Bora Bora is THE most beautiful place I have ever been. Period! I've traveled the world, but nothing even comes close. If anyone tells you Moorea is just as pretty, do not believe them. If you're going to visit the village, I'm envious. If you're staying in Moorea and are thinking about the excursion to Bora Bora, I'd have to give it a lot of thought. It is very expensive and you'll wish you had more time to stay. The best bet is a combo stay, a few days on Bora Bora and a few on Moorea.
The village that I visited (many years ago) was wiped out by a typhoon the next year. It had been a tiny (less than 100 person) village with the fares (bungalows) built out over the water. It's all gone now.
It took Club Med a long time to build a new village and when they did, they built it on the opposite side of the island. No more over the water stuff (which was why the older one was destroyed). It's still smaller (288 person) and more intimate than most villages. The problem with the new location is the sun, you can't see the sunsets as they are best viewed on the other side of the island. The new village is in the group of villages termed 'Club Med's Finest'. This gets you a phone (who cares) and refrigerator. All of the rooms have air-conditioning nowadays, which use to be reserved for the beach front rooms.
When you fly from Tahiti (or Moorea) to Bora Bora, get a seat on the left side of the plane. You'll get to snap a few pictures of the islands you pass by. Those folks on the right side of the plane get to look at water.
The plane will land on the barrier reef, on a VERY short runway; be prepared for it. The strip was built by the Americans during World War 2. Then it's a half hour boat ride to the main dock, where you'll transfer by bus to the village.
One place on the island not to miss, is Bloody Mary's. It's a restaurant/bar that has been a Bora Bora institution since '79. Dinners are $20-$45US; this sounds steep for a place with sand floors and a thatched roof, but it's a happening place. If nothing else, stop by for a drink or have lunch (salads and pizzas). It's a kilometer from the Hotel Bora Bora (which is worth stopping by also).
Get a bicycle and do the island. The island begs to be savored. This island is not a big place (18 miles around) and a car seems out of place; maybe a scooter. There is only one road that follows the water and circles the island; no way you can get lost. The road is, how shall I say it, semi-paved; hope the bicycle seat is comfortable.
As with all things in French Polynesia, expect drinks at the bar to be expensive.
Snorkeling is like being in an aquarium. The fish are everywhere. I didn't SCUBA dive while I was there so I can only guess (dream).
Is it expensive? Very. Is it hot? Yes. Are there mosquitoes? Yes, of course.
Would I go back? Qualified yes. But honestly, I prefer Moorea.
Most recent visit: May-87
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