This destination is on every traveller’s wishlist, newly-weds flock here for their perfect honeymoon, and just the pictures of the beaches are enough to make anyone feel like going on a vacation. Whether you choose to relax and melt into the life of an islander, or you’re up for a thrilling experience of parasailing and swimming with stingrays, Bora Bora is the place for you to experience paradise on earth.Don’t miss out on anything with this guide!
1. Climb atop Mount Otemanu
Mount Otemanu is the highest peak on Bora Bora’s main island, rising up to a staggering 2,385 feet (727 metres) from the surface of a baby blue lagoon. It is actually an extinct volcano, but what it lacks in eruptions (thankfully) it makes up for in breathtaking photo ops, or, if you want to take it further, the most adrenaline-pumping adventure you could possibly have. This is on the top of the list of things to do for many, and it should be on the top of yours too, because a trip to Bora Bora just isn’t complete without at least one visit to the top of this beautiful, majestic mountain.
2. Stroll along the white beaches at Matira Beach
Matira Beach has been dubbed the best beach in all of Bora Bora, if not the world. The gentle slopes of white sands cascade into a crystal clear sandy-bottomed lagoon of turquoise blue water. The floor is flat and has a sandy, coral-free bottom to walk on, and the entire beach is just alive with tall palm trees to really give it that complete island feel. It’s centrally located around the major resorts, which makes walking to the beach very convenient. There is an array of casual cafes and beachfront restaurants around for you to sit back with a nice meal and enjoy the beach.
3. Glimpse at heaven atop Tupitipiti Point
Moving on from the country’s most famous beach, Tupitipiti Point is one of the most famous dive sites in Bora Bora. The site is known for its purple coral and steep drop off, which is in contrast to Matira Beach. Avid divers love this area because they can often see sharks, sting rays, groupers, and parrotfish swimming alongside them. Even for those who aren’t professional divers, there are options for snorkelling and professional guides to help you along the way, so you can rest completely assured and have a magical time in the crystal clear waters.
You might be interested in these Airbnbs!
4. Go wild on a safari adventure
In Bora Bora, you can take a jeep and have an adventurous safari ride around the island. The jeep safari is a guided tour, and a great way to get around the island to comprehensively cover the attractions. The views throughout the ride will show Bora Bora in all its beauty. The safari stops at 3 villages and 4 lookout points. The guide is very knowledgeable, and will gladly talk you through the scenery. There is also a historical site visit, where you get to see original US Army cannon remains from World War II. To perfectly end this island excursion, you will be rewarded with a plate of delicious tropical fruit.
4X4 Jeep Safari Excursion on Bora Bora
Price: from 100 USD
Opening Hours: Departures at 8:30 am and 1:30 pm everyday
Duration: around 3.5 hours required
Access: Pickup and drop off times and locations are subject to change. Check website for details
Website: 4X4 Jeep Safari Excursion
5. Take a boat ride on the pristine waters
If a jeep safari isn’t your cup of tea, try a boat ride around the island. Right from the lagoon, you get to see the majesty of Mount Otemanu. Then the boat circles around the island, giving you views of the surrounding sandy beaches.
This is sort of a must-do while in Bora Bora, so there are a few boat tours to choose from, varying in group size and the length of the ride, be it full day or half day. Some only allow large groups of people at one go, some offer a private intimate boat ride. Choose your pick, sit back, and sail away.
6. Go island hopping!
Bora Bora already sounds and looks like it’s too good to be true. But in fact, there are 100 islands spread throughout the French Polynesian archipelagos, and they are great for island hopping. Getting around the islands requires a domestic flight, and it only takes a day to get around all of the small islands. But of course, you could take more time if you really want to ease in and melt into the relaxing island life.
There are several local guided tours that have already pre-planned routes of the best way to get the full experience, so be sure to check and choose to see which one you’d enjoy the most.
7. Be adventurous and try parasailing
If you are an adrenaline-junkie, Bora Bora offers the perfect experience for you. Experience the exhilaration of parasailing over the blue waters of Bora Bora, and it will really be like nothing you’ve ever experienced. The turtles, sharks, and stingrays swimming below, Mount Otemanu right in your line of sight, and a bird’s eye view of all the surrounding islands as you feel the fresh wind glide by you … this is what you can expect when you go parasailing in Bora Bora.
Parasailing is highly popular there, so they offer everything you need, from private tours, to a longer cord for a higher experience. Just be sure to enquire according to your preferences during the booking.
8. Explore the sights of Vaitape
If you’d like to do some shopping and get a feel of the local life, Vaitape is the place to be. It’s the biggest city on the island, with a population size of about 4,927 locals. Vaitape has a lot of street stalls, eateries, and shopping experiences all around. Most of the resorts provide transport to Vaitape. Over the years, it has become more touristy, but it’s still a great place to mingle with the locals, marvel at all the fresh produce, have a nice lunch, and look around for some cool souvenirs for everyone back home.
9. Climb aboard a yacht and experience the best sunset
For a more luxurious experience, why not rent out a whole yacht while in Bora Bora? The yacht ride is really incomparable with the boat ride. It goes out to the deeper end of the sea instead of circling around the islands. The yacht also has nice amenities added on, including a full gourmet meal. Yacht rides usually start in the late afternoon, so they will be in time for that picture-perfect Bora Bora sunrise, and you can get to experience it firsthand with your lover.
10. Take a helicopter ride over heart-shaped islands
Tupai is a tiny atoll located just north of Bora Bora, and it’s an island shaped like a heart. You can take a private plane and jet over Tupai, and marvel at this beautiful sight. Up till now, visitors to French Polynesia only had the opportunity to fly over this romantically-shaped island via helicopter. But now, domestic flights are available to the island. It’s a private island, and it really provides one of the most intimate experiences you could ever have. After the island tour, you can saunter around the island, sip champagne, and lounge under the shade of the trees, as you watch the world pass by.
11. Party at the Tiki Bar
The Tiki Bar is one of the newest additions to the island, only opened in 2015. Ever since then, it has been, by far, one of the most happening venues on Bora Bora. Everyone loves to gather here after a long day. The main draw is the reasonably-priced beer, and the great tapas. They also serve decent cocktails. The atmosphere in there is great, and it’s right by the beach. There’s an interesting mix of people here too, from hotel staff to tourists and locals. It’s usually packed on Fridays and Saturdays after 8 pm, and there’s usually a live band performing, so be sure to reach there early if you don’t want to miss out on a great night.
Address: Povai Bay, Bora Bora
Opening Hours: 3 pm - 1 am
Contact: +689 40 67 57 36
Website: Tiki Bar
12. Climb aboard a jet ski
Similar to parasailing, there is no better place to jet ski than here. It’s perfect, especially for those who are craving that high adrenaline after all that relaxation. The fresh island breeze on your face and in your hair as you skirt across the beautiful lagoon is amazing. The waters are wide and clear, so you can go as fast as you want, all while soaking up the scenery and the mountains in the background. It really is a picture-perfect moment, and a great memory to have while you’re here in Bora Bora.
Bora Bora Jet Ski
Price: Prices vary according to peak or non-peak periods
Opening Hours: 9 am - 1 pm. Monday - Sunday
Duration: 2 hours required
Contact: (689) 87 78 27 37
Website: Bora Bora Jet Ski
13. Have a taste of the Matira Beach burger
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
The Matira Beach Burger Shack is located right on Matira Beach, providing a rather seductive outdoor al fresco dining setting, with a wonderful atmospheric energy from its patrons and the surroundings. Apart from the fabulous location, the food here has been praised to the skies. It’s not just one of those tourist traps where you go for the location and the location only. It serves up great food, from salads, to grills, and of course, the famous Matira beach burger, complete with freshly grilled fish fillets, tomatoes, and onions, with a side of fries. Wash it all down with a glass of beer, and you’ve got yourself happy days ahead.
Matira Beach Burger Shack
Address: Matira Beach
Price: from 8 USD
Opening Hours: 11 am - 4 pm Mon, 11 am - 7 pm Tue - Sun
Contact: +689 40 67 59 99
14. Buy your other half a set of stunning Bora Bora pearls
If you really want to pull out all the stops, get your other half a beautiful Tahiti pearl. The price for a real pearl usually begins around 100 USD, but since it’s Bora Bora, you’re free to haggle to get a really good price. However, it’s important to note the amount of effort that goes into hunting and ‘producing’ these exquisite pearls. Additionally, these pearls can only be found in this French Polynesian region. Some can even go up to the price of 10,000 USD! You don’t have to splurge as much, but it’d be nice to present your love with this rare gem. They can be found at various parts of the island, but be sure to get tips from your guide or the locals on the best price.
15. Dress up like the locals at Saltwater
The Saltwater brand is something that’s unique to Bora Bora, and, in fact, was started by a local family. It started with their eldest daughter, who wanted to start her own clothing line. She started designing the girls’ clothing line, and the rest of the family design the men’s, women’s and boys’ clothing lines. Ever since then, the brand has been taking the island by storm. The designs are really unique, and super cute. Grab some pretty perfect beachwear.
Price: from 20 USD
Opening Hours: 9 am - 6 pm. Closed on public holidays
Website: Saltwater Store
16. Have an intimate dinner by the sea
Talk about a romantic setting. Imagine sitting outside at the edge of the deck, looking out at the encompassing turquoise blue surrounding you and your love, all while enjoying a decadent meal with your loved one. At the Lagoon Restaurant, it’s known that both their service and the food is absolutely phenomenal. In particular, their rice cracker crusted ahi (yellowfin) tuna is one of their most famous dishes. Wash it all down with a few glasses of champagne, and it’s the perfect way to end (or start) the night.
Address: Motu Ome'e BP 506, Bora Bora, 98730, French Polynesia
Opening Hours: 6 pm to 10 pm
Access: It’s located within The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort
Website: Lagoon at St. Regis Bora Bora Resort
17. Swim with sharks and stingrays
When at Bora Bora, you just have to make full use of the pristine waters, and meet all the critters that swim in those clear waters. For a small fee, you can experience the once-in-a-lifetime chance of swimming alongside sharks, stingrays, and even turtles if you’re lucky enough. The covered boats will transport you to a slighter deeper end of the lagoon, where it’s perfect for a dip. You will be provided with a mask and snorkel, and then you can dive into the depths of the waters and explore and swim with the diverse fish species with the backdrop of the colourful coral.
Additionally, for those who want that experience, but do not want to get wet, Bora Bora offers their very own unique glass-bottomed boats, where you can gaze at the fish swimming underneath as you float right above them.
18. Star-gaze with your partner
One of the many beauties of Bora Bora is that it is completely untainted by industrialisation or any other pollution. It’s almost completely natural, and one of the biggest rewards of that is that the night skies are extremely clear and the stars shine so brightly like you’ve never seen before. Just lie down on the beach, or in the comfort of the patio of your bungalow, and look up at the starry sky for a quiet and special moment.
Have a honeymoon to remember at Bora Bora
As long as you’re there in Bora Bora, it’s quite impossible to not have a good time. Bring your partner along and be whisked away by the beauty of everything this beautiful island has to offer.
Get Trip101 in your inbox