Bora Bora is a tiny island located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It is one of 118 islands and atolls of the Society Islands of French Polynesia. The original name of Bora Bora was “Pora pora mai te pora” which means “created by the gods”…today it is also known as “The Pearl of the Pacific”. This is indeed one of the most enchanting, serene and unbelievable places we have ever visited. From the beautiful white sand beaches to the majestic view of Mount Otemanu, it has been the one place that we can’t get enough of.
We took the 8-hour red-eye flight from Los Angeles, to Papeete, Tahiti on Air Tahiti Nui and then a 1-hour domestic flight from Tahiti to Bora Bora on Air Tahiti.
The only way from the airport to any of the resorts is by boat, so we had no choice, but to sit back and enjoy the ride.
Once at the Four Seasons, it was still bright and early at only 9 am, so what is there to do on a tropical island at this time of the morning? Well, we decided to go with some cocktails on the beach….cheers!!!
We had the entire beach to ourselves, not a soul around…not many places in the world allow for this type of privacy.
Eventually, we made our way to the our overwater bungalow and once again we were left speechless. We had seen pictures before of overwater bungalows, even stayed in one, but the overwater bungalows at the Four Seasons were the absolute best we had ever seen. Each one is spacious and has a breathtaking view! The outdoor deck allows for easy access to the water for swimming or just lounge around and read a book! As a matter of fact, you can spend your entire vacation not leaving the room…just order room service, relax and bask in the views and sunshine!
This is probably the reason why many people don’t go to the beach or stay at the pool. Why would you leave a place like that? And let’s suppose you got really bored and you wanted to leave the resort…there is plenty to do around the island. Here is a list of 15 things to see and do while in Bora Bora:
1. Swim with the sharks (Yes, really! No kidding!) They are real and we were advised to try not to kick them while swimming. Other than that, our only hope was that we were not the first group for the day visiting them. We figured, if they were hungry, they would have eaten someone from the previous group! Good luck!
2. Feed the Stingrays (they are a little slimy and try not step on their tail). We were more afraid of the stingrays because they came right by our feet. They swim around and unexpectedly came in close contact with us. We were in waist deep water and they would came up right up to us to get their fish when.Huge creatures!
3. Go on a romantic couple’s boat tour. This is a full day tour of the island followed by an amazing beach barbeque on a private beach, drinks and stunning views. Such a wonderful way to experience another side of the island.
4. Barbecue on the beach… you can’t leave Bora Bora without having some beach barbeque. Seafood, meat or vegetables…it doesn’t matter, it is all delicious!
5. Jet ski around the entire island (and even if you fall in the water, who cares? Look at it!). Given the size of the island, you can jet ski around the entire island in a couple of hours. On the way, we made a pit stop for lunch at a local restaurant before circling all the way around the lagoon. This was a fantastic experience!
6. Learn how to paint or color a pareo ( a traditional Polynesian wraparound skirt). The locals use paints derived from local plants and use the plant leaves as stencils to make some colorful and quite stunning designs on their local pareo. They are available to purchase along with some local jewelry. Quite a fascinating process and worth seeing!
7. Learn how to open a coconut and the many different ways to enjoy the coconut water and meat. Apparently, opening a coconut is not just a skill, but also a science. Have the locals demonstrate to you how to do it right and taste the fresh coconut water. The taste is amazing! Your favorite store-bought coconut water may become just a little less favorite after you taste the real deal.
8. Learn how to play Javelin…the local competitive game requires you to throw a handmade wooden javelin from a predetermined line at a coconut situated at between 22 feet & 31 feet (7 m & 9.5 m) ( above ground-level atop a pole) Good Luck! We tried and it was not easy.
9. Circle the island on 4-wheelers and other interesting vehicles. You can rent the 4-wheelers or you can hire a truck to take you around the island. This way you can explore the slopes of Mount Otemanu and the stunning vistas around every corner. Just when you thought you had seen the best of Bora Bora, you get surprised by yet another iconic view.
10. Visit some of the islands spectacular vista points (…and they will take your breath away). For the small size of this island it certainly offers countless amazing views, each more beautiful than the previous. Every angle of this island is unique, dazzling and simply astounding. We never got tired of seeing yet another incredible perspective of Bora Bora.
11. Visit Bloody Mary’s. A Bora Bora staple since the 1970s, this bar and restaurant is a must visit. Just keep in mind when going there, don’t go for the food (honestly, it’s just OK), go for the experience. Write your name on a dollar bill and staple it to the wall, get a drink at the bar and enjoy the moment…and don’t forget to get a t-shirt! This is a must in order to blend in with all the tourists returning from Bora Bora 🙂
12. Ride around in a canoe. The traditional way of getting around the island is by canoe, so while there don’t miss out on the opportunity. Experience the beauty of the lagoon front and center from your own VIP seat.
13. Simply hang out at the spa. You don’t even have to get a treatment or a massage. Simply show up, change into your swimsuit and indulge your visual senses. The Four Seasons has brought a slice of heaven right down to Earth. Magnificent!
14. Witness a spectacular sunset. Of course, you never know whether the sunset will be colorful and dreamy, but chances are it will. Try to go for a walk during sunset time, you may just be surprised with one the most amazing natural occurrences there is.
15. Get married on the beach (a dream come true for us). You have probably seen the wedding-on-the beach photos online or in magazines and you may think to yourself, they are all staged and Photoshopped. The truth is, they most likely are not. It is really that incredible of a place. Our beach wedding was more magical than we could have ever dreamt. Share the special moment with your friends and/or family or just the two of you…either way, in that moment time stands still and the feeling of being there on that most beautiful beach in the world celebrating love, will remain forever engraved in your mind.
Looking through the pictures, we still feel that they don’t do the island justice. Beauty such as Bora Bora’s needs to be experienced. It is hard to describe the sound of the soothing water, the tropical aroma in the air and the kindness of the locals. If you have a bucket list, add it to the list. If you don’t have one…consider starting with Bora Bora.