Bora Bora Meaning

French Polynesia’s Society Islands contain the tiny island of Bora Bora. The island is a well-liked vacation spot thanks to its pristine waters, white sand beaches, and opulent resorts. But what does the name “Bora Bora” actually mean? We will delve into the five subtopics of the island’s name, geography, climate, people, and culture, as well as its economy and tourism sector as we examine the history and culture of Bora Bora.


The Name Bora Bora

The word “Bora Bora,” which in Tahitian means “made by the gods,” is the source of the name Bora Bora. The island was built by the gods as a haven for their ghosts, according to Polynesian myth. Early European explorers then changed the name of the island to Bora Bora, giving it its modern meaning. The natural beauty of the island, which is claimed to have been created by the gods, is sometimes linked to the name of the place.

It’s also vital to keep in mind that the name Bora Bora can be interpreted in a variety of ways. According to some historians, the name “Pora Pora” may have come from the phrases “firstborn” or “first creation,” which may have referenced the island as the first land to emerge from the sea. Additionally, as “pora” means “explosion” and “bora” means “tempest,” the name Bora Bora might possibly be a nod to the island’s volcanic past.

Regardless of where it came from, the name Bora Bora is firmly interwoven in the history and culture of the island and has significant meaning for the Tahitian people. The name of the island is a proud representation of the island’s identity and is frequently utilized in folk songs and tales.

Seashore with a hutGeography and Climate

French Polynesia’s Society Islands contain the tiny island of Bora Bora. The island is 18.5 square kilometers in size and home to about 10,000 inhabitants. The island is around 230 kilometers northwest of French Polynesia’s capital city Tahiti. There are many lagoons and bays on the island, which provide fantastic chances for swimming, snorkeling, and diving. The island is also bordered by a coral reef.

The climate of Bora Bora is tropical, with daytime highs of 26 to 31 degrees Celsius. The dry season, which runs from May to October, and the rainy season, which runs from November to April, are the two seasons on the island. The island experiences 2,100 millimeters of rain per year on average, with November through April being the wettest months. Tropical storms and hurricanes rarely affect the island but do so sometimes.

The Mount Otemanu volcano in Bora Bora is one of the island’s most notable geographical features. The island’s center is where the 727-meter-tall volcano is located. The volcano, which is a well-liked location for hiking and sightseeing, is thought to be extinct. The island also features a number of hills and peaks, which provide stunning views of the island and its surroundings.

Tourists interacting with a local manPeople and Culture

The Tahitians are the locals of Bora Bora. They have a vibrant culture that is rooted in both history and tradition. The Polynesian people of Tahiti have a culture that is strongly impacted by the island’s natural surroundings. Tahitians are renowned for their friendliness and a passion for dancing and music. They are also well renowned for having traditional Polynesian tattoos, which are seen as a means of expressing one’s culture. The tattoos, known as “tatau,” are frequently ornate designs that represent the wearer’s social rank, spiritual beliefs, and family history.

The island is also home to a number of marae, or traditional temples, which the Tahitians regard as holy sites. The marae served as a venue for religious rituals as well as a place where Tahitians gathered to discuss crucial community issues. On the island, numerous marae have been renovated and are now open to visitors.

Additionally well-known for their expertise in fishing and navigation is the Tahitian people. Tahitians were able to navigate the seas by employing conventional techniques like reading the stars and the waves due to the island’s strategic placement in the Pacific Ocean. They were also able to fish in the nearby waters because of this ability, and seafood is a significant component of the Tahitian diet.

French colonization also had a significant impact on the culture of Bora Bora. Europeans arrived on the island for the first time in 1722, and France later seized it in 1888. Because of this, French language and culture have made a big impression on the island, and many Tahitians are bilingual in French and Tahitian. The island’s society exhibits this blending of cultures in numerous ways, from the food to the architecture.

Tourism and Economy

Popular tourist destination Bora Bora is renowned for its natural beauty, opulent resorts, and water sports. The island is a well-liked location for swimming, snorkeling, and diving due to its beautiful seas, coral reefs, and lush vegetation. There are also some upscale resorts on the island, which provide a variety of activities like spa services, excursions, and water sports.

The island’s economy is mostly driven by tourism, which also provides the majority of the island’s income. The island’s high-end resorts, which cater to tourists, are a significant economic driver and a source of employment for many islanders. In addition, the island’s natural resources, including fish, coconuts, and vanilla, boost the economy through fishing and agriculture.

However, there are drawbacks to tourism as well. Overtourism has the potential to harm the environment, put a burden on local resources, and force locals to leave. The local people and island government are aware of these problems and are making efforts to make tourism a long-term sustainable industry.


French Polynesia’s lovely island of Bora Bora is renowned for both its natural beauty and its vibrant culture. The name of the island, which is derived from Tahitian, is thought to signify “made by the gods.” The island’s geography and climate, which are highlighted by its luxuriant foliage, volcano, and beautiful waters, make it a well-liked tourist destination. An essential component of the island’s character is its people and culture, which have been greatly influenced by the island’s natural environment and French colonialism. The island’s economy depends on tourism, despite the difficulties it presents, and attempts are being made to make it viable over the long term. Overall, Bora Bora is a singular and exceptional location that gives tourists the ability to take in both the natural beauty and the cultural diversity.

Our Top FAQ's

The name “Bora Bora” is derived from the Tahitian language, and it is said to mean “created by the gods.”

French colonization had a significant impact on the culture of Bora Bora. French culture and language have been fused with traditional Tahitian culture, which can be seen in many aspects of the island’s society, from the cuisine to the architecture.

Tourism can lead to environmental degradation, strain on local resources, and the displacement of local residents. The island’s government and local communities are aware of these issues and are working to ensure that tourism is sustainable in the long-term.

Tourism is the main source of income for Bora Bora, and it is responsible for the majority of the island’s economy. Luxury resorts, catering to high-end tourists, are a major contributor to the island’s economy, and it provides jobs for many of the island’s residents. Additionally, the island’s natural resources such as fish, coconuts, and vanilla, also contribute to the economy through agriculture and fishing.

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