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Bora Bora has been the destination of honeymooners and travelers for decades, known for its beachy vibes and luxury resorts that make for an enticing stop on any New Zealand cruise. On cruises to Bora Bora, you’ll find classic activities like snorkeling, swimming, and sunbathing, and the hiking here is unbeatable, too. Adventure seekers can go scuba diving in Anau Lagoon or scale the heights of Mount Pahia.
For a sunny escape, it’s hard to beat Bora Bora. It’s quiet without being stuffy, and the dramatic beach landscape combined with rainforest peaks make Bora Bora one of the world’s best destinations. Of course, island tours and excursions are a great way to see Bora Bora when time is limited. Finish your satisfying day in port with authentic Polynesian fare, local catches, and freshly marinated poisson cru.
The largest public beach in Bora Bora is also one of its best. Relaxed under a thatched hut roof, drink from a coconut, and soak up the warmth of the sun here. Rumor has it that Matira Beach is the most beautiful beach in the world.
History buffs can’t miss a chance to see relics of World War II at Faanui Bay, where U.S. Naval troops kept supplies and defense guns on site. Today, the sight commemorates the struggles of World War II while offering unbeatable views of the lagoon below.
Head up to the highest point of Bora Bora when you climb the volcanic mountain Otemanu. The view from the top offers a dramatic, beautiful photo op for any traveler passing through. The hike on the way up will satisfy your craving for hardcore physical activity.
It’s recommended you travel with a group when you scale Mt. Pahia, known for its windy paths and dense trails. As one of the two highest points in Bora Bora, Mt. Pahia offers incredible views of Bora Bora as well as one of the best and most challenging hikes from Vaitape.
The village of Anau is on the road less traveled by tourists and home to one of the top marine museums in the area. The lagoon is also one of the biggest diving spots for scuba divers who come to the area looking to spot manta rays, eels, and anemones up close.
Head to Motu Tapu to experience this private islet, one of the most exclusive experiences in Bora Bora. The Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa, though based in Vaitape, takes hotel guests and a limited number of passengers to Motu Tapu for snorkeling, diving, and a romantic private islet experience you’ll never forget.
Because Bora Bora is a popular resort town, many travelers who are here for several days have dining packages at their resort. However, if you want to eat like a local while on your Bora Bora cruise, try sampling from the local food trucks, called roulottes, which offer cheap but tasty dishes. One of the local dishes is called poisson cru, which is tuna marinated in coconut and lime. Another typical dish is poe, a taro root pudding.
Polynesians have inhabited Bora Bora for thousands of years. Europeans didn’t know this secluded paradise existed until the 18th century, when the British arrived and began to colonize it. Bora Bora then became a French protectorate in the late 1800s as part of what is now known as French Polynesia. In World War II, Bora Bora was used as a U.S. base for supplies, which brought war materials onto the island. Polynesian culture is still very strong here, and the different islands of Polynesia each have their own traditions and cultural practices. Over time, Bora Bora has also become a popular spot for honeymooners and tourists looking to enjoy its luxurious resorts and incredible beaches.
Bora Bora cruise ships arrive in Pofai Bay and tender passengers to shore to an area called Vaitape, which is the biggest city in the area. The port is centrally located to get to aquatic activities like swimming and diving from there.
There’s limited public transport in Bora Bora. Catamarans and ferries are commonly used to get people to and from the airport. Car rentals and taxi services are available on the island. Before arriving in Bora Bora, be sure to plan activities that you can walk to, or arrange an excursion with transportation included if you want to venture beyond the cruise area.
There’s not much in the way of shopping here except for a craft market at the port. Locals hawk their handmade goods, including jewelry, sculptures, and other trinkets that provide a taste of French Polynesian craftwork. Luxury items aren’t typically found in the area.
In Bora Bora, they use the French Pacific Franc as the official currency, also known as the CFP. Many places accept credit cards, but some will require a minimum purchase to do so. Tipping isn’t the norm here, so on cruises to Bora Bora, don’t worry about tipping your taxi driver or server.