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Polinesia Francese fai da te - Spiaggia di sabbia bianca e acqua trasparente con palme a Tikehau in Polinesia Francese - planning a trip to French Polynesia

Bora Bora is a dream destination for many travellers. It’s a popular choice for couples looking for a romantic honeymoon or to celebrate an anniversary. It’s also a great place for a relaxing holiday. But if you’re worried about being bored, don’t be!

There’s plenty of things to do in Bora Bora, from sports to excursions at sea and on the island. In this article, we’ve put together a list of the best things to do.
Here are 8 exciting activities to do in Bora Bora!

Which are the activities to do in Bora Bora?

Bora Bora is all about relaxation. Whether you want to lie in the sun in an overwater bungalow or rest in the shade of palm trees on a white sandy beach, you can do that here. We, two usually active people, found it hard to resist the call of tranquillity.

But Bora Bora is about more than just relaxation. There’s plenty of things to do in Bora Bora, with activities mainly in the sea, but also in the hinterland. The people are really friendly too!
Which are the activities to do in Bora Bora? There are lots of activities in Bora Bora at sea, from snorkelling, swimming with manta rays and sharks to more active pursuits like jet skiing, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding. On the other hand, going inland will give you a deeper insight into the culture of the gentle, smiling Polynesian people and the history of their origins.

We were reluctant to leave our overwater bungalow, but we were curious to find out what to see on Bora Bora and what are the activities to do in Bora Bora. We decided to go and experience what the island has to offer, and we assure you that it is worth it! Here are eight things to do in Bora Bora!

Bora Bora activities to do: snorkelling in the coral garden and reef of Bora Bora

Naturally, the vast majority of excursions on Bora Bora that are offered are related to the marine environment, and snorkelling is undoubtedly the most popular activity and the first of the things to do on Bora Bora.

Near the resorts, there are some places where artificial structures such as cages or platforms are built to help the reef recover, allowing small corals to grow and spread.

In addition, there are various enchanting natural sites both around the main island and in the vicinity of the motu surrounding Bora Bora. Excursions, both private and group, can be organised to reach these places.

The reef around Bora Bora can only be reached by boat and we recommend that you get help from the staff of the accommodation where you are staying to organise this excursion: in some places outside the reef, the currents can be very strong and it is always better to be accompanied by someone you trust and who is experienced.

Cose da fare a Bora Bora - Snorkeling in mezzo ai pesci della barriera corallina di Bora Bora in Polinesia Francese

Snorkeling in the coral garden

Activities in Bora Bora inland: quad biking in the island’s mountains

What to see in inland Bora Bora? There are plenty of great activities to do in Bora Bora, but it’s not easy to find one that doesn’t have to do with its beautiful sea. One great experience you can have to explore Bora Bora’s hinterland is to book a quad bike excursion that will take you through the island’s interior mountains, offering breathtaking views of the sea and the island itself.

The first stop on this fun adventure is Mount Popoti, reached via a winding path through lush vegetation. From there, you can admire a spectacular ocean panorama, stretching as far as other islands like Raiatea, Tahaa and Vanilla Island.

Next up is the Amanahune lookout, which is in the south-central part of the island. From there, you can enjoy a great view of the east and west coasts of Bora Bora.

Finally, you can visit a historical site with cannons and buildings from World War II. This gives you a unique perspective on the island’s history.

During this excursion, you will be accompanied by a local guide who will share with you the fascinating history of this travelling people who populated the archipelago, extending their influence as far as Hawaii and New Zealand.
If you would like more information about this exciting adventure, please visit the website of the local agency with whom we booked the tour via this link.

Activities to do in Bora Bora: swimming with sharks!

If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience in Bora Bora, swimming with sharks is a must. There are plenty of sharks in French Polynesia, including reef sharks, blacktip sharks, and even larger sharks that prefer deep waters. However, they usually stay away from the motu and shallow lagoon waters. Swimming with sharks is a unique and exciting activity that’s worth adding to your list of things to do in Bora Bora.

If you’re scared of these sleek creatures, just know that on Bora Bora, as on all the islands of French Polynesia, you’ll have to get used to them. Blacktip sharks are now used to human presence and often swim in shallow waters, sometimes right up to the shore.

It’s important to remember that this shark species is generally considered harmless, but it’s still a good idea to observe a few precautions, like avoiding touching them, not trying to feed them, or making sudden movements when they’re nearby.

In Bora Bora, you can go shark swimming near the motu, and we guarantee it’ll be an incredible and thrilling experience!

Things to do in Bora Bora: Take a sup or kayak tour around the motu

If you don’t know what are the things to do in Bora Bora island, know that most facilities provide stand-up paddleboards and kayaks to do some sport and discover what to see in Bora Bora. A very nice activity you can do on Bora Bora is to take a kayak or sup and go exploring around the island or motu. Generally, almost all accommodation on the island provides kayaks or stand-up paddleboards for their guests.

There are some areas of Bora Bora where it is not allowed or is otherwise dangerous to go around by these means because there are boats passing by, so find out in advance which areas are suitable for exploring. Similarly, we advise against venturing outside the reef because in some places there may be ocean currents that could make it difficult for you to return.

The motu around the island and their shallow, calm waters are the ideal place and you can enjoy skirting around them, spotting the fish swimming beneath you, while taking the opportunity to do some healthy sports.

Things to do in Bora Bora island: a trip to the Lagoonarium

Bora Bora is a great place to visit, but what should you do there? One of the motus that surround Bora Bora is home to the Lagoonarium, a facility that offers the opportunity to swim in a pool separated from the sea by a net. Here you can get a close look at some blacktip and lemon sharks, which are slightly larger than the former.

There are also smaller turtles in other pools at the Lagoonarium. These turtles have been brought to the facility to protect them from direct interaction with humans until they are big enough to be released. In some Polynesian regions, turtles, particularly when young, are considered a delicacy, so it’s important to preserve them.

At the Lagoonarium, you can enjoy a great lunch of local delicacies served on traditional dishes made from banana leaves and try your hand at opening coconuts using the traditional wooden stick technique (don’t use the metal one as you might risk cutting yourself!).

If you want to explore the island up close, you can take an excursion that will take you to the coast overlooking the ocean. Just a heads-up: for this adventure, we recommend wearing rock shoes or tennis shoes, as the terrain is rocky and covered with coral. Bare feet or flip-flops are not the best choice for enjoying this walk.

You can reach the Lagoonarium and spend the day here on your own in a private boat or join an organised excursion.

Cose da fare a Bora Bora -Giro in kayak nel mare attorno a un'isola di Bora Bora in Polinesia Francese

Bora Bora activities to do: In kayak around the motu

Cose da fare a Bora Bora - Lagoonarium di Bora Bora con vasche con gli squali e tartarughe

Bora Bora activities to do: Lagoonarium

Cose da fare a Bora Bora - Bagno con gli squali nel mare azzurro di Bora Bora in Polinesia Francese

Bora Bora activities to do: swimming with sharks

Activities in Bora Bora: jet skiing in the lagoon

One of the best ways to explore the Bora Bora lagoon is on a jet ski. It’s a great way to see the island and have fun at the same time. We did this with the same company that had taken us quad biking.

When you’re jet skiing, you’ve got to wear a life jacket. There’s also a bit of a briefing at the start to go over the jet ski’s controls and what signals the guide will be sending out.

It’s a great experience and you get to go all around the island, giving you a totally unique perspective. You can zip along the crystal clear water, pass by the motu and approach the pass where boats can enter the lagoon around the island, which is a great spot for spotting dolphins.

Things to do in Bora Bora island: go swimming with Manta rays!

You can spot manta rays in a bay along the west coast of Bora Bora during a snorkelling excursion. These amazing creatures are not dangerous as they are herbivores, but you should be careful not to make any noise or sudden movements as you might scare them away!

This bay near the west coast of the island is a great spot for spotting manta rays. They tend to be quite sedentary, so the chances of seeing them are pretty high. It was a pretty amazing experience for us to see these magnificent creatures for the first time. They look like giant sheets gliding elegantly through the water.

We’d highly recommend going with a guide. It’ll get you there faster and the local guides know exactly where the animals are and how to deal with them.

Cose da fare a Bora Bora - Gita in moto d'acqua nel mare azzurro di Bora Bora in Polinesia Francese

Jet Skiing in Bora Bora​

Cose da fare a Bora Bora - Snorkeling con una manta nel mare di Bora Bora in Polinesia Francese

Snorkeling with a Manta Ray in Bora Bora

Things to do in Bora Bora: go to see the Heiva

If you are planning your trip to Polynesia, here is a very good reason to visit in July. Indeed, for about twenty days from the beginning of July, the most important traditional Polynesian festival takes place: the Heiva.


In Bora Bora, the main celebrations are held in Vaitape. If you are lucky enough to be on the island at this time, we highly recommend attending this extraordinary festival, which offers an authentic insight into Polynesian culture and is the answer to the question ‘what to see on Bora Bora?’.

This celebration has been held annually since 1881 and is an expression of the Polynesian people’s desire to return to their roots after years of oppression due to Christian colonisation. Consider that the Polynesian people had partly lost the use of their traditional language, as they were forbidden to speak their own language, and had suffered restrictions on cultural traditions, such as the famous Polynesian tattoos.

The Heiva was born out of the Polynesians’ determination to rediscover their traditions and folklore and has now become the most significant festival, celebrated on all the islands of French Polynesia.

During the Heiva, there are spectacular parades with colourful floats decorated with flowers, traditional song and dance competitions, such as the ote’a, sports competitions following local traditions, including canoe races, running with a basket of fruit on one’s shoulder, coconut cutting competitions and more.

Cose da fare a Bora Bora - Passare una serata divertente alla Heiva a Bora Bora in Polinesia Francese

Dance at Heiva

As you have been able to read, Bora Bora is not just about lazing around and relaxing, but offers various interesting activities and there are plenty of things to do in Bora Bora island that will allow you to get to know the sea and the hinterland of this magnificent island better, as well as its traditions. We wish you a wonderful holiday on Bora Bora and as always…trip to try!

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