Does exploring new, exotic places make you happy?
Well then, so will reading about it. Until, you can actually travel.
Let's explore a little spec of heaven or earth today - Bora Bora in the Polynesian Islands.
■ It is one of the most breath-taking places in the world, with its overwater bungalows sprawled over the gorgeous and pristine turquoise lagoon, and its most vibrant coral reefs.
■ At the center of Bora Bora, lies the Otemanu Volcano. They take you to an entirely another world, no words can describe the experience.
Planning a trip there can be more elusive than other destinations. Not to mention, expensive. Where exactly is Bora Bora? Bora Bora is one of a group of islands in the south Pacific Ocean, they are known as the French Polynesia.
On the world map, you will be able to locate it somewhere between Hawaii and Australia. From San Francisco, it is about a 9 hours flight to Tahiti. You arrive at the Tahiti airport, watch some local dancers while you wait in line for customs and then board a small 1 hour flight to Bora Bora.
Tahiti itself is a beautiful island, and many just plan a trip in Tahiti. If you arrive at Tahiti in the evening, it may be a good idea to spend a night or two and explore the island, before moving on to Bora Bora.
Is it worth it? Why choose Bora Bora?
A million times, YES! And despite the cost, the experience and the memories made will be unlike anything, and will surely be cherished forever.
■ Bora Bora is indeed one of most famous isles located in the French Polynesia. It is where nature literally shows off its artistic bent. It is lush, with clear blue skies and an even clear blue-green ocean.
■ You will enjoy a pampered, luxurious and privileged experience if you live in one of the high end overwater bungalows, coupled with a great local and provincial feel as you walk and explore the streets of the island.
You should know that accommodations, food and activities are all expensive here. Tourism is the biggest source of their income and the local population is very pleasant and accommodating.
There are the three most popular islands in the French Polynesia - Tahiti, Mo’orea and Bora Bora.
■ Bora Bora is the most pristine and luxurious of all islands. If you feel the expense of such a trip excessive, and still want to have a great experience, then both Tahiti and Mo’orea offer you that.
It would definitely not be as magnificent as Bora Bora, but you can easily, at the least save half if you decide to enjoy either Tahiti and/or Mo’orea.
■ It may be even worthwhile to have a full experience. You could arrive at Tahiti, stay a couple days there, fly to Mo’orea for a few nights, and lastly fly to Bora Bora and enjoy a couple days there. The week would be well spent.
Hey, when is the best period to head to Bora Bora ?
Honestly, any day in Bora Bora is a gorgeous day. With 80℉ temperature year round, same for the lagoon water, you can swim anytime of the year at the beautiful Bora Bora beaches. Albeit Bora Bora lies in the Tropics area, humidity is not unbearable and suffocating.
■ Humidity is high, and a respite comes via gentle South Pacific ocean breezes and the north-easterly trade winds. Daytime and nighttime temperatures are also pretty much similar. The balmy evenings add to the allure of the experience.
■ The island is affected by rainstorms and monsoon activity between December through March, though. Interestingly, this is also their summer, albeit a wet one. Interestingly, summertime is not the high season period at Bora Bora because of the rains. June to October are winter months, they are dry and clear, and this is, obviously the peak season.
Tip: April and May, and even November are regarded as "the shoulder months", and probably the best time to travel. Shoulder season is on both sides of winter, and has moderate climate and moderate rates and traffic.
How about accommodation, food, internal travel and activities?
A vacation at Bora Bora is like a bucket list item checked off. This is an experience you are splurging on, this is one of those big ticket items that has no replacement in terms of me-time, family time, fun and food.
■ It is a complete relax deal. The place that you choose at Bora Bora is not only for stay, but also serves as a daytime playground. There is an abundance of resorts, and choosing one may be difficult.
■ The tropical paradise is also known for its bungalows rising above water, with glass floor and windows displaying the depth of the lagoon. You can literally jump off your deck into the water that calls to you, it is not too deep, maybe 5 feet and safe for kids.
■ While the best overwater bungalows are at the 4 and 5 star resorts, there are also some budget friendly overwater bungalows. To enjoy the true Bora Bora overwater bungalow experience, you will want to stay in one of these.
Then, there are other resorts that you can choose from, ranging from expensive to moderate, offering wonderful views of the island on top of resort activities, shows, food and drinks.
■ There are hotels, vacation rentals, pensions and now AirBnB as well, so there's a variety of choices available.
■ Eating at Bora Bora, like everything else, can be pricey because of the imported goods. But, there is a variety of locally grown food to be sampled.
Between the local grocery store and your resort dining plan, you will be well covered. Foodies, be ready to put some pounds on. You name it - seafood, exotic fruits and vegetables, cocktails, drinks and a variety of dessert.
■There are a plethora of activities to do on Bora Bora. Obviously, all kinds of water activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, boat rentals, stand-up paddle boarding, jet boating, tubing, kayaking, and shark diving.
■ You could enjoy gorgeous beaches for hours, especially the Matira Beach, there are scheduled programs set aside for shark and stingray feeding that you could relish in, check out the underwater life at the Lagoonarium that you visit.
And for all the world, do not miss the Coral Gardens! You have never seen the likes of it.
There are land activities to enjoy as well, go hiking in the exquisite, foliage heavy, mountainous areas of Bora Bora, 4X4 land excursions, ATV tours, and whether you just take pictures from a distance or actually climb the rocky slopes, Mount Otemanu is a must-see.
■ For a taste of the local culture, saunter along the paths in Vaitape, the people are very welcoming, and some would be willing to share their history with you or give you a glimpse into their life, if you wish.
■ Cool off on the decks of your overwater bungalow, overlooking the blue-green lagoon with a soothing cocktail in hand, or bike around the island at a leisurely pace.
Bora Bora is an unparalleled, and unique vacation with the main objective of relaxation.
Stand anywhere in Bora Bora, point and click your camera, and the picture will be like one from the pages of a calendar. You will be a great photographer there, no matter the subject you shoot.
The week or 10 days you spend at Bora Bora will rejuvenate you and get you energized to return back to your normal life with a new gusto.
Don't forget to take a ton of photos and post on Wander!
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