May 6-9, 2019
From the very first moment, Bora Bora island was like a real paradise. I just can’t believe I was thinking not to visit it at all or at least spend even fewer nights than three. I almost cried we could not stay for a few days more when we were leaving. So good it was… Many people say it is too touristy, without any feeling of authentic local culture, etc.
Honestly, if the South Pacific culture is your main goal, you probably go to other places than Society islands in French Polynesia or even consider Papua New Guinea, right? Which does not mean you will not meet locals, their interesting cultural habits, and important historical sites. But Bora Bora is simply not about it.
Yes, there are relatively plenty of big hotels on this small island. However, they are super expensive 5-star resorts limited in rooms, mostly formed of one-story bungalows and located in motus – a reef islands formed by broken coral and sand surrounding atolls. On the main island, there are mostly small hotels or BnBs, except for one Intercontinental and partially Sofitel. We loved a big, roughly 1,5 km strip of public Matira beach, and most of the time, we could count the number of tourists on two hands fingers. Very touristy, isn’t it?
Read more: Limasawa – a hidden gem
Where to stay in Bora Bora
We were fortunate with our accommodation. Located just at the beginning of the Matira beach (next to the closed Hotel Bora Bora). Very simple but clean bungalow with shared facilities (including an equipped kitchen) for two rooms and one tent on the veranda. Situated in a lovely garden and with friendly and accommodating housekeepers and across the road to the beach. Nothing else was needed. A grocery store was located on the other side of the beach, close to the Intercontinental. It was about 20 minutes walk. There was even one supermarket a little bit further, but the variety of products was quite similar. In both shops, it was quite easy to find a solution for our hunger, e.g., a piece of fresh tuna and a baguette.
If we stay longer, we would rent overpriced bikes to go around the island. At least we had time to rent a kayak to explore the surrounding waters and a place called Fish Aquarium. Which I cannot fully recommend since you can meet a few boats with tourists and guides feeding fish. However, there are multiple places where you can just jump into the water to see underwater life more naturally. In general, French Polynesia is not so much about corals. But the water was amazingly crystal clear, warm and we could see a lot of species and plenty of rays and even turtles. The best place for swimming and snorkeling was just in front of our accommodation. With just one day more, we would love to explore the waters on the right side, just off the shore of the former luxury Hotel Bora Bora that turned into ruins these days. We read about the beautiful corals there.
There was only one drawback during our stay. It would be easier to walk and swim if Mirek is not having huge blisters on his little toes. It was difficult for him to walk barefoot, and saltwater was not supporting healing. Anyway, he survived and still has all his toes. Yes, and another drawback. Only three nights. Only three. It is simply not enough. Not at all…