The warm shallow water of Bora Bora's lovely lagoon is world famous for its unspoilt beauty. An almost unbroken expanse of warm, white sand surrounds the island, providing it with a white colour of perfection for sun worshippers. This truly beautiful island lies 240 kilometres northwest of Tahiti in the Leeward Society Islands. Home to more than 4,000, it is the centre of a multicoloured lagoon, surrounded by offshore motu islets inside a protective necklace of coral.
As you approach it from the sea or air, you cannot help but be awed by Mount Otemanu, a natural sculpture that towers majestically over an island of intense emerald green. Getting to Bora Bora is easy. A launch takes you to the Bora Bora airport on Motu Mute to the main island, crossing the lagoon to Vaitape Village. From there Le Truk transports you to your accommodation. Visitors to Bora Bora can explore the beautiful island by motor canoe, mountain bike, land rover or you can climb Mount Pahia on foot for a picnic.
You can take a boat trip around the island, do some snorkelling and exploring some islets on the way, and arrive in time to watch the feeding of the sharks. You can actually stand or float in about four feet of water and watch through a mask as several dozens hungry sharks are hand fed, only a few metres away.
Outrigger sail canoe, Bora Bora, Tahiti.
View of Mont Pahai, Bora Bora, Tahiti.
Other pastimes are walking on living coral, searching for graceful manta rays, diving for the giant mussels buried in the white sandy lagoon bottom, donning a mask and snorkel to view the fish and coral and just lazing at the lagoon edge watching the sun sink below the ocean in the west.
The archaeologically inclined will find several temples of the ancient Polynesian religion, dotting the island. The most important of these is Marae Marotetini on the point west of Farepiti wharf, behind a huge banyon tree. The giant stone ahu, 50 metres long and up to three metres high was restored in 1968 and is visible to approaching ships.
Bora Bora's breathtaking beauty can best be enjoyed and photographed from a helicopter. Flights over the islands and lagoon are a real treat because it is only from up high can you appreciate the sheer beauty of Bora Bora. On the north side of Potai Bay is a large white mansion built as a residence for the governor of American Samoa in the Dino de Laurentis film, 'Hurricane', starring Mia Farrow.
From Bloody Mary's Restaurant there is a spectacular view across the bay to the island's soaring peaks. An unmarked road near the restaurant takes you to a television tower with magnificent views as well. The boutiques in most of the hotels are well stocked with suntan lotion, film, T-shirts, souvenirs and black pearls.
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