dancers.

Resort and hotel restaurants include:

Top restaurant: Jean Georges at St Regis Resort
Also available: Noa Noa at InterContinental Le Moana Resort; the panoramic Iriatai at Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa; Le Tipanie at Le Méridien; Tevairoa at Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort and Spa; Haere Mai at Le Maitai Polynesia; Le Reef at InterContinental Bora Bora Resort and Thalasso Spa; Manu Tuki at Sofitel Motu Bora Bora; Latitude 60 and La Sakura at Sofitel Bora Bora Beach Resort.

(Tahiti) - Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort Bungalow
(Tahiti) - Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort Bungalow

Other enjoyable restaurants include:

The famous Villa Mahana specializes in Mediterranean (free pickup), and La Bounty serves up the island's best pizza. Temanuata is famous for fresh tuna and Matira Bar for duck.

For the visitor, the majesty of Bora Bora offers:

- Enchantment from the neon-lit turquoise lagoon waters with unending days of exploration through snorkeling and diving.

- Excitement above the lagoon by outrigger canoe, Boston Whaler, wave runner, jetski, and dramatic sunset cruises aboard a catamaran sailboat.

- Exploration of the panoramic overlooks found by hike or 4x4 accompanied by entertaining local guides.

- Discovery of the world-renowned shopping for local and international original art, Tahitian pearls, and precious wood handcrafts.

- Romance in the natural ambience of the legendary resorts with their choice of Polynesian spas, gourmet restaurants, overwater bungalows, villas, and suites.

(Tahitti) - Bora Bora Island - Maohi Protestant Church on  Anau
(Tahitti) - Bora Bora Island - Maohi Protestant Church on  Anau

Some of the most popular activities and sites for visitors include

Lagoon Exploration

There are so many activities in the world's most famous lagoon that some visitors never leave the water! The shallow and clear waters allow for snorkeling from you bungalow or off the beaches anywhere around the island. Another way to see the vivid coral and schools of tropical fish is a glass bottom boat. For a faster pace, explore the entire lagoon by rented motorboat or jetski where you and a guide can skim around the island, hopping off at beaches or a tiny motu along the way for a picnic.

Breakfast by Canoe

Start each day with an unforgettable breakfast brought to the private balcony of your overwater bungalow or villa by outrigger canoe. Often bedecked in flowers, the canoe carries Polynesian staff serving fresh fruits, pastries, and juices while the surrounding waters begin welcoming the rising South Pacific sun. Canoe breakfasts are also available at many of the resorts throughout all the islands and can be reserved before you travel by your travel arranger or scheduled with the concierge on your arrival.

(Tahiti) – Bora Bora Island map
(Tahiti) – Bora Bora Island map

4x4 Excursions

Even though Bora Bora is small, the adventures along the interior roads are huge. These overgrown forest roads wind high above the lagoon to panoramic stops that can only be described as breathtaking. The island's role during World War II is expertly told as you visit large U.S. Naval guns left behind in 1945.

Shark and Ray Feeding

Although the idea of feeding sharks may sound somewhat ominous, it is now one of the most popular excursions in the South Pacific. Originated on Bora Bora, your close encounter begins after you don a snorkeling mask and float in the shallow lagoon waters behind a secure rope. Docile sharks arrive in schools and are hand-fed by your guide just a few feet away. Later in the same tour, you'll stand in shallow waters as graceful rays circle the group with ballet-like movements.


Bora Bora's lagoon is a very popular anchorage for both round-the-world and avid vacation sailors. If chartering your own sailboat in Raiatea, Tahiti, or Moorea, the deep, wide pass and calm lagoon is a natural stop. You can also rent a Hobie Cat in Bora Bora or take a half-day or sunset cruise around the lagoon on a giant catamaran, complete with music.


Because of the abundance of large marine life, diving within the waters of the most beautiful lagoon in the world is on many diver's "must do" list. During the dives, it is common to be joined by legions of gigantic manta rays gliding gracefully within arm's reach while schools of reef sharks parade by.

Shopping and Dining

Bora Bora is world famous for the surprising number of unique and high-end boutiques and for the quality of dozens of fine restaurants with international cuisine.

Motu Tapu

The ultimate private island escape, Motu Tapu is the most photographed isle in the South Pacific. This tiny motu, just a few hundred yards from the main island, is best described as the world's most perfect place to relax. Motu Tapu is reserved for guests of select resorts and groups with invitations.

(Tahiti) – Bora Bora Island - Pearl of the Pacific
(Tahiti) – Bora Bora Island - Pearl of the Pacific

Other activities and sites on Bora Bora include

- Matira Beach, one of the world's most famous beaches
- Bloody Mary's restaurant
- Parasailing for one or two
- Boston Whaler motorboat tours
- Guided hikes to Mount Pahia and Mount Otemanu
- Sunset cruise complete with singers and dancers
- Exploring the ancient marae temples along the coast
- Horseback riding

- The Lagoonarium
- Discovering World War II relics

Romance on Bora Bora

Truly, the most romantic island in the world.

From the dramatic scenery to the privacy and amenities of the overwater bungalows, everything in Bora Bora equals a 10 on the romance scale.

Resorts have been welcoming couples for over 40 years and their special amenities have been fine tuned to perfection. From sunrise to sunset, each resort has designed their own blend of unique romantic experiences for their guests to choose from.

(Tahiti) – Bora Bora Island - Pearl of the Pacific
(Tahiti) – Bora Bora Island - Pearl of the Pacific

Romantic highlights include:

- Breakfast brought to your overwater bungalow's private balcony by an outrigger canoe regaled in flowers.
- Gourmet picnic lunches enjoyed from a private beach on a motu.
- Sunset sails aboard a private catamaran including four-course dinner and the sounds and emotions of live Polynesian music and dancers.
- Sharing a lagoon-view table at one of the many fine restaurants.
- Polynesian wedding ceremonies from simple to royal. Ceremonies can be at the resorts, onboard a catamaran at sunset, or on a private beach at sunset complete with musicians and dancers.
(Easy Tahiti)