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Top 7 Things to Do in Bora Bora

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Snorkeling in Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Snorkeling in Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Escape to bungalows floating above the South Pacific and snapshot the magnificent mountainous scenery on a Bora Bora vacation that includes these top seven things to do.

Lounge on soft-sand beaches and bob over the summer waves lapping against the shores, stroll through the wilderness to spot endemic wildlife scuttling and birds flying in the rainforest canopy, or cycle around the island at a peaceful pace. These are a few of the pleasures to savor on an unhurried trip to the French Polynesian island.

Travel with your family or explore with your significant other as you embrace these seven top things to do in Bora Bora, with other highlights showcased in this guide.

  1. 1. Soak Up the Sunshine on Matira Beach
  2. 2. Swim with Sharks and Stingrays at Coral Gardens
  3. 3. Witness the Magnificent Humpback Whales
  4. 4. Challenge Yourself to Climb Mount Otemanu
  5. 5. Capture the Colorful Culture of Vaitape
  6. 6. Soothe Your Mind and Soul with Spa Treatments
  7. 7. Set Your Sights on the Scenery by Bicycle or 4x4
  8. Experience the Top Things to Do in Bora Bora

1. Soak Up the Sunshine on Matira Beach

Matira Beach on the island of Bora Bora, French Polynesia

The white sands and crystal-clear lagoon of Matira Beach invite travelers to kick back and relax under the summer sun, wallow in the warm water, and sip cocktails at thatched beach bars nestled against the coast.

You could easily spend the entire day lapping up the seaside luxuries of Matira Beach, exploring the long stretch of ivory sand that circles the peninsula. Save snorkeling for the reefs and instead embrace the carefree nature of Bora Bora as you flip through a book on recliners on the sand, snapshot the spectacular tropical scenery, or stroll along the silky shores, before wading in the water.

Many of Bora Bora’s best beaches are private, so selecting your accommodation is all about discovering the island’s most incredible secluded sands.

Best Beaches in Bora Bora: Four Seasons Private Beach • Conrad Private Beach • Pearl Beach Resort Private Beach • St. Regis Private Beach • Le Meridien Private Beach

2. Swim with Sharks and Stingrays at Coral Gardens

Snorkeling amongst the coral with sharks and colorful fish in French Polynesia

You can find some of the best snorkeling in Bora Bora near Coral Gardens, a charming islet off the coast of the mainland that is a sanctuary for marine life and colorful coral structures.

Yachts glide from Bora Bora to Coral Gardens’ natural aquarium and you can spend your snorkeling downtime taking advantage of the amenities onboard. Fresh beverages, views of the sprawling South Pacific, and your captain’s insight into the sea creatures and their unique marine habitat make for an unforgettable day trip to the idyllic islet.

When you hop off the yacht and plunge into the temperate water, coral spectacles and teeming sea life will greet you. You will swim with sharks and stingrays that quietly go about their business while you capture these close encounters with underwater cameras.

Best Marine Life to Spot in Bora Bora: Whitetip sharks • Manta rays • Giant Napoleon wrasse • Hawksbill turtles • Triggerfish

3. Witness the Magnificent Humpback Whales

Humback whale breaching the surface in French Polynesia

Humpback whales make their way to the warm waters of Bora Bora during the breeding season, escaping the icy temperatures that prevail in the Antarctic.

You can hop on board luxury liners and set sail for the South Pacific waters circling Bora Bora for up-close encounters with these mighty marine mammals. From the ship, you can hear the male whales’ calls as they sing haunting songs from the depths of the cobalt sea and watch as the massive creatures leap from the ocean or rise to see what is going on on the surface.

Captains share stories about the intelligent creatures and the reasons they choose Bora Bora as their breeding ground, and you can snapshot surreal marine photography as you learn about these incredible creatures.

Best Time for Whale Watching in Bora Bora: August • September • October

4. Challenge Yourself to Climb Mount Otemanu

Mount Otemanu on the Island of Bora Bora in French Polynesia

Conquer the steep slopes of Mount Otemanu, stroll along trails that weave in and out of the rainforest, or pace yourself on an endearing pilgrimage to historic viewpoints marked by old cannons. There are boundless hikes for all types of travelers and any one of them will be well worth the effort.

Along the way you will not have to worry about encountering any dangerous animals or poisonous snakes. Bora Bora’s small volcanic landscape provides plant life with nutrients to thrive, but is not conducive to the settlement of wild creatures. Only colorful birds will gather in the canopy for you to spot on your enchanting escapade.

Best Hiking Trails in Bora Bora: Valley of the Kings • Mount Otemanu • Mount Pahia • Point Fitiuu • Farepiti Cannons

5. Capture the Colorful Culture of Vaitape

Black pearls for sale in French Polynesia

Vaitape is Bora Bora’s largest town and a treasure trove of local culture that remains significant to the island residents who call this tropical paradise home.

Gourmet restaurants serve hungry visitors exquisite French Polynesian cuisine and you can follow the fragrances of sizzling pork skewered over burning coals and served with slices of fresh pineapple. You can also browse charming boutiques for authentic French Polynesian keepsakes, such as black-pearl jewelry and pareo garments, clothing fabricated from bark and leaves.

A selection of museums and art galleries are also open to visitors who wish to learn more about the history of Bora Bora and the island’s unique artistic viewpoint.

Best Cultural Experiences in Bora Bora: Alain Despert Studio • Art Du Pacific • Ancient village tours • WWII memorials • Heiva

6. Soothe Your Mind and Soul with Spa Treatments

Massage spa services in Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Photo courtesy of Tahiti Toursme

Few spa treatments rival those on the island of Bora Bora, as therapies take advantage of the spectacular seaside scenery.

Award-winning wellness centers riddle the small island and you can embrace the exuding luxury surrounded by tropical groves or the picturesque South Pacific. Traditional spa therapies and massages are available, though you should choose from a collection of unique treatments to make your day that much more meaningful.

A range of signature spa rituals includes black-pearl massages and coconut and gold scrubs, exquisite treatments that embody Bora Bora and French Polynesia’s distinct culture, and are rarely found anywhere else in the world.

Best Spa Treatments in Bora Bora: Coconut and gold scrub • Black-pearl massage • Pareo massage • Foot-reflexology massage • Polynesian massage

7. Set Your Sights on the Scenery by Bicycle or 4x4

Biking in Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Beyond lavish cruises and illustrious hikes, cycling and 4x4 adventures let visitors explore Bora Bora’s hidden secrets on their own or following insightful guides.

Cycling routes weave in and out of the rainforest, crossing the dusty pathways down to the coastline, where you can find quiet observation decks to capture images of the island’s blue and green scenery.

4x4 trips allow you to reach areas inaccessible to other modes of transportation, showing you the best of Bora Bora few others have the privilege of seeing during their stays.

Best Views in Bora Bora: Taurere Lookout Matira • Tā'ihi Point • Point Tereia • Raititi Point • Mt. Pahia Summit

Experience the Top Things to Do in Bora Bora

Stand-up paddle boarding in Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Bora Bora is a dream destination for honeymooners, families, and small groups of travelers.

Zicasso’s Bora Bora Vacations are some examples of experiences tailored to spotlight the stunning scenes and vibrant local culture, and you can customize them further to include these top seven things to do.

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