Just Wanderlust Blog » A discerning, food-loving, & culturally curious road warrior seeks the world's beautiful and bizarre destinations.

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French Polynesia Uncovered (Part 5 of 6): Bora Bora

Yay!  After posts about Tahiti, Moorea, and Huahine, I’m finally able to get to the island that is so breathtakingly gorgeous they named it twice– Bora Bora!  I am in love with this place.

The whole time I was in French Polynesia, I was anxiously waiting to see the translucent-aquamarine-neon-like water.  All the Tahitians promised me that that water was characteristic of Bora Bora’s unique lagoon so I my hopes were high… and boy, were they right!

(You only see this kind of water on screensavers!)

The minute I saw that crystal clear turquoise lagoon, it took just about everything in me to resist immediately jumping in (I was still at the airport after all – I should at least wait until I get to my overwater villa).  This is saying a lot because I can’t even swim!  I’m not even kidding.  I can’t even go into the deep end of a swimming pool without holding on to the edge of the pool so that should give you an idea of just how mesmerized I was by the water here!

If you read my earlier post about The St. Regis In Bora Bora, you already know this is my favorite hotel of all time so I won’t get into that.  Suffice it to say that everything about the resort was uh-mazing from the friggin’ awesome overwater villa we had to the perfectly manicured resort grounds to the most down-to-earth service I’ve ever experienced.   Sigh.  I was and still am convinced this resort is heaven on earth.

(Overwater bungalows at the resort with Mt. Otemanu in the background)

We were fortunate enough to spend 4 nights in Bora Bora during which we rode a wave runner around the island (highly recommended!), woke up to a canoe breakfast (complete with a guy playing ukelele), dined at the finest restaurant in Bora Bora (La Villa Mahana) as well as the one we actually thought should be the finest in Bora Bora (Lagoon Restaurant), explored the resort by bike and paddleboat, hit up the spa again (hey, if you’re not in Bora Bora to be pampered, you shouldn’t be there), and literally jumped off our deck every day into that surreal water.   I was so in love with the water that I actually learned how to swim while I was there!  I’m tellin’ ya – that place is magical!

(We stopped to take a break during our waverunner tour and “parked” all the waverunners in a row)

(The resort staff canoeing away after bringing us our breakfast)

(The color of the water surrounding Bora Bora was unreal)

(We sat for hours feeding fish around the resort)

(Sunset was one of the most romantic times there)

Aside from all the things we did, our absolute favorite was the private motu picnic with Keishi Tours. Pierrot picked us up for the day and brought us snorkeling with manta rays (ohmygosh, the rays were HUGE — their wing span was easily at least 6ft) before heading off to shark and ray alley where we fed stingrays.  The stingrays would literally come up onto our chests – it was insane!

(Check out the sharks at shark alley)

(Pierrot feeding the sting ray before we jumped into the water)

Next we stopped at Coral Garden, which had the most amount and variety of fish I’ve ever seen on a snorkeling excursion.  I usually try to avoid snorkeling (it kind of goes hand in hand with how I can’t swim), but I couldn’t tear myself away from this place.  Mr. T concurred and he’s snorkeled and dived at all sorts of tropical destinations.  The final stop of the tour was our motu picnic.  Picture an island all to yourself.  Add a table and chairs in the ankle high water and a barbeque feast with steak, chicken, lobster, veggies, poisson cru, salad, and a bottle of champagne.  That was just lunch!  By the way Pierrot is amazeballs on the barbeque!  I mean, the day was already full of memorable experiences after another, but then to top it all off with that perfectly delicious meal?  Needless to say, I was so deliriously happy!  If you ever go to Bora Bora, you need to add this to your list of activities.

( Our private motu was surrounded by soft sand at the shallowest water)

(We had a perfect picnic set-up in the water and there were fish everywhere!)

(All these fish were at the bottom of my feet while we ate lunch)

We enjoyed our time in Bora Bora so much that we actually tried to extend the stay by a day.  To our dismay, all the flights departing the island were completely booked — we just took it as a sign that we have to come back for another visit!  Next time, we’re skipping all the other islands and coming straight to St. Regis.  I’ll also leave the floaties at home.

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a&b - March 23, 2012 - 11:49 am

that is absolutely stunning! I wish I could be swimming in that water and not freezing in Seattle 🙂 great photos!

Just Wanderlust - March 23, 2012 - 9:10 pm

I wish I were swimming in that water too! 😉 I miss it so much!

Edna - March 24, 2012 - 3:09 am

Discovered your blog via TBEX, I love these photos — those colors are unreal! What a beautiful place. Though I would’ve been terrified to get so close to a stingray!

Just Wanderlust - March 24, 2012 - 1:09 pm

Hi Edna! The colors are crazy there! I think overall the stingrays were pretty friendly, but I did get bit by one when trying to feed it (bora bora battlewounds, haha). 🙁

Mick Fanning - March 25, 2012 - 5:45 pm

Amazing photos of the teeming wild life. How good is that BBQ. Got do that at least once in my life time….

Just Wanderlust - March 26, 2012 - 8:21 pm

Hi Mike! Thanks for stopping by. Pierrot’s BBQ skills are out of control – you gotta try it!

Ayngelina - March 27, 2012 - 7:44 pm

Absolutely stunning photos although those stingrays scare me.

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