For most visitors, the first eye-contact with Bora Bora will happen just before landing while your plane is operating its final approach at an altitude of 1,000 feet above the sea. Don’t forget to sit on the left side of the plane to optimize your chance of admiring this legendary lagoon from the air.
The lagoon of Bora Bora constitutes the best asset of the island and an excellent playground for many lagoon activities. Indeed, island tours using either an outrigger canoe or a jet ski remain the best way of discovering the extraordinary colors of its crystal-clear waters, those flat embarkations making it possible to reach the furthest and most secluded spots and beaches.
Most of these lagoon excursions include several swimming and snorkeling stops and, in some cases, a picnic on an romantic islet (motu) or the traditional shark feeding where you will get the opportunity of watching them in their natural environment.The lagoon of Bora Bora constitutes the best asset of the island and an excellent playground for many lagoon activities. Indeed, island tours using either an outrigger canoe or a jet ski remain the best way of discovering the extraordinary colors of its crystal-clear waters, those flat embarkations making it possible to reach the furthest and most secluded spots and beaches.
Many hotels and pensions have their own private beach and access to the lagoon. If this is not your case, go to Matira public beachthat stands among the nicest white sand beaches of Bora Bora. Some restaurants and a few shops are available there.
Circle island tour (clock wise)
Several companies offer guided island tour in minibus or truck… But you may prefer to rent a vehicle at Vaitape to do this tour on your own at no risk (you can’t get lost, there’s only one road !)
A safari company can also take you in one its 4-wheel drive vehicles to beautiful panoramic points that can be reached after a short (but bumpy !) ride through hidden tracks.
Leaving Vaitape village towards the north, you will find the marae Marotetini at point Farepiti that was restored in 1968 by archeologist Yosihiko Sinoto.
In Faanui Bay, Farepiti wharf welcomes inter-island ships which still remain Bora Bora first source of supply for most goods. This is the bay that was used between 1942 and 1946 by the US army to build their military base – Bora Bora runaway track was initially constructed at that time. Many vestiges of this period such as cannons, a seaplane launching ramp or tanks are still visible today on the main island.
Just after exiting the Faanui village, the marae Fare Opu and its petroglyphs sit by the border of the lagoon.
Then after passing Point Outurau (located at the northernmost of the island), the Marine Museum features an interesting collection of models representing old Polynesian-style outrigger canoes and some ships of the first explorers.
Still following the western coast, Point Fitiiu ( lacated after restaurant Espadon ) offers a nice panoramic view. Take the little track going towards the lagoon to visit marae Aehua-tai.
A little after the village of Anau, you will reach Matira Point. Many lodging facilities, restaurants and small shops are located in this area. A few kilometers after Matira and you will be back to Vaitape – your starting point – where can be found banks, the post office and most businesses.
Bora Bora from the sky
Apart from your arrival by plane, an alternative way of discovering Bora Bora from the air is by helicopter. During this 15-minute flight, you will not only get the chance of watching sharks and rays from the sky but also acquire the unforgettable experience of enjoying the thousands of turquoise, blue and green colors of the lagoon. Don’t forget your camera !