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Preparing for Your First Trip to Bora Bora

Bora Bora, a small island in French Polynesia, is often regarded as a paradise on earth with its turquoise waters, lush landscapes, and vibrant marine life. Preparing for your first trip to this dream destination can be both exciting and overwhelming. This guide aims to provide you with essential tips and information to ensure a stress-free and memorable vacation in Bora Bora.

Key Takeaways

  • Choose the best time to visit Bora Bora by considering weather conditions, peak tourist seasons, and off-peak benefits.
  • Plan your journey to Bora Bora by understanding the logistics of flying to Tahiti, then to Bora Bora, and the available boat transfer options.
  • Explore various accommodation options ranging from luxury resorts and budget-friendly stays to the iconic overwater bungalows.
  • Engage in must-do activities such as snorkeling, diving, 4WD island tours, and cultural experiences to make the most of your trip.
  • Pack essential items including appropriate clothing, snorkeling gear, and necessary travel documents to ensure a smooth and enjoyable vacation.

Choosing the Best Time to Visit Bora Bora

Choosing the best time to visit Bora Bora depends on your preferences. To avoid the crowds and humid temperatures, visit during the shoulder season from November to April. For hot sunny skies and less rain, plan your trip between May and October, but be prepared for higher crowds and increased tourist prices.

How to Get to Bora Bora

Flying to Tahiti

To reach Bora Bora, you must first fly to Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia, located on the island of Tahiti. Flights from major international airports, such as Los Angeles (LAX), typically take about 8 hours. Once you arrive in Papeete, you can catch a connecting flight to Bora Bora.

Flying to Bora Bora

From Papeete, you will take a domestic flight to Bora Bora. The flight duration is approximately one hour and offers stunning views of the islands and the emerald lagoon. Air Tahiti operates several flights daily, making it convenient to plan your trip.

Boat Transfers

Upon arriving at Bora Bora Airport, you will need to take a boat transfer to your accommodation. Many resorts offer complimentary boat transfers, but it’s essential to confirm this when booking. The boat ride provides a scenic introduction to the island’s beauty, making it a memorable part of your journey.

Bora Bora is a small island, only 6 miles long, making it easy to get around once you arrive. Options for transportation include scooters, bicycles, taxis, boats, and walking.

Accommodation Options in Bora Bora

Luxury Resorts

Bora Bora is renowned for its luxury resorts, offering unparalleled comfort and breathtaking views. Some of the top choices include the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora, Le Bora Bora by Pearl Resorts, and the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort. These resorts often feature overwater bungalows, private pools, and world-class amenities. Expect to pay a premium for these experiences, with prices ranging from $1000 to $3000 per night.

Budget-Friendly Stays

While Bora Bora is known for its luxury, there are also several budget-friendly options available. Hotels like the Royal Bora Bora and Maitai Polynesia Bora Bora offer clean, basic accommodations at more affordable rates. Vacation rentals and bed and breakfast places are also available, providing a cost-effective way to enjoy the island. These options are perfect for those looking to experience Bora Bora without breaking the bank.

Overwater Bungalows

The quintessential Bora Bora experience involves staying in an overwater bungalow. These unique accommodations offer direct access to the lagoon, stunning views, and a sense of seclusion. Popular choices include the Intercontinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa and the Conrad Bora Bora Nui. While these bungalows are on the pricier side, they provide an unforgettable experience that is well worth the cost.

For those planning a trip to Bora Bora, it’s important to know it’s not going to be a budget vacation. Everything on the island, especially the hotels, are very pricey.

Resort NamePrice Range (per night)Key Features
Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora$1000 – $3000Overwater bungalows, private pools, world-class amenities
Le Bora Bora by Pearl Resorts$1000 – $3000Overwater bungalows, luxury suites, beachfront villas
St. Regis Bora Bora Resort$1000 – $3000Spacious villas, multiple dining options, private beach
Royal Bora BoraAffordableClean, basic accommodations, close to Matira Beach
Maitai Polynesia Bora BoraAffordableGarden view rooms, overwater bungalows, beachfront location

For more information on Bora Bora escapes, discover accommodations and vacation packages on Bora Bora island.

Must-Do Activities in Bora Bora

Snorkeling and Diving

Bora Bora is a paradise for water enthusiasts. The island is surrounded by crystal-clear waters, making it an ideal spot for snorkeling and diving. Experience the beauty of the underwater world as you swim alongside vibrant coral reefs and exotic marine life. Don’t miss out on a lagoon snorkeling tour with Rohivai tours to venture around the lagoon and enjoy the natural beauty and clarity of the water.

4WD Island Tours

For those who prefer to stay on land, a 4WD island tour is a must. These tours take you through the island’s rugged terrain, offering breathtaking panoramic views and a glimpse into the island’s rich history. A popular choice is the 4×4 circle island tour of Bora Bora by Vavau Adventures, where you can learn about the island’s culture and history. Explore beyond resorts and discover hidden gems that are not accessible by regular vehicles.

Cultural Experiences

Engage with the local culture by participating in various cultural activities. From traditional dance performances to craft workshops, there are plenty of ways to immerse yourself in the island’s heritage. One unique experience is visiting a pareo workshop, where you can see how these beautiful garments are made and even try your hand at creating one. This is a great way to connect with the locals and learn more about their traditions.

Packing Essentials for Your Bora Bora Trip

Clothing and Footwear

When planning a trip to Bora Bora, it’s crucial to pack light and breathable clothing. The tropical climate can get very hot and humid, so you’ll be most comfortable in light, flowy clothing. Don’t forget to bring multiple swimsuits, as you’ll likely spend a lot of time in the water. Comfortable footwear is also essential; consider packing both walking shoes and reef shoes to protect your feet while exploring the island and its coral reefs.

Snorkeling Gear

Bora Bora is renowned for its vibrant marine life, making snorkeling a must-do activity. While many resorts provide snorkeling gear, bringing your own can ensure a better fit and comfort. Essential items include a mask, snorkel, and fins. If you’re a beginner, consider a full-face mask for easier breathing. Don’t forget to pack reef-safe sunscreen to protect both your skin and the delicate marine ecosystem.

Travel Documents and Money

Ensure you have all necessary travel documents, including your passport, travel insurance, and any required visas. It’s also wise to bring copies of these documents in case of loss or theft. While credit cards are widely accepted, it’s a good idea to carry some local currency for small purchases and tips. Remember, Bora Bora can be expensive, so plan your budget accordingly to avoid any surprises.

Packing adequately is key to a successful trip. Make sure you have everything you need to enjoy your time in this tropical paradise without any hiccups.

Dining and Cuisine in Bora Bora

tropical beach dining in Bora Bora

Local Dishes to Try

Bora Bora offers a delightful array of local dishes that reflect its rich Polynesian culture. Tahitian raw fish, known as poisson cru, is a must-try. This dish features raw fish marinated in lime juice and coconut milk, often served with fresh vegetables. Another local favorite is mahi mahi, a type of fish that is usually grilled or baked and served with a variety of sauces.

Popular Restaurants

When it comes to dining out, Bora Bora has several notable restaurants that you shouldn’t miss. Bloody Mary’s is an iconic spot with a sandy floor and a relaxed atmosphere. It’s famous for its seafood and has welcomed many Hollywood stars. Another great option is the St. James Restaurant, which offers a picturesque setting overlooking the lagoon and serves seafood cooked in the French fashion. For a more intimate dining experience, the MaiKai Restaurant provides elegant water views and a menu that blends international, French, and Polynesian cuisine.

Dining at Resorts

Many of Bora Bora’s luxury resorts offer exceptional dining experiences. The Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora features multiple dining options, including the Tere Nui open-air restaurant and the Arii Moana, which blends Polynesian and French traditions. The InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa also offers a variety of dining options, including a unique Thalasso therapy center that utilizes deep-sea water and minerals in its treatments. These resorts often provide themed dining nights, such as Polynesian buffets and seafood nights, ensuring a memorable culinary experience.

Health and Safety Tips

Sun Protection

When visiting Bora Bora, sun protection is crucial. The tropical sun can be intense, so make sure to pack and regularly apply reef-safe sunscreen with a high SPF. Wearing a hat, sunglasses, and a rash guard can also help protect you from harmful UV rays.

Water Safety

Bora Bora offers a variety of water activities, from snorkeling to boat tours. It’s important to be comfortable in the water and aware of your surroundings. Always wear a life jacket when participating in water sports and avoid touching or stepping on the coral reef to prevent injuries and protect marine life. Reef shoes are highly recommended to avoid any wounds or discomfort.

Local Health Services

In case of any health concerns, Bora Bora has local health services available. It’s advisable to have travel insurance that covers medical expenses. For minor issues, there are pharmacies on the island, but for more serious conditions, you may need to visit a clinic or hospital. Always keep a basic first aid kit and any necessary medications with you during your trip.

Remember, the roads on the main island are narrow, so keep your head up and pay attention to avoid any accidents. If you rent bikes or scooters, be extra careful as cars tend to zip by pretty fast.

Your health and safety are our top priorities. Discover essential tips to stay safe and healthy during your travels. For more detailed advice and to plan your next adventure, visit our website today!


Embarking on your first trip to Bora Bora is truly a dream come true. From the vibrant marine life and stunning coral gardens to the rich cultural history and breathtaking landscapes, Bora Bora offers an unforgettable experience for every traveler. Whether you’re snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters, exploring the island’s interior on a 4WD safari, or simply relaxing on the pristine beaches, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Remember to plan ahead, pack wisely, and immerse yourself in the local culture to make the most of your trip. Your adventure in this tropical paradise awaits, promising memories that will last a lifetime.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time of year to visit Bora Bora?

The best time to visit Bora Bora is during the dry season, from May to October, when the weather is more predictable and there is less rainfall.

How do I get to Bora Bora?

To get to Bora Bora, you will first need to fly into Tahiti’s Faa’a International Airport (PPT). From Tahiti, you can take a domestic flight to Bora Bora’s Motu Mute Airport (BOB). Boat transfers are available from the airport to your accommodation.

What type of accommodation options are available in Bora Bora?

Bora Bora offers a range of accommodation options, including luxury resorts, budget-friendly stays, and the iconic overwater bungalows.

What activities are a must-do in Bora Bora?

Must-do activities in Bora Bora include snorkeling and diving in the coral gardens, taking a 4WD island tour, and experiencing local cultural activities.

What should I pack for a trip to Bora Bora?

For a trip to Bora Bora, pack lightweight clothing, swimwear, reef-safe sunscreen, snorkeling gear, and essential travel documents like your passport and money.

Is Bora Bora safe for tourists?

Yes, Bora Bora is generally safe for tourists. However, it is important to take standard precautions such as using sun protection, practicing water safety, and being aware of local health services.