It was ten years ago but I still remember it like it was yesterday. When I sat down to plan my round-the-world trip in 2008, a trip which quite literally changed my life, I took out a world map and circled the places I wanted to visit. One place I certainly didn’t want to miss was Bora Bora, an atoll northwest of Tahiti in French Polynesia in the South Pacific Ocean (find Bora Bora on a world map). I was totally captivated by photos of Bora Bora I’d seen so many times in travel magazines and encyclopedias.
Whatever it cost, I was determined to visit this island paradise in the South Pacific – Bora Bora is not a cheap destination. Considering how far away it is and I knew I was going to spend a lot anyway, I decided to go all the way and splurge on an overwater bungalow at the Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island – a decision I didn’t regret one bit!
My trip to Bora Bora in photos
Upon my arrival, I wrote the following in my Travel Journal:
Bora Bora is everything I thought it would be… and more. I’ve seen pictures of it in countless publications, documentaries and travel programmes but it’s not till you’re actually here that you begin to fathom just how magical this place is. I mean, I’ve been to many places around the world that have similar surroundings but Bora Bora just has, let’s call it, the ‘X-factor’. I think it’s a mix of the lagoon’s breathtaking shades of turquoise, aquamarine, sapphire, emerald, fluorescent green and electric blue – you could spend a day or two here just trying to get your mind around the myriad of colours; the impressive rock face of Mt. Otemanu that towers over the whole lagoon; the crystal clear water and pristine white sandy beaches; the low-rise resorts (that give the place a very exclusive feel) with their idyllic thatched roof overwater bungalows; the constant scent of frangipani and tiare Tahiti (the national flower that’s used for almost everything); and the fact that you’re in the middle of the South Pacific! I can now understand why people are willing to spend a large chunk of their life-savings just to make a trip out here. It’s really like a little piece of heaven on Earth – I wouldn’t know how else to describe it.
Four glorious days in Bora Bora
And it really was a little piece of heaven! I spent four glorious days in Bora Bora, most of the time just staring out at the immense lagoon and its breathtaking spectrum of colours, or snorkelling in the crystalline water below the bungalow. Just before sunset, I would sit on the deck of my overwater bungalow, with a cocktail in hand, and watch the little ‘migration’ of fish and sharks in the clear water below my feet. I had almost no idea of what to do in Bora Bora but I didn’t care. I had my deck and its incredible view!
A boat tour around the Bora Bora lagoon
I managed to pull myself away from my bungalow for a boat excursion around the lagoon. I’m so glad I did! During this unforgettable excursion, I got to see some of the other resorts, swim with black-tip sharks and rays, and learn about Bora Bora’s coral nurseries.
An unforgettable goodbye
Bora Bora had one more surprise for me on the day I left. As the plane took to the sky, I was treated to a phenomenal aerial view of Bora Bora and its lagoon! These views can also be enjoyed during a helicopter tour.
It was a short trip but one of the most memorable ones ever for me. I hope to return one day and visit some of the other French Polynesian islands as well. Fingers crossed that day comes soon. 🙂
Where to stay in Bora Bora
There are various high-end resorts in Bora Bora that have stunning overwater bungalows with views of the iconic Mt. Otemanu. In addition to Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island, I recommend checking out the Four Seasons Bora Bora, Le Meridien, Intercontinental Bora Bora and St. Regis Bora Bora.
How to get to Bora Bora
There are direct flights to Pape’ete, Tahiti, with Air Tahiti Nui from cities in Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the USA. Air France & Air Tahiti Nui also fly from Paris via Los Angeles to Pape’ete. Latam Airlines flies to Pape’ete from Santiago, Chile, with a stopover in Easter Island. I flew to Pape’ete from Sydney, Australia. From Pape’ete, there are regular daily flights to Bora Bora. After my trip to Bora Bora, I continued my round-the-world trip with Latam to Easter Island.