Bora Bora is one of the most popular islands in the world. It’s famous for its beautiful lagoon, luxury resorts and romantic overwater bungalows but there is more to this island than meets the eye.

The coral reef that surrounds Bora Bora is truly amazing. It is one of the most renowned natural wonders in the world and a major draw for divers. This vast underwater garden comes in many different hues and tones, from deep indigo (Teavanui Passage, Poofai and Faanui bays) to pastel shades of blue and green elsewhere on the island. This vibrant marine life is home to a variety of sea creatures from sharks and manta rays to schools of colorful fish.

On land, the lush island offers visitors an opportunity to discover traditional Polynesian culture through food, dance and art. The island’s Maohi people have a strong connection with nature and this is reflected in their traditions like wood carving, tattooing and dancing. The tatau, or spiritual tattoo, is a special mark of identity for the Maohi people that represents a life milestone.

The most popular activities in Bora Bora are swimming and snorkeling. The clear waters are teeming with exotic tropical fish and the water is so warm that it is like bathwater.

But Bora Bora is also a great place for hiking. There are a few big hikes on the island including the ones to the top of Mata Pupu and Mt Otemanu. These hikes can be very challenging and it is recommended that you go with a guide.

During WWII the United States decided to make Bora Bora a strategic military base in the South Pacific. To that end they erected roads, quays, a fuel depot and an airport on the motu of Motu Mute. They also positioned eight huge cannons in strategic points around the island which can still be seen today.

Today, tourism is the main industry on the island and most of the accommodations are luxurious, five star resorts. These luxury hotels offer a wide range of amenities and services to meet the needs of all types of travelers. From gourmet picnic lunches and diners on a private beach on a motu to lagoon-view tables at one of the island’s finest restaurants, there is something for everyone.

If you’re looking for something a little more casual head to one of the roulottes, or food trucks, that set up each evening in Vaitape. At Roulotte Matira, you’ll find a permanent parked truck that serves delicious hamburgers and fish burgers. For a more unique dining experience try La Villa Mahana which is operated by a Corsican chef and serves dishes that combine Mediterranean techniques with tropical flavors like rock lobster risotto and grilled mahi mahi with curry sauce and banana. All of this makes Bora Bora an ideal island for couples seeking a dream vacation or honeymoon. But the island is equally a wonderful destination for families with kids. In fact, many of the resorts have designed specific packages and activities for children so they can enjoy the same luxuries as their parents.

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