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Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Bora Bora, situated northwest of Tahiti in French Polynesia, is a small South Pacific island in the Leeward Islands. The island is surrounded by sand-fringed islets and a turquoise lagoon protected by a coral reef. Located 265 kilometers from Tahiti, Bora Bora’s highest point is Mount Otemanu, which stands at 727 meters. The island has a population of 10,605 and covers an area of 30.55 square kilometers. Bora Bora has become a major tourist destination known for its aqua-centric luxury resorts. James Cook first sighted Bora Bora on July 29, 1769, with the help of Tahitian navigator Tupaia. The island was an independent kingdom until 1888, when it was annexed by France.

Contrary to its image as a tropical paradise, Bora Bora faces significant challenges. The island’s infrastructure is underdeveloped, with poor roads and widespread poverty. There are no employment benefits or income tax, and recent accounts suggest that 30 percent of the population lives in poverty.

Despite these issues, Bora Bora is generally considered safe for visitors, with only occasional petty crimes. Tourists are advised to safeguard their valuables. The island’s stunning turquoise waters result from sunlight scattering off the light-colored sand and shallow depths. While sharks are present in the waters, they are not dangerous to humans. Blacktip reef sharks and lemon sharks are common, and they are accustomed to people.

Tap water in international resorts across Tahiti, Moorea, and Bora Bora is drinkable, though it may taste slightly salty in some atolls. The official languages of Bora Bora are French and Tahitian, but English is also spoken by some locals. Christianity is the main religion, and the official currency is the Pacific franc, with USD also commonly accepted.

The local cuisine features chicken, pork, sweet potatoes, breadfruit, papayas, mangoes, pineapples, and bananas. Popular desserts include banana or papaya purees. A favorite dish is tuna marinated with lime and coconut. Overall, food in Bora Bora is relatively affordable.

Bora Bora’s only airport is Motu Mute Airport, opened in 1943 during World War II. There are no direct flights to Bora Bora; travelers must first fly to Faa’a International Airport in Papeete on the main island of Tahiti before taking a connecting flight to Bora Bora. Major airlines such as United Airlines, Air New Zealand, Air France, and Hawaiian Airlines fly into Tahiti.

Bora Bora Weather

Bora Bora enjoys warm weather year-round. The summer season begins in December, with temperatures ranging from 29.6°C to 24.8°C. The period from December to March is considered the low season due to higher mosquito activity, which can be bothersome for visitors. The hottest month is June, with an average temperature of 29°C, while the coldest month is January, with temperatures dropping to around 17°C.

August is typically the rainiest month, with an average rainfall of 265mm. However, in some years, December experiences even more rainfall, reaching up to 280mm. The best times to visit Bora Bora are November and April, when the weather is pleasant and temperatures are moderate.

Bora Bora Beaches

Bora Bora boasts some of the most glamorous beaches in the South Pacific, renowned for their magnificent turquoise waters. The island is home to luxurious resorts such as the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora, which offers overwater bungalows and beachfront villas. Affordable accommodation can also be easily found near the beaches, catering to a range of budgets.Bora Bora Beaches

Bora Bora features ten of the most beautiful beaches, including:

  • Matira Beach – One of the most famous and accessible beaches, known for its stunning sunsets.
  • Beach at the Four Seasons Resort – Offers private, pristine sands with exceptional resort amenities.
  • Beach at the Conrad Bora Bora Nui – Known for its luxurious setting and clear waters.
  • Beach at the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort – Features private beach areas and overwater villas.
  • Beach at Le Meridien Bora Bora – Offers a beautiful, serene environment with views of Mount Otemanu.

These beaches provide a perfect mix of natural beauty and luxury, making Bora Bora a premier destination for beach lovers.

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