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One Day in Bora Bora

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If you're on a cruise and only have one day to explore Bora Bora, don't despair as many of the activities are geared towards visiting cruise ship passengers on a quick tour. Whether you want to go snorkeling, venture off road in a 4x4, or just lounge on the sands of one of Bora Bora's best beaches, travelers with a full day have a number of options to experience the best of Bora Bora. Here's one way to spend your day on French Polynesia's island of romance.

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Shopping Fanatic
  • Nature Lover
  • Foodie
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker
  • Beach Goer
  • Luxury Traveller

10 Places

4 City Tips

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Map

10 Places

Bora Bora Lagoonarium

Aquariums

Coral Gardens

Scuba & Snorkeling

Tupitipiti Point

Reefs

Matira Beach

Beaches

Mount Otemanu

Mountains, Volcanoes

Natura Discovery

4WD, ATV & Off-Road Tours

Vaitape

Destinations

Arc En Ciel Bora-Bora

Gift & Speciality Shops

Boutique Gauguin

Gift & Speciality Shops

Bloody Mary's

Restaurants

Erin D's City Tips

  • French and Tahitian are the main languages spoken in Bora Bora, but a number of tourist sites have staff that speak fluent English.
  • The easiest way to explore Bora Bora is by bicycle, rented moped (helmets mandatory) or electric car.
  • Some resorts may allow topless sunbathing, but in many cases it is frowned upon, so it's best to ask before you decide where to spend your beach day.
  • CFP is the main currency in Bora Bora.
  • Save
    Bora Bora Lagoonarium
    Aquariums
    See more photos
    Erin D Says:

    If you want to pack the most into your one day in Bora Bora, consider a snorkeling tour to the Bora Bora Lagoonarium. This is a natural aquarium located on a small island east of Bora Bora's main island. Under the supervision of wildlife guides, you can snorkel the fenced lagoon where you'll see sharks, turtles, rays, and various types of ocean fish.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Beach Goer
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Like a Local
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Choose a half day tour to ensure you can maximize your time in Bora Bora.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 20 things to do in Vaitape
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great fun 03/11/2017
    • Great Day Out 27/10/2017
    • Bora Bora Lagoonarium
    Address:
    Bp 56
    Vaitape 98730
    French Polynesia
    Phone:
    689 67 71 34
    Other:
  • Save
    Coral Gardens
    Scuba & Snorkeling
    See more photos
    Erin D Says:

    If the idea of snorkeling in a fenced lagoon area doesn't sound like something you'd enjoy, book a snorkeling tour to Coral Gardens instead. Coral Gardens is located on a small island across from the Sofitel Marara. The reef is close to shore so this is a great alternative to visiting Bora Bora's Lagoonarium.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Beach Goer
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Bring aqua socks or shoes as the nearby beach is made of coral, not soft sand.
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #19 of 44 Boat Tours & Water Sports in Bora Bora
    • Tons of fish, many areas called coral gardens 17/09/2017
    • Must see! 02/09/2017
  • Save
    Tupitipiti Point
    Reefs
    See more photos
    Erin D Says:

    Tupitipiti Point is a well-known dive site and stopping point on many ATV tours. This is an ideal spot to snap some awesome photos of Bora Bora and its signature turquoise lagoon. If you're a diver rather than a snorkeler, then consider diving here for half a day instead. It's known for its beautiful purple corals and steep drop-off, where you're likely to see sharks, rays, groupers, and even Parrotfish.

    Good for
    • Beach Goer
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • If you are prone to motion sickness, consider taking medication beforehand as some of the terrain can be bumpy.
    Plan to stay:/
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #24 of 40 things to do in Bora Bora
    • a good place for honeymoon 08/04/2016
    • Knock, knocking..... 19/11/2015
  • Save
    Matira Beach
    Beaches
    See more photos
    Erin D Says:

    If you want to check out a beach in Bora Bora, Matira is your best bet. Aside from the fact that it's pretty much the only public beach in the area, it's also considered one of the best beaches in the world, offering soft sandy areas complimented by shallow, calm, turquoise waters. There are several bars and restaurants nearby too where you can grab a bite to eat or a tropical cocktail.

    Good for
    • Beach Goer
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Matira Beach can be crowded on public holidays, and while cruise ships are in port.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 40 things to do in Bora Bora
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Stunning views 25/10/2017
    • Beautiful sandy beach! 23/10/2017
    • Matira Beach
    Address:
    Raititi Point
    French Polynesia
  • Save
    Mount Otemanu
    Mountains, Volcanoes
    See more photos
    Erin D Says:

    Mounta Otemanu is an extinct volcano, and the highest point on Bora Bora. As long as it's a nice day, you'll see all of Mount Otemanu no matter what part of Bora Bora you end up visiting. If you opt for a 4x4 adventure tour, you may even drive up and around parts of the mountain, where you can see cannons and bunkers used by American military forces during WWII.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • If you're considering a hike up Mount Otemanu, bear in mind that it's forbidden to hike all the way to the summit due to the fragile and brittle volcanic rock.
    Plan to stay:/
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 40 things to do in Bora Bora
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • The magnificent mountain in the beautiful paradise Bora Bora 02/11/2017
    • The ever changing view 23/10/2017
    • Mount Otemanu
    Other:
  • Save
    Natura Discovery
    4WD, ATV & Off-Road Tours
    See more photos
    Erin D Says:

    Natura Discovery is an awesome tour if you're hoping to learn more about Bora Bora's historical and cultural past. With over 300 significant marae (ancient temples once used for religious and cultural ceremonies) located on private family lands, it is not possible for visitors to explore some of the region's most important historical sites independently; however Natura Discovery obtained permission from the Elders and now runs the only 4x4 tour on the island where you can get up close and personal to these very special open-air temples.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • History Buff
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • If you're prone to motion sickness, consider taking medicine prior to the excursion as some of the roads are quite bumpy.
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #8 of 20 Outdoor Activities in Vaitape
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • 4x4 tour 06/11/2017
    • Above and beyond 27/10/2017
    Address:
    BP1025 Vaitape
    Vaitape 98730
    French Polynesia
    Phone:
    +689 87 25 72 00
    Price range:
    US$70 - US$70
    Other:
  • Save
    Vaitape
    Destinations
    See more photos
    Erin D Says:

    Leave some free time to explore Vaitape, the largest city in Bora Bora, and home to around half of the tiny island's population. Vaitape is Bora Bora's administrative center and the best spot to do some souvenir shopping, grab a bite to eat, or check out Tahitian pearls at a local jewelry store. Many of the tours meet in Vaitape, making it convenient to explore the town when your tour finishes.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • There are several banks in town if you need to take money out of the ATM.
    • Vaitape is the main stop for cruise ships and other boats going back and forth to the island.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    • Vaitape
  • Save
    Arc En Ciel Bora-Bora
    Gift & Speciality Shops
    See more photos
    Erin D Says:

    One of the main souvenirs people like to take back from French Polynesia is a Tahitian pearl - and visiting one of Bora Bora's reputable pearl shops, like Arc En Ciel Bora Bora, choosing your own pearl(s), and finding the perfect setting(s) is certainly a shopping experience unique to the island. Although they are often called 'black pearls,' the truth is that Tahitian pearls come in a variety of colors.

    Good for
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Shopping Fanatic
    Tips
    • Pearls are highly regulated so shopping at a reputable store is important.
    Plan to stay:/
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 10 Shopping in Vaitape
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beautiful Aude and Heiura 15/11/2017
    • Thought I was done buying pearls 09/11/2017
    • Arc En Ciel Bora-Bora
    Phone:
    +689 87 71 98 89
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    08:00 - 19:30
    Other:
  • Save
    Boutique Gauguin
    Gift & Speciality Shops
    Erin D Says:

    If you're looking for somewhere to pick up souvenirs on the way back to your ship, check out Boutique Gauguin in town. You'll find the most artistic looking pareus in the area here (if you're interested in bringing home one of these Polynesian specialties), plus a good selection of t-shirts, general souvenirs, and jewelry. If you're a fan of Paul Gauguin's artwork, Boutique Gauguin is also the ideal store to shop for prints of his best known paintings.

    Good for
    • Shopping Fanatic
    Tips
    • Boutique Gauguin is located in a white house, 1.5km north of Hotel Bora Bora.
    Plan to stay:/
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #0 of 0 things to do in Vaitape
    • Бутик прикрылся! 07/03/2016
    • Здорово! 24/02/2015
    • Boutique Gauguin
    Address:
    Amanahune
    Vaitape 98730
    French Polynesia
    Phone:
    689 67 76 67
  • Save
    Bloody Mary's
    Restaurants (American, Bar, Seafood, Polynesian)
    See more photos
    Erin D Says:

    Bloody Mary's is Bora Bora's most famous restaurant, renowned for its food and colorful history. While it is considered rather touristy, as it's a Bora Bora icon, it's still worth a stop. If you're after fresh seafood, Bloody Mary's has a display at the entrance where you can choose your own dinner from the variety of freshly caught local fish. This venue has also seen its share of celebrity visitors over the years, including a feature on E!'s hit show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • Be sure to check out the bathrooms, which have waterfalls instead of sinks.
    • If your cruise ship is docking in Bora Bora overnight, consider dinner at Bloody Mary's as most consider it a completely different experience.
    Plan to stay:/
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #9 of 47 restaurants in Bora Bora
    • An interesting place for dinner 16/11/2017
    • Good fish, too much kitsch 14/11/2017
    • Bloody Mary's
    Address:
    Bora Bora
    French Polynesia
    Phone:
    689 67 72 86
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    09:30 - 21:00
    Other:
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