44 Facts About Bora Bora To Help You Plan Your Next Summer Trip

Aryan Khanna
Jan 26, 2023 By Aryan Khanna
Originally Published on Jan 30, 2022
Fact-checked by Pratiti Nath
most popular luxury tourist destinations in the world
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.9 Min

Bora Bora is one of the most popular luxury tourist destinations in the world with floating bungalows on top of ocean waters.

Bora Bora island is a part of the Leeward Islands and the Leeward Islands themselves fall under the western territory of the Society Islands of French Polynesia. French Polynesia is politically an overseas collectivity of France located in the Pacific Ocean.

French Polynesia comprises a total of 118 small islands geographically dispersed in the south Pacific Ocean. The Bora Bora is a small island yet it is widely visited by celebrities and other couples widely owing to its breathtaking views and private beaches.

The island offers a variety of features to tourists.

You can undertake scuba diving, snorkeling and various other water activities or can even opt to enjoy the peaceful environment of this romantic island under the blue skies.

In the center of this island paradise, you will come across two peaks named Mount Otemanu and Mount Pahia which are remnants or remainders of an extinct volcano following a volcanic eruption which occurred ages ago. Let's delve deeper to know some more facts about Bora Bora and why it attracts so many tourists every year.

Facts About Bora Bora

Bora Bora has been a popular destination for a considerable amount of time. There are films that have been shot on this island and as it is one of the most remote, secluded islands in the world. It has always been of interest.

  • You can imagine how small this island is from the fact that Bora Bora's land cover is merely 12 sq mi (30.55 sq km).
  • The main island of the Bora Bora is separated from the Pacific Ocean by a barrier reef and a lagoon.
  • The island is located towards the northwest of French Polynesia's capital city, Papeete, at a distance of 143 mi (230 km).
  • The famous 2009 romantic comedy 'Couples Retreat', which featured Kristen Bell and Vince Vaughn, was shot at the St. Regis Resort on this island.
  • A few episodes of the sixth season of 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians' was shot on the Bora Bora island.
  • In the past decade, the Matira Beach of Bora Bora island was featured as one of the top 100 beaches in the world by CNN.
  • Matira Beach is well known for its calm ocean waters and unbelievably beautiful white sand beaches.
  • Bora Bora island comprises three different villages: Faanui, Vaitape and Anau.
  • Bora Bora island is often nicknamed the romantic island not only because of the serene blue waters and overwater bungalows which makes it a perfect couple destination but also due to a heart-shaped coral reef formation in Tūpai.
  • Tūpai is located to the north of Bora Bora and can be conveniently travelled to by boat or helicopter.
  • The heart-shaped coral reef formation at Tūpai covers an area of 6.83 mi (11 km).
  • The native Polynesian people had named the island Pora Pora which can be translated into 'firstborn'.
  • The first-ever European settlers who arrived at the island believed that locals called it Bora Bora and ever since the island was named Bora Bora island.
  • The volcanic eruptions which led to the formation of Bora Bora island are believed to be around seven million years old which can also be logically assumed to be the age of the island.
  • This island lies to the northwest of Tahiti at a distance of 165 mi (265 km).
  • The tropical island experiences temperatures which never drop down a lot but neither do they shoot up. During warm periods, the temperature is around 86 F (30 C) while in winters it is around 82 F (28 C).
  • The island experiences its coldest days during the months of July when the mean temperatures drop down to 82.4 F (28.0 C).


Bora Bora's History

Bora Bora was formed following volcanic eruptions but the years that followed saw Bora Bora being a part of the Second World War. Let's look at how this small island was shaped in past centuries and what its historical relevance has been in the world.

  • The earliest historical accounts reveal that the island was inhabited by Polynesian settlers as early as the third century.
  • The Dutch explorer Jakob Roggeveen, along with his brother, was the first European to discover Bora Bora island in 1722.
  • In 1769, the British navigator and explorer James Cook discovered Bora Bora island along with Tupaia, a Tahitian navigator.
  • In 1820, the London Missionary Society arrived on the island and 70 years later set up the first Protestant Church.
  • Teriimaevarua III was the last queen of Bora Bora until she was abdicated and the island was annexed in the form of a colony by the French.
  • The next important event of which Bora Bora was an integral part was the Second World War.
  • Bora Bora worked as a military supply base for the United States in the south Pacific area.
  • The Bora Bora base was named 'Operation Bobcat' by the United States. The base had nine ships, around 18,000 tons (18,000,000 kg) of equipment and 9,000 US military soldiers.
  • The US army had also constructed a seaplane base, an oil depot and an airstrip on the island along with some defenses to save the base in case of an attack.
  • This airstrip functioned as the sole international airport of French Polynesia until 1960 after which the Faa'a International Airport was constructed.
top international holiday destinations in the world

Bora Bora's Tourist Attractions

Bora Bora has been widely recognized as one of the top international holiday destinations in the world. This island in French Polynesia is extensively appreciated for a number of factors. Let's take a look at some of the most famous and well-liked points of attraction of this secluded island.

  • Matira Beach is undoubtedly among the top attractions of Bora Bora, being the largest publicly accessible beach on the island.
  • Despite the fact that it is open to the general public, Matira Beach is extensively clean and features some local shops and eateries.
  • Another popular attraction is the coral gardens located in the eastern part of the main island. These coral gardens feature some beautiful coral reefs.
  • Snorkeling and swimming are the most commonly undertaken activities here. You can also have the chance to look at string rays, sharks and moray eels from this spot.
  • You also have the opportunity to go feed sharks and stingrays in Bora Bora through various outfitters who provide packages for such activities.
  • The Bora Bora Lagoonarium is also a common tourist site on the island, which is a natural aquarium.
  • You can scuba dive with manta rays and various kinds of sharks in Bora Bora. Tapu is a secluded place on Bora Bora island which facilitates such activities.
  • Visiting Mount Otemanu is another adventure that you can undertake while on Bora Bora island.
  • In order to visit Mount Otemanu there are a host of options you can undertake such as a helicopter tour, a 4X4 tour, and an on-foot hike?

Bora Bora's Culture And Food

The culture and lifestyle of Bora Bora reflect the way of living of the native people of the island but at the same time, the island's cuisine and recent cultural practices have been heavily influenced by the French and other European cultures as well.

  • Tattoos are an integral part of the Bora Bora culture. The indigenous people of the island believe that the term 'tattoo' derived from the sons of the God of Creation, Ta'aora.
  • The locals consider these tattoos to be a sign of beauty as well as a sacred art. The people of the island in the past used to have tattoos to reflect their position in society.
  • The official language of this island is French but along with French, Tahitian is widely spoken on the island by the locals.
  • Most of the people living permanently on the island practice Christianity and it is the island's dominant religion.
  • The national food of this island is a dish called 'Poisson Cru'. The dish comprises vegetables and raw fish which are marinated in lime juice and coconut milk.
  • The most interesting part about this dish is, it is served inside a coconut.
  • The traditional way of cooking food in Bora Bora is inside pit ovens. People wrap the food in banana leaves and then bake them on top of hot stones for a considerable amount of time.
  • Studies have shown that traditional cooking methods of Bora Bora are largely influenced by those of Italian, French and Japanese cultures.

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Written by Aryan Khanna

Bachelor of Business Administration specializing in Marketing

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Aryan KhannaBachelor of Business Administration specializing in Marketing

A dedicated and hardworking content writer currently pursuing his Bachelor's in Management Studies from St. Xavier's University, Kolkata. Aryan aims to gain corporate exposure and enhance his skills while creating well-researched and engaging content that is SEO-friendly. Aryan is a talented individual who puts in the effort to overcome any obstacle in his way.

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Fact-checked by Pratiti Nath

Bachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology, Masters of Science specializing in Biotechnology

Pratiti Nath picture

Pratiti NathBachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology, Masters of Science specializing in Biotechnology

A Master's in Biotechnology from Presidency University and a Bachelor's in Microbiology from Calcutta University. Pratiti holds expertise in writing science and healthcare articles, and their inputs and feedback help writers create insightful content. They have interests in heritage, history, and climate change issues and have written articles for various websites across multiple subjects. Their experience also includes working with eco-friendly startups and climate-related NGOs.

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