French Polynesia’s Bora Bora Island is perhaps one of the most magical places on the earth. The legends, mysteries, and romances associated with the name “Bora Bora” bring an almost mystical presence to the island. Bora Bora is a small island, created by volcanic action around three or four million years ago resulting three main peaks, Mt. Hue (619m), Mt. Pahia (661m), and Mt. Otemanu (727m). Around the perimeter of the main island are a series of motus (small islands). Outside the lagoon, a barrier reef lines the motus protecting the lagoon from the open sea waves. More than a few writers – including James Michener – have called it as “the most beautiful lagoon in the world”. First discovered by James Cook in 1769, Bora bora remains the most stunning blue and turquoise lagoon in South Pacific.
Vava’u is the ancient name of Pora Pora, perhaps supporting the theory that the original inhabitants of this island arrived from Tongan Island. When the first time James Cook found the island, he mistakenly heard the sound of Tahitian “P” for “B”. Then, until now, the island was known as Bora Bora, meaning “first born”.
As you approach Bora Bora by air, you will see the amazing view from above. The lagoon and coral reef circling the island as well as the mountain in the middle of the island just made us believe that this was definitely one of the best places for honeymoon. The airport of Bora Bora is located on the separate island, called Motu Mute, in the northern part of the main island. Upon our arrival, as we walked to terminal, we saw a couple of stands representing their hotels and resorts around the island. An agent from Bora Bora Nui Resort and Spa welcomed us and gave us beautiful flower leis. They took care and transferred our bags to a private boat that would bring us to the hotel.
We stayed at the over water bungalow which I would highly recommend for those visiting Bora Bora. It was such a unique experience, indulging in the privacy of Bora Bora over water bungalow, which you could never forget. The over water bungalow features a separate bedroom, a spacious bathroom with both tubs and walk-in showers, a big private sundeck with oversize chairs and glass floor viewing panels throughout the bungalow. Most of these bungalows are perched above the turquoise lagoon water, touched with traditional Polynesian design, creating a newly different world for the occupants. Enjoy the unbelievable ocean views and the sunset from your private terrace. Should you be tired of your room, you can swim, snorkel, and sunbath right from your dock.
It is no doubt that Bora Bora has one of the world’s most beautiful lagoons. Visiting the islands on its outer edge is absolutely a must. One day of private honeymoon tour, which included lagoon excursion, swimming with stingrays, shark feeding, snorkeling, and a private motu picnic, suited us best. First, they took us to a home of stingrays and tropical fish. They were high in numbers and very friendly, but you do have to be careful with their thorny tails. Next, we went to the Coral Garden, a beautiful garden reef off the South East part of the main island. We loved to snorkel here very very much, especially in a perfect sunny day with the sunshine right above you, making the colors of coral more beautiful. You would find a lot of different sea creatures here, varying from different kinds of tropical fish, eels, crabs, sea urchins, and huge shellfish.
After visiting the Coral Garden, the guide took us out of the outer reefs to see some black tip sharks. This part was our most thrilling activity in Bora Bora. The guide pulled out a large bucket of dead fish and started ripping them into pieces before spreading them to the water. The fish blood was to attract the sharks. Shortly, some sharks came and he asked us to jump into the water swimming with the sharks. My husband was very surprised, questioning the safety. But the guide calmly told us not to be worried and he said that we (human beings) were even more dangerous than sharks, and then he jumped into the sea without any hesitations. Though a bit scared, we both took our snorkeling gears and followed him into the water. And soon, the sharks started to swim away from us and delve into the deep water. Then we became very relieved and began to explore the deep sea. At that time we were lucky to see a very cute sea turtle. It was a scary experience but very amazing and unforgettable.
The most memorable part of the entire tour was the picnic lunch at a private motu, which was very secluded and unspoiled. As the guide prepared the food and the table, we both walked along the motu’s pristine beach and enjoyed the beauty of the Bora Bora’s lagoon. The food was served at a table in the water under an umbrella. The lunch was great! It consisted of a barbequed lobster (very yummy), a juicy steak, a Polynesian salad, fruits for dessert, and of course, sliced baquettes. A complimentary a bottle of Champaign also accompanied our lunch. A lot of little white fish tickled our feet while we were eating. Hand feeding the leftover baquettes to the small fish was totally a sensational experience. It was truly a relaxing and romantic treat.
After lunch, we proceeded with our boat tour all around the lagoon and then had another session of snorkeling before ending our fantastic tour. I was so thrilled seeing the gorgeous colors of the water, which had many shades of blue and turquoise colors depending on the depth of the water. It is like a resemblance of an artist’s palette of blues and greens, creating the most stunning first impression. I’ve never seen so many shades of blues in one place. There is almost no word to describe the colors of this beautiful lagoon and its ability to fascinate even the most skeptical visitor like me. You have to experience it yourself.