Out of all the places we’ve traveled to over the years, Bora Bora in French Polynesia has officially moved to the number one spot. It’s a trip we spent almost a year planning, but practically a lifetime imagining, and being there in person honestly was so much more than we ever dreamed.
Staring out at the stunning landscape of Bora Bora from our overwater bungalow was at times almost surreal. It is so perfectly beautiful, it almost felt like a movie backdrop. It sets the idyllic scene for a fulfilling trip full of romance, adventure and bliss. From the incredible weather and clear-blue water to the delectable cuisine, here are seven amazing reasons to visit Bora Bora.
The Water Color
Let me tell you that the photos below can’t even begin to portray the various shades of blue you’ll see in Bora Bora. A barrier reef surrounds the cluster of small islands making up Bora Bora, which in turn creates the calm lagoon of inifinite blue hues we never wanted to leave. If you love being on or in the water, you will love every moment of your trip. Especially considering the majority of the hotels are located on their own small Motus, or islands, you have to take a boat to get everywhere else. (Even the airport is on its own island!)
Tropical islands can be pretty romantic in general, but Bora Bora exudes romance from the moment you step off the plane. Greeted by handmade leis or seashell necklaces and whisked via boat to your hotel where you’re welcomed by Polynesian music and freshly squeezed mango or other fruit juices, you can’t help but swoon. Just the landscape and surroundings alone would cause the sparks to fly, but coupled with romantic options for private dinners, sunset sails, massages over the water, huge breakfast-in-bed spreads and lots of complimentary bottles of champagne, you can’t help but fall deeper in love with both the destination and your partner.
Where do I begin with this one? To be quite honest, I think the restaurants and food in Bora Bora were one of the aspects that took me most by surprise. I knew there would be a lot of fresh, delectable seafood options being that Bora Bora is surrounded by water, but boy was I impressed by the high-caliber presentations and quality we were met with. The dishes are both creative and delicious with a multitude of flavors and lots of variety. Influenced by France, many restaurants serve multi-course tasting menus. Though these are typically more expensive, you get the privilege (and it really tastes like a privilege) of getting to try multiple things on the menu in smaller portions. My husband definitely took full advantage and ordered a seven-course tasting menu at almost every restaurant we visited (and I wasn’t too far behind him). If you’re into wine as well, many of the chefs will offer an option that pairs the perfect wine with each dish for a full sensory experience. The two best restaurants in Bora Bora (in our humble opinion) were Jean-Georges’ Lagoon Restaurant at the St. Regis and St. James Restaurant in Vaitape on the main island.
There’s a pretty big misconception about what you can do in Bora Bora. Prior to our departure, many people asked, Aren’t you going to be bored of just laying on the beach for so many days?” Though we happily enjoyed spending two full days soaking in the sun, the rest were spent exploring and experiencing all the beauty Bora Bora has to offer. Aside from all the complimentary activities available at most hotels like kayaking, stand up paddle boarding and snorkeling, we went shark feeding and reef snorkeling, swimming with stingrays, aqua biking 12 feet under the ocean, pearl shopping on the main island and jet ski touring. If you’re certified in scuba diving, some of the most beautiful dives can be found in Bora Bora.
Though they’re technically French citizens (and the majority do speak French), the Polynesian culture is still strong in Bora Bora. We actually visited during the annual Heiva Festival, which is held at Moto’i Place on the main island. This is a month-long festival where different groups compete against one another in singing, dance and traditional Polynesian sports competitions. But if you’re not there during this cultural immersion, don’t worry. You can experience the culture through the guides on the various tours, through the Polynesian shows at the hotels in addition to spending time in the main town. The warmth and kindness of the culture shines through all the employees we encountered at the hotels as well.
All year round the temperatures are pretty consistent between 70 and 85 degrees farenheit, even in the winter. You can’t help but want to be outside all day long (we woke up between 6:30-7:30 a.m. every day to take full advantage of it). The high season in Bora Bora is their winter from late May through September, as the summer is their rainy season. The most rainfall usually occurs during December and January (around one foot per month). However for most of the year, you will experience beautiful weather, and definitely can find some deals in the “off seasons.”
The final amazing reason to visit Bora Bora is the accommodations. If you’re going to travel across the world to visit, the hotel options will absolutely not disappoint. Regardless of when and how you travel, a trip to Bora Bora is on the pricier side, however staying in an overwater bungalow is worth every cent. Who wouldn’t want a backyard of stunning water and mountains to wake up to every day? Especially if you like marine life and snorkeling, all the bungalows have portions of the floors made of just glass, that allow you to see right into the water below. We could see schools of fish every day just hanging out underneath us, which typically ended up with Yoni grabbing the GoPro and jumping in at 7 a.m. (the water temperature is absolutely delightful). These bungalows are typically pretty spacious and some are even suite sized with a separate sitting room. All have beautiful decks attached to the back that allow you to jump off for great swimming and snorkeling as well as outdoor showers to rinse off before coming back inside. In Bora Bora, we requested a bungalow facing west so we could watch the sunsets every evening (and I definitely recommend you do too)!
I could go on and on about all the amazing reasons to visit Bora Bora as it’s the most beautiful and romantic place we’ve been. From start to finish everything about our trip was incredible, so much so that we almost didn’t get on our flight to come back home! Is Bora Bora on your bucket list? Let me know what questions you have in the comments below or by emailing me directly (see contact tab for details). If you like what you’ve read, please sharing using the buttons below on social media and follow along on my social channels to see beautiful photos as we travel around the world. Maruru and Nana! (Thank you and goodbye!)