Bora Bora

13 Must Do Things on Bora Bora


Have you ever dreamt of visiting Bora Bora? Let us encourage you with this list of amazing things to do on Bora Bora.

Bora Bora is a small island that is part of the Society Islands of French Polynesia. This idyllic island lies approximately 230 kilometres northwest of Tahiti (about a 50-minute flight) and is encircled by a barrier reef and a lagoon. Despite its worldwide fame as a luxurious resort destination, Bora Bora covers an area of only about 30 square kilometres, making it relatively compact and easy to explore. It’s a place where adventure and relaxation meet. Whether planning a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a solo retreat, Bora Bora offers many activities to enrich your experience. 

Geography of Bora Bora

The island’s geography is marked by its dramatic volcanic origin, which is central to its breathtaking landscapes. The centrepiece of Bora Bora is Mount Otemanu, an extinct volcano 727 meters high. Mount Pahia, another significant peak on the island, complements this towering presence. These mountains contribute to the island’s dramatic silhouette and are visible from virtually any point on Bora Bora. They provide a striking backdrop to the soft white sandy beaches and the lagoon’s azure waters.

Surrounding the main island is a string of islets called “motus.” A number of the small islands are uninhabited and are formed from coral debris. The larger islets are the location for some of the luxury resorts that call Bora Bora home. They encircle and protect the lagoon from the open sea, making its waters exceptionally calm and clear. This makes the lagoon an ideal spot for various water activities and a significant tourist attraction.

The only significant town on the main island is Vaitape. Located on the island’s western side, Vaitape is the economic heart of Bora Bora and hosts the main harbour. It offers amenities such as shops, restaurants, and a small market and is where many of the island’s inhabitants live.

The coastal road circles the island, linking small villages, various resorts, and local attractions. This road provides easy access to many of the island’s renowned beaches, such as Matira Beach. Matira Point offers some of the best sunset views, making it popular with both locals and tourists.  

Things to do on Bora Bora

Here are 13 must-do activities that promise to make your visit truly unforgettable. Whether you are swimming with sharks or savouring French-Polynesian cuisine you with memories to last a lifetime.

1. Explore the Lagoon by Snorkelling or Diving

Bora Bora’s lagoon is a vibrant underwater world with colourful marine life. Snorkelling and diving here provide an up-close view of coral gardens, manta rays, and schools of tropical fish. 

Snorkelling on Bora Bora
Snorkelling on Bora Bora
2. Take a 4x4 Safari Tour

Explore the island’s rugged landscapes with a 4×4 safari tour. These tours take you through the lush hills and valleys, offering panoramic views of the lagoon and the remnants of American World War II cannons.

World War 2 Cannons
4 x 4 Tour on Bora Bora
3. Enjoy a Sunset Cruise Around the Islets

Immerse yourself in the tranquillity of a sunset cruise around the islets. As the sun sets over the island, the sky transforms into a stunning canvas painted with awe-inspiring colours. Watch the spectacle unfold from the deck of a traditional Polynesian boat. It’s a moment of pure serenity and romance that you won’t soon forget.

4. Visit a Local Pearl Farm

Learn about cultivating and extracting one of French Polynesia’s most famous exports at a local pearl farm. You may even get to dive into the lagoon and pick your pearl from the oyster.

5. Relax on Matira Beach

Often listed as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Matira Beach is perfect for relaxation. Its fine, soft white sand and shallow, warm waters make it ideal for swimming and sunbathing.

6. Hike Mount Otemanu

For the adventurous, a hike up Mount Otemanu presents a challenging yet rewarding activity. The views from the top are breath taking, overlooking the entire island and the expansive lagoon

7. Cultural Visits to Local Villages

Step off the resort and into the heart of Polynesian culture in local villages. Learn about Bora Bora’s rich history, sample traditional foods, and watch artisan craft demonstrations.

8. Snorkelling with Sharks and Rays

For the thrill-seekers, snorkelling with sharks and rays is a must. Guided tours provide safe and respectful encounters with these beautiful creatures, offering an adrenaline rush.

Snorkelling with black tip reef sharks on Bora Bora
9. Paddleboarding and Kayaking

With the calm and clear waters of the lagoon, paddle boarding and kayaking are peaceful ways to explore the coastline. You can easily find rentals along the beaches.

10. Take a Helicopter Tour

For a different perspective, splurge on a helicopter tour of the island. It offers a spectacular aerial view of Bora Bora’s famed blue lagoons, white sandy beaches, and lush greenery.

11. Dine on the Beach

Enjoy a private beach dinner at sunset or under the stars. Many resorts offer bespoke dining experiences where you can savour fresh, local cuisine on the soft sands as the waves gently lap nearby.

Sunset on Bora Bora
12. Visit a Secluded Motu

Take a day trip to one of the uninhabited motus around Bora Bora. These tiny islets offer perfect seclusion, with pristine beaches and opportunities for snorkelling in undisturbed waters.

13. Spa Retreats on the Water

Indulge in a spa day at one of the overwater bungalow spas. Treatments often incorporate local ingredients and techniques, providing relaxation with views of the water below through glass floor panels.

Each activity in Bora Bora offers a unique and thrilling way to experience this paradise, ensuring your visit is unforgettable. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, Bora Bora promises experiences that cater to all tastes. So, pack your bags and embark on a fantastic journey filled with excitement and discovery!

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18 Responses

  1. Great photos and memories for me. We spent most of our visit on Moorea but we also enjoyed Bora Bora. The color of the water is so incredible. It was also so unique how you landed at the airport and then got into a boat.

    1. Loved the boat transfer from the hotel too. We didn’t get to Moorea so it’s a good excuse for us to need to go back.

  2. Bora Bora looks like a wonderful destination–between the hiking, snorkeling, paddle boarding, and swimming, what a great place to relax and unwind!

  3. Bora Bora is definitely on our travel wish list. We just need to figure out a plan to see as much of this area on a visit as we can. Scuba diving would be the big draw for us. The underground scene looks amazing. And who would pass on a good spa visit after a good workout underwater or hiking those amazing spots?

    1. I didn’t have my diving certification when we went but snorkelling was amazing, so diving would be also.

  4. this is my DREAM destination! I have been eyeing out Bora Bora for the past 7 years – it was actually a trip I had to cancel due to the pandemic. thanks for sharing this, I’m taking it as a sign to plan a holiday there this year!

  5. Snorkelling with reef sharks looks epic, and I would attempt to climb Mount Otemanu as well. The water looks unreal, doesn’t it?

  6. Bora Bora has so much to offer! I’m not really a big beach vacation kind of person, but you have lots of other activities that make Bora Bora really appealing!

  7. Ooooh! I know most people go to Bora bora to relax and chill on the beach, but hiking up Mount Otemanu looks amaaaazing! I love it when you can sneak a hike into a beach holiday! 😉

    1. I can’t sit still on beach holidays so being able to do lots on things on Bora Bora was great.

  8. I have not been to Bora Bora but I was in Moorea. I should have stayed in French Polynesia and gone here.

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