Bora Bora is the most popular, and for many, the most beautiful of the Tahitian Islands. Once you set eyes on Mt. Otemanu towering over the beautiful turquoise lagoon, you will never be the same. It is truly one of the world’s most unique, colorful and inviting treasures.
The star attraction of Bora Bora is the lagoon! The waters resemble an artist’s palette of bright blues greens and turquoise. This island is dramatically beautiful. Here you will find stunning views of Mt. Otemanu, powdery white-sand beaches, and sparkling lagoon water perfect for admiring an array of tropical fish and manta rays.
A 50-minute flight from Tahiti or Moorea, Bora Bora offers a great selection of luxurious resorts & spas on private islands (or motus) surrounding the main island with the majestic Mt. Otemanu overseeing all.
Bora Bora is an excellent island to experience one of the overwater bungalows that the region is famous for. You will find many unique overwater options on Bora Bora, thatched-roof villas that create the fabled ambiance of a Polynesian getaway.
Our favorite hotels and resorts are listed below. You can read more about our picks for “The Best Overwater Bungalows in Bora Bora”, in our Tahiti Travel Tips section.
For Bora Bora’s excursions and activities, the lagoon remains the highlight. There are many great water-based activities to try. A few of our favorites are listed below.
Here is a wonderful and easy way to get acquainted with sharks, rays and tropical fishes of 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 mix and mingle with the tourists. Later in the same tour, you’ll stand in shallow waters as graceful rays circle you with ballet-like movements.
Embark on a comfortable & covered speed boat to discover the underwater world of Bora Bora! You will only need fins, mask and a snorkel (available in our Travel Store) to see the clear waters, colorful fishes, beautiful coral gardens and above all the majestic manta rays and eagle rays in preserved natural sites. Your local guide will share with you his knowledge of the island and lagoon. The guide will assist you while getting in the water and during all dives for your safety and comfort. Good swimmer or beginner, you will enjoy this unique experience!
Go on an adventure around the Bora Bora lagoon on your own jet ski with your guide out in front. This is the perfect opportunity to take in all the lagoon’s blue hues and snap some incredible photos of the island and lagoon. Waterproof compartments are available on the jet skis to store your cameras. You can also find a great high definition waterproof camera in our Travel Store.
Discover the fabulous underwater world 20 feet below the surface without even getting your head wet! Equipped with a diving helmet, go for an unforgettable experience: walking in Bora Bora’s spectacular lagoon, which some say is the most beautiful in the world. No need to be a diver or a good swimmer. Your head remains dry inside the helmet and you get fresh air from the boat via an air-hose. You can even feed the tropical fish by hand!
The resorts on Bora Bora all offer a great selection of fine dining on the property as well as more casual options. You will also find some very good local restaurants on the main island. This is a great way to experience some of the local flavor! Below is a list of some of our favorites.
Since most of the resorts on Bora Bora are on private islands, you will need to take a resort boat shuttle to the main island if you are going in for dinner. Please keep in mind that most of the resorts charge a fee for their boat shuttles. Once you are on the main island, most local restaurants will provide complimentary transportation to/from your resort’s boat shuttle dock.
This tiny restaurant, with only six tables, is located in the artist studio of the painter-sculptor “Yrondi”. The ambiance is elegant and intimate. Serving French cuisine, it is considered the best restaurant on Bora Bora, and we recommend reservations weeks in advance. The Chef, Damien Rinaldi Dovio is from Corsica and has been trained at the famous “Institut Paul Bocuse” and in the best restaurants of France. After dinner, have a drink & enjoy a cigar on the terrace-lounge. We recommend an early reservation so you can enjoy a slow pace.
Also located in Vaitape, north of the small boat harbor, St. James provides a picturesque location overlooking the lagoon. There is an overwater dining area where you sometimes see rays looking for a bite. The service is attentive and friendly. Mostly seafood prepared in French and Tahitian fashion, although there are some meat dishes. Try the scallop carpaccio, mahi mahi in vanilla sauce, crème brulee or parrotfish stuffed with crabmeat. Also a nice place for a cocktail.
This is Bora Bora’s world famous restaurant and bar. Yes, it is touristy, but many find it fun. The floor is white sand, and you’ll be seated on coconut tree stumps under a huge thatched roof. The local fishermen’s catch is displayed on ice. Food selections include crab, shrimp, steak, chicken and a vegetarian plate. For lunch, enjoy a simple menu of burgers, sandwiches and local specialties. Some people absolutely love it while others feel it is over-priced for what you get.