Bora Bora: paradise on earth

Bora Bora: paradise on earth

Bora Bora is probably the most famous Polynesian island and for a reason… This place is probably one of the most beautiful places we have ever been to. Fluorescent turquoise blue lagoon, soft white sand beaches, crystal clear water, and a lush green rain forest are some of the elements which make this a dream destination. The island managed to keep its authentic charm and has luckily not been overdeveloped (yet). This island is famous for its luxurious hotels and resorts, but there are also more affordable options available, if you stay on the central island.

Sunset seen from the main island

What to do?

Matira Beach

This stunning white stretch of sand is without a doubt the most beautiful beach on the main island of Bora Bora. The turquoise blue water is warm and great for swimming and there’s a great little restaurant right on the beach.

Matira Beach

Spending an afternoon on the Motu

The “Motus” are very small islets surrounding the main island, which are formed by coral and sand. Most of them have a small palm tree forest in the middle and gorgeous white sand beaches against the Turquoise blue lagoon. The best thing about the Motu is the view on the main island of Bora Bora which is absolutely breath-taking. The beaches on the Motu are insanely beautiful so it’s definitely worth spending an afternoon here.

The southern part of Motu Piti Aau is according to us one of the most beautiful ones and there’s an amazing beach on the Southern strip (owned by a local fisherman FanFan who also organised boat trips). The best way to see this is as part of a boat excursion, where you can spend the afternoon on a Motu.

Southern tip of the Motu Piti Aau

Boat excursion

This boat excursion was probably the highlight of our stay in Bora Bora so we highly recommend it. The boat picked us up on the main island and took us to several snorkelling spots in the lagoon, followed by a lunch and a relaxing afternoon on a private Motu.

As soon as the boat stopped, the rays and the sharks appeared

Coral Garden

This was the first snorkeling spot with thousands of tropical fish and almost intact corals. It was like snorkeling in an open-air warm water aquarium!

Ray and Sharks spot

This was the second snorkeling spot and probably one of the most spectacular marine scenes we had ever seen. As soon as the boat stops, sharks and sting rays start circling the boat and you can go in the water with them. The water is shallow and you’re literally snorkeling right next to these beautiful animals. They are not dangerous and are used to humans but it’s a pretty scary scene at first 😊

Not even scared 🙂

Lunch on the Motu

We would recommend taking a boat tour which ends with a stop on one of the ‘Motus’ on the Western side as these have the best beaches and the best views. The food is prepared by locals and was one of the best lunches we had in all of Bora Bora.

Southern tip of the Motu Piti Aau, this part is almost completely deserted

Which company to book with?

There are several boat companies who offer excursions on the lagoon, and there is quite a big price difference between the companies. Make sure to compare between different providers and ask what’s included (e.g. number of stops, lunch, etc.). In general, the companies who have a smaller boat are more expensive (but not necessarily better). We went with ‘Manu Tours’ and loved them! The tour includes 2 snorkelling stops, a lunch and the afternoon on Motu Fanfan which is one of the most beautiful spots on Bora Bora.

Kayak on the lagoon

The lagoon in between the Motus and the main island has super calm and beautiful waters and it’s super nice to kayak here during sunset. Most hotels on the Motu offer free kayaks so just grab one and go explore!

Bike around the island

Bora Bora is a fairly small island which you can circle by bike in a couple of hours. You will pass through local villages and get amazing views on the different Motus. Stop for the amazing views and a fresh coconut at Fitiiu Point.

View from Fitiiu point

Sleep 1 night in a luxurious resort on a Motu

If there’s one place in French Polynesia where you should go over your budget for 1 night, it’s definitely Bora Bora. This island is home to some of the most beautiful hotels in the world! Make sure to pick one which is located on one of the Motus around the island, which have the best view on Bora Bora.

Where to sleep?

We would recommend staying around Matira Point on the Southern tip of the Island which is where the most beautiful beach is located. There are plenty of affordable local pensions (though more expensive than the other islands). If you can afford it, you should definitely also spend 1 night in one of the luxurious resorts on the Motu, for an unforgettable experience.

There are loads of affordable hotel options that are not on any of the main booking sites. You can find them on the website of the official tourism board here

  • Le Meridien: this is the most affordable (though still very expensive at 500+ EUR/night) luxurious resort on the Motu, with a huge plus: its location. The Meridien is built on gorgeous white sand beach on Motu Piti Aau (the most beautiful Motu) with a spectacular view on the main island of Bora Bora.

The beach of the Meridien on the Motu


Main island of Bora Bora