Though this paradise island in French Polynesia is synonymous with sun and sand, there is much more to do here than simply lying on the beach. From Bora Bora Lagoon cruises to safari tours of the interior, here are a few of the must-try outdoor activities on this South Pacific island.
The warm and sunny year-round climate makes water sports an obvious choice for vacationers in Bora Bora. For high-speed thrills, zoom across the waves on a Jet Ski tour, or try waterskiing, wakeboarding, stand-up paddleboarding, or kitesurfing. For a less intense water-based activity, take a boat tour in a traditional Polynesian outrigger canoe, or opt for a romantic sunset cruise by catamaran.
No trip to Bora Bora would be complete without exploring its spectacular marine environments. Rich with marine life, the warm waters of the lagoon are the setting for many snorkeling tours. The colorful coral gardens of the barrier reef are also ideal for scuba divers, with everything from white-tip reef sharks to manta rays and sea turtles meandering around the corals. Alternatively, discover the underwater realm on an underwater scooter, a device with an electric motor that provides incredible views of the ocean’s depths.
For a break from the coast, explore the wild mountainous interior of Bora Bora with a safari tour. Get off the beaten path in an open-air four-wheel drive, stopping at lookouts with showstopping views of the lagoon. You can also see artillery cannons, remnants of the island’s time as a South Pacific supply base for the US during World War II.
Bora Bora offers several hikes, from jungle routes to mountain ascents. While the island’s highest peak, the 2,385-foot-high (727-meter-high) Mount Otemanu, cannot be summited due to dangerous rocks at the top, you can climb to the top of neighboring Mount Pahia. The journey to Mount Pahia’s 2,168-foot-high (661-meter-high) summit is challenging, even for fit travelers, and should only be attempted as part of a guided small-group or private tour. The reward for completing the ascent: unforgettable views of the island’s turquoise lagoon, gleaming white sands, and forested peaks.