Motu with welcome sign at Bora Bora airportMotu with welcome sign at Bora Bora airport
©Motu with welcome sign at Bora Bora airport|Lei Tao

Four days in Bora Bora

Bora Bora, the Pearl of the Pacific

The best-known of all the Pacific islands, Bora Bora is halfway between a volcanic island and an atoll. The emerald lagoon, rightly recognized as the most beautiful in the world, sparkles like a necklace at the base of Mount Otemanu and a host of small islets. Here, man and nature exist together in perfect harmony. Once a support base for the American armed forces, Bora Bora has a lot more to offer than its magnificent scenery. However, it is due to its natural beauty that Bora Bora is known worldwide as the Pearl of the Pacific. Here are a few suggestions for a short, four-day break in paradise.

Teavanui, The Unique Pass at Bora BoraTeavanui, The Unique Pass at Bora Bora
©Teavanui, The Unique Pass at Bora Bora|Holger Leue

Day 1

It’s Bora Bora’s number one asset. Bright emerald green, suffused with every imaginable shade of blue, the lagoon of Bora Bora is without doubt the most beautiful in the world. So naturally, the best way to begin your stay is with an excursion on these crystal clear turquoise waters. A boat trip around the main island will help you get your bearings and you can admire Mount Otemanu, which at 727 meters, is the island’s highest peak. You will also pass some of the many motu, where you can stop to go snorkeling and discover the richness of the lagoon’s marine fauna and flora. By the end of the day, your head will already be filled with picture-postcard souvenirs of the Pearl of the Pacific.

Day 2

After the lagoon, it’s time to explore the mountains and luxuriant valleys of the island’s interior. Bora Bora has several enjoyable hiking trails that are relatively easy. Some of them will take you up to gun emplacements for American cannons, which can be found all over the island. Today, it’s difficult to imagine that Bora Bora played an active role in the Second World War. If you want something a little more challenging, try the traversière route which crosses the island, or climb to the summit of Mount Popoti, from where you’ll get one of the best panoramic views of the lagoon.

If walking’s not your thing, why not rent a quad? Steep tracks over rough terrain will lead you right into the very heart of the island. And along the way you’ll be able to enjoy some truly magnificent views.

Day 3

Like most of the islands in French Polynesia, the waters of Bora Bora offer a magnificent display of diversified sealife. Whatever your level, you can dive and explore the sea bed, surrounded by manta rays, blacktip sharks, lemon sharks, nurse sharks, multicolored tropical fish and even sea turtles. There are a dozen dive sites on the island.

If you don’t like diving, you can still see some turtles at the center for the protection of sea turtles. You’ll discover the work of the nursing staff who take care of injured turtles before releasing them back into the lagoon. As well as passing an interesting and pleasant moment, you will also be doing a good turn, as the receipts from visitors go towards the development of the center and the protection of the lagoon’s turtles.

The beaches on the motu are superb, but Matira beach on the main island is something else altogether. With turquoise water that stretches as far as the eye can see, it is one of the very best beaches in The Islands of Tahiti. A corner of paradise where doing nothing is just about all you really need to do.

However, should you be seized by a sudden desire for activity, then you can always rent a paddleboard, kayak or jet-ski and go for a tour of the lagoon. And let’s not forget lunch. Stroll over to one of the beachside snack bars for a delicious poisson cru, then give yourself a pinch to make sure that it isn’t all just a wonderful dream.

Day 4

It’s difficult to describe the sensation of being up in the air and looking down upon the Pearl of the Pacific. A seaplane flight over Bora Bora is simply unique and you’ll hardly be able to believe your eyes from the moment you take off until the moment you touch back down in the lagoon. You can go a little further if you like, and fly over the neighboring island of Tupai, which is unique in that it’s heart-shaped. For a more active experience, you can go for a parachute jump, try paragliding or even be towed by boat on a paraglider.

Scared of heights? Then keep your feet firmly on the ground and go for a tour of the island. There are several ways of doing this; by bike, but it’s a 32km ride, so it’s easier in a car. Or there’s an e-moke, a small electric open car, eco-friendly and fun as well. Whichever you choose, you’ll discover a different aspect of Bora Bora.