Best things to do in Bora Bora
Being amazed, sitting back, watching the sea, shopping for some pearls in the little Vaitape Village, enjoying the white sand beach and having your eyes fascinated by the natural beauty of the water and mountains are the most obvious ways to spend your day in Bora Bora and French Polynesia in general.
This French Polynesian island is considered the most romantic with bungalows on the water but it is also a perfect destination for a family or friends trip thanks to its many fun, exciting, cultural and sports activities and tours.
Difficult to go without superlatives when the Pearl of the Pacific has so many assets!
Bora Bora lagoon’s incredibly hypnotic beauty goes through all the shades of green and blue – no matter what, there are no words to describe the unbelievable colors of the sea water. It is the best island to take a boat ride, go swimming among the blacktip reef sharks, the amazing coral and the pretty turtles, book a night in a luxury Bora Bora resort with an overwater bungalow, taste the delicious polynesian cuisine in beautiful restaurants, or choose a cruise on a sailing boat...
In Bora Bora, it all starts with contemplation, perfectly interrupted by dusk. Matira beach is one of the most beautiful beaches of the Islands of Tahiti, and one of many perfect spots to watch the horizon. Sunset, the English world used in French Polynesia and around the world, often goes with hotels’ « happy hours » and their awesome tropical cocktails.
Ready for the adventure of a lifetime ? Here are the best things to do in Bora Bora, the most romantic island of French Polynesia !
Helicopter tours around Bora Bora
You enjoyed the preview while landing in Bora Bora and you’d like to make it unforgettable ? A helicopter tour above the lagoon and the island is the way to go : 20 minutes of contemplation from the sky is a unique experience with Tahiti Nui Helicopters.
Flying above Otemanu Mountain, the lagoon, the village of Vaitape, Matira Beach, the motu, the reef, and to the north of Bora Bora, this heart shaped atoll, an island uniquely designed for lovers, called Tupai. Depending on the selected tour, the helicopter will be able to stop and let you enjoy champagne on one of the atoll’s beaches, and the warm sea water of the lagoon. It is a tropical dream in the middle of the sea. You’ll find no better place to tie the knot: its one of the best things to do for a wedding in French Polynesia !
The most beautiful lagoon in the world
Interested in spending a day in Paradise?
One hour away from Tahiti (by plane), Bora Bora offers exquisite spots to enjoy the sea : Matira Beach and the various motu.
During your trip to French Polynesia, take the opportunity to book boat tours an cruises on each island. A water excursion is one of the best things to do in the islands of Tahiti! And Bora Bora is no exception, as it has some of the most beautiful snorkeling spots in the world and in French Polynesia: coral, turtles, all kinds of rays, blacktip reef sharks, and other beautiful kinds of sharks, fish and many underwater animals can be found in the coral gardens, near the coral spats, or on the reef. This is where you will have the best snorkeling experiences of your life, with your family, friends, or partner.
So, here's what you need to know about boat tours in Bora Bora.
The boat will be leaving from your hotel or from selected meeting points. The boat tour guide will tell you all about his island and the best swimming spots of the lagoon.
Gliding on the morning sea waters, with no waves to disturb. Unreal colors, as if it were the first morning on Earth. How deep under the boat, 40cm or 10 m in the crystal-clear lagoon water? The tour guide says 8 meters. It feels like we can touch the sand!
With these tours, the island of Bora Bora once again offers a different perspective. The boat tour guide knows all the best snorkeling spots and coral gardens on this bright and soft turquoise lagoon. Fish, gray stingrays, lagoon sharks, picnics on a motu with a view on the island, you’ll be living the dream for a few hours, while going through the shades of blue you crossed: “103…nope, 104, when a cloud passed by…”
You can also enjoy different experiences on the lagoon’s island, such as jet ski tours that will allow you to discover the lagoon during a thrilling excursion, stop at the beach for a swim, and meet the underwater fauna in various stops during your ride.
Book a luxury trip in a Bora Bora resort’s overwater bungalow
Famous throughout the world for its overwater hotels, Bora Bora is the best island in French Polynesia to try this type of accommodation. So, for your entire trip or just for one or two nights, try the overwater bungalows at a luxury resort in Bora Bora. This is one of the best things to do on a romantic trip for couples.
You'll be able to enjoy the many benefits of your resort: on-site beach, excursions and tours from the hotel, spa, restaurants with high quality food... Your night in the overwater bungalows of Bora Bora will surely be magical: the Pearl of the Pacific opens to you. Friendly sharks and beautiful fish are your neighbors during the trip.
You are not interested in an overwater resort bungalow, but prefer to sail? Choose a sailing cruise in the island's lagoon. Nights, tours of the best snorkeling, scuba diving and swimming spots, and food are included in this type of cruise.
Hike on the mountains : Mount Pahia and Otemanu
Snorkeling or scuba diving is far from being the only activity to do in Bora Bora. Visiting the island's mountains, such as Mount Pahia or Mount Otemanu, will leave you with unforgettable memories : enjoy exercising with your family and friends to experience another side of the island: its relief, its lush vegetation, its incredible panoramas. Tours with guides are regularly scheduled.
Travel to Bora Bora take a hike up Mount Pahia or Mount Otemanu with a guide to see the ocean from a different perspective.
Celebrating Earth with dances
Every year on the island, June is the month of Heiva celebrations, a dance competition between all the communities. It is one of the best experiences to live while visiting the islands of Tahiti. Just like in Tahiti, groups have been rehearsing for almost a year. Shows taking place on Vaitape’s Tuvavau square are memorable: costumes, songs, drums, traditional or tribal dance performances and conversations with the Stars. It is one of your vacation’s most remarkable highlights. Dates for 2023 should be published in May.
Listening to traditional Spirits songs
Happening in January, the Ta’urua Vārua’s ceremony is unique to French Polynesia. This “Spirits celebration” gathers the island’s three Protestant parishes: Faanui, Anau and Nunue (Vaitape).
Between 500 and 1000 contestants are eager to compete through hīmene (choral hymns) and ōrero (spoken art). Henri Lebeau attempted to describe the power of the hīmene in his book “Au pays de l’éternel été (1911)”:
“Some said it was like an ocean wave coming with an increasing strength as the voices became more and more intense, breaking, rolling, leaping, then slowing down and vanishing in a long and sustained note.”
Travel to French Polynesia in January to enjoy this amazing cultural event, taking place over three Sundays under a sky lit by thousands of stars, displays religious beliefs and traditional art. It sends shivers up your spine.
Go with the wind for the best water experiences
Bora Bora is part of the Raromatai, also known as the Leeward Islands.
In other words, conditions are ideal for all sorts of gliding around the island.
Fans of kite, wake, foil, surf and other gliding sports are all gathering in Bora Bora where large waves created by strong winds on the sea are offset by the outside reef that protects the most beautiful lagoon in the world. The perfect condition to get the best of the strong winds without the trouble of an uneven swell. Just enough bumps to jump in the sky, spinning, turning, making flips, while riding above fish, stingrays and reef sharks clearly visible in these crystal waters.
So, are you ready for an exceptional adventure on the sea?
The largest outrigger canoe race (va’a in Tahitian)
As the Moloka’I Hoe Canoe Race in Hawaii, Hawaiki Nui Va’a is one of the most famous pendulum canoe (Va’a) race. Taking place in early November on the polynesian sea, teams of participants reach Bora Bora’s mythical Matira beach, and its beautiful panel of greens and blues.
It takes place over three days starting on the beach of Huahine, then Raiatea and Taha’a, and the last leg to the island of Bora Bora ultimately distinguishes the best competitors.
Emotion and excitement are at their peak when the first canoes enter from the open sea through the only island pass, Teavanui. On the finishing line near Matira beach, the frenzy of slaps on the ocean like wild drums sweeps along your heart. Vibrant!
Get married or organize your honeymoon trip in Paradise
What better place on Earth to celebrate your love, tie the knot, or renew your vows on the beach? Like Venice-Italy, Bora Bora is considered as the epitome of romance by lovers around the world. From small intimate Tahitian weddings, vows renewals, civil weddings, wedding anniversaries, choices are wide. Simply choose your wedding planner and the best place: the white sand beach of a private motu? Matira beach ? Onboard a catamaran in the Pacific Ocean? Why not, as long as you are being blessed by the lagoon and Mount Otemanu, in the ancient Polynesian Gods’ home. Facing the sea, your vows will echo like no others!