Bora Bora’s airport is on Motu Mute, a flat island on the northwestern edge of the barrier reef. U.S. marines built the airstrip during World War II when Bora Bora was a major refueling stop on the America-to-Australia supply line.
We stepped off the plane and walked the short distance to the pier. The resort picked us up from the airport and transported us directly to the resort on their boat. During the 20 minute boat ride we enjoyed gorgeous views on Faanui bay and of the numerous overwater bungalows, crystal clear lagoons and palm trees of the luxury hotels set in the motus around Bora.
The island’s economy is driven almost solely by tourism. Over the last few years several resorts have been built on motu (small islands) surrounding the lagoon. Thirty years ago, Hotel Bora Bora built the first over-the-water bungalows on stilts over the lagoon and today, over-water bungalows are a standard feature of most Bora Bora resorts.
A bottle of water from the resort costs $10. We decided to head into town on day 1 to load up on food and water to save a little money. You can walk the entire town in under 10 minutes. There’s 1 grocery store, 1 bank, 1 church and a few cafes and souvenir shops in the city.
Bora Bora was first inhabited by Polynesian settlers around the 4th century AD. James Cook sighted the island in 1770. Bora Bora was an independent kingdom until 1888 when its last queen Teriimaevarua III was forced to abdicate by the French who annexed the island as a French colony.
Our room at the Le Meridien Resort was perfect. Room 305, a very modern style with Polynesian flavor throughout. Nestled over the inner lagoon with spectacular views of the famous Mount Otemanu. Seeing fish through the floor was cool. All overwater bungalows feature a large glass floor with amazing views of the lagoon and its marine life.
Winding stairs on our patio leading into the lagoon
Daily breakfast was included in our stay. Buffet style with everything you can ask for. Their fruit was out of this world!
Freshly sliced coconut every morning. I had no idea you could eat the bark too.
Lots of juice. Banana was my favorite.
While Bora Bora is certainly about sun, sand and relaxation, we did spend a fair bit of time doing lots of non-beach chair items.
First up – Jet Skis!
We stopped on a small island half way through our jet ski excursion. This is our guide slicing up fresh pineapple and coconut he hand-picked 10 minutes before this photo was taken.
Up next…Stand Up Paddle Boards and Kayaking!
I did manage to squeeze in a little deep-sea fishing before leaving paradise. But I am saving the best for last, so more on that later. I realize this is very pic heavy but here are a few more photos I would like to share.
Like a postcard
Le Meridien at night. It was dark by 6 PM every night.
I have a very cool fishing story to share, so all you fishing guys and gals out there…please stay tuned!