Bora Bora is perhaps the most famous island in the South Pacific. Located in French Polynesia, it’s known for its stunning overwater bungalows. But if you want to do more than simply relax, there’s also great diving and snorkeling throughout this island paradise, as the island is surrounded by a barrier reef. As for hiking, there are trails available through the lush greenery at the foothills of both Mount Otemanu and Mount Pahia.
After dark, the best nightlife in Bora Bora can be found at its many restaurants and bars. One of the best places to eat in Bora Bora is Bloody Mary’s, which coincidentally hosts regular live music performances too. Here are more fun things to do in Bora Bora at night and during the day.
1. Mount Otemanu
At nearly 2400 feet high, Mount Otemanu is an iconic natural landmark in Bora Bora. The rugged remnants of an extinct volcano, it’s located at the center of Bora Bora’s main island and is covered in lush vegetation. You unfortunately can’t summit Mount Otemanu, but there are many wilderness hiking trails around its foothills. There’s also the option of a 4WD-guided tour around the mountain base. For a 360-degree view of Mount Otemanu, opt for a sightseeing boat tour.
2. Matira Beach
Located at the southernmost tip of Bora Bora island, Matira Beach is the island’s most popular public beach. In fact, it’s often named the world’s best beach. Stretching from Hotel Bora Bora to Matira Point, the one-mile long beach is backdropped by palm trees and towering peaks. Settle into its white sand or take a dip into the beach’s calm and azure azure waters. Matira Beach is actually located on a lagoon, so it’s a great place to go snorkeling as well.
3. Bloody Mary’s
Bloody Mary’s is repeatedly named the island’s best restaurant. Established in 1979, Bloody Mary’s is also home to a yacht club, bar, and storefront, which sells the best souvenirs. Bloody Mary’s regularly hosts events and live music shows as well. At its entrance you will find the Wall of Fame, which details all of the celebrities who have dined at the restaurant over the years. A visit to Bloody Mary’s is definitely one of the top things to do in Bora Bora.
4. Mt. Pahia Summit
Mount Pahia is the towering peak next door to Mount Otemanu. The mountains are very similar, in that they’re both remnants of extinct volcanoes covered in dense vegetation. However, you can only hike to the summit of Mount Pahia. It’s a challenging hike through thick jungle and along rugged cliffs, which can take between five to six hours to complete. However, the breathtaking ocean views from the top are said to be worth the effort.
5. Bora Bora Romantic Tour
As one of the world’s most coveted honeymoon destinations, there are plenty of romantic things to do in Bora Bora. For dreamy tours of the island, check out these amazing romantic tour options. They offer a vast selection of private and semi-private tours. This includes a champagne cruise at sunset, as well as semi-private and private snorkeling and swimming tours. Plus, the company also specializes in symbolic wedding ceremonies, if you haven’t entered the honeymoon stage yet!
Motu Toopua (or Toopua Island) is an island within the areas grouping of islands. Although it’s very small, with an area of only 0.6 square miles, it’s actually the second-most populous island within the group. Its main village is called Ativahia and it faces the main island. Toopua is home to several internationally-renowned resorts, including the biggest in the entire island group – Conrad Hilton Bora Bora Nui. It’s also known for its eagle-spotted ray population.
7. Piti Aau
Motu Piti Aau (Piti Aau Island) is another scenic island in the Bora Bora Island Group. It’s only slightly bigger than Toopua, at 0.9 square miles. However, like Toopua, it’s home to beautiful oceanfront resorts as well, like the InterContinental Resort and Thalasso Spa, Le Meridien Resort, and Eden Beach Resort. The best things to do around Piti Aau are all fun water-based activities, such as swimming, snorkeling, diving, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding.
8. Tahiti Pearl Market
Tahiti Pearl Market is a leader in pearl farming and sells some of the world’s most beautiful Tahitian pearls. The family-owned and operated company has seven pearl farms located on different atolls across French Polynesia. Tahiti Pearl Market creates a range of pearl jewelry, including pendants, bracelets, rings and men’s jewelry. Although you can purchase products online, the company also has a boutique at Hotel Sofitel Marara Beach Resort – one of the island’s most prestigious resorts.
9. Aquabike Adventure
Aquabike Adventure is an underwater experience with a difference. As the name suggests, Aquabike is an underwater submarine-type scooter. The tandem experience includes your body being in the water, while you breathe freely in a transparent dome. An experienced diver is underwater alongside you at all times, as you get up close to the island’s amazing marine and coral life. It’s hands down one of the most fun and unique things to do in Bora Bora.
10. Bora Art Upstairs
You’ll find Bora Art Upstairs next to the local post office in Vaitape. The art gallery is filled with plenty of Polynesian pieces of art, including paintings and carvings. There are colorful contemporary paintings, as well as artworks depicting island life. The works of art are available for purchase and made by local artists and artisans. So when on vacation, head into Bora Art Upstairs, meet the friendly and welcoming staff, and pick up the perfect souvenir.
11. Alain Despert Studio
Speaking of art galleries, Alain Despert Studio is another place to visit in Vaitape. Alain Despert is a French-born artist who first moved to French Polynesia in 1986. He says his bright and colorful abstract paintings are inspired by his everyday life in the South Pacific. His work has been exhibited across the United States, and he even worked on a campaign with Absolut Vodka. Studio visits are by appointment only, so visit his website for contact information.
12. Bora Bora Lagoonarium
This family-run attraction on Bora Bora is a great way to experience the amazing sea life in a safe and controlled environment. Billing itself as a “Natural Aquarium”, the Lagoonarium is essentially a protected lagoon where you can snorkel with the fish, turtles and other sea creatures in your own private and protected lagoon. Although it has mixed reviews, we suggest that this is a good destination to have a safe snorkeling experience for the whole family.