Vaitape, Bora Bora, Society Islands, French Polynesia

Bora Bora Welcome

Somebody who had clearly been on too many world cruises told us in 2008 that this island was appropriately known as “Boring Boring”.  After this visit, our second, we have to disagree with that characterization.  For starters, it has a unique profile that reflects its volcanic origins.  Then you have the people.  The ones we’ve met have that irrepressible Polynesian spirit, which makes them a lot of fun to be around.  Just as we had experienced on Moorea, our guides were very professional and at the same time quite playful.

Our original choice of excursion was canceled, but in the end that worked out for the best.  The excursion we went on was called Lagoonarium Experience.  We boarded a boat with about 20 other people and a couple of crazy Polynesian guides, who told us right off that our boat was the Titanic II.  The trip included a boat ride around the circumference of the island, and time to snorkel on their private island, which had several pools (actually created by putting fences in the ocean).  The first pool had green turtles, which were just beautiful.  We were not allowed to swim with them, but it was easy to get a good look at them.  In the second pool they had lemon sharks and sting rays, and it was here that Susan had her first real snorkel experience.  In the subsequent pools they had the opportunity to ride a shark (we didn’t) and see other fish.  In the last pool they had coral and many of the beautiful tropical fish that are found with coral.  This pool also allowed you to swim/snorkel all the way back to where we had docked.  It was definitely enjoyed being able to see this underwater environment.  For those of us who were beginning snorkelers, the guides were there to reassure us at every turn.

After the snorkel experience we had a snack of watermelon, pomelo (citrus) and coconut, and had demonstrations of how to make coconut cream and how to tie pareos, for both women and men.  On the trip back to the dock we completed the circuit of the island, while our guides played a local instrument and sang for us the whole way back.  

This trip gave us a nice overview of the island, and the relatively small boat was not a problem from a seasickness standpoint, because the entire trip was in shallow water inside the coral reef.  The colors of the water were spectacular, the kinds of blues that tropical waters are famous for.  For more photos, see this photo album.

For anyone who is a beginning snorkeler, this is a great excursion choice, because you can get an ocean experience under well controlled circumstances.  There are no rough waters or currents to deal with.  After our experience this visit, we would enjoy returning to Bora Bora to see what else it has to offer.

Bora Bora

© Susan L. Stone 2015