Romantics, you have found your ideal destination. The small island of Bora Bora is only 18 miles in circumference, but it’s home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and waters, and the luxurious pampering resorts with overwater bungalows and thatched roofs we dream of for our ultimate retreats. Add to that scenery the sharply rising Mount Otemanu, which reaches almost 2,400 feet above sea level, and lush tropical slopes and valleys, and you’ve got the closest thing to paradise on earth.
Your resort will be located either on the southern end of the main island or on its own motu (islet in the lagoon). The water is the key to what will keep you active when you want to venture from your lounge chair or spa treatment. The turquoise lagoon surrounded by picture-perfect white sand beaches is your playground for such unique experiences as shark feeding.
You stand in the shallow lagoon far enough away but close enough to watch your guides hand-feed the sharks. Explore the lagoon via glass-bottom boat, motorboat or jet ski, or just snorkel from your bungalow or off the beach anywhere on the island. Diving is also big here with marine life galore.
Venture off the coast and to the interior roads on a hike or 4X4 accompanied by a local guide. You’ll be treated to unbelievable overlook views. And be sure to make some time to shop for local and international original art, Tahitian pearls, perfumes and oils, and precious wood handcrafts.
Most meals will be eaten at your resort, where you’ll be treated to world-class dining, complete with some of the best water views you’re ever going to see. Many of the properties also offer after-dinner Polynesian shows, incorporating the cultural flavor into your stay. Cuisine here is as you would expect -- lots of local seafood, fruits and vegetables to enjoy.
Romantic options that can be arranged include a gourmet picnic on a private beach or a sunset cruise with four-course dinner aboard a private catamaran. And of course the ultimate in romance is breakfast by outrigger canoe brought to your overwater bungalow or villa. The flower-decorated canoe brings with it fresh fruits, pastries and juices by a welcoming resort staff member.
International flights land at Faa’a Airport in Papeete on the island of Tahiti. Flight time is just under eight hours from Los Angeles and about 12 hours from New York’s JFK. Air Tahiti Nui, Tahiti’s national carrier, offers nonstop direct service from both cities. Air Tahiti has five or six flights daily to the Bora Bora Airport on Moto Mute from Tahiti (as well as from other islands). It’s about a one-hour flight.
The airport, built on a motu, is accessible only by a short ferry ride to Vaitape. Resort transport is either by private motorboats from the airport operated by some of the luxury resorts, or by shuttle from Vaitape. Public transport on the island is limited. Bicycles are a great way to get around.
Average year-round temperatures is 79° F., with water temperatures averaging 79° F. in the winter and 84° F. during the summer.