I welcomed the New Year in Bora Bora. I expected to see warm cystal blue waters, soft white sand, a nice breeze, tropical fish, and palm trees for miles – You know, typical island get-away things, but felt incredibly humbled as soon as I saw the first sight of cerulean blue and Mount Otemanu covered in deep green. It looked like the set of a Jurassic Park movie except there were no pterodactyls – slightly disappointed about that, but you can’t have everything right? But I digress…
Just to give you an idea of how otherworldly it is: If you don’t believe in a higher power, go to Bora Bora. You’ll believe in something. It puts even the most world renowned places to shame. You just can’t beat the blue, calm, warm and crystal waters, and the deep green of its jungles. I guess there’s still a place in this world where man-kind has done little to no damage, because even those rainbow coral gardens are something to be amazed by.
My first thought as I exited the plane was that God is too good to us.
This Post is two fold:
- The first part will give you information, from my point of view, about what it’s like to vacation in Bora Bora from choosing resorts to fun activities and culture.
- The second will be a quick day to day insight on what I did on my 5 day stay.
1.GENERAL INFO ON VACATIONING IN BORA BORA
Choosing a Resort
Most people go to Bora Bora for their honeymoon. There are regular rooms and suites alongside the more popular over water bungalows, however depending on your needs and who you’re bringing, you may be better off choosing one over the other. For a private experience, I’d recommend a water bungalow. If you want a SUPER exclusive get-away for you and your honey, I would suggest a bungalow in a resort on its own island. A lot of the more popular resorts such as the Conrad, St. Regis, La Meridian are all nice, but they lack the privacy and exclusivity of say Pearl Beach Resort and Spa where there are only a few people on the island at all times (This one’s the ultimate Honeymoon Resort). However, if you’re planning on bringing the whole family, I would choose the more popular accommodations and stick to bungalows that only have a few feet of water underneath (if you have small children). Otherwise going the normal route of rooms & suites is fine. The beach is always right outside your door anyway.
Best Time to go/How Long Should You Stay?
Bora Bora only has one season all year round: summer! So unless you hate summer, any time is a good time to go and even then, you’ll need to book everything at least 6 months to a year in advance. As for the duration, it depends on what you’re going for. If you want to just relax, I’d say four or 5 days is enough. If you have a multitude of activities you want to do, then I would go upwards for there. Speaking of activities…
Water & Land Activities
Water in Bora Bora is warm and the current isn’t strong no matter how windy or stormy it gets (it’s a giant lagoon after all), so it’s perfect for people who aren’t strong swimmers. There are many areas in the lagooon where the water is only 3-4 ft deep. Most honeymooners tend to stay nearby their bungalows and spend the day in the water, but if you want to see an array of fish, resorts will have tours that will take you out to the rainbow coral gardens where you’ll see everything from tropical fish, to sharks and rays, and colorful reefs. Don’t worry, the sharks are harmless and small compared to the Tiger sharks outside the lagoons (the water is too warm for them to enter). You can also go scuba diving, hand feed sharks (again, the harmless kinds), swim alongside mantle and eagle rays, jet ski, parasail, and do deep-sea fishing. On land, you can watch locals Tahitian dance at the resorts or go on a jungle safari.
French, Italian, and Japanese are the main cuisines. Something that strikes me as interesting, and it might be only in countries colonized by the French, but there is a lack of salt in most of the meals. In Jamaica and in Bora Bora, people tend to suffer less from salt-related health issues compared to countries like America where salt and sugar are a huge health issue. But for those of you that love salt, don’t let this deter you. All you have to do is ask for salt and they will provide.
Language & Culture
Bora Bora is French-Polynesian. The main languages spoken by the people are Tahitian and French. However, most inhabitants can speak English and despite being a mixture of many cultural influences, Bora Bora keeps their ancient Tahitian traditions alive with music and dance, tattoos, and arts and crafts. Their main sources of business are tourism, fishing, and their rainbow pearls. If you go snorkeling in the rainbow reefs, you’ll see many giant clams in different neon colors. It’s quite a sight!
What to Pack
- Anti-Mosquito Spray (the no-see-ems are everywhere)
- Summer clothes (it’s a consistent 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit and humid)
- Underwater camera (seriously, I didn’t have this and I regretted it so much)
2.MY TIME IN BORA BORA
Accommodation: Pearl Beach Resort and Spa (the only resort with its own private island) – Water Bungalow with glass see-through table and ramp into the water.
Day 1: Checked into our bungalow (my brother and I got a separate one from our parents), ate salmon pizza, and immediately jumped into the water. It was warm and the sand beneath was super soft and squishy. The current isn’t strong and water around the bungalow was only 3-5ft deep. Decided to get a snorkeling mask and explore some coral nurseries nearby. Afterwards, my family and I ate a sushi dinner with a chocolate dessert. Knocked out afterwards.
Day 2: Breakfast buffet in the morning. Took a boat to the main land and did a jungle safari. We rode in a Jeep and had a bumpy but fun ride up mountains and through the jungle. Felt like Indiana Jones. Saw beautiful sights from the top of a couple hills including the blue lagoons and Mount Otemanu. Had an early dinner by grilling salmon and beef on a lava stone – an interesting experience. Jumped into the water again before heading to bed.
Day 3: Woke up to a giant stingray beneath our hut. It was at least 4 feet across. Breakfast buffet in the morning. Spent the whole day in the water and coral nurseries. Ate salmon pizza for lunch and watched a few episode of Game of Thrones. Snoozed in a hammock and came back with a mosquito bite in the middle of my forehead (the only place I neglected to put bug spray). Had seafood pasta for dinner then went off to watch the locals dance. At night we fed the fishes with leftover salmon pizza. Went to bed with sunburn on my face and realized that, yes, it can still happen to very tan people.
Day 4: Breakfast buffet in the morning. Went paddle boarding but was really bad at it and then went on a tour to swim with sharks and mantle rays. Afterwards, we swam in these giant coral gardens that had pearl clams every color of the rainbow. Saw so many tropical fish like parrot fish and angel fish. Also saw giant eels and stone fish. Came back to the resort more sunburned, but worth it. Ate a lobster with a seafood buffet for New Year’s dinner with the family and got a bit drunk off the wine. Celebrated the New Year on the beach with sparklers, dancing, fireworks, and the locals. A really great way to ring in the New Year.
Day 5: Breakfast buffet in the morning. Had a little photoshoot around the island and said goodbye to paradise for now. I definitely want to come back again one day.
And that concludes a super amazing trip! 10/10 would recommend!! Thank you for reading! Maururu!
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