Bora Bora is recognised by many as one of the most beautiful spots on earth. Others, let down by over commercialisation, claim it is vastly over rated. The truth lies somewhere in between and depends entirely what you are looking for: If its a luxury resort with stunning views, a turquoise lagoon, snorkelling and lots of marine life then Bora Bora certainly is the perfect romantic holiday destination. If you are looking for an idyllic South Seas paradise, of fishing villages and simple lifestyles, a quiet retreat away from the fast pace of modern life, then Bora Bora may disappoint.
Bora Bora Holidays Overview
Bora Bora has the largest collection of over water bungalows in the South Pacific making this a popular honeymoon destination, particularly amongst Japanese. The lagoon offers fantastic snorkelling amongst reef sharks and manta rays, and scuba diving on the outer reef is world class. The boutique island resorts in Bora Bora are mostly on flat uninhabited coral islands or motu and offer stunning views looking back to the main island. These premium accommodations in Bora take between ten and thirty minutes by speed boat from the airport or to visit the main town of Vaitape. If you are looking to explore the main island, and searching for more affordable accommodation in Bora Bora, then it's best to stay on the main island around Matira Beach.
The Main Island
The main island of Bora Bora rises sharply from the turquoise lagoon with its recognisable flat top peak and craggy points covered in tropical forest. Visually, the setting is nothing but spectacular. Around the outer edge of the lagoon is a fringing reef with a string of low lying coral atolls (motu) protecting the north and west side of the island. The main island can be easily explored from the 32-km coastal road that circumnavigates the island.
Matira Point on the southern tip of Bora is the main centre of tourism and has the only public access white sand beach on the main island making it very popular. The west side of Matira Point has deep water and is an excellent base for watersports. Behind Hotel Matira you can climb the hill to the American Guns for a good view of the lagoon and hills. Around the point, on the eastern side of Bora, the beach is private and belongs to the elegant Intercontinental Hotel. The lagoon here is very shallow and a shimmering turquoise colour. The beach extends along the east coast of Matira Point for over one kilometre with a string of beach resorts straddled between the mountains and beachfront with the excellent value Maitai Polynesia being one of the more affordable.
The Lagoon & Offshore Motu Islands
The beauty of Bora Bora is the lagoon and the rugged outline of the main island viewed from the motu islands or from the air. The most spectacular views with the nicest palm fringed beaches are from the offshore islands and staying on one of these pristine islands is at a premium. There are plenty of day cruises taking in the stunning scenery around the lagoon which invariably include a lunch on one of the motu and a snorkel amongst thousands of colourful reef fish. If you don't see reef sharks, manta rays and moray eels you are unlucky. Dolphins can also be spotted around Te Ava Nui Pass on the west coast of the lagoon. There are also several exceptional dive sites on the outer reef making Bora Bora one of the best scuba diving destinations in the South Pacific.
The largest of the offshore islands is Toopua which in fact marks the western side of the collapsed crater attached to the main island. Here are some of the best snorkelling reefs in Tahiti. On the northern tip of the island is the lovely setting of Bora Bora Lagoon Resort which has unparalleled views from its restaurant and overwater bungalows looking back to the mountains of Bora Bora. Off the southern tip of the island is Motu Toopua Iti which boasts one of the finest white sandy beaches in French Polynesia - you can stay at the luxury Bora Bora Nui Resort in overwater bungalows or splendid hillside villas with exceptional views looking out to the open ocean.
Bora Bora Travel Information
Regular daily flights from Tahiti (international airport) take about an hour with connections also from Moorea , Huahine, Raiatea and Maupiti, all in the Society Islands. there's also a fast passenger ferry from Papeete several times a week which taking 7-hours but with sightseeing of other islands along the way.
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