BORA BORA – TAHITI
The holiday destination that dreams a made of. Follow my journey through this exotic destination – The Pearl of the South Pacific.
Bora Bora in Brief
This island paradise, Bora Bora is a small South Pacific Island located northwest of Tahiti in French Polynesia and is perhaps the best known of the Society Islands. Bora Bora consists of a main island, two smaller volcanic isles (Toopua and Toopuaiti) and numerous flat coral islets (also known as motus) that fashion a semi-circular wreath around half of the main island. Overlooking the main island of Bora Bora is the volcanic peak Otemanu. Measuring 718 m (2,300 feet), it is sometimes crowned with a gentle wreath of clouds. The island is surrounded by sand-fringed motus (islets) and a turquoise lagoon protected by a coral reef. It is known for its scuba diving and a popular luxury resort destination where bungalows are perched over the water on stilts. Once a sleepy tiny island, today Bora Bora is created just for one thing – RELAXATION.
Looking for rest and relaxation, fun activity and adventure… I found it all in the Bora Bora. With open water bungalows to taming wildlife and tropical jungle, Bora Bora’s reputation of exotic getaways has carried away the tides to all corners of the world. Shimmering in the South Pacific Ocean, sheltered by pristine lagoon and barrier reef, this French Island group is just an hours flight away from Tahiti. Bora Bora is an island that provides abundant of natural beauty – both on land and sea. It packs in travel inspiration for paradise-seekers in spades. The journey is the reward when visiting Bora Bora and is a part of the world that is on many peoples’ bucket-list and so as mine. When a destination is this dreamy, it is easy to forget that a holiday here can be a reality. It is one of the most beautiful, expensive and exotic holiday destinations in the world, a place where sun, sand and sea that visitors come to enjoy. Bora Bora is the largest draw-card in all of French Polynesian Islands.
Having seen it on TV travel shows, travel glossy holiday brochures and Hollywood movies has made it a fantasising idyllic tropical escape. With high expectation, it was time to explore and experience this jewel of the French Polynesia Island – Bora Bora. The thought of worrying, was that when I get there, the chance of visiting this fabled dream destination, won’t live up to its lofty expectation. However, my imagination couldn’t fathom what I was about to experience and I was left absolutely awe-struck with what lied in front of me.
Arriving in Bora Bora’s world famous lagoon of opalescent blues and greens, I was greeted by majestic Mount Otemanu, the island’s highest peak. Located 240 km (150 mi) from Tahiti and accessible by plane or ship. In this picture-perfect island paradise, I get to enjoy a day at the beach surrounded by crystalline waters. Since, arriving in Bora Bora, my inevitable love affair with this island began right before I touch down. The view from the plane window was a moment I will not soon forget. From that point on, each experience I had continued to exceed even my highest expectations. The moment, I first stepped on the island, I knew why, this island is loved by so many. Though, Bora Bora widely promoted and internationally acclaimed as a dream destination for honeymooners, but once I got there, there were a lot more things to do than relaxing in an out-water bungalow with someone special. With its amazing reef, fantastic white sand beaches and laid-back local population, it was so easy to see why Bora Bora is considered by many to be paradise on Earth. Truly, Bora Bora is the Pearl of the South Pacific Islands.
This island paradise, surrounded by crystal clear waters are famous for their dazzling turquoise blues and are one of the biggest draw-cards for visitors from around the globe. I could see and experience that when combining that with the vibrant marine life below the surface and the luscious rugged mountains that run right to the water’s edge, it is easy to see why this island is so popular. There are plenty of activities and attractions to fill up my travel itinerary. Even though, it was a tiny island, there was no shortage of things to do and see on the island.
My first few days on island was simply spent on relaxing in the beautiful crystal clear waters and white sandy beaches – fulfilling my island dream holiday. Having to indulge myself in this paradise haven island and tick it off my long-line of bucket-list was well worth visiting. Falling in love for this beautiful island is so easy in Bora Bora. The people are so friendly, the beaches are crystal clear with shiny white sands and being on island time – taking things at my own pace means rushing has no value in this part of the world. I just felt in love with this place at first instance and I was only on the island for few hours. It was just only the beginning. I didn’t have to be an expert diver nor world-class swimmer to make the most of the underwater world here which was a huge bonus. In fact, Bora Bora and most of the surrounding islands are in very shallow waters which has encouraged me to stand up and make the most of this clear crystal waters. What a thrill to be experiencing this paradise in a very unique way.
Bora Bora Experience
Board “Le Truck”, a form of local transportation, and begin our drive around this island of paradise. We passed the district of Fa’anui, small villages and fields where we saw the everyday life of the people of Bora Bora. We passed the ancient ceremonial site Fa’anui Marae and the former location of the bunkers constructed by American GI’s during World War II. There are only a handful of marae (traditional temple) ruins on Bora Bora, including Marae Fare-Opu, which is squeezed between the roadside and the water’s edge. Two of the slabs are clearly marked with the turtle petroglyphs seen incised in stones at numerous other sites in the Society Islands. We then travelled along the east coast of Bora Bora, sight of the famous resorts, before reaching Matirapoint that boasts the prettiest beach of the main island. We made a stop at the famous Bloody Mary’s restaurant where I sat on a palm trunk stool to sip a cold drink and soak up the tropical setting. The remainder of my afternoon was free.
After few days of relaxation, I took a Jeep tour for an incredible excursion through the interior of the island. Our local guide who has never moved out of the island was very informative, funny and had a great sense of humour. He was very knowledgeable about not only Bora Bora but also the surrounding islands and the history of the colonisation. He was very passionate about sharing his ideas, knowledge and caring about the island. The tour almost make a complete circle island tour, enjoying superb view of the Bora Bora Mountains and views that offers to the eyes an incomparable range of light and blue colours of the lagoon. On our first stop to the beach, where the water is clear, I entered the waist-deep water. We then continue to along the waterfront, with lush and unpopulated coastlines with crystal clear waves bumping against the sands on the shore before diverting inwards up the steep, rugged, rough and bumpy hillside. The views leading up to the hilltop were spellbinding. With views of lush green shorelines and crystal clear blue seas as far as your eyes could see, can only be describe in one word – Paradise. It was incredibly amazing and mesmerising. The white sandy beaches and luxurious resorts that are perched over waters on stilts can be seen in all directions from the hill-top definitely created a sense of dream island. Having time to absorb the views was absolutely breathtaking and my doubtful expectation on this tour was just beyond. It was a great way to see the island and it was so much fun too. I felt like I saw the entirety of Bora Bora. We had plenty of stops for pictures, my camera never stopped clicking and was definitely worth the time and value for money.
Bora Bora Attractions
Spending time in Bora Bora, it occured to me that this island is home to many iconic resorts, pristine beaches and lagoons. Driving around the island at my own pace, I had the time to see more of the area on my visit. To fully enjoy my stay in this area, I made sute to make the most of the region’s activities and attractions. Staying in one of the bungalows perched over the water, was an ideal introduction to the Bora Boras life. This way, I get to sample the beautiful beaches, lagoons and most importantly – “Relaxation”. Unfortunately, this is where the true heart of the area shines.
Though, this island of Bora Bora is relatively small but it is an activity giant destination as well. It offers visitors to experience sunbathe and swim at white sandy beaches with crystal clear waters, dive in a natural underwater among fish and corals, experience thrilling shark feedings and 4×4 safari or simply circle the turquoise lagoon by boat. This island is a superlative romantic spot. Many come to fall captive to this lush gem of Polynesian island by sharing an intimate midnight dinner on the beach, visiting the Lagoonarium, the Diving Centre, the Coral Gardens or the Leopard Rays Trench or taking it all in from the lofty heights of 2,300 foot Mount Otemanu.
My stay in Bora Bora, The Pearl of the Pacific has truly given me an experience of a lifetime. The stunning views, natural beauty- both land and sea, pristine and crystal clear lagoons. Bora Bora is one of the few places on earth that everyone hopes to witness in their lifetime. And once you see it, you are forever enamored.
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Categories: PACIFIC ISLANDS