25 Activities & Things To Do In Bora Bora (2023)
Are you trying to find the best activities and things to do in Bora Bora?
Then you have come to the right place! We have spent significant time living in French Polynesia and have personally gotten to experience almost all of the activities and things to do throughout the islands, including Bora Bora!
There are so many bucket-list experiences to try in Bora Bora, from staying in a fancy overwater bungalow to snorkeling, hiking, and a myriad of water sports.
We’ll also touch on some things to avoid doing in Bora Bora, plus additional tips for making the most of your time in paradise!
Here are 25 amazing things to do in Bora Bora!
25 Activities & Things To Do In Bora Bora
We have done our best to make this list fit a variety of travel styles.
You will find luxury experiences, romantic things to do in Bora Bora for those on their honeymoon, and free/cheap things to do in Bora Bora for those traveling on a budget!
1. Matira Beach
Matira Beach is the most popular beach in Bora Bora, and that’s because it is the only proper public beach on the mainland. This stunning shoreline spans over a mile, featuring white-coral sand and crystal-clear waters.
Whether you’re looking for a place to sunbathe, swim, or grab a couple of drinks at the beach bar, Marita Beach is a great place to spend the afternoon.
Note: There are no umbrellas and limited facilities, so you should bring a beach towel and sunscreen with you.
The beach itself is free, but if you plan to grab snacks and a drink at the beachfront bar, you could spend $20-40.
- Snorkeling Gear – Usually, these are free at your Bora Bora Hotel/Resort.
- Cocktail @ Bora Bora Beach Club – 1600-2000 XPF ($14-17 USD)
2. Go on a Whale-Watching Tour
Whale-watching is one of the most popular tours in Bora Bora.
Unlike normal whale watching, where you stay in the boat and wait for them to breach, this whale-watching tour by Tohora Bora Bora allows you to get in the water and actually snorkel with the humpback whales!
The boat is also equipped with a directional hydrophone so you can listen to the whales ‘sing’ from the boat.
The best time to go on a whale-watching tour in Bora Bora is from July to September, when humpback whales migrate through their feeding grounds near the islands. During these months, you can witness these majestic creatures up close as they swim and even jump out of the water.
A whale-watching tour costs between $175-200 per person, depending on the operator and the time of year.
3. Snorkel in the Lagoonarium
Snorkeling in Bora Bora’s Lagoonarium is probably the first thing you think of when planning your first trip to Bora Bora.
The crystal clear, turquoise ocean is full of beautiful reefs and abundant marine life, so you shouldn’t miss that chance to go snorkeling in Bora Bora.
It is possible to snorkel just offshore or from your overwater bungalow, but the best snorkeling is in the “Lagoonarium,” which is only accessible on a snorkeling tour. The Lagoonarium has a plethora of coral, sea creatures, and colorful fish to see, and you can usually spot sharks and stingrays, too!
Price: $150 – 550
A group snorkeling tour will cost between $150-200 per person, which will include lunch and snorkeling equipment. But for those traveling with your family/friends, you can book a private snorkeling tour for about $550 (up to 6 people).
4. Hike Mt Otemanu
Mt Otemanu stands majestically in the background of Bora Bora, dominating the landscape with an impressive height of 2,385 feet (727 meters). It is the highest mountain on the island, and you can see the peak from almost every corner of Bora Bora.
Legends say that this majestic mountain is the resting place of gods. Although it is impossible to climb to the very top, hiking to the shoulder of the peak still rewards you with panoramic views of the turquoise lagoons and surrounding mountain peaks.
Just make sure to bring water and have a good pair of hiking shoes. It’s a steep hike and takes about 4-5 hours.
5. Book a Private Catamaran Tour
If you are visiting Bora Bora with your significant other, one of the most romantic things you can do is treat your partner to a private catamaran sunset cruise. This is particularly great for couples taking a honeymoon to Bora Bora.
This luxury tour includes a private captain, snacks, sparkling wine, and music to make it an exceptional evening.
After you watch the sunset, the captain will drop you back off at your resort dock. Altogether, the tour lasts about 2 hours.
Price: $220 per person
6. Stay in an Overwater Bungalow
Staying in one of the overwater bungalows in Bora Bora is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
These villas are built on stilts over the coral lagoon, offering unparalleled views of the coral lagoon, gorgeous sunsets, and other luxury amenities like private infinity pools, large balconies, and full kitchens.
There are some (almost) all-inclusive resorts in Bora Bora with overwater bungalows, ranging from budget bungalows to extreme luxury.
Price: $500 – 3,500 per night
The cost of a night in an overwater bungalow fluctuates a lot, depending on which resort you choose and which season you travel to Bora Bora.
7. Hike the Valley of Kings Trail
The Valley of Kings at Ancesters’ Peak is a popular hike in Bora bora that is much less strenuous than either mountain peak.
Plus, it is a great way to learn about ancient ruins, petroglyphs depicting local legends, and endemic plants like the Polynesian Noni Tree.
The opportunity for hikes like this is one of the biggest differences between Bora Bora and other luxury destinations like the Maldives.
Price: Free – $50-100 per person
Usually, you can talk to your hotel or resort about arranging a tour. Since this is not a mainstream tour, booking online is impossible.
8. Go Jet Skiing
Jet skiing is one of the most exhilarating things to do in Bora Bora! You can find Jet Ski tours at any of the top resorts in Bora Bora. On the tour, you usually have about 2 hours to learn how to drive the jet-ski and explore the surrounding lagoon.
There are several great tour companies in Bora bora, but this jet ski tour has the highest reviews by far.
Price: $150-250 per person
You can also book a combination tour with jet-skiing, an ATV adventure, and lunch included.
9. Private Island Jeep Safari
A private Island Jeep Safari in Bora Bora is a great way to see the most remote parts of the island without hiking miles and miles.
These tours visit the most interesting sections of mainland Bora Bora, such as the base of Mt. Otemanu, Ancee’s Peak, World War II-era guns, and other historical Polynesian sites in Bora Bora.
Price: $100 per person
10. Watch the Sunset
If you are escaping to a tropical island like Bora Bora, you should definitely make time to watch a few sunsets. Mt Otemanu is a breathtaking backdrop from any motus – Pita Aau, Tevairoa, or To’opua – and most resorts have a great setup to have dinner with a sunset view.
If you are staying on the main island of Bora Bora, head to the island’s western side for the best view of the sun dipping below the horizon.
11. Mount Pahia
Mount Pahia in Bora Bora is roughly 2000 feet (600 m) above sea level, and you will need to climb all of that elevation on a hike to the summit. It usually takes about 3-5 hours roundtrip to complete due to the steep nature of the trail.
It’s not for novice hikers, but if you are a relatively experienced hiker, this summit will provide an adventure like no other in Bora Bora.
This hike has multiple starting points, and you can follow the hike on AllTrails.com.
- Tiipoto – Pahia (2.1 miles) – *Most accessible*
- Fa’anui – Pahia (2.5 miles)
- Farepiti – Pahia (3.8 miles)
12. Polynesian Fire Dancing
Witnessing a Polynesian Fire Dancing performance in Bora Bora is one of the best ways to engage with the island’s cultural history. These vibrant performances are full of colorful costumes, rhythmic drumming, and fire dancing, beautifully demonstrating the intersection of love, nature, and spirituality.
Most of the resorts in Bora Bora have a weekly show, so make sure to call ahead and ask when your resort is scheduled to have a show.
If you aren’t staying at one of the island’s premier resorts, you can still call ahead and ask when the show will be.
Price: $25-$40 per person
The show is free, but it is often required to buy drinks or have dinner at their restaurant in order to stay for the show.
13. Learn to Scuba Dive
If you are up for something more adventurous than snorkeling, introductory dive classes in Bora Bora are roughly the same price as a snorkeling tour.
The introductory dive class is particularly for travelers who have never been diving.
If you are already certified and looking for a more advanced dive, you can find more extensive diving experience here.
Price: $120 per person
14. Rent an E-Bike
Sadly, there are no places to reserve a bicycle or an E-bike in Bora bora online. But that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
After you get to the island, you can check if your resort offers bicycle rentals (usually, they do). If not, head to Matira beach, where you will find a few places to rent bicycles & E-bikes (such as AVIS rentals).
The entire island is only 20 miles around, so you can easily circumnavigate the island in a single day.
Price: $25-60 per bike (4-6 hour rental)
E-bikes will be more expensive than a regular bicycle, but it’s probably worth it if you don’t want to work up a sweat on vacation!
15. Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP)
If you have never tried stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), rest assured that the water in Boa Bora is very calm, making it very easy to get the hang of.
Most of the resorts in Bora Bora have free kayaks and paddleboards for their guests, but you can also find shops around the island that rent out paddleboards.
Bora Bora also has guided SUP tours for people nervous about going alone. The tour starts with learning to keep your balance (by starting on your knees and slowly working to your feet). Then the guide will help you navigate to the best parts of the lagoon.
Price: $0 – 110 per person
➡️ You can find a guided SUP tour here.
16. Have a Private Lunch on the Water
While this isn’t the cheapest excursion on our list, one of the most romantic things in Bora Bora is having lunch on the water with your significant other.
It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that would be great for a honeymoon or anniversary trip.
Usually included in a package tour, you’ll spend the morning snorkeling and exploring the lagoon by boat, then head to a secluded islet for a private Tahitian Barbeque lunch (drinks included).
The lunch is set in a cabana built on the water! It’s super cool!
17. Have a Couple of Drinks
If you’re looking for an enjoyable way to spend the evening in Bora Bora, there are a few places around the island chain for great drinks and nightlife.
You can try local beer like Hinano and Tabu or head out to the famous beach bars specializing in island cocktails. The most popular places to go are Bloody Mary’s and Bora Bora Yacht Club, which offer signature cocktails with a fun ambiance.
You can also find great drinks at Aparima (St. Regis Resort), Sands Restaurant (Intercontinental Thalasso Resort), and Upa Upa Lounge (The Conrad Hotel).
Alcohol is expensive in Bora Bora. Expect each cocktail to set you back $15-25, and a can of beer costs about $10.
18. Get a Massage
If you are staying at one of the resorts in Bora Bora, there will be a spa onsite for you. Spa treatments are always an additional charge, but it’s easily accessible for guests.
You can choose from relaxing aromatherapy, deep tissue, or hot stone massages. Massage treatments are readily available, from aromatherapy, deep tissue, or hot stone massages.
And don’t worry if you are staying somewhere else on the island. Non-guests still have access to the same spa treatments at any resort.
Price: $50 – 400 (Varies by Treatments)
The spas in Bora Bora do take appointments. You can call any of the resorts to get a quote.
Typically, a 50-minute massage, facial, or aromatherapy will cost around $1000-200, but more luxurious treatments and couples massages will cost more.
19. Take a Scenic Helicopter Tour
A helicopter tour of Bora Bora is one of the most unique and breathtaking ways to experience the island’s beauty. You’ll have a bird’s-eye view of the lush green jungles and stunning vistas while you soar over Mt Otemanu in an open-air aircraft.
On a ‘Shades of Blue’ tour, you’ll have a chance to fly over Bora Bora to take in the stunning aqua hues that give Bora Bora its reputation.
20. Try Traditional Polynesian Food
There is no excuse for skipping a traditional Polynesian meal in Bora Bora. Nearly all the restaurants (even the ones with Western food) have local dishes available.
We encourage you to try as many of these dishes as you can!
The most iconic dish is Poisson Cru – a raw fish lightly cooked in lemon juice, mixed with fresh salad, and bathed in coconut milk. It often includes other meats and vegetables, too, creating a very fresh and flavorful dish.
Other local favorites include banana or papaya puree (known as po’e) and fruit pudding baked over the fire.
Depending on the dish, you can expect to spend between $10 – 30 for an entree in Bora Bora.
21. Spend time Stargazing
French Polynesian islands like Moorea, Huahine, and Bora Bora are arguably the best place in the world for a clear view of the night sky.
There is almost ZERO light pollution in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, so turn off the lights in your overwater bungalow and spend a few hours gazing at the night sky!
22. Bora Bora Turtle Center
The Bora Turtle Center (a.k.a. The Sanctuary) is a small part of Le Meridien’s private lagoon that began seeking to protect and care for injured turtles back in 2000.
Unlike a zoo, the injured turtles are only here for a short time to get rehabilitation and then return to their natural habitat. Most of the turtles in Bora Bora are either Green Turles or Hawksbill turtles, but you can also see coral and lots of fish.
Visitors can watch the turtles through an underwater observatory and learn more about the conservation efforts at the museum and educational exhibits.
23. Shopping in Vaitape
All the resorts in Bora Bora have small gift shops, but for the best shopping in Bora Bora, go to Vaitape. Here, you will find local boutiques, pearl shops, and other souvenir shops.
Bora Bora is well known for its black-pearl dealers, and you will find these for sale in almost every shop. Along with these pearls and other jewelry, you can also find traditional souvenirs, high-end goods, local handicrafts, and Polynesian art in Vaitape.
24. Aqua Safari
An aqua safari in Bora Bora is the most unique underwater adventure in Bora Bora.
It is a sort of ‘scuba diving,’ but instead of full gear, you only have a scuba helmet connected to the boat’s oxygen source. Then, you can walk along the ocean floor (10 feet deep) and enjoy watching Bora Bora’s colorful reefs and marine life.
The tour is about 3 hours, although much is transportation and instruction, and you will get to be underwater for about 30 minutes on this tour.
Price: $110 per person
This price includes bottled water, transportation from your hotel/resort, and all underwater equipment.
25. Rent a Self-Drive Boat
For those looking for an exciting way to explore Bora Bora, renting your own boat is a great option that allows you to explore the lagoon on your own terms.
This Self-drive Bora Bora Boat Rental is the best option for booking your own boat online. You will get a detailed map with itinerary suggestions, unlimited fuel included, and you don’t need a boat license to drive the boat!
Whether you want to explore the turquoise waters around Motu Piti Aau or toss in the anchor and order drinks at Matira beach, renting your own boat is a unique way to see the island, and it’s pretty affordable, too.
Price: $170 per boat (2 people)
What NOT To Do In Bora Bora
Here are a couple of things to avoid while visiting Bora Bora.
❌ Don’t Pack Heavy Clothes
Bora Bora is very hot and humid year-round, so you should only need light, airy clothes for your trip. Additionally, when you flow from Tahiti to Bora Bora, it’s a small airplane with very strict baggage regulations.
❌ Don’t Go Out Alone at Night
While Bora Bora is mostly safe, pickpocketing and petty theft are still reasons to be cautious. Don’t take any unnecessary risks by going out alone at night.
❌ Don’t Forget Sunscreen
Bora Bora is right on the equator, so the sun is very intense, so even when it’s cloudy, you should wear sunscreen.
❌ Don’t Throw Your Trash In The Ocean
This one should go without saying. Make sure to dispose of your trash properly and help keep the beauty of Bora Bora intact.
Visiting Bora Bora: FAQs
Traveling to Bora Bora is a big trip for most people. Many people choose to visit this island for their honeymoon, so we don’t want to leave any frequent questions unanswered.
What are the best tours in Bora Bora?
The best tours in Bora Bora depend on your travel style and personal preferences, but there are so many options. You can book snorkeling excursions, kayak trips, lagoon cruises, jet ski tours, and even 4×4 jeep tours. Here are our favorites:
Are there cheap activities in Bora Bora?
Yes, there are plenty of cheap activities in Bora Bora. You could explore more of the island on a bike, cruise around the lagoon by kayak, or browse the shops in Vaitape. It is definitely possible to enjoy Bore Bora on a budget.
- Stand-up Paddleboarding (SUP)
- Rent a Bicycle (E-Bikes are not quite as cheap)
- Go Shopping in Vaitape town
What are some free things to do in Bora Bora?
There are plenty of free things to do in Bora Bora that won’t cost you a dime.
Many of these activities are also the most relaxing thing to do as well, like stargazing or sunbathing, but you can also take on some adventurous hikes for free!
- Go on a Hike – Mt Otemanu, Mt Pahia, and other small hikes in Bora Bora are entirely free.
- Sunbathe at Matira Beach
- Watch the Sunset from your hotel/resort.
What are some things to do in Bora Bora for a honeymoon?
Bora Bora is one of the top honeymoon destinations in the world, so many tours, experiences, and hotels cater to couples on their honeymoon. Here are some of the most romantic things to do in Bora Bora.
- Stay in an Overwater Bungalow
- Private Catamaran Sunset Tour
- “Shades of Blue” Helicopter Tour
- Lunch on the Lagoon
How many days is enough in Bora Bora?
Staying in Bora Bora for about a week gives you plenty of time to explore the island and enjoy its natural beauty. A week in Bora Bora will provide you with a few days to relax in your overwater bungalow and a few days for some of the island’s most exciting excursions.
What should I be careful of in Bora Bora?
Bora Bora is very safe, but it is one of the places in the world most at-risk for over-tourism, so it is crucial to travel sustainably. Respect the local culture, wear reef-safe sunscreen to protect the coral, and always dispose of your trash responsibly.
The Wrap-Up: Things To Do In Bora Bora
Bora Bora is an incredible place to visit in French Polynesia, with tons of things to do and activities to enjoy.
Whether you are looking for adrenaline-pumping excursions, romantic honeymoon activities, family-friendly tours, or a place to chill away from it all, you won’t run out of ways to fill your time in Bora Bora.
We hope these recommendations help you fill out your perfect Bora Bora itinerary, and one of our top tips for the island is to splurge on an overwater bungalow. There are only a few places in the world where you can do this, and it will make your trip so much more memorable!