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The best things to do in Bora Bora, tips for traveling in French Polynesia, the top luxury resorts in Bora Bora, and of course, photos to keep it interesting!

Welcome, fellow travel aficionados, to the jewel of the South Pacific—Bora Bora!

Picture this: crystal-clear turquoise waters, powdery white sand beaches, and luxury bungalows perched over the tranquil lagoons. Oh, and did I mention the endless sunshine and cocktails with little umbrellas? Yep, it’s a tropical extravaganza fit for a queen (or in this case, my amazing mom)! So buckle up and get ready to dive into the shimmering blue waters of Bora Bora with me. I promise it’s going to be one heck of a ride!

I recently visited French Polynesia, and the adventure wasn’t just any old trip! If you’re considering a visit to the South Pacific, I highly recommend it. This comes from someone who has traveled the world for a decade and has much to compare it to.


In this post, we’ll cover:

  • About Bora Bora
  • Travel to Bora Bora — Who It’s For
  • The Best Things to Do in Bora Bora (in detail — the core of this post)
  • The Best Luxury Resorts in Bora Bora for Overwater Bungalows
  • The Best Restaurants in Bora Bora
  • What to Pack for Bora Bora
  • Getting to Bora Bora by Flight or Ferry
  • Bora Bora Closing Thoughts
  • For more videos and photos of Bora Bora check out @StephBeTravel on Instagram


infinity pool overlooking the lagoon at Conrad Bora Bora Resort - best things to do in Bora Bora

A sunrise swim with my mom at the Conrad Resort in Bora Bora


About Bora Bora

Bora Bora, often referred to as the “Pearl of the Pacific,” is a volcanic island surrounded by a stunning coral reef. Its main feature is Mount Otemanu, a dormant volcano that rises dramatically from the center of the island, providing a picturesque backdrop for the landscape. The island is part of the Society Islands archipelago in French Polynesia and is situated approximately 143 miles (230 kilometers) northwest of Tahiti.

One of the most distinctive features of Bora Bora is its overwater bungalows, which offer guests unparalleled views of the lagoon and surrounding scenery. These iconic accommodations have become synonymous with luxury travel, attracting honeymooners, celebrities, and discerning travelers from around the globe. Additionally, Bora Bora is home to some of the world’s most prestigious resorts, boasting exclusive amenities such as private plunge pools, gourmet dining experiences, and personalized butler service.

When I say that it’s home to some of the best resorts in the world — it’s an understatement. The top hotel brands are competing, striving, to be the BEST not just in Bora Bora, but world-wide. In short, yes, Bora Bora is rich in culture and adventure, but above all – it knows hospitality.

Traveling to Bora Bora: Who It’s For

Bora Bora is known as a quintessential honeymoon destination that sets hearts aflutter with its romantic allure. But let me let you in on a little secret—it’s not just for newlyweds! Sure, this tropical paradise has long been hailed as the ultimate lovers’ retreat. It has secluded overwater bungalows, candlelit dinners under the stars, and sunset strolls along the beach. But here’s the thing: Bora Bora is not just for honeymooners. It’s for anyone looking to celebrate life’s special moments in style! Whether you’re marking a milestone birthday, anniversary, retirement, or simply craving a well-deserved escape, this slice of paradise has something for everyone. So why wait for a honeymoon to experience the magic of Bora Bora? Grab your loved ones (or head out solo), pack your bags, and get ready to create memories that will last a lifetime. Trust me, you won’t regret it!


Pearl of the Pacific - swimming at the pool at the St Regis Bora Bora - best things to do in Bora Bora

A moment to relax at the St Regis Hotel in Bora Bora

The Best Things to Do in Bora Bora

Ranking the best things to do in Bora Bora is a tough task because every experience is exceptional. Whether it’s snorkeling in the turquoise lagoon, enjoying a sunset cruise, or simply relaxing on a pristine beach, each activity offers its own unique charm. With such a wealth of beauty and adventure, it’s no wonder that choosing the top experiences becomes a –delightful– challenge. In Bora Bora, everything is simply too good to rank! In no particular order, some of the best things to do in Bora Bora.


1. Stay in an overwater bungalow

Bora Bora is home to some of the world’s most luxurious resorts, offering unparalleled service and amenities. Many of these resorts are located on private beaches or motus, providing guests with a secluded and exclusive experience.

We stayed at three different resorts during our time at Bora Bora.

Each hotel had a unique charm to their overwater bungalows.

  • The St Regis: a 2 bedroom villa with the largest private pools on the island
  • The Four Seasons: a bath tub with a view
  • The Conrad: hammocks out on the dock a spacious bed/bath layout

The St Regis Bora Bora Overwater Bungalow Villas


At the St Regis, we stayed in a two bedroom villa and had a private pool fit for a house. I recommend this villa for family travel or when traveling with friends — or if you just prefer the most space. 


bath with a view in bora bora villa with private pool

View of Mount Otemanu from our overwater bungalow villa at the St Regis Bora Bora


haven of luxury and tranquility - best things to do in Bora Bora - St Regis Bora Bora Resort - two bedroom luxury villa

Aerial shot – two bedroom villa at the St Regis Bora Bora


The Four Seasons Bora Bora Overwater Bungalow Suites

What I loved most about the Four Seasons villas, was how you can take a bath with a view.  This is perfect for romance or relaxation.

infinity pool from the bedroom villa

The Four Seasons Bora Bora 

The overwater bungalow

My mom, celebrating her 50th birthday at the Four Seasons Bora Bora Resort

The Conrad Bora Bora Overwater Bungalow Suites

What I love most about the Conrad hotel was the open room and open bathroom layout. It felt very spacious. The deck also had cute hammocks.

spa and massage experience in bora bora

A look at the villas of Conrad Bora Bora

try the hammocks out on the dock in bora bora resort

Cute little hammocks on the dock at the Conrad Bora Bora

one bedroom villas, the Conrad really shows off as spacious - best things to do in Bora Bora

A very spacious layout at the Conrad Bora Bora

2. Swim with sharks / stingrays

As someone who is A). terribly afraid of drowning, but also B). has been shark-diving twice before, you must swim with the sharks and stingrays!

It’s done in the ocean with wild sharks and stingrays, not in an aquarium. It’s an unbelievable experience!

I do want to manage expectations – this is an amazing experience, worth a group tour. You probably won’t get photos like  the ones you see on Instagram. This is the type of experience that you do for the experience, not for the ‘gram. I think a lot of those are photoshopped, and so I want to  be honest about what to expect.

best things to do in Bora bora is to swim with sharks and stingrays

Snorkeling with sharks and sting rays and a view of the island from the boat

best things to do in Bora Bora - snorkeling tour

A super cute heart under the sea, shot with a GoPro


3. Enjoy a canoe breakfast (& canoe ride)

One of my very favorite experiences was breakfast delivered in a canoe at the St Regis Bora Bora.  We also went for a ride in the canoe, and this gives a very beautiful viewpoint of the ocean, mount, and the bungalows. 

The breakfast at the St Regis was exceptional with or without the canoe. The eggs Benedict, the french toast – the details at the buffet where they keep fruits, meats, cheeses, and yogurts in mini fridges, so they aren’t impacted by the heat – made for one of my favorite hotel “breakies” in the world. 

Breakfast food aside, the canoe experience was super cool. The locals who brought out the breakfast were very charming.

canoeing in the water at the St Regis Bora Bora Resort - best things to do in Bora Bora

First, locals delivered breakfast in a canoe, then they took us for a ride!

St Regis Bora Bora has a knack for great dining - best things to do in Bora Bora

I think this is the best breakfast, I’ve ever had


4. Get a massage (with a view)

I’ve mentioned this a few times – I have a lot to compare against my Bora Bora experience and WOW did they outperform other luxury destinations with their spas.

Both spa and massage experiences were pure excellence.


Hina Spa at the Conrad Resort Bora Bora

The Hina Spa at the Conrad Resort & Spa is positioned high into the mountains in an adult treehouse that looks out into the ocean. The view is spectacular. So was the massage itself. My masseuse was originally from Bali, Indonesia, another destination famous for rest and relaxation.Be sure to ask for Deli, she was incredible! Don’t forget to tip :)

excellent massage with a view as one of the best activities to do in bora bora

My mom and I inside the Hina Spa at the Conrad Resort

overlooking the bungalows and beaches

Aerial view of the Hina Spa at the Conrad Bora Bora

Iridium Spa at Regis Resort Bora Bora

The spa at the St Regis, is right on the lagoon looking into Mount Otemanu. The St Regis does a unique massage that you can’t find anywhere else. It was sensational! You can book a spa experience at the St Regis whether or not you’re staying on the property, and you can get a day pass to access the lagoon. This is a nice option for anyone who may be traveling on a budget.


St Regis Bora Bora Spa

Outdoor deck option, Iridium Spa at the St Regis Bora Bora Resort

St Regis Bora Bora Spa

View of the lagoon, Iridium Spa at the St Regis Bora Bora Resort

The perfect mother daughter date, Iridium Spa at the St Regis Bora Bora Resort



5. Helicopter over the island for an aerial view — one of the best things to do in Bora Bora!

Most resorts in Bora Bora don’t permit drones – this ensures that guests have total and undisturbed privacy. I was able to get some media passes with the opportunity to use a drone with clearance/ supervision – with mindfulness towards other guests first. 

So how else can a guest get an aerial view of this perfect island?

A helicopter tour!

I’ll sound like a broken record here, but I’ve been on a handful of helicopter rides, and this is by far my favorite so far!

The Four Seasons Bora Bora has a helipad on the property, this saved us a lot of time in getting to the helipad on another part of the island.

 try the helicopter ride in Bora bora

Aerial shots from the helicopter tour of Bora Bora

Four Seasons Bora Bora has a helipad on the property - Best Things to do in Bora Bora

A family trip to Bora Bora



6. Grab lunch or dinner with a view at one of the best restaurants in Bora Bora

The cuisine of Bora Bora is a delicious blend of French and Polynesian influences, with fresh seafood, tropical fruits, and locally grown vegetables taking center stage. Visitors can sample traditional dishes infused with a modern twist.

As a self-proclaimed foodie that isn’t necessarily easy to impress – I’m not making my next statements lightly! Here’s my overview of the best restaurants in Bora Bora.

Best Restaurants in Bora Bora for Lunch

Both of my favorite lunches were at the Faré Hoa Beach Bar & Grill at the Four Seasons Bora Bora. Faré Hoa Beach Bar & Grill is “an open-air restaurant with toes-in-the-sand charm.” I was obsessed with the Tahitian fish salad – it’s like a coconut milk ceviche – refreshing, healthy, and full of flavor. We were all also obsessed with the poke bowls. They add avocado and mango. It was so good, we stayed for an extra lunch on the property.

enjoy a canoe ride and breakfast in Bora bora

Lunch with a view at Faré Hoa Beach Bar & Grill  at the Four Seasons Bora Bora

Best Restaurants in Bora Bora for Dinner

Both of my favorite dinners were at the St Regis Resort Bora Bora. The St Regis is so well-known for its culinary experiences, that people boat in just for a cocktail or dinner with a view. The Lagoon Restaurant by Jean Georges and the 727 Bar are well worth the journey. It’s renowned for sights of Mount Otemanu, exceptional service, and a taste of paradise. For Asian dining I highly recommend the Bamboo Restaurant at the St Regis Bora Bora. As a reformed pescatarian of seven years that traveled full-time four of those years, I’ve had a lot of great fish. However, the Bamboo Restaurant had some of the best sushi in the world. For a flavorful experience, the Bamboo Restaurant is must. 

try the delicious and mouthwatering Polynesian cuisine

A spectacular dinner at the St Regis Bora Bora, left The Lagoon Restaurant, Right the Bamboo Restaurant

Best Restaurants in Bora Bora

Dinning at the Bamboo Restaurant at the St Regis in Bora Bora



7. Layout by the water (pool, beach, AND lagoon)

If you’re going to Bora Bora, you’re going to take a dip! This is a highlight of the trip.

best things to do in bora bora is the infinity pool

The pool cabana and the lagoon at the St Regis Bora Bora

experience sunrise swim

At the Conrad, we snuck in a sunrise swim, and got the pool to ourselves



8. Watch a French Polynesia dance show

Each hotel has a French Polynesian dance performance at least once a week. We caught the show at the Conrad and LOVED the energy. There was live music, engaging / interacting with the audience, and a fire show!

another thing to do in bora bora is to watch French Polynesian dance show

French Polynesia Dance show at the Conrad Bora Bora



9. Shop for Tahitian Pearls (and art)

It’s not often that I suggest shopping as one of the best things to do. Bora Bora has more to offer than a shopping mall. With that in mind, Tahitian pearls offer timeless elegance. These pearls, renowned for their lustrous black hues and turquoise overtones, are sourced from the pristine waters of French Polynesia. Each piece is a rare and exquisite treasure. Whether adorning a necklace, bracelet, or earrings, Tahitian pearls add a touch of sophistication to any ensemble. Not to mention, each Tahitian pearl is formed through a fascinating process of nature. They’re cultivated within the unique black-lipped oysters found in the warm waters surrounding Tahiti and its neighboring islands. This journey from sea to jewelry box encapsulates a little adventure of its own, adding to the allure and mystique of these precious gems.

Wearing a Tahitian pearl necklace. Drink and view at the 727 Bar, St Regis Bora Bora


10. Order a flower crown

The concierge at the Four Seasons are very accommodating with ordering these types of details – from flower crowns to birthday balloons, macaroons, and more.


Flower crown, canoeing, and swing at the Four Seasons Bora Bora

Happy 50th birthday balloon and tropical macaroon set for my mom’s birthday at the Four Seasons in Bora Bora



11. Explore the Resort

One of the best things to do in Bora Bora is simply indulging in the luxury of the resort properties. From lush tropical gardens to chapels, bridges, and viewpoints — there are surprise little pleasures in every corner. Each resort offers a sanctuary of tranquility and opulence. With breathtaking surroundings at every turn, exploring the beautiful resort properties of Bora Bora is an experience in itself. Enjoy an oasis of relaxation!

visit the small, beautiful chapel inside the resort

The chapel at the lagoon at the Four Seasons Bora Bora

The bridge and the lagoon at the St Regis Bora Bora

stay in an overwater bungalow villa

Beachfront cabanas at the Four Seasons Bora Bora

sightseeing the resort

View of Mount Otemanu with my mom, from the Conrad Resort in Bora Bora


What to Pack for Bora Bora

If you’re traveling to Bora Bora, you’ll pack everything from beachwear to a cocktail dress. I recommend a few posts that will help you pack up:


Beautiful Island of Bora Bora - the best things to do

Getting to Bora Bora by Flight or Ferry

By Flight

Getting to Bora Bora is an adventure in itself, but fear not—it’s easier than you might think! The primary gateway to this tropical paradise is through Faa’a International Airport (PPT) in Papeete, the capital city of Tahiti. From many international destinations, travelers can catch flights to Tahiti, often with layovers in major cities such as Los Angeles, Paris, or Auckland.

Once you’ve arrived in Tahiti, the next leg of the journey involves a short connecting flight to Bora Bora Airport (BOB). Several airlines operate daily flights between Tahiti and Bora Bora, offering travelers convenient access to the island. However, given that flights can be rescheduled or canceled, I highly recommend a layover in Tahiti.

The flight itself is a breathtaking experience, with aerial views of the turquoise lagoon and blue oceans. Get a window seat! The iconic Mount Otemanu greets passengers as they descend onto the island.


By Ferry or Private Yacht

For those seeking a more leisurely journey, there’s also the option of traveling to Bora Bora by sea. Many luxury cruise lines include Bora Bora as a port of call on their itineraries, allowing guests to arrive in style aboard a ship. Additionally, private yachts and charter boats offer a more intimate and customizable way to explore the surrounding islands of French Polynesia, with Bora Bora as a highlight on the route.


Getting to Your Resort

Once you’ve arrived in Bora Bora, the island’s small size makes it easy to navigate. Most resorts offer complimentary airport transfers for their guests, whisking them away to their overwater bungalows or beachfront villas in no time. Simply email your resorts concierge prior to your trip. For independent travelers, taxis and water shuttles are readily available to transport visitors to their accommodations or explore the island’s attractions at their own pace. Book in advance if you can; and always carry enough cash for a taxi.

Whether you arrive by air or sea, the journey to Bora Bora is just the beginning of an unforgettable experience in paradise. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to embark on the adventure of a lifetime in one of the world’s most breathtaking destinations!



Best Things to do in Bora Bora Closing Thoughts

As we wrap up our journey through the captivating paradise of Bora Bora, it’s clear that this destination is a dream come true for any type of traveler — particularly luxury travelers. From the exhilarating adventures in the turquoise lagoon to the indulgent relaxation offered by the island’s top-notch resorts, every moment spent here is nothing short of magical. We’ve explored the best things to do, uncovered the most exquisite resort properties, and shared essential tips to ensure your visit is nothing short of extraordinary. So whether you’re seeking romance, adventure, or simply a blissful escape, Bora Bora beckons! I highly recommend the St Regis Bora Bora, the Four Seasons Bora Bora and the Conrad Bora Bora.

More importantly, Bora Bora as a whole, presents unparalleled beauty and boundless opportunities for luxury and relaxation. Until next time, Māuruuru Bora Bora[thank you]. It’s not good bye, it’s see you later!


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