Hi everyone who reads my blog! Who am I? I’m a person who visited 43 countries for 5 years, and decided to start writing about my huge experience! Here I am going to give you some Bora Bora travel tips because I came back to the USA just 2 weeks ago and my impressions are still fresh!
To be honest I still can’t get used to “normal” life and New York bustling after relaxed and a little bit crazy Bora Bora travel, it’s like night and day. My friends often ask me what is the best time to go to Bora Bora. Well, if you want to save a lot of money, you can visit this island in rainy season which lasts from November till April. But I prefer sunny days so I chose the middle of May, the average air temperature was 30.4°C in daytime and 27.7°C at night. Water temperature also was pretty kind, 28.6°C.
I guess the most popular question before tourists is where to stay in Bora Bora or which island to choose and why. I’ll answer all your possible questions in my bora bora travel blog.
Things to Know When Travelling Bora Bora: General Facts
Nature has given to Bora Bora island a crystal clean water and created many little reef-bound islets near the main island, they are called “motu”. Bora Bora is a mountain-mass which consists of 3 peaks with the highest point 727 metres.
It’s the favorite French Polynesia island among tourists, that’s why the amount of hotels there is larger than on other islands all of them combined. This gorgeous place is located 240 kilometers northwest of Tahiti and deservedly considered to be the pearle of the Pacific Ocean.
The silent serene lagoon is ideal for snorkeling and family vacation with children – there are no waves, sandy beaches, and crystal water even in the deep. You can enjoy snorkeling, diving or other water entertainments infinitely, globing warming affected the corals in the Pacific part of the southern hemisphere less than on my favorite Maldives, Seychelles, and Tahiti.
I had the luck to exploit a submarine world and found out that stingrays are not dangerous at all, moreover they are very friendly! So don’t be afraid of diving into the water, even reef sharks are safe for people.
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Planning a Travel to Bora Bora: Transport and Living
How to get?
For getting to paradise island you should try hard! First, you should get on a plane to Papeete (passport control there is terribly long), which is in Tahiti. Tahiti is located in 250 kilometers from Bora Bora. From one island to another you can get through domestic airlines or by speed boat. I chose the airport, so the way from Bora Bora Airport to hotel took about 20 minutes by bus, but you can choose catamaran as well! Transport on the main island is provided by one shuttle bus, which makes stops on demand. It also depends on taste, you can use a bicycle, scooter or little car. Travelers whose budget doesn’t know the word “expensive” can even go on a helicopter ride, which is both modes of transportation and unforgettable having fun!
Currency Issue: Bora Bora Currency
What kind of money do they use in Bora Bora? Often people ask me what currency does Bora Bora use. So, it’s French Pacific Frank (Cour de Franc Pacifique). For your understanding 1€ = 119,331 CFP. The USA dollars and euro are accepted on island, but exchange rate is different everywhere. Currency exchange is simply to find in Airport, some shops, hotels, and banks.
Where to Stay in Bora Bora?
The most beautiful places in Bora Bora are surrounded by expensive hotels: Saint Regis, Intercontinental, Four Season, they are located on the lagoon edge, on islets called “motu”. From these hotels’ beaches, you’ll see the most beautiful view of the mount Otemanu.
In morning sunbeams Otemanu simply shines! “Hilton” has less exclusive sights because it’s located at oceanside, on a bigger island, and the Otemanu view is closed for tourists who live there by hills of the very island. Also, I can advise you on Pearl beach, and Lagoon Resort.
Other hotels are much cheaper because of their simplicity. My choice was Sofitel, in proportion of cost and quality this hotel is quite good!
Sofitel doesn’t have gorgeous view to Otemanu, but almost nearby it I found the most beautiful part of Bora Bora lagoon – you can take a FREE canoe, navigate emerald waters of Pacific Ocean and investigate wild sand beaches!
One more advantage of my choice where to stay in Bora Bora is the only food store right in 5 minutes from me, and 2-3 cafes – the ONLY ones in this part of the island! I was satisfied!
Submarine World: Is Bora Bora Safe?
Many tourists, especially families with children, worry about animals which live on the tropical island and especially in the sea. The submarine world of French Polynesia is really rich, you can even meet a real whale, they swim around all islands, but if you are seriously aimed to see a whale as close as it’s possible, you should hire a guide and go to Rurutu.
Also, there are tens of kinds of dolphins living on islands of French Polynesia, which is considered to be a whale reserve. Undoubtedly you’ll meet dolphins while traveling to Tahiti, and other islands. Among 350 types of sharks, people can meet 19 ones. Don’t be scared! Bora Bora is exactly the place that dispels myths that SHARKS IS EVIL!
On Tahiti and neighboring islets I personally met 4 sharks during diving: night sharks, grey sharks, Madagascar sharp-toothed sharks, and hammerheads.
As you can judge, I’m alive and I swear that I have 2 hands, 2 legs and all fingers!
If you decided to travel to Bora Bora from us, then I insist that you must try diving and see stingrays, sea turtles, coral reefs and soooo many interesting fish!
Who Are Inhabitants of Bora Bora: Religion, Culture, Language
Sure in restaurants, excursions and shops people easily understand the USA citizens. But as my grandfather always said: why to go somewhere if you don’t know where you go? I agree that’s why I’ll tell you something before your Bora Bora travel.
So a Little Bora Bora Travel Guide From Me:
- Bora bora’s official language is French, indigenous people speak polynesian languages. In schools children learn French and tahitian languages. But tahitians understand the USA citizens perfectly. SECRET: tahitian language has only 13 letters!
- Bora Bora religion: about 55% of population are evangelicals, 30% are catholics, 6% – mormons, 2% are adventists, and 2% are buddhists are supporters of Confucianism
- There is a roundabout road on island, where bus goes around, and tourists can admire ALL landscapes just for 1 hour!
- During your vacation to Bora Bora don’t forget to visit the Pearl Factory which is open for tourists. Moreover you can even catch an oyster by yourself and watch the process of extracting pearls live!
- Interesting places to see: Marotetini’s temple which is considered to be a religion centre of island, and also remains of American naval base
- Tahitian language doesn’t have letter “B”, so Bora Bora is a wrong name! In Tahitian it’s called “Pora Pora” which means “the firstborn”. The first European settler misheard and since then we call this paradise Bora Bora!
- There is NO snake on island and NO poisonous insect AT ALL!
- DANGER! FALLING COCONUTS! Yes, 1 green coconut can have weight of 2 kilograms. Palms are very high (about 30 metres) and considering the speed of falling it’s really dangerous, so be careful!
- In 2013 the CNN chose Matira beach as the best beach in the world.
These were some things to know when traveling to Bora Bora, and by my experience, I also would advise you the best way to get acquainted with traditions of island and find the most beautiful tropical places – a jeep tour!
Usually such excursions last for the whole day, guide suggests tourists to make stop in some landscape place for picnic, acquaints with national culture, learns to break coconuts and bind pareo etc.
There is no secret that most couples choose their honeymoon as the best time to visit Bora Bora, this paradise is created for love. Many ones decide to get married on Matira beach and hire local photographers, event-managers, florists for the ceremony. Besides Bora Bora can suggest good ideas for bachelor parties, there are enough nightclubs, big restaurants and bars also can organize a great event.
What to Bring From Bora Bora Travel?
The most popular souvenir in Bora Bora is jewelry with pearls. Bora Bora has a glory of great shopping, I would advise you Baldini Perles – this shop has a great choice of souvenirs made of pearls and pearlescents.
TOP 5 Restaurants I Tried
- St James Bora Bora
- Lagoon Restaurant by Jean-Georges
- La Villa Mahana
- Bam Boo
- Bora Bora Yacht Club
Well, my friends, I hope my Bora Bora travel tips were useful for you?
I am going to prepare the next travel guide for you, and for now I wish you the best vacation ever!