5 Mistakes You Are Probably Making When Planning a Cultural Tour to Bora Bora

When planning a cultural tour to Bora Bora, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of visiting such a breathtakingly beautiful destination. This enchanting island, nestled in the South Pacific, is renowned not just for its stunning landscapes but also for its rich cultural heritage. However, many travelers inadvertently overlook key aspects that can significantly enhance their cultural experience. This guide will help you avoid common mistakes and ensure a more authentic and respectful visit to this Polynesian paradise.

Mother son bonding-Planning a Cultural Tour to Bora BoraOverlooking Local Customs and Traditions

One of the most common mistakes in planning a cultural tour to Bora Bora is not taking the time to understand local customs and traditions. Bora Bora’s rich Polynesian culture is deeply rooted in respect and communal living. Before you embark on your journey, it’s essential to learn about local customs, such as the traditional greeting of honi, where two people press their noses and foreheads together. Understanding these nuances not only shows respect but also deepens your cultural immersion.

Ignoring Lesser-Known Cultural Sites

While Bora Bora’s stunning beaches and luxury resorts are captivating, they often overshadow the island’s lesser-known cultural sites. Many tourists miss out on experiences like visiting the ancient marae (sacred temples) or the local artisan markets. These places offer a glimpse into the island’s history and present-day artistic endeavors, providing a more comprehensive understanding of Bora Bora’s cultural identity.

Underestimating the Importance of Local Guides

Another mistake in planning a cultural tour to Bora Bora is underestimating the value of local guides. A knowledgeable local guide can offer insights and stories that you won’t find in guidebooks. They bring the history and traditions of their homeland to life, offering a more authentic and personal experience. Moreover, hiring local guides supports the community, contributing to sustainable tourism practices.

Raw fish-Planning a Cultural Tour to Bora BoraLimiting Food Experiences to Resort Dining

Cuisine is an integral part of any culture, and Bora Bora is no exception. Many visitors, however, limit their culinary experiences to resort dining. While convenient, this practice overlooks the rich array of local dishes available. Venture out to local eateries or food markets to try traditional Polynesian dishes like poisson cru (raw fish marinated in lime juice and coconut milk). Engaging with local cuisine offers a delicious pathway to understanding the island’s culture.

Not Engaging with the Local Community

Lastly, a significant oversight in planning a cultural tour to Bora Bora is not engaging with the local community. Participating in community activities, whether it’s a dance performance, a craft workshop, or a communal feast, allows for genuine interactions with locals. These experiences not only create lasting memories but also foster a deeper appreciation for the island’s culture and people.


Avoiding these five common mistakes can transform your trip from a simple holiday to an immersive cultural journey. Planning a cultural tour to Bora Bora offers an opportunity to connect deeply with the island’s heritage, traditions, and people. By engaging more fully with the local customs, sites, guides, cuisine, and community, your visit to Bora Bora can become a truly enriching and unforgettable experience.


Ready to experience Bora Bora like never before? Contact Far and Away Adventures today to plan your perfect cultural tour, tailored to offer you an authentic and unforgettable journey.

Our Top FAQ's

Respect local customs by removing shoes before entering homes and avoiding public displays of affection, as these are important cultural practices in Bora Bora.

Learning basic Tahitian or French phrases like ‘Ia ora na’ (hello) and ‘Māuruuru’ (thank you) can greatly enhance your interaction with locals and show respect for their culture.

A local guide is invaluable for gaining deeper insights into Bora Bora’s history and culture, helping you explore beyond typical tourist spots.

While famous landmarks are important, visiting lesser-known cultural sites, like local villages and artisan workshops, offers a more authentic experience.

Participating in traditional festivals like Heiva I Bora Bora, engaging in local crafts, and experiencing traditional Polynesian dances and music are highly recommended.

Polynesian culture values respect and community, so understanding and adhering to local etiquette, like greeting elders properly and respecting sacred sites, is crucial.

Yes, experiencing traditional Polynesian cuisine, including dishes like Poisson Cru and Uru (breadfruit), is a must for a complete cultural experience.

Planning with a focus on cultural respect, engaging local guides, learning about traditions, and participating in local activities ensures a fulfilling cultural tour to Bora Bora.

Book your dream vacation here