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Bora Bora

The Romantic Island

Under a one hour flight from the island of Tahiti or Moorea, the island of Bora Bora, with a lagoon resembling an artist's palette of blues and greens, is love at first sight.

Romantics from around the world have laid claim to this island where the castle-like Mount Otemanu pierces the sky. Lush tropical slopes and valleys blossom with hibiscus, while palm-covered motus circle the illuminated lagoon like a delicate necklace. Perfect white-sand beaches give way to emerald waters where colored fish animate the coral gardens as they greet the giant manta rays. This could easily be described as the center of the romantic universe, where luxury resorts and spas dot the island with overwater bungalows, thatched-roof villas, and fabled ambience.

Simply said, Bora Bora is the most beautiful island in the world.

Pora Pora - the ancient name, meaning "first born," came from legends describing this as the first island to rise when Taaroa, the supreme god, fished it out of the waters after the mythical creation of Havai'i, now known as Raiatea. Although the first letter "B" does not exist in the Tahitian language, when Captain Cook first heard the name he mistook the softened sound of the Tahitian "P" for "B" and called the island Bola Bola.

Romance on Bora Bora

Truly, the most romantic island in the world. From the dramatic scenery to the privacy and amenities of the overwater bungalows, everything in Bora Bora equals a 10 on the romance scale.

Resorts have been welcoming couples for over 40 years and their special amenities have been fine tuned to perfection. From sunrise to sunset, each resort has designed their own blend of unique romantic experiences for their guests to choose from.

For The Visitor, The Majesty of Bora Bora offers:

Bora Bora Restaurants

Bloody Mary’s

Bora Bora’s world famous restaurant and bar. It has a white sand floor and you’ll be seated on coconut stumps under a huge thatched roof. The dinner service starts at 6:00 pm when each evening the daily catch of the local fisherman is displayed on ice. After an explanation of exactly what's available on your particular evening, the host takes your order directly with the chef. You can choose from the vast selection, pick one of our combination plates, or create your own particular combination. Crab, shrimp, steak, chicken and a vegetarian plate are also available. At lunch, menu of burgers, sandwiches and local specialties. OPEN: daily except Sundays. Open for lunch (11:00AM to 3:00PM) & dinner (6:00PM-8:30 PM).

MaiKai Restaurant

MaiKai's island chic architecture coupled with overwater dining, swimming pool, and spectacular lagoon views, creates an ambiance not to be forgotten. Pairing exotic elements with French traditions, the MaiKai's menu which highlights steak and seafood entices the palate with a South Pacific twist. Additionally, vegetarian dishes are available and many items can be prepared to cater to those with special dietary needs. Each night the Maikai features live music performed by the islands local artists and hosts monthly events and entertainment. Open for Lunch Monday-Friday 12pm-2pm and for Dinner Mondays-Saturday 6:30pm-10pm.

Restaurant Villa Mahana (Galerie Yrondi)

This tiny restaurant (5 tables) is located in the artist studio of the painter-sculptor “Yrondi”. You’re in the home of somebody who wishes to share with you the “Art de Vivre” and gastronomy. Excellent French cuisine with flavors from the south. The Chef “Damien Rinaldi Dovio” who is from Corsica has been trained at the famous “Institut Paul Bocuse” and the best restaurants of France such as Ledoyen. It is possible to have a drink & enjoy a cigar on the terrace-lounge. OPEN: Closed on Tuesdays and all February month. Others days: only open for the lunch from 06:30PM.

St. James Restaurant

Also located in Vaitape, north of the small boat harbor, St. James provides a picturesque location overlooking the lagoon. There is an overwater dining area where you sometimes see rays looking for a bite. The service is attentive and friendly. Mostly seafood prepared in French and Tahitian fashion, although there are some meat dishes. Try the scallop carpaccio, mahi mahi in vanilla sauce, crème brulee or parrotfish stuffed with crabmeat. Also a nice place for a cocktail. Open Tues-Sat 12-3pm, and 6:30-9:30pm. No credit cards.

La Bounty

Casual dining restaurant serving delicious pizzas and reasonably priced French and Italian food. Located conviently near the Sofitel Bora Bora Beach Resort, Novotel Beach Resort, and Le Maitai Polynesia. OPEN:Lunch/Dinner Daily.

Bora Bora Activities

For the visitor, the majesty of Bora Bora offers:

  • Enchantment from the neon-lit turquoise lagoon waters with unending days of exploration through snorkeling and diving.
  • Excitement above the lagoon by outrigger canoe, Boston Whaler, wave runner, jet ski, and dramatic sunset cruises aboard a catamaran sailboat.
  • Exploration of the panoramic overlooks found by hike or 4x4 accompanied by entertaining local guides.
  • Discovery of the world-renowned shopping for local and international original art, Tahitian pearls, and precious wood handcrafts.
  • Romance in the natural ambience of the legendary resorts with their choice of Polynesian spas, gourmet restaurants, overwater bungalows, villas, and suites.

Lagoon Exploration

There are so many activities in the world's most famous lagoon that some visitors never leave the water! The shallow and clear waters allow for snorkeling from you bungalow or off the beaches anywhere around the island. Another way to see the vivid coral and schools of tropical fish is a glass bottom boat. For a faster pace, explore the entire lagoon by rented motorboat or jet ski where you and a guide can skim around the island, hopping off at beaches or a tiny motu along the way for a picnic.

4x4 Excursions

Even though Bora Bora is small, the adventures along the interior roads are huge. These overgrown forest roads wind high above the lagoon to panoramic stops that can only be described as breathtaking. The island's role during World War II is expertly told as you visit large U.S. Naval guns left behind in 1945.

Shark and Ray Feeding

Although the idea of feeding sharks may sound somewhat ominous, it is now one of the most popular excursions in the South Pacific. Originated on Bora Bora, your close encounter begins after you don a snorkeling mask and float in the shallow lagoon waters behind a secure rope. Docile sharks arrive in schools and are hand-fed by your guide just a few feet away. Later in the same tour, you'll stand in shallow waters as graceful rays circle the group with ballet-like movements.


Bora Bora's lagoon is a very popular anchorage for both round-the-world and avid vacation sailors. If chartering your own sailboat in Raiatea, Tahiti, or Moorea, the deep, wide pass and calm lagoon is a natural stop. You can also rent a Hobie Cat in Bora Bora or take a half-day or sunset cruise around the lagoon on a giant catamaran, complete with music.


Because of the abundance of large marine life, diving within the waters of the most beautiful lagoon in the world is on many diver's "must do" list. During the dives, it is common to be joined by legions of gigantic manta rays gliding gracefully within arm's reach while schools of reef sharks parade by.

Organized Excursions On Bora Bora

Vavau 4x4 Mountain Safari (half day)

Aboard a guided, 4-wheel-drive, open-air jeep, enjoy panoramic views of the Bora Bora lagoon from four stops on mountain peaks. You will learn about the famous Tiare flower, copra, Mama Ruta’s sarong painting and the culture, economy and history of Bora Bora. (Available every day. 8:30am - 11:30am or 1:30pm - 4:30pm)

Vavau Sunset 4x4 Tour with Champagne (1 ½ hrs)

At sunset, take a short 4x4 ride along Bora Bora’s peaks with views of the stunning lagoon. The guide will then stop to present the island’s culture and history as you sip a glass of champagne just as the sun sets. (Available every day. 4:30pm - 6:00pm)

Quad/ATV Tour of Bora Bora (1 hr) - (2 people may share)

Explore Bora Bora on your latest generation ATV, up to two different lookout points that will leave you with unforgettable memories. You will taste some fresh local fruit while enjoying the colors and landscapes of Bora Bora. (Available every day, except during the Hawaiiki Nui boat races. 9:00am, 11:00am, 1:00pm or 4:00pm)

Shark & Ray Snorkeling Safari (half day) *TOP PICK

A fun and up-close snorkeling adventure. Your close encounter begins after you don a snorkeling mask and float in the shallow lagoon waters behind a secure rope. Docile sharks arrive in schools and are hand-fed by your guide just a few feet away. Later in the same tour, you’ll stand in shallow waters as graceful rays circle you with ballet-like movements. (Not available on Sundays. Other days departing between 8-9am)

Pure Snorkeling by Reef Discovery (3 ½ hours) with Christophe! *TOP PICK

The best way to explore lagoon underwater life, and great for swimmers of all levels. Visit four different snorkeling sites and see coral gardens and eagle and manta rays! (Available every day from 8:30am-12:00pm)

Bora Bora Sunset Dream Tour (2 hours) *TOP PICK

This tour of the Bora Bora lagoon on a comfortable Bayliner boat, will take you on a romantic getaway to amazing spots all around Bora Bora. Photos will be taken as you enjoy these beautiful locations, and 20 of the best shots will be yours as part of this tour. Enjoy the beautiful tropical sunset as you sip champagne from coconut shells. (Maximum 8 people) (Available Mon, Wed, Fri and Sat. 4:30pm pickup)

Cap Lagoon Sailing Discovery Catamaran Cruise (half day) *TOP PICK

Available for guests at Sofitel, Hilton, Le Meridien and Pearl Beach - Available only as “private tour” for guests at Four Seasons, St. Regis or InterContinental - (1-5 people).
Hop on board a stunning catamaran and set sail for a few hours of luxury on the Bora Bora lagoon! Head to the front of the boat and relax on the trampoline or take the helm where the captain will teach you the basics of navigation. Sports lovers can kayak around the coral reef or dive into the crystal blue lagoon to explore the coral gardens and topical fish during a break from sailing. (Available every day. 8:30am - 11:30am or 12:30pm - 3:30pm)

Sunset Catamaran Cruise by Cap Lagoon (2 hrs)

Available for guests at Sofitel, Hilton, Le Meridien and Pearl Beach - Available only as “private tour” for guests at Four Seasons, St. Regis or InterContinental - (1-5 people).
Enjoy the incredible lagoon-view of the island of Bora Bora from the comfort of the Tatatai catamaran’s trampoline. Melt into the picture postcard perfection of our peaceful and romantic surroundings. Your onboard hostess will tend to your needs and you will be served appetizers and house cocktails as you glide by the Piti Aau motu with the wind billowing in the sails. Learn about the island’s history and legends before witnessing an unforgettable sunset. (available every day. 4:30pm - 6:30pm)

Private Helicopter Scenic Flights from Bora Bora

(Either from your hotel’s helipad or from the public Pago Pago helipad on the main island. Helipads at Four Seasons, St. Regis, Le Meridien, Hilton, Pearl Beach and InterContinental Thalasso Resorts)
From the Hotel: 15 min flight or 30 min flight From Pago Pago: 15 min flight or 30 min flight There’s nothing like seeing the island of Bora Bora and her lagoon from a low-flying helicopter flight. The 30 minute flight also allows time to fly over the nearby heart-shaped island of Tupai. (available every day. 2 passengers required)

Bora Bora Submarine Tour (30 mins) - (2-6 people max)

(Pick-up only available at the Vaitape pier)
Enjoy a different underwater experience in the famous lagoon of Bora Bora. With a 360° panoramic view from your glass cabin, you will get up close and personal with the coral and curious fish coming to take a look back at you. You will likely see black nose sharks, lemon sharks, hump head wrasses, barracudas, trevallies, rays and a multitude of the most colorful little fish you ever did see! (Available every day)

JET SKI guided tour (2 hours) *TOP PICK - (2 people may share)

Enjoy a magical tour on the lagoon of Bora Bora by Jet Ski (Available every day except during the Hawaiki Nui Race. 10:00am-12:00pm & 2:00pm-4:00pm)

JET SKI and Snorkeling Safari Combo Tour (full day) - (2 people may share)

Two people sharing 1 jet ski
Each person with their own jet ski

A full day on the lagoon combining sport with discovery. The morning starts with a 2 hour jet ski tour - a trip on the beautiful lagoon of Bora Bora. Then, back on the island for a lunch at the famous restaurant Bloody Mary’s. The day continues with a shark & ray snorkeling safari to discover the lagoon and its underwater life. (available every day except Saturdays and Sundays. 9:30am - 3:30pm)

JET SKI and Quad/ATV Combo Tour (3 hrs) - (2 people may share)

No need to decide between the jet ski or quad tour - try them both out with this wonderful taste of both the lush inner island and the gorgeous lagoon! (available every day, except during the Hawaiiki Nui boat races. 10:00am - 1:00pm)

Dinner at Bloody Mary's Restaurant

In business since 1979, this is one of the most famous restaurants in Bora Bora. Includes: Appetizer, entree choice of fish, steak or chicken with salad, rice and vegetables. Local fruit for dessert. (Closed Saturday & Sunday. Pick-ups from 6:00pm-9:00pm, depending on hotel boat shuttle times).

The Love Boat Photo-Shoot Private Tour (2 ½ hrs or 4 hrs) *TOP PICK

Embark on a romantic trip aboard a private and plush Bayliner boat. Your guide will take professional photos at the most beautiful locations as you admire Bora Bora’s stunning scenery. You can even get underwater shots as you snorkel among the colorful coral and sea life of the lagoon. End your trip with a delicious glass of champagne. 150 photos delivered on CD. (Available every day. 8:30am - 11:00am or 1:30pm - 4:00pm)

Ultimate Shark & Ray Watching with Polynesian Motu Picnic (full day)

Embark on a comfortable motorized outrigger canoe that will take you to the coral garden to see colorful tropical fish and to see string rays and sharks in their natural environment. You may swim with the rays. On the private white-sand motu you will enjoy a Tahitian lunch as the ukulele plays (Available every day. 9:00am - 4:30pm)

Aqua Safari (1 ½ hrs)

Put your feet in the sand…20 feet down on the floor of Bora Bora’s crystal-clear lagoon! All while wearing a helmet where you can breathe normally underwater. Even feed the tropical fish by hand. No need to be a diver or a good swimmer. (Not available Sundays. Other days 8:30am - 10:00am or 1:30pm - 3:00pm)

Parasailing (15 or 25 minutes, solo or a pair)

What better way to fully see the beauty of Bora Bora’s lagoon than from the air! You can even see the neighboring islands of Raiatea & Taha’a.
  • 15-minutes with 100m rope: 1 person solo or 2 people sharing
  • 15-minutes with 300m rope: 1 person solo or 2 people sharing
  • 25-minutes with 300m rope: 1 person solo or 2 people sharing
(Not available Thursdays or Sundays. Other days at 9:00am, 10:40am, 11:50am, 2:00pm, 3:10pm or 4:20pm)

Lagoon or Ocean Fishing (4 hrs)

A very small group of only 2 people for lagoon fishing or up to 4 people for ocean fishing. (minimum 2 people required for the tour). Experience a half-day fishing in the lagoon or outside the reef aboard a 17-foot Boston Whaler boat. You may catch kingfish, barracudas or grouper in the lagoon; or, thazars, mahi mahi or yellow fin tuna outside the reef in the deep-blue Pacific! In the morning or afternoon, spend a great time and be assured that you will not come back empty-handed. (Available every day. 8:00am - 12:00pm or 1:00pm - 5:00pm)

Hiking in the Valley of Kings - (half day) - (maximum 6 people)

A moderate-level hike led by an ethno-botanist, this excursion will take you through the island’s rich and abundant environment. Your guide will explain how the ancient Polynesians used the plants in their traditional medicine. You will also discover the sacred giant banyan tree, a marae (ancient temple) with a tiki statue, plantations and wild Tahitian vanilla! (Available every day. 9:00am - 12:30pm) (From Four Seasons, not available Sundays or Public Holidays)

Bora Bora Sights

Motu Tapu

The ultimate private island escape, Motu Tapu is the most photographed isle in the South Pacific. This tiny motu, just a few hundred yards from the main island, is best described as the world's most perfect place to relax. Motu Tapu is reserved for guests of select resorts and groups with invitations.

Other sites on Bora Bora include:

  • Matira Beach, one of the world's most famous beaches
  • Bloody Mary's restaurant
  • Guided hikes to Mount Pahia and Mount Otemanu
  • The ancient marae temples along the coast
  • The Lagoonarium
  • The World War II relics

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