Bora Bora Island
Bora Bora - the island of all dreams, is an island in the Leeward group of the Society Islands of French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of France in the Pacific Ocean. The island, located about 230 kilometres (140 mi) northwest of Papeete, is surrounded by a lagoon and a barrier reef. In the center of the island are the remnants of an extinct volcano rising to two peaks, Mount Pahia and Mount Otemanu, the highest point at 727 metres (2,385 ft). The original name of the island in the Tahitian language might be better rendered as Pora Pora, meaning “First Born”.
Honeymooners and romantics from around the world have laid claim to Bora Bora where the castle-like Mount Otemanu pierces the sky above the crystal lagoon with its unique over the water bungalows that offer a magical oneness with this extraordinary environment.
Lush tropical slopes and valleys blossom with hibiscus, while palm-covered motu circle the lagoon like a delicate necklace. Perfect white-sand beaches give way to emerald waters where impossibly colored fish animate the coral gardens. So much has been written about Bora Bora, and yet it is hard to find the right words to describe the magic that emanates from this island.
Seen from the air, Bora Bora has been compared to that of “a tiny emerald in a setting of turquoise, encircled by a sheltering necklace of sparkling pearls”.
The airport, built by the US forces in 1942, is located on a palm fringed motu about 20 minutes by boat from the main village of Vaitape.
Some other remnant of the US presence are 2 large cannons hidden in the lush hills overlooking the lagoon.
The view of Bora Bora from the airport is truly breathtaking, and as you travel across the spectacular lagoon you will soon understand why it is the main area of attraction for most visitors.
The lagoon is 3 times the size of the land mass and offers an amazing range of hues of blue and turquoise as you navigate its crystal waters.
To the southeast of the island is the Coral Garden, a natural underwater park where all types of fish and corals are found.
Off the Point Matira there is an area where the huge and graceful manta rays congregate for your viewing pleasure. There are other types of ray such as the beautiful spotted ray and the friendly gray ray which love to be petted during the “ray feeding” excursions.
At the entrance of the pass, the “White valley” teems with gray sharks and barracudas in a never ending ballet.
Most of the temples (Marae) having been destroyed during the last century by the English missionaries, and unfortunately there is little archeological remnants left.
Bora Bora lagoon offers a multitude of activities and excursions, one of the most popular being the Shark feeding where from chest-deep water you watch local divers feed 4′ to 5′ reef sharks by hand. It’s a lot of fun and totally safe. The same routine is done with a large group of friendly gray rays.
You can also take a circle-the-lagoon excursion with motu picnic, rent a small boat, visit the Lagoonarium near Le Meridien Hotel and take a 4×4 excursion to the panoramic view points and the US cannons.