Hotels in Bora Bora, French Polynesia
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Bora Bora, Society Islands, French Polynesia: Where Fantasy Becomes Reality
Long ago, the island of Bora Bora was known by Tahitians Pora pora ma tei pora which translates to “created by the gods”. While the name has changed, no description could be a better fit for Bora Bora, part of the Society Islands of French Polynesia. The island sits remotely in the Pacific Ocean and is surrounded by a lagoon and barrier reef, ensuring waters of the brightest turquoise. Bora Bora is an international tourist hotspot, frequented by honeymooners and tourists alike. Known as the “most romantic island in the world”, visitors needn’t be newly married to fall under Cupid’s spell. Bora Bora casts a spell all its own.
A Delight of the Senses
A quick one-hour plane ride from Tahiti will allow visitors an aerial view of the island of Bora Bora. Looking out the window will show lush green mountain landscapes surrounded by perfect beaches of bright white sand and water so brilliant it looks as if an artist painted it. It might even be possible to see tropical fish frolicking in the coral gardens of the shallow waters. Bora Bora is truly a paradise. Upon landing, there will be a myriad of activities to choose from and guests can be as relaxed or as busy as they choose. For those wanting to enjoy this Tahitian paradise up close, there are plenty of ways to get around, such as 4x4 excursions, tour buses, and use of le Truck, the public transport system. Hired excursions can be arranged by land, sea, or air to escort tourists along the forested roads or to catch a glimpse of the breath-taking lagoon panoramas.
An Aquatic Life
There is no shortage of aquatic activities on Bora Bora. Practically every hotel room will have scenic water views and the large part of everyday will be spent in the water. The lagoon is an endless source of pleasure, as the depth near shore is shallow enough for snorkelling and perfect for parasailing. Other water excursions include rentals of glass bottom boats, motor and sailboats, and jet skis as modes of transportation and fun. Canoes and kayaks can also be rented, as can catamarans and fishing boats. Venturing a bit farther off shore will allow for diving. Do try the unique experience of feeding docile sharks and manta rays. Bora Bora Lagoonarium is one site where it’s possible to hand feed a variety these creatures and other marine life, such as sea turtles and moray eels. This natural aquarium also allows for snorkelling and excursions under the supervision of guides.
For those who want to keep both feet on land, Bora Bora can still find ways to please. Matira Beach is the most popular beach and has been described as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. No visit to the island is complete without visiting Mount Otemanu, one of two extinct volcanoes that sit in the centre of the island and rise above all the action. A trip to the top can be accomplished by hiking, off-road vehicle, or viewed from a helicopter. If you’re thinking that Bora Bora is only full of wilderness adventure, a trip into the main town of Vaitape will prove otherwise with its shopping, restaurants, and the official tourist centre. Vaitape is also the home to Bloody Mary’s, a world famous restaurant and pub serving daily fresh fish catches and the signature Bloody Mary drink.
While both French and English are spoken, the Tahitian culture and language figure prominently. Ancient folklore traditions are evidenced throughout the songs and dances frequently performed in shows and displayed during the many festivals on the island, such as surfing competitions and more unique offerings like the Tatau, where Polynesian tattoo artists showcase their traditional skills. To get a true appreciation of the rich culture, indulge in local history as you explore a marae, or sacred outdoor stone temple, that the ancient Polynesians used for cultural and religious purposes. These maraes can be viewed all around Bora Bora, but the best visit to a marae would come with a trip to the village of Faanui. Here, its possible to view Farenua, the biggest marae on Bora Bora. IThe village has other tourist attractions, such as World War II sea craft and fruit and flower plantations. Other ancient temple ruins can be visited in the village of Anau, which holds tightly to more traditional Polynesian customs.
All Inclusive Resorts and Hotels
Most visitors, though, are content to stay closer to their home-away-from home, as the hotels and resorts in Bora Bora are unlike any others. Many of the comfortable thatched roof bungalows float just above the clear ocean, a sight to see for yourself. These overwater villas are private and often linked to the mainland by a bridge. Guests can swim, canoe, and snorkel right from their villa doorway. Some of the more luxurious villas include private infinity pools. There are also more standard resorts and hotels on the island and on the islands surrounding the lagoon. Most properties in Bora Bora are all-inclusive, with onsite resort amenities and food options included in the package price. As a result, there are fewer restaurants on the island than one might expect from such a popular tourist destination.
Price rangefrom S$135to S$19,382
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