Bora Bora is known for its beautiful resorts, overwater bungalows, and amazing waters. After relaxing in your resort, it will be time to explore the island! Here are 20 must-do activities when visiting Bora Bora. From exploring the lagoon by kayak or taking a helicopter tour of the surrounding islands, there are plenty of ways to make your trip memorable.
Visit Matira Beach
Matira Beach is known for the large rock that guards its shores and provides a barrier between the calm waters of Bora Bora’s lagoon and the open sea where waves crash against it. Snorkeling around this rock will show you why so many people flock to Matira Beach. The marine life surrounding this natural monument is so abundant that it’s easy to spot colorful fish, eels, and beautiful corals of all shapes and sizes.
Shaded by coconut trees, Matira Beach offers the perfect spot to lounge on the sand or take a dip in the turquoise water. You can even go for a short swim to the rock which is about 50 meters from the shore.
If you are more adventurous, you can surf on some of the largest waves in Bora Bora which you find consistently at Matira Beach. The size and strength of these waves make it an ideal spot for surfing. If you want to learn how to surf, there is a surf school on the beach where you can sign up for a lesson.
Hike up Mount Pahia
Mount Pahia is the second-highest summit on Bora Bora, rising about 500 m (1,650 ft) above the western end of the island, in French Polynesia.
The hike up to Mount Pahia is considered an easy one that takes about 1 hour or less for most people. The view from the top is beautiful and at times it can be quite breathtaking when you see all of Bora Bora from above.
The trail starts off with a 10-minute walk to the top of Mount Pahia where you will find across at the highest point on the mountain. From this vantage point, you can see excellent views of Mt Otemanu rising high above Motu Tane. You will then continue along a ridge, which connects the peak to a wonderful lookout above Chez Guyette.
After enjoying the views from this lookout you will continue along a path that leads through the forest and then through some rare tropical flowers to a hidden sandy beach, which is one of few on Bora Bora.
From here, you have about 25 minutes by foot back down towards the starting point of this hike.
Take a Jeep Tour
A fun and adventurous way to explore Bora Bora is by jeep. With a jeep tour, you have the ability to drive your own vehicle through villages, fields, and jungles or through beautiful untouched roadways. Many of the tours will include stops at local attractions along the way.
Tours are available with pickup at all the major resorts on Bora Bora including Le Meridien Resort, The St. Regis Resort, Intercontinental Resort, and Club Bali Hai. Some of the best jeep tours are offered by ATV Tours & Rentals (Maitai Lapita Village, Bora Bora) and Jeep Tours of Bora-Bora (5 minutes from downtown). These tours can be done with a driver or by yourself.
The jeep tours include all the best scenic spots on Bora Bora island including an incredible stop at Bloody Mary’s where you can swim in a waterfall pool and enjoy drinks and snacks. There is also some great tour that includes all jeep and driver expenses.
Go For an ATV Ride
An even more adventurous activity to do in Bora Bora is an ATV tour where you can witness Bora Bora like you never did before! You can discover both the famous roads and hidden routes and visit lovely villages along the way. You’ll make it to the most incredible panoramic viewpoints of this beautiful island.
Take a Jet Ski For A Spin
Jet skis are fun no matter where you are, but enjoying a jet ski tour in Bora Bora is a whole other experience with so much beauty. The ocean is so still and the water so clear!
Bora Bora jet ski tours are a great way to experience the beauty of Bora Bora from a different perspective. You will be able to see the famous “Turtle” rock as well as Mt. Otemanu from an up-close and personal view which really makes you appreciate how gorgeous this island is!
Watch the sunset from the Bora Bora Yacht Club
The Bora Bora Yacht Club is built over the water, boasting a beautiful view of the lagoon and the sunset. The Yacht Club serves amazing food, wine, and cocktails.
Situated on the water, it’s a perfect place to spend an evening with friends or family. It has a very modern design mixed with Balinese architecture elements. You can arrange pickup from your resort with the restaurant with perfect timing to enjoy the sunset.
Snorkel in Lagoonarium
The lagoonarium is built on the natural part of the Bora Bora lagoon that you can swim under the guidance of your guide. This family-run attraction is ideal for visitors seeking an intimate aquarium view in one space. You’ll find turtles, stingrays, eagles, fish or other creatures. Lagoonarium is especially suitable for children and for snorkelers who have never experienced this water sport. Many tours combine a visit to the lagoonarium with various Bora activity packages.
Visit The Tahiti Pearl Market
The Tahiti Pearl Market is an indoor showroom where you can learn about Tahitian pearls, choose one, and have it set into jewelry. Upon arriving you can learn about the different types of pearls, learn how they are grown, graded, and priced. The large selection of pearls gives you plenty of choices to choose from.
Go Swimming With Sharks
Take some time away from relaxing at your overwater bungalow and enjoy some time swimming with sharks in Bora Bora. We recommend taking this snorkeling and shark tour or this tour that includes lunch, time of a jet ski, and snorkeling with sharks.
Sharks are the symbol of French Polynesia, and they have a privileged place and an important role in the culture, coral ecosystems, and tourism of the area.
There are few places in the world where you have 100% chances to swim with sharks, with Bora Bora being one of them.
The most common type of shark you’ll meet during your exploration is the Blacktip reef shark. Lemon sharks, Whitetip sharks, hammerhead sharks, and gray sharks are also regular inhabitants of Bora Bora’s waters, promising to make your diving experience one of a kind.
Go On An Aquabike Adventures
Imagine exploring a Bora blue lagoon with an open underwater motorbike! The scooter is gradually immersed in the sea and propelled through the water. When most of your body is in the water, the bike creates an air pocket for your head to go, surrounded by glass so you can see all around the lagoon. It takes little effort since the bike is powered by electric propellers.
Care for sea turtles at the Bora Bora Turtle Centre
Located in Le Meridien Bora Bora, the Bora Bora Turtle Centre began in 2000 when a guest brought in an injured turtle. Since then the hotel has created and invested in their Ecological Center. There are several learning experiences available with biologists where you can take care of the sea turtles.
There is a touch pond where you can touch shells and sea creatures like sea cucumbers, sea urchins, and starfish. You can see educational aquarium tanks with different fish and other species.
The inner lagoon is a protected area where you can see tropical fishes swimming freely. An exhibition area has been carved and a panoramic window was installed to offer the unique experience of seeing the underwater life from the land. A real natural aquarium is ideal for children as it will offer the opportunity of discovering the underwater fauna as if you were snorkeling without having to put a foot in the lagoon.
Taste Poisson Cru
Poisson Cru is considered the national dish of Tahiti. The dish is marinated raw seafood seasoned with roasted coconut milk or lemon juice, similar to ceviche. It’s available at most traditional restaurants and is most commonly made with raw fresh tuna, but it can also be made with crab, eel, lobsters, mussels, octopus, prawns, and sea urchin.
Stay in an overwater bungalow
Bora Bora is known for its iconic overwater bungalows and if you have made it all the way to Bora Bora, consider making the splurge to stay in one, even if just for a few nights.
Often constructed with pandanus palm and local wood, this bungalow features palapa-like roofs. And as they stand on stilts above water, many have clear glass sections of the floor to see the water down below.
Kayak Around The Lagoon
Paddle around the lagoon and take in everything that surrounds you. With a kayak, you have complete control over your exploration and can go wherever you please. Bora Bora resorts are situated on the lagoon and have kayaks available for guest use. You might want to take a trip out to the Motu where you can snorkel with blacktip reef sharks. At night, paddle around the lighted lagoon and see some amazing sights.
Visit Mount Otemanu
Hiking Mount Otemanu is an exhilarating thing to do for the truly adventurous. I think it is a wonderful idea, especially if you are going to see the sunrise over Bora Bora. It’s a hard hike and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who isn’t in really good shape. It is however rewarding to see that sunrise over the ocean.
Take a boat tour of the lagoon
Boat tours provide a unique way of exploring the whole area while enjoying yourself with your friends or loved ones. When going on a boat tour you get to see beautiful scenery, go snorkeling, see the various reefs at sea level, watch for exotic fish in their natural habitat, and much more.
You will be able to visit amazing islands that are only visible from the water level. When taking a boat tour you get to feel one with nature and connect with its beauty in an unforgettable way.
Take a helicopter tour of the surrounding islands
See the island from a different viewpoint with a helicopter tour. You will see above it all while hovering over the island. The island is surrounded by water on every side, which means you are always able to get pictures of Bora Bora from above.
A helicopter tour of Bora Bora will give you an aerial view of Mount Otemanu and the smaller peaks that surround this giant mountain. You will also be able to see Mount Pahia, the second tallest peak on Bora Bora. The highest point on the island is Mount Hiro Atiti at 1,650 feet above sea level.
Visit one of the world-class restaurants
There are so many great restaurants in Bora Bora. You can try traditional food at one of the local cafes or find French Polynesian fusion cuisine in some of Bora Bora’s top restaurants. The resorts have restaurants that are definitely worth trying, but they do come at a high price tag.
If you are looking for an adventurous thing to do in Bora Bora, consider a fishing adventure. A fishing charter will give you hands-on experience while you are guided by experienced fishermen. There are year-round fishing opportunities available including deep sea fishing for Yellowfin Tuna, Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, Blue Marlin, and Sailfish. Closer by you can catch jacks, rainbow runner, bluefin trevally, bigeye trevally, small barracuda, needlefish, and snappers without leaving the Bora Bora lagoon.
After a day of adventure, relax and unwind at one of the best locations to view the southern hemisphere stars. You can enjoy the stars from your overwater bungalow, by sitting at the beach or by taking a stargazing evening cruise. With no light pollution from nearby cities, you can see very unique star alignments with clarity
There are so many amazing activities to enjoy in Bora Bora, it’s hard to choose just 20! What would you add to the list? Comment below and let us know!
He is an expert travel advisor and enthusiast. He has traveled extensively in the USA, Central America, South America, and Europe. He has visited every Sandals Resort and is one of a select few Diamond Elite members of the Sandals Chairman’s Royal Club.
Dan graduated from Johnson & Wales University with an associate degree in Culinary Arts. Later he graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelor’s degree in International Studies with a focus on people and culture.