Top Five Things to do in Bora Bora & Tahiti
Featured destinations: Pacific Islands, Tahiti
Published 24 June 2016
Dazzling white sands, glittering turquoise lagoons and a lush rugged green interior – it is easy to see why Bora Bora and Tahiti are considered among the most romantic islands in the world. And with an abundance of awe-inspiring accommodation to choose from, you could happily spend the week ensconced in the luxurious surroundings of your overwater villa, and still have plenty of stories to regale family and friends with. But venture outside the resort and you will quickly discover there is so much more to explore. Here’s our guide to the top five things to do:
With a plethora of dreamy overwater bungalows and restaurants, Bora Bora and Tahiti boast some of the most spectacular scenery on earth. But dive beneath the waves and you will find a whole new world just waiting to be discovered. Home to hundreds of tropical fish species, stingrays, manta rays and reef sharks, every traveller should experience a taste of marine life in the South Pacific. If diving’s not for you though, why not snorkel instead, or embark on a glass-bottomed boat tour so you can marvel at kaleidoscopic creatures from the comfort of dry land? At Matira Beach in Bora Bora, the white sands slope gently into a warm and shallow lagoon – perfect for families and first-time snorkelers.
While there is plenty to explore beneath the ocean’s surface, glimpsing the island from high in the sky is simply breathtaking. Basalt peaks, private islets, shimmering lagoons and Bora Bora’s majestic Mount Otemanu take on an ethereal quality from a birds-eye vantage point, revealing a spectacular array of colours which are almost impossible to spot from the ground. If you still have itchy feet once the propellers stop rotating, why not try your hand at skydiving? Experience the sparkling ocean rushing towards you while plunging thousands of feet to the ground, before you soar above the islands dotted across the sea - a once-in-a-lifetime feast for the eyes.
Mount Otemanu & Mount Pahia
The highest point on Bora Bora, Mount Otemanu reaches 2,385 feet into the sky. Together with Mount Pahia, it forms the remnants of an extinct volcano which once existed in the centre of the island. While adventurous types can hike up Mount Pahia, the locals say nobody has ever successfully scaled Mount Otemanu. However, climbers can reach the shoulders of this iconic mountain, and the views from this point are unlike anything you have ever seen. Just remember to take plenty of water, wear shoes suitable for hiking and pack something to eat – you are guaranteed to work up an appetite during this outing.
Dolphin & whale watching
It will be very tempting when that alarm goes off to simply roll over, go back to sleep and forget all about it; but if you can bear to part with those impossibly plush pillows, you are guaranteed one of the best experiences of your life. Most of the whale watching takes place between Tahiti and Moorea, and the best way to see these magnificent creatures is by boarding a boat early in the morning and setting out across the open water. It truly is magical when you see those unmissable fins break through the surface of the lagoon. If you’re really lucky, your guide will signal that it’s safe for you to get into the water and snorkel closer to the majestic animals and their offspring. Dolphin lovers should be sure to make the trip to Moorea, nicknamed the Magical Island and home to The Moorea Dolphin Centre – one of the best places in the world to experience these wondrous mammals up close.
Bora Bora’s rugged landscape is spectacular to look at; but one of the best ways to properly experience it is off-roading in the mountains. Ideal for scaling hills and tackling rough tracks which would otherwise remain undiscovered, a 4 X 4 is the perfect way to get up, close and personal with the destination’s rich scenery. You’ll be invited to hop into an off-roader with your guide for a journey across the island, stopping off at key points including East Matira, Faanui Canon and Amanahune Bay. The sunset tour promises awe-inspiring views of this tropical island as it slowly turns golden – after the trip is complete, you will be handed a chilled glass of Champagne to enjoy while looking out across paradise.
If you fancy visiting paradise take a look at our Best of the North Island & Tahiti Journey, which starts in New Zealand then finishes with a relaxing stay on the beaches of Tahiti.