The Bora Bora Travel Experience

James Michener once called it the most beautiful island in the world. It is probably true. On the shores of a tranquil turquoise lagoon laze some private fares. Others nestle in the shadow of the island's mountainous ridge, topped by the show-stopping Mt. Otemanu, whose summit is perpetually kissed by wisps of clouds. Offshore, a necklace of small motus spills across the horizon, shimmering like a mirage of silky sand and swaying palms.

image by Mariamichelle/

 Settling In 

This jewel of French Polynesia is remarkably pristine. If you fly here, you'll land on an airstrip on Motu Mute, a small offshore island, and then board a boat to reach your resort. Some hotels transport their guests by shuttle boat; others chauffeur their guests by private yacht. Accommodations, which include several mid-priced and luxury hotels, and other single-storey structures, have fares strung along the shore or near the mountains. Even more seclusion can be found at one of the four off-shore motus, which offer accommodations for between two and eight guests.

Get To Know The Island

Only 18 miles in circumference, Bora Bora may be small, but it is big in adventure. Rent bikes to cycle around the island. Stop at Matira Point, where you can windsurf, swim, sail a Hobie Cat, or explore the lagoon by boat. Or you can simply enjoy the view: A palette of blues and greens blends in ever-changing patterns across the lagoon.

Meet The Sharks 

Below these enchanted waters, in subterranean gardens formed by a sunken volcanic crater, are hundreds of species of fish. The biggest attention-grabbers are black-tipped reef sharks. Almost every resort offers a shark-feeding expedition, where you'll soon don snorkeling gear and hold on to a rope to face down in opalescent lagoon while Tahitians toss fish to the sharks. The reef sharks, with their needle -sharp teeth, dart through the clouds of crayon-colored tropical fish to gulp down the treats, while stingrays hover for handouts as they skirt along the white sand below.

The Dining Experience 

No matter where you stay, you'll want to dine in some of the many restaurants. French cuisine and grilled fresh fish is readily available. The cuisine couldn't be simpler-- you point out the fish you want from a five-foot display of fresh seafood, and it’s grilled while you enjoy a vanilla rum punch if you choose to. The carefree ambience of the thatched restaurants, with its powdery floor is the big attraction. It's fun, romantic, and delicious.