Travel Guides: French Polynesia
French Polynesia is a French overseas collectivity that has the particular designation of overseas country.
It is located in the Pacific Ocean and consists of several Polynesian islands, Tahiti being the most famous, which is also the most populous and the capital city is located on it. The islands are scattered over an area of 2,500,000 km² of ocean. Clipperton Island, although not an integral part of the territory is administered by the French government’s representative in Papeete. French Polynesia has a special status within the French overseas collectivities. It is organized as a parliamentary representative democracy with a parliament and a government whose chief bears the title of President of French Polynesia. Between 1946 and 2003 it had the status of overseas territory.
In 2003, after the French constitutional reform, it has become a corporate overseas territory with greater powers and since 2004 bears the title of particular overseas country to highlight the general status of autonomy that it enjoys. Parliament is unicameral and consists of 57 members elected for a period of five years by universal suffrage. Elections are held in six constituencies, and after the last elections in 2005, three groups are represented in parliament, of which two are alliances of political parties. French government in French Polynesia is represented by a high commissioner of the republic. Despite the wide autonomy, defense and public order are provided by the French forces, French military having many bases in French Polynesia, this being the place of the majority of French nuclear tests.
French is the only official language used in administration, law and education, native Polynesian languages being taught in schools and can be used in administration as long as there is a French translation. In Tahiti there is since 1987 a university: Université Française from Polynesia with about 2,000 students. French Polynesia contains five administrative subdivisions each consisting of several groups of islands. These are: Windward Islands part of the Society Archipelago and located in the east-southeast of the archipelago. The best known islands are: Tahiti – the largest and most populated island in French Polynesia; island of Moorea; Maiao and Mehetia Islands and Tetiaroa atoll.
Islands under the Wind are also part of the Society Islands and are situated in the west-northwest of the archipelago. The best known islands are: Bora Bora and Maputi; Huahine; Raiatea, the largest island in the subdivision; Tahaa, located within the same lagoon with Raiatea; Motu One, Maupihaa, Manuae and Tupai Attols. Marquises Islands are located in north-eastern French Polynesia, close to Hawaii and east of Kiribati. The best known islands are: the group from the north, around the island of Nuku Hiva, the third largest in French Polynesia; the group from the south, around the island Hiva Oa. Austral Islands are located south of French Polynesia, composed of two archipelagos: Tuba Islands located in the south-west, eastern of Cook Islands; Bass Islands, in the southern French Polynesia.
Tuamotu-Gambier Islands are the largest subdivision, located in central and eastern French Polynesia. It is composed of two archipelagos: Tuamotu Islands, an archipelago comprising 84 islands, reefs and atolls, stretching from north-west of eastern French Polynesia, organized as 17 communes. They consist of several groups: King George Island, north-west; Palliser Islands, south of the precedents; Raeffsky Islands in the center of the archipelago; Disappointment Islands in the north-east of the archipelago; a group of islands located in the center (Marokau-Ravahere, Hao, and Vahitahi Amanu) and northeast (Fangatau, Fakahina, Tatakoto, Pukara, Reao); Duke of Gloucester Islands, south-west of the archipelago; Acteon Group Islands and Mururoa and Fangataufa atolls in south-east. The latter are in the process of returning to civilian authorities.
Gambier Islands French are located in south-east Polynesia, closest to the Pitcairn Islands.
French Polynesia has a moderately developed economy, dependent on tourism, imports of goods and aid from the French state. Tourist facilities are developed on the most important islands, tourism revenues accounting for 13% of GDP. Pearl-culture has developed in recent years and currently exports of Tahitian black pearls are very important. The currency used is the CFP franc which is fixed to the Euro at a rate of 0.00838 euros for a CFP Franc. A vacation in the tropics may be the best remedy against the bitter cold. Hundreds of atolls and volcanic islands that make up French Polynesia, with lush tropical vegetation, surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, form the perfect setting for a vacation.
The most famous island in the archipelago located in the middle of the south Pacific is Tahiti. Formed after an eruption of underwater volcanoes, which now amounts to over 2,000 m above the ocean, the island is the economic and administrative center of Polynesia. The island’s capital is Papeete, a small town with a population that slightly exceeds 100,000 inhabitants, but it draws with its special charm, wide streets dominated by tropical trees that shade the painted buildings, predominantly white. In the town you can visit the Gauguin Museum, the park Bougainville, the Notre-Dame de Papeete or the traditional market, where you can buy various souvenirs, handicraft products, jewelry, pearls or shells.
Be careful how you spend; money flies very quickly in Tahiti and other islands. French Polynesia has the highest cost of living around the world, right after Japan. Travel agents advise you to carefully manage your budget, allocate a limited amount for the purchase of souvenirs and stay in hostels rather than big hotels. Also, do not be embarrassed to ask at restaurants how much the food is if its price is not listed on the menu. Cheaper you can buy food from street traders or directly from the market. If the money has been resolved, relax and enjoy at the many entertainment opportunities offered by the generosity of the islands.
You can start by watching the scenery for free. Then, depending on budget, you can choose from a wide range of activities, water sports, jet skiing, surfing, windsurfing, and diving among the brightly colored fish and coral inland expeditions, with the road cars and bicycles for rent. Thrills fans can feed the sharks. To practice this activity, the traveler is forced to swim in the middle of hungry predators, protected only by a metal cage. For a view of the height of the islands, you can take a helicopter tour, or try parasailing.
If Tahiti seems too crowded, the neighboring islands (Bora Bora, Moorea, Huahine) are much more sedate offering an intimate setting for a holiday. Bora Bora is famous because of an episode that combines history and legend, occurred after the Second World War. During the conflict, the US Army installed a military base on the island for supplies. The base was officially closed in 1946, but most soldiers serving in Bora Bora refused to return to the country. Intervention was needed to persuade their families to leave what they called “paradise”. South Pacific Islands are relatively inaccessible because of distance and costs. A stay in this paradise land can cost over 2,000 euros per person.
However, if you have this amount, do not hesitate, you’ll enjoy a unique experience. Tahiti, original name Otaheite, is the main island of the Society Islands and the largest island in French Polynesia. The island is located at 149.5 ° south, 17.66 ° west in southern Pacific, with its capital city at Papeete (127,635 inhabitants in 2002). An official language is French. Tahiti is a word that evokes the image of a lush tropical landscape, the azure waters of the lagoons surrounded by volcanic peaks, love and romance, a gentle goddess of gods and warriors. The first explorers were given the news they have found heaven on earth and they were not mistaken.
Tahiti has something for everyone, whether you want a luxury vacation or a rustic experience. From the eclectic style of the hotel resorts or authentic “hostels”, is just one step to the crystal clear waters of the Pacific Ocean. Of all the islands of French Polynesia, the most common are Tahiti (Society Islands, Windward Islands) and Bora Bora (Leeward Islands). Tahiti and its islands consist of 118 islands scattered over four million square kilometers. These islands are divided into five distinct islands, each with a unique personality, offering magnificent scenery and diverse attractions.
Stroll through the island’s capital market Tahiti Le Marche, Papeete. The Market is open all week, but really comes alive on Sunday, when come the of town merchants. You can find flowers, spices, fresh food and materials. Visit the aquatic wonders of Tahiti, the “geysers” of Arahoho that throw water into the sky, to the waterfalls Vaipahi and Faarumai. Enjoy the beach – relax on the island of Moorea’s white sand and crystal clear lagoons, ideal for swimming and diving, surrounded by volcanic peaks. Discover Leeward Islands, coral reefs and sheltered lagoons full of marine life. You can swim, fish or dive on a nearby atoll or take a boat trip with a transparent bottom of the lagoons of Bora Bora.
The waters around the South Pacific islands are excellent for observing marine life, with a visibility of 40 m. Breathe easy sweet aroma released by the Island of Tahaa vanilla. The breeze carries vanilla flavor from the many plantations on the island. The island divides a coral reef with the island of Raiatea, giving you a relaxing and peaceful lifestyle. Visit the beautiful valley Opunohu in Moorea, an uninhabited region of 150 years, where you can admire the 500 ancient structures, including outdoor temples or “maraae”.
Climb the mountains Otemanu and Pahia of Bora Bora and look for a point from which to have a panoramic view of the Leeward Islands. Alpine Club of Arue will provide assistance and information to be able to climb mountains Aorai and Tiara. Visit the place where were buried Paul Gauguin and Jacques Brel in the Marquises Islands. Both are on Hiva Oa. For a peek into the life of Gauguin visit the museum that bears his name, from Tahiti. Ride between many valleys in Ua Huka. Riding tours are organized by the Club Equestre of Tahiti Tourisme Equestre and centers of Tahiti. You could also watch horse racing at the racetrack in Pirae.
Enjoy one of the most beautiful locations in Tahiti and its Islands – Fatu Hiva Island with Hanavare valley hidden between volcanic rocks in the Gulf of Virgins. Here is an important archaeological site – Pauma, with the highest “Tiki” (male figure in Polynesian myth) of the Marquises Islands. In Moorea and Bora Bora are held demonstrations of feeding sharks and rays, and between July and October you can watch whales from the waters of the Island of Rurutu.
Since the eighteenth century, European navigators reported the habit of tattooing in Tahiti. The legend of Tohu, the god of tattoo, describes the painting of fish from the ocean in various colors and patterns. In Polynesian culture, tattoos are considered signs of beauty and were used in ceremonies, during adolescence. The tattoos offer cultural identity and have a great symbolic importance. But missionaries banned tattooing, and Polynesian dance, considered too erotic. Until the early twentieth century, dance ceremonies were held in secret. Characteristic of this dance are the strength and charm, symbol of body movements and costumes. Today, some bands such as “Les Grands Ballets de Tahiti” have toured around the world.
The word “ahima ~ a” composed of “ahi” (fire) and “ma ~ a” (food) illustrates the traditional cooking style, in an oven dug in the ground. Ahima~a today is also used Sunday morning, especially during special occasions to celebrate the arrival of personalities. Because it is an essential part of Polynesian folklore, many hotels organize ahima~a for tourists. First they heat the oven to a wood fire, then the wood is placed perpendicular to and overlapping layers. Once the fire is strong, burning wood is covered with volcanic rock.
After the wood is burn completely, smooth the surface volcanic rocks, and the food is placed on top – chicken “fafa”, fish, piglet milk, banana or papaya, many vegetables such as taro, “uru”. Over the food are placed several layers of banana leaves from the “apiu” tree. The last layer consists of ground and is designed to keep the heat inside. The baking time is 3-4 hours, but depends on cooked food. Food is served in traditional wooden vessels.
The lifestyle of the islands is the Tahitian simple bamboo houses with roofs of leaves. Local women wear colorful dresses and men in a lower Pareo, all colored. Traditional dances can be fond in most hotels, tourist centers, while distractions are Western. In Tahiti there are three time zones: GMT – 9 Gambier Islands, Marquises Islands GMT – 9.5, Society Archipelago, Tubuai Islands, Tuamotu Archipelago and Tahiti GMT – 10. Tahiti is the largest of 118 islands and atolls that make up French Polynesia. The area of 467 km² consists of mountain peaks with heights up to 2.241 m forming a wreath in diffuse clouds. Deep valleys covered by ferns and tropical forests, waterfalls that flow into the cold river flowing through fields of flowers.
Around Tahiti-Nui (big Tahiti) a 114 km road winds between the sea and mountains, and in Tahiti-iti peninsula (the small Tahiti) the road continues another 20 km on both coasts. An interior road passes by dairy farms and citrus groves, to the panoramic view from the plateau of Taravao – the isthmus that connects the two islands. Although the island of Tahiti is very attractive, large population here makes a long stay not pleasurable. The other nearby islands (Moorea, Bora Bora, Huahine) are an oasis of beauty and romance, being more suitable for holiday and honeymoon than Tahiti. Tahiti has plenty of opportunities and trips to be a pleasant location for a few days.
You can visit the Harrison Smith Botanical Gardens, you can learn something about the history of the islands at the Museum of Tahiti and Islands, you can see the underwater world at the “Lagunarium” and at the Gauguin Museum you can see the artist’s paintings. The museum is open daily from 9 to 17. Activities include golf at the spectacular American land, island tours, helicopter tours, horse riding, tennis, diving, sailing, fishing, water skiing and day trips to the atoll Tetiaroa, which belonged to Marlon Brando.
Tahiti is the French Polynesia’s main island, situated in south-eastern Pacific Ocean. The landscape is dominated by mountain peaks, vast tropical forests, and spectacular waterfalls, rivers with clear water and endless surfaces with exotic flowers. The beaches are very different: the black sand on the north-east and the white sandy southwestern coast. Tahiti is the island of love and charm; the charm of a place blessed with a joyful and a tradition of people living in a mild tropical climate. Even at the exit from the plane, at Fa’aa airport, you smell the salty air and the scent of Tiare flowers will impress being formed by a local that smiles will giving it to you as a sign of welcome.
Tahiti is full of riches, just waiting to be discovered. Its volcanic peaks, combined with abundant tropical vegetation, surrounded by calm, azure ocean, forming the perfect setting for a vacation. Tahiti’s capital is Papeete, a small town that attracts primarily through its traditional stores (visit craft market is compulsory, there being able to buy many souvenirs, and jewelry from shells and pearls). Pearls can be bought both black in pieces and mounted in white gold or yellow, to everyone’s taste. Among the places worth visiting in Papeete is Bougainville Park, to rest in the shade of giant trees and Notre-Dame de Papeete. Tahiti is the largest island in French Polynesia, a favorite vacation destination for most Europeans in search of quiet places, lush scenery and relaxing beaches.
The island is composed of two parts of land with a width connected by an isthmus. The northern part of the island Tahiti-Nui (Great Tahiti) is inhabited by the majority population while the southern island called Tahiti-Iti (Little Tahiti) is almost deserted. The island has an area of 1043 km², consisting of volcanic rocks that reach an altitude of 2200 m above sea level. The island is surrounded by a belt of a coral atoll sometimes interrupted. In the north of Tahiti are some smaller islands. The mythical island of the early navigators of Pacific, Tahiti is the island of love and charm. Charm of a place blessed with a joyful and a tradition of people living in a mild tropical climate.
Tour around the island requires a distance of 114 km along the beach, during which time you will find many natural beauties, important pieces that build Tahiti’s history. Starting in Papeete, the first stop is the height, a place called Tahara’a, to look Moreea, the nearest island of Tahiti (7 minutes by plane). Continuing along the road we arrive at Point Venus, where the first Protestant missionaries arrived on the island’s black sand beach. The only lighthouse in Tahiti is watching this historic place. Then, the bypass route will pass near Le Trou du Souffleur (whole blower), a very interesting natural phenomenon: the ocean water passes under the road to get out then with a powerful sound, along steep cliffs.
While rest and admire this phenomenon, you can buy a fresh coconut to drink its juice from one of the vendors on the site. A little later, the road forks, and visitors can see the three waterfalls in Faarumai, the first of which is accessible within minutes of walking, while more than half the time it takes to get to the last. On the way back towards Papeete you can visit the Gauguin Museum, and enjoy a delicious meal at the restaurant with the same name, located on the ocean view of Tahiti (Tahiti Minor, a peninsula connected to Tahiti Nui – the Great).
The vegetation in this part of the island forms a charming setting, and especially the famous painter lived for a period of approximately two years. Take advantage and stop in one of the many roadside parks to enjoy coconut, bread-fruit tree, pineapple, banana and other tropical plants and trees. In these carefully groomed parks and caves you can find Mara caves. Tahiti Island is full of hotels and resorts for all budgets. Sheraton Tahiti is situated near the town of Papeete, a few minutes drive from the airport or Le Meridien and Radisson Plaza.
Papeete is full of restaurants offering a rich cuisine with international influences combined with delicious traditional recipes. Also, major hotels generally offer customers at least one restaurant with rich menu, traditional. Belvedere is a place famous restaurant, situated at an altitude of 600 m on the volcano, which offers a superb panorama of the city Papeete, the port, and also of the island Moree.
Today, a generally accepted theory says that Southeast Asia is the area that has started migration to other parts of Polynesia and the Pacific Ocean, almost 4,000 years ago. Using wooden canoes and woven fibers, equipped with sails, these early navigators arrived in the central archipelagos between 500 BC and 500 AC, aided by knowledge of wind, currents and stars. The great expedition which ended around the year 1000 gave birth to the Polynesian Triangle bordered to the north of Hawaii, east of Easter Island, west of Tahiti and its islands, and south-west of New Zealand. The similarities between the languages spoken on these islands, and their origin in the languages “ma~ohi”, proves the common origin of the inhabitants.
In the sixteenth century, first Magellan, then Mendana have reached the Tuamotu and Marquises archipelagos. But the Englishman Samuel Wallis is one that has remained famous for the discovery of Tahiti in 1767. Next year, the Frenchman Antoine de Bougainville named the island New Cythera. A year later, the Englishman James Cook arrived in Tahiti and took possession of the Society archipelago. Then Tahiti and its islands have been divided into several kingdoms, and locals began to worship different gods. Little by little, the Protestant and Catholic missionaries began to Christianize the islands, around 1797, when, with the help of Europeans, a tribal chief declared supremacy and founded the Pomare dynasty.
Pomare dynasty led Tahiti until 1847, when the Queen accepted the French protectorate islands of Tahiti and Moorea. After the death of the queen, king Pomar V was persuaded to cede Tahiti to the French. In 1957, all the islands of Tahiti were reconstituted in the overseas French territory called French Polynesia.
Bora Bora is an island of dreams. Lovers and romantics from around the world praise the island where the castle-shaped Mountain Otemanu pierces the sky. Lush tropical valleys blossom with hibiscus, while palm-covered islands encircle the lagoon like a delicate strand. Perfect sandy beaches, white, unite with the emerald waters where fish animate the coral in thousands of colors. Much has been written about Bora Bora and still can not take the word of a magical atmosphere that emanates from this island. Seen from the air, Bora Bora has been compared to a tiny emerald in a turquoise sea, surrounded by a brilliant string of pearls.
The airport, built by US forces in 1942, is located on an island about 20 min by boat from the main village, Vaitape. Other traces of this are two big American guns hidden in lush vegetation on the hill overlooking the lagoon. The view of the airport island is breathtaking, and while crossing the lagoon you realize what it is the main attraction for many visitors. Bora Bora itself is quite small and can be surrounded by car in about an hour.
Lagoon area is three times higher than the land area and offers a wide range of shades of blue and turquoise crystal clear waters while navigating. In south-eastern island is the Coral Garden, a natural underwater park where you can find all kinds of fish and coral. In the Matira Point is an area where there are large cats and foxes, huge and graceful. There are many species that you can comfort while being fed. At the entrance of the strait, White Valley is teeming with sharks and barracuda gray, which performs a graceful ballet.
Those who believe in the realization of dreams, although they say that a vacation here seems impossible at first glance, the paradise is for everyone. A trip to Bora Bora will definitely be more expensive than the domestic version of the other coasts, but it is not prohibited to modest budgets. The island is equipped with a small airport, but traffic is pretty intense. The transport plane is almost bound, therefore, here things are somewhat set in stone. You have to change planes, probably twice, depending on the route you choose. First, you must choose a route up in Tahiti. From here, Air Tahiti has about 6 flights a day both to Bora Bora and to other islands. The cost of a flight is at least 14 000 XPF (Polynesian franc) for a road, meaning about 120 Euros.
Transport on the island is quite difficult. There is a transportation system, which is a semi-tour of the island in about an hour. If you have a more generous budget, you can rent a 4×4 car, which will successfully handle the rocky terrain of the island. Variant and the environment and eco tourists are to rent bicycles for the day, which may prove more suitable in most occasions. The island offers tourists many options. If you want a luxury holiday, you can stay at one of four or five star hotels, which will surely rise, as expectation.
Once the choice is made, most tourists are surprised to find unusual layout of the rooms, which are not separated by walls but by water. Hotel complexes are made up of small bungalows, located on the sand or just above water level, which allows you to make a refreshing bath as soon as you wake up. Costs vary according to hotel rooms, and in this you really have a choice. St. Regis, Intercontinental, Sofitel and Le Meridien Bora Bora, whatever your choice, you must be prepared to pull out of the pocket around 1000 euros a night.
A viable alternative to hotels or guest houses are family camps, where prices are considerably lower, but include the same stunning view. If not staying at a luxury hotel, which has a private beach, you can opt for local beach, just as picturesque and even a little wild. In the chapter entertainment the offer is more than generous. The cheapest, but perhaps not as exciting, is the admiration of the landscape. You can do as long as you like, fun is guaranteed and will not cost you anything.
Further, the activities could be divided into categories: fun with feet in the air, down to earth fun and entertainment with the feet in water. If you love water, you have several options for the island that has plenty of raw materials: a snorkeling trip requires a small promenade on the bottom, including brightly colored fish and coral. In the category of water sports are part jet skiing or scuba diving. But if you want to do something really exciting start in an aqua safari, where you go under water to a depth of 35 meters to discover the surprising shape of the coral wall.
An activity that will raise the adrenaline is feeding the sharks, in the tourist role playing, swimming among hungry sharks, protected by a cage and armed only with supplies. The zoo will see here on the island’s own acceptance fauna. At the zoo in Bora Bora sharks will swim with the big cats that are domesticated, very friendly characters in this context. For a view from above the island, you can make a tour by helicopter and air time devoted to this promenade is set depending on your budget. You can try parasailing, cheaper, but not necessarily more secure.
If you are a fan of films with scouts, you can go on a reconnaissance trip to the island, which hides in its heart remains of an ancient crater. To get there, you need to rent a car or 4×4 or Bugster, without which you can not access because of very rocky and steep terrain. A guide would be more than indicated in such a daring enterprise. Low-budget version involves renting bicycles, which require an even greater exercise, and fun guaranteed.
No such trip can be concluded without the selection of souvenirs for those back home or to remember this vacation paradise. French Polynesia is famous for pearl cultivation, which can also be visited, which makes them to be the best option. In general, prices are quite high, but it is a well developed market, so you can find alternatives that will greatly ease your pockets. Besides pearls, highly courted by tourists are TIKI statuettes, which are believed to keep away evil spirits, or shells of various sizes and colors, once exposed, will not let you forget that you have stepped into an earthly paradise.
Formed of volcanic eruptions, the island once reached heights of 1,200 meters above sea level. After the cessation of volcanic activity, it remained in the account of the forces of erosion that have created a form on which the island is today. The two peaks, Otemanu and Pai, whose heights do not exceed 655 meters, are only remnants of the volcano crater. The first inhabitants of Polynesian origin arrived here around the fourth century. Later Europeans landed, Jakob Roggeveen being first in 1722, followed by James Cook, who landed in 1777. The next step was the arrival of a missionary organization from London, who arrived here in 1820 and founded the first Protestant church in 1822. After 20 years, Bora Bora falls as part of French Polynesia, which today belongs to by the administrative point of view.
The official languages are French and Tahitian, but locals involved in tourism speak English to conversational level. In the Tahitian language, the island Pora Pora, as called by locals claim their genesis, because the name is translated as “first born”. Another known name is “Mai te pora” or “Created by the gods”. Currently, tourism is the main occupation of local people, therefore they have developed activities in order to appease them and the most melancholy and dreamy, but those eager for adventure and adrenaline addicts. On the island you will always find something interesting to do, that if you ever get tired to admire the deep blue water.
Bora Bora Island is located 225 km north-west of Tahiti, is 6.5 km long and 4 miles wide. The island belongs to the French overseas collectivity, French Polynesia. Formed in the bottom of the ocean eruptions that forced the lava to cross the ocean surface, it once stood at about 1200 m to 5400 m above water and underwater. After extinguishing the volcano, the lava could not contribute to the island, so stayed in Bora Bora into forces of erosion. Otemanu peaks and Pai, which rises more than 655 m above sea level, is all that’s left of the north edge of the crater. Chaotic studded with steep cliffs and abysses vertical mountain slopes are now encased in rich tropical vegetation.
Polynesian navigators were the first to set foot on the island of Bora Bora before the ninth century. Their predecessors were the Lapita people, an ancient race of skilled mariners who came from New Guinea to Fiji around 1000 BC Polynesians that have cut a small part of rain forest, cultivated land and waters outside the reef. Bora Bora island in the middle of the Pacific, was called by many, and rightly so, as the most beautiful place on Earth. And who are we to deny the obvious? The island is a mixture of shades of blue, from azure to dark blue of the ocean by barrier reefs, deep emerald everything surrounding the volcano Otemanu conferred by abundant vegetation.
Volcanic island, Bora Bora is actually a complex of small islands, formed over a barrier reef around the main island. Bora Bora is the main favorite destination for honeymooners, but also a family visit will be a unique experience. Bora Bora is part of French Polynesia and is located in the tropics, near Tahiti, where they can be reached by plane in about 45 minutes. Over the shore of the main island, but also on some of the motu (small islands) are located many hotels, usually 4 or 5 stars. But do not think that these hotels are common. They consist of a collection of bungalows and small houses located on the beach or hanging over the water. These include: Le Meridien Bora Bora (which houses a reserve that protects turtles), St. Regis (where Nicole Kidman has chosen to spend her honeymoon), Intercontinental and Sofitel Marara.
These luxury hotels offer clients all the conditions to spend a dream holiday. For those whose budget does not allow a stay at one of the above hotels, $ 400-500, in Bora Bora there is also an arranged camping, many hostels for family where it can be relatively cheap, but being surrounded by the same paradise landscape. Watching the surrounding landscape itself is a distraction in this location. Tourists can not get enough of infinite shades of blue of the water in contrast to sparkling white coral sand. Besides contemplating the beauty of nature, Bora Bora offers tourists a variety of activities, enough to satisfy the different tastes. Through various activities you discover Bora Bora in all its dimensions, and living a true exotic vacation.
A snorkeling trip is a must here, as you can see varieties of tropical fish, flamboyant dancing around you, and among the corals on the bottom. You can combine, opting for a jet skiing trip, which will stop at a place very good for swimming and snorkeling. Also, scuba diving offers outstanding scenery, being able to discover the Pacific Ocean fauna. There are numerous schools that offer diver and patents. If you have a patent obtained elsewhere, with the help of a guide you can descend into the depths of the ocean (15-30 m) and will meet face to face with various species of shark, of which Lemon Shark can reach up to 5 m at maturity).
Pacific may reveal its secrets in boat rides during a “Spirit of the Pacific” along the coral wall to a depth of 35 meters, and going under water, equipped with a diving helmet during an Aqua Safari. Shark feeding is another very popular activity among tourists from Bora Bora; they can swim so literally surrounded by hungry sharks that come to receive their portion of more than beheaded. And if you’re swimming in shark fan, a visit to Lagoonarium (a kind of zoo, but only with fish) must be checked, your presence here being raised in captivity sharks that can swim and even touch. Also in these two activities will be presented with the friendly big cats that inhabit the lagoon.
Bora Bora is showed to the tourists first in the air from the window of the airplane with the baby arriving airport, located on a motu (islet). If you have not used all the camera’s memory in the 45 minute flight, and want to deepen Bora Bora scenery offered by the height you can make a helicopter tour (15 or 30 minutes, depending on how big is your budget) or parasailing practice. Pearls are the symbol of French Polynesia, so do not miss the opportunity to visit the pearl farm, located on the main island. Here you can learn all about how to grow these jewels of the ocean, but you can buy your own pearls and pearl necklace.
You do not know Bora Bora if you are not familiar with the main island, and especially the interior mountains. The main village of Vaitape on the island and its near public beach at Matira, places where you have easy renting car or a Bugster (a kind of cart, but more powerful). In contrast, within the fascinating volcanic island offers tourists the most difficult to reach, so you need a 4×4 car. Numerous travel agencies offer guided 4×4 tours, safari true unfriendly roads dug by American soldiers in the mountains, through lush vegetation. But it deserves the shake of the road, when, from above you see the entire ocean. A point of interest is the American guns on the ridge climbing the volcano that were never used.
If the interior of the island’s lush vegetation attracts a population of mosquitoes and other gases, such as a repellent spray is welcome to have in your bag. Each hotel offers its visitors on the island at least two restaurants, which combines specific Polynesian specialties with French and international cuisine. Even if you stay in a hotel, dine at restaurants of other hotels. If however, you have to book in advance, some hotels ask for written confirmation to share. Besides these, there are some famous restaurants, including: Top Dive (where there is a scuba dive school), Bloody Mary (who greets visitors with a list of celebrities who have crossed the threshold and that has no menu but every day serves “catch of the day” – the fish caught that day), Matira Restaurant (located on the only public beach in Bora Bora).
You can not spend a holiday, be it in paradise, without walking into stores. The different size pearls, qualities, colors and shapes, they will delight your eyes (and empty pockets).
Other souvenir shopping would be habitual (more than confectionery prices though) and traditional Polynesian art objects. Among these statues is the “TIKI” which in popular beliefs will protect and defend you from the evil spirits. Then you can find a variety of decorative objects, shells (even giant size) with which you can decorate your house, to remember the nostalgia of the holiday.11