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Language: French | Currency: French Pacific franc (CPF) | Local time: GMT +5:00 | Avg. Flight time: 26 hrs
Bear in mind that most of the stunning beaches in Bora Bora are privately owned by resorts. The only public beach on the island is Matira, a quiet stretch of sun-drenched beach which is great for swimming and snorkelling.
Bora Bora has a range of activities to keep you occupied on your holiday. If you’re visiting in July, be sure not to miss the Heiva i Bora Bora festival, a month-long celebration of Polynesian culture, music, and dance. In November, the Hawaiki Nui canoe race is a must-see, with more than a hundred boats taking part in an epic race around French Polynesia.
If it’s adrenaline-packed adventure you’re after, then take a hike up Mount Otemanu, one of Bora Bora’s extinct volcanoes located in the centre of the island. Or how about a 4x4 safari, taking you on an off-road experience to see some hidden secrets of the island? You can also enjoy snorkelling and jet-skiing, or just relax on the beach and soak up the sun.
Vaitape, the largest city on the island, is at its liveliest on Sunday morning when numerous food stalls sell Polynesian delicacies such as pahua taioro (clams marinated in coconut seawater sauce) and firifiri (doughnuts). Another must-try dish is poisson cru (tuna marinated in lime and coconut) – yum!
The best way to get around the island is by bike, scooter or buggy, or even a canoe. You can rent them from most resorts and guesthouses. Le Truck is the public bus service – it’s cheap, but can be unreliable at times as the buses may not run on time. Car hire is expensive, but it does get you from one destination to another quickly.
The cheapest time to visit Bora Bora is between November and May. At this time, the weather is at its warmest, around 30C, but there are frequent rain showers. Take a raincoat and mosquito repellent with you.
Even though Bora Bora has a relaxed atmosphere and crime is low, always remain vigilant and keep your personal possessions safe. For the latest travel advice, check the FCO website prior to your travel.