If you are heading to French Polynesia, you may love to learn about unique things to do in Bora Bora Island. In reality, that region is one of the most beautiful places on Earth, with its sandy beaches, exotic scenery, and stunning waterfalls.
Bora Bora is one of 118 French Polynesian islands (Leeward Islands), commonly famous as the Pearl of the Pacific. The country comprises a central island surrounded by two smaller islands, Motu Mute and Motu Tane.
Bora Bora is an island filled with beautiful beaches, adventure, and marine life (I list 10+6). So, to make your trip more exciting, keep reading important information about this attractive touristic destination.
Essential facts about Bora Bora Island
Small and quiet, Bora Bora is a tropical island two hours away from Tahiti. The total area is 118 square miles, and the country comprises three islands, including the mainland and two islets (Motu Tane & Motu Mute). Although the island has only 11,000 residents, it is full of life and activities.
As one of France’s five Polynesian islands (collectively called the Society Islands), the official currency on Bora Bora is CFP (French Pacific franc). Despite, islanders accept US dollars or Euros, and there are plenty of ATMs. Moreover, the main languages are Tahitian and French, but English is used frequently throughout the island.
Exciting things to do in Bora Bora
01: See the Beach Shaped Like a Woman
The Bora Bora beach is aptly named as it is shaped like a woman, but locals call it Vaitape Beach. This pristine 1.5 mile-long stretch of the white sand beach leads up to Mount Otemanu and Mount Pahia.
The water in front of Mt. Pahia is known for its powerful swells, attracting surfers worldwide. Unlike many other tropical beaches, there are few vendors along Bora Bora’s most famous beach, although you can buy snacks and souvenirs at restaurants along its length.
02: Snorkeling at Matira Beach
Snorkeling off Matira Beach should be at least second on your list of things to do in Bora Bora Island. Even though it is in a lagoon, you can still see colorful fish like butterflyfish, parrotfish, and angelfish. Check out spots where they congregate by standing on your tiptoes.
In reality, there is nothing better than snorkeling, right, and an underwater adventure that will have you coming back for more. So hop onto a boat or kayak, grab some snorkel gear, and head towards Matira Beach or Motu Piha during low tide.
Anyone who can splash around in the water will love taking a dip through warm coral reefs or swimming alongside tropical fish on your trip.
03: Zip-line ride over the ocean
The island has a reputation for its amazing views, but its Zip-line ride over the ocean in Bora Bora is undoubtedly one of them. This 9,000-foot ride over the beautiful Teavanu Lagoon lasts only 20 minutes, but it feels like you’re flying through space.
It is probably best to fear heights because you will have a zip line right over crashing waves and out into the open air above. In terms of zip-line rides over the ocean, Bora Bora ranks as one of the highest in Hawaii. But a zip-line ride is an exhilarating experience.
04: Scuba diving among the coral reefs
Scuba diving is possible in the crystal clear waters of the lagoon. The island’s surrounding waters make it a favorite destination for diving enthusiasts worldwide. The right gear is an excellent way to get close to the coral reefs while scuba diving.
There are beginner-friendly dive sites around Motu Tehotu and Le Peuce Island. Furthermore, famous areas in the north and south are Tiputa Pass and Matira Point.
If you want to explore ancient lava tubes and shipwrecks, Tapuika Point is a top pick. Advanced divers will enjoy exploring underwater caverns filled with colorful coral.
You might even see sharks and manta rays cruising through these depths. There are so many great dive sites in Bora Bora that it’s hard to decide where you should go first.
Also Read: Best Islands to Visit in the Caribbean
05: Hiking around Mount Otemanu
Discovering hiking trails is one of the top things to do in Bora Bora Island, and Mount Otemanu is a great place to start. The highest point on Bora Bora, Mount Otemanu, has a small shrine near its peak and offers views of Moorea and Tahiti at sunset.
So, Vaitape in Le Havaiki Resort or Maeva Beach Bungalows is the best place overlooks Mount Otemanu. However, it takes about 2 hours (each way) walking on a wide gravel trail through a tropical jungle with mountain streams flowing beside you all along.
Locals sometimes get their water supply from these streams. Similarly, you go hiking through bamboo forests and see wild orchids grow alongside mango trees, cinnamon trees, etc.
06: Kayaking around Mount Pahia
Kayaking around Mount Pahia in Bora Bora Island is one of a kind. Mount Pahia rises from the middle of a lagoon, and you’ll be able to spot beautiful fish, coral reefs, seabirds, and more.
On sunny days, Mount Pahia can make for some tremendous sunbathing too. If you prefer not to kayak out into open water, opt for inner tubing behind an ATV instead. This tour gets speedier than kayaking while offering similar views and plenty of fun dips.
07: Sailing on an expedition yacht
Sailing on an expedition yacht in Bora Bora Island is something that should be on everyone’s bucket list. The vessels navigate around many of French Polynesia’s biggest attractions, so you can spend a day or four cruising through spectacular sceneries.
In reality, sailing enables you to discover islands that are off-limits by other means and lets you truly live like kings and queens of the ocean.
08: Explore Vaitape Peninsula
The Vaitape Peninsula is the southernmost part of Bora Bora Island. This portion is home to Marenah and Onetahi Bays. These inlets are famous for holding some of the island’s most scenic sunsets.
So, if you are looking for some good scenery, hiking along the Vaitape Peninsula will provide it. The road is not always in perfect condition. Rent a 4×4 vehicle and make sure that you have hiking boots.
After all, nothing brings out nature’s glory like a great hike; go on long enough, and even cloudy skies become painted with red sunlight or yellow moonlight as dusk falls.
09: Trip to Motu Toopua and Tahanea
Whether it’s snorkeling at Haapiti Passway or spotting sea turtles, your trip to Tahanea and Motu Toopua is worth it. The islands are about 1.5 km away from Vaitape and are only a short distance from Motu Toopua to Tahanea in Bora Bora.
The passage is not that easy to navigate, but you can hire a professional guide who will get you there safely. Tahanea has one resort and a few huts, while Motu Toopua has no hotel or guest house. However, there are restaurants on both islands where you can get refreshments and have a refreshing swim.
10: Jet Ski Rides and Fishing
Jet Ski Rides and Fishing Excursions on Motu Tane, Motu Niue, and Nukutepipi Atoll are two of my favorite ways to explore and adventure in Bora Bora.
Strap on a Jet Ski or fish from your outrigger canoe with one of these excursions, see pristine reefs, beaches, coral gardens teeming with vibrant colors, and marine life (such as dolphins).
But before embarking on either of these activities, make sure you have some basic safety guidelines down. To ensure a worry-free fishing/jet skiing trip, wear a helmet or life vest, and use sunscreen.
11: Spaghetti with Fresh Mango
Add it to your trip; spaghetti with fresh mango is one of the many favorites from Bora Bora Island. Delicious, light, and full of flavors. Spaghetti with fresh mangoes is tasty and extremely healthy.
Most importantly, that food is homemade, and they add plump chunks of locally grown cream mangos on top of wheat spaghetti.
As a result, the noodles taste is sweet, tart, and savory. Hence, make sure that you try it when you visit Bora Bora Island. One bite will make you fall in love with life.
Things to do in Bora Bora that are unusual
12: Swimming with Sharks
Yes, you can swim with sharks in Bora Bora. Well, yes, it’s true. However, scuba diving with sharks might not be on most people’s bucket lists.
Maupiti Island is home to a few places where reef sharks are regularly found in shallow waters at low tide. These animals come here from time to time and congregate in groups during low tide. Experience these amazing creatures up close and personal without harming or injuring them.
Although you will need to pay for a specialized tour company to take you out onto their boats, snorkeling tours should cost between $60-USD 100 per person. From Bora Bora, the trip takes about two hours round trip.
13: A Fire Dance Show
The fire dance show at Bora Bora is a fantastic night out and one of the favorite things to do in Bora Bora Island for tourists.
The show, which takes place in Vaitape village, features plenty of fire dancing, traditional singing, and drumming—and ends with an unforgettable wall of fire finale.
The performance typically runs for about 2 hours and costs approximately $5. As a bonus, it will get you in on plenty of island gossip, too.
14: Wooden Boats
You can find the Hand-Carved Wooden Boats in Bora Bora along Fautaua Harbor, commonly known as the lagoon side.
These intricately carved sailing ships are so stunning they look like something straight out of a fairy tale—which they aren’t. Above all, those tours cost around $25 and can last anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours.
The ‘nightlife’ in Bora Bora is about as exciting as it gets in French Polynesia. The main activity is partying on Motu, or Small Island connected by wooden bridges and moored by thick ropes at night.
Clubs and bars come and go in style and popularity, but some stay at Chez Kevin, Bar Marina, and Pavillon Bleu. Tahiti has many bars and clubs to choose from, depending on what you want to do. There are dozens of restaurants offering Tahitian, Creole, or French cuisine and plenty of local live music.
16: Enjoy Honeymoon
Couples can enjoy a honeymoon in Bora Bora and make a two-day excursion to Maupiti for snorkeling, sunbathing, and more. Just about every island has white-sand beaches and warm, clear waters.
Similarly, visitors might want to check out Taipei, Faufata, Opunohu waterfalls, or Maunga Amu, a lush mountain. Finally, those wanting an epic adventure should not miss out on kayaking through caves or taking a helicopter ride around Etang Sale (Sale Lake). With its incredible beauty, visiting the island is a trip worth making.
Where do you stay in Bora Bora?
There are two main types of accommodations in Bora Bora: luxury resorts and eco-lodges. Luxury resorts can find on Motu (islands) or terraces overlooking picturesque bays.
They are stunning and offer a wide range of amenities, including private beaches with personal watercraft at your disposal. On the one hand, there’s something romantic about staying at an eco-lodge where you’re surrounded by nature.
Still, you also have to put up with rustic rooms and limited amenities—but these places offer great views of Mount Otemanu.
Is it cheap in Bora Bora?
It is not cheap in Bora Bora, although it is a tourist destination, and you can get good deals by shopping around for accommodation, food, and excursions. As in most parts of French Polynesia, eating out is expensive, but you can save money by cooking for yourself at your hotel or villa.
Still, prices vary from island to island and from resort to resort itself. So, on average, it will cost about $30 to $200 per person per day. Shopping may cost you also if there are things that you simply must-have.
There are no airports in Bora Bora Island, but it’s relatively easy to get there from other countries on nearby islands. Your best bet is to fly into Tahiti, which is just a short boat ride away. There are direct flights between Tahiti and New Zealand, Australia, China, Japan, and Hawaii to Bora Bora Island. The airport in Tahiti isn’t large or modern enough for international flights.
Bora Bora is located southeast of Tahiti, part of Oceania, even though it’s closer to Asia than Australia. It’s also farther east than Hawaii.
Before you consider visiting Bora Bora, it’s essential to understand what makes it unique. Other options may be more suitable for their vacation needs for many travelers. For those seeking luxury and seclusion, it is a must-visit destination.
The Maldives, for example, boasts unrivaled luxury and features some of the most beautiful waterscapes in existence. Although it doesn’t compare to Bora Bora, it is still one of Asia’s top travel destinations and a worthy trip on its merit.
The clear water makes Borabora a great place to swim, which is excellent considering that the warm water makes the island uninhabitable in the dry season. Therefore, the best time to visit the island is sunny, from December to April.
Some more exciting things to do
The most popular water sport is sailing. Many visitors book passages on catamarans or monohulls and sail away on a private yacht or charter a more extensive tour around one of its 64 islands.
More adventurous guests set out on their yachts or kayaks, while those looking for a more romantic getaway can paddle off into the sunset aboard a traditional Polynesian sailing canoe. If swimming is more your style, don’t miss Matira Beach, known for its transparent waters and soft sand.
Other popular water sports include surfing and boating. Some visitors choose to rent kayaks or join snorkeling tours around one of its over 40 motu (islets). Its waters are crystal-clear, and its sand is soft.
Eat Local Food
Freshly caught fish is popular in French Polynesia and is a memorable meal. Serving with steamed Tahitian rice and tropical fruit is truly heaven on earth.
The local staple food, poi, is made from taro root (which resembles a potato) and has a texture like gooey mashed potatoes. It can be purchased from small stands on nearly every corner and goes well with fish or any meat dish.
Whether it is your first time or a veteran vacationer, there are always new and exciting things to do in Bora Bora Island. It doesn’t matter if you are craving relaxation on a quiet beach with your partner or you want to explore beautiful waterfalls and swim with exotic wildlife.
From surfing to diving and snorkeling to canoeing, everything is available right at your fingertips. In reality, French Polynesia, is an idyllic travel destination. It’s even more popular than Maui and Fiji islands.
Hence, in this blog, I have highlighted some top activities and things to do on Bora Bora Island, which may be helpful to potential visitors. Above all, you must check entry requirements for French Polynesia while planning to visit any Island there.