The Magic Of Bora Bora
Ia ora na!
Greetings from Bora Bora -- that tiny piece of heaven in the South Pacific.
The water is impossibly blue, except for those improbable shades of green, and everywhere you turn, it is -- snap, snap, snap -- picture postcard perfect.
Bora Bora, which lies about 150 miles northwest of Tahiti (www.tahiti-tourisme.com), is about five miles long and a couple of miles wide and surrounded by a barrier reef and a lagoon. Palm-covered motus, or tiny islands, form a necklace around the main island, while native hibiscus flowers spread their lush scent on the hillsides. Some visitors come to sail and swim, snorkel and dive these amazingly clear. While others come to sink in the perfect sand, experience the tropical beauty and channel their inner Paul Gauguin.
Here are a few reasons why this romantic island is so magical.
Ships that sail the South Pacific stop here. Boats that travel within the borders of
The Ti'a Moana is a honeymooner's dream. In fact, most of the 38 passengers on our trip were newlyweds from
The first luxury resort bungalow on stilts over the
These overwater bungalows can be found in other parts of the South Pacific, but if you've seen photos of these unusual places, chances are they were taken in Bora Bora. Although couples show up at these resorts, they all offer special family packages as well.
We stayed in our own overwater bungalow at the
Although there were people around at the reception desk and in the restaurant, once you're in your bungalow, it's only you and the tropics. We had our own private steps into the warm water of the lagoon and when daylight faded, we could see into the water through our Tahitian television, that is, our glass-top coffee table that provided illuminated views of the fish. This resort is a place where you can enjoy views of Bora Bora's classic mountain peak, Otemanu, and treetop massages, along with a full range of spa and aquatic offerings.
HAWAIKI NUI VA'A
For centuries, Polynesian warriors have raced across the open waters of the South Pacific in their outriggers. In today's version of the race, six-person teams compete over three days in October in the Hawaiki Nui Va'a, the Super Bowl of outrigger canoe races, http://www.hawaikinuivaa.pf/.
Contestants wear matching T-shirts and baseball hats and their outriggers are covered with advertising like Indy 500 cars. Despite the presence of sailing ships and powered support boats throttling in the open waters just a few feet away, the racers still move their oars in perfect harmony at about one stroke per second and switch sides simultaneously in practiced choreography. We watched the finish of one of the 72-mile races on the deck of the Ti'a Moana while it was moored in the harbor on the island of Raiatea.
HOW TO GET THERE:
Travelers come mostly by air, but also by sea. Bora Bora's busy
Air Tahiti Nui (www.airtahitinui-usa.com) is the leading carrier to
LESS EXPENSIVE HOTEL OPTIONS:
Luxury yachts and resorts in Bora Bora are pricey, but
AVERAGE TEMPERATURE: In Bora Bora it's 82 to 85 degrees year-round with water temperature in the low 80s.
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(c) 2010 Diana Korte, Vacation Travel Muse
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