Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Bora Bora is a small South Pacific island that is located Northwest of Tahiti in French Polynesia. The entire area is surrounded by motus and a turquoise lagoon that is protected by a coral reef. This luxury resort destination is well known for their world-class scuba diving and snorkeling, romantic dinners on the beach, and gorgeous sunset cruises. State-of-the-art accommodations such as the St. Regis and Le Meridien offer their guests overwater bungalows and beachfront villas to relax and unwind. Paradise can definitely be found in this part of the world, and we are so excited to highlight our favorite travel tips, tricks and shared moments from this magical destination that everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. Let’s dive right in!
While seasons and weather patterns can predict the best times to visit a destination, we’ve found that planning our activities usually dictates the month we plan on booking. For example, scuba diving is always at the top of our list, which means the best time of the year to visit Bora Bora for scuba would be between the months of November through April. These dry short shoulder seasons ensure hardly any rainfall and warmer temperatures ranging from mid-70 to mid-80’s. If we decided to book a trip during the months of May through October we’d be risking significant amounts of rainfall each day with cooler water temperatures ranging from 65 – 75 degrees. One prominent fact is regardless of the season the water clarity is magnificent reaching 200+ feet on any given day. Suffice it to say, we ended up booking our stay at the Le Meridien resort for the last two weeks of August. After boarding a flight from LAX to Papeete for almost 9 hours and an additional plane from Papeete to Bora Bora for another hour, we had arrived in Paradise!
The airport in Bora is unlike any other around the world for the simple fact that all transportation to the resorts are by boat! This means that each hotel is located on their very own Motu. The hotels consistently have round trip boat transportations throughout the whole day to and from the main airport.
Travel Tip: When booking a stay at one of these beautiful resorts, read the fine print on what costs are associated with their boat transfers. Chances are it may be an extra fee, however, it doesn’t hurt to ask if it can be waived or included in the total cost. The average cost for a boat transfer is 40 USD each way.
Upon arrival to Le Meridien resort we were welcomed with open arms. A friendly staff member brought us two delicious cocktails from the foyer, and offered to accompany us to our room.
As we approached our overwater bungalow, we were reminded of the movie “Couples Retreat” where Jon Favreau says that Bora Bora literally looks like a screen saver. When we entered our bungalow, Le Meridien gave us the sweetest welcome gifts, a Bora Bora swim wrap and a Le Meridien t-shirt.
One of the nice features in the Le Meridien bungalows are that the see through glass in the floor is much larger than all of its competitors around the island.
This allows for the perfect social media picture for those millennials out there!
The room was equipped with a plush king size bed, his and her sinks in a large bathroom, cherry red wood floors, an oversized door less rainfall shower, and a balcony with a staircase leading down to the crystal clear ocean water. It is truly a dream!
The next week was packed with water activities such as snorkeling with a local tour group of islanders where we swam next to black tip sharks, had a close encounter with sting rays, swam near a giant resident moray eel and lost count of the incredible marine life.
There was also one scuba dive in particular that we will never forget where we had 6 Manta Ray swim above and around our heads for almost 20 minutes!
Travel Tip: For all you divers out there, Anua Dive Site is an absolute must for the most amazing manta experience you will ever encounter!
Although these excursions were normally at an extra cost to their tourists, there are still a number of activities that are offered from the resort. The activities that sparked our interest were the hobie cat catamaran, kayaking around the lagoon and jet skiing the Polynesian waves around Mount Otemanu. There are also available breakfast options where employees with arrange the food to be kayaked privately over to your bungalow for the most romantic dining experience!
Travel Tip: When in Bora Bora, you must take a ferry taxi from your resort to the main island for dinner at Bloody Mary’s! The restaurant was built of jungle timber and bamboo and the floor is all sand to create the charm and romance of the islands. Each evening, the daily catch of local fish is displayed on ice in front of you as well as fine quality meats. You can pick your own combination plates or create your own particular one. We decided on steak and lobster and it was incredible!!
Overall, we have found Bora Bora to be the perfect honeymoon destination, partially because this was our honeymoon spot, but more importantly because it truly feels like Paradise in the South Pacific!
Cheers to the French Polynesia and all it has to offer their guests. If you are looking for a once in a lifetime trip, paradise has been found!