Getting around & things to do in Bora Bora

There are some nice things to see and do in Bora Bora if you get bored sitting in the bungalow. The hotels located on the motu offer a frequent shuttle boat to the main island. The pier and drop off point is just a parking place, so make sure you have plans and a pick up arranged. Most of  the restaurants and tour operators offer free pickup from your hotel or from the dock where the hotel shuttle boat leaves you. When staying in  the hotels on a main island that the lack of taxis and public transportation may make it hard to explore the island on your own.

One good option is to rent a bike from Vaitape town. The price was about 12 Eur for four hours, including free pickup from your hotel. That is cheaper than what the taxi alone would cost. You can easily ride the 32km road around the island in one day. Most of the locals live alongside the road circling the island, so it’s also a good way have a peek into the lives of the modern Polynesians. We stumbled into a community hall in the middle of a dance practice.

Dance Practice n the island

Most of the restaurants and hotels are located on the southern tip of the Bora Bora island, but still scattered quite far away from each other. Around the Sofitel hotel we found the best concentration of small restaurants and also some small boutiques for souvenirs.

Bloody Mary’s is the oldest and probably the best know restaurant on the island. It offers a nice Polynesian ambiance with sand floor and tiki bar style decor.

Bloody Mary's

Leave your shoes to the ‘sandals & shoe check’!

Bloody Mary's

Choose your food right after entering the restaurant.

Bloody Mary's

The flushing mechanism the toilet was also quite interesting…

Bloody Mary's

Even though Bloody Mary’s is quite touristic and expensive, it’s still an essential Bora Bora experience. If you can afford traveling there, you can afford the food and a few drinks!

Bloody Mary's

The main town Vaitape is very small and full of pearl and souvenir shops. It has some local atmosphere, but is easily seen in an hour or so, unless you are doing some heavy pearl shopping. There is one good supermarket (run by the Chinese, of course) for stocking up some snacks and drinks.  Vaitape is also the drop-off point for the boat to and from the airport.


Vaitape supermarket

Church in Vaitape

The town is also a good place for some inexpensive lunch options.  For lunch we chose the Aloe Cafe restaurant and their famous cheeseburgers.

Cheeseburger in paradise

The hotels offer hiking packages to the hills of the island. You can do some serious hiking in the jungle or choose a hike with more emphasis on the local culture and history. Some lookout points are also accessible on your own, but the trail may be hard to find. We did a half-day hike almost to the top of the Mt. Otemanu. The views were spectacular even though we could not reach the summit due to the heavy rains during the past few days.

Motu Toopua

Polynesian flora

Polynesian flora

Our guide

The trail and our fellow hiker

Bora Bora Lagoon

Motu Toopua

The guide was quite expensive – about 100 Eur per person. If the trails would have been marked better, we could have done the hike also by ourselves. It was quite steep and slippery at some points, so we cannot recommend it for inexperienced hikers.





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