When it comes to bucket list travel destinations, Bora Bora should definitely make the cut. 

And as the pandemic has us desiring remote locales more than ever, Black girls on Instagram have certainly indulged in the luxury that the island is filled with. I mean, what’s not to love about white sand beaches, turquoise waters, over-the-water bungalows, best-in-class spa treatments, personal butlers and the views of a rocky peak rising from the groves of coconut palms?

While the destination long served as a retreat for celebs and the wealthy elite, it’s becoming increasingly popular for a diverse set of travelers. Still aspirational (and often expensive), Bora Bora is really like a little piece of heaven on Earth.

If it’s already on your travel wish list or you’re looking for reasons to add it, here’s everything you need to know about planning a trip to French Polynesia.

Best Time to Visit

According to the Islands of Tahiti tourism website, Bora Bora has a wet and dry season. It’s recommended to visit between May and October, as that is when the weather will be the best. While November and December are the beginning of what Tahitians call the “abundant season,” the weather is rainy but the flowers are in full bloom and fruit is at its most luscious. As for January through April, it can be hot, humid, and rainy.

Getting There

All international travelers who arrive by air must land at Tahiti’s Faa’a International Airport (PPT) first. There are quite a few options to get to Bora Bora, but a flight on Air Tahiti Nui will be your best option. Air Tahiti Nui links the South Pacific with four continents as the leading carrier to French Polynesia, with daily non-stop service to Tahiti from Los Angeles. To my surprise, the flight time from LA to the island is only about eight hours, not much longer than a flight to the East Coast. From there, it’s a 50-minute flight to Bora Bora and then a quick boat ride to your hotel. Air Tahiti Nui is top of the line when it comes to luxury, and will enhance your visit to your dream destination. Not to mention, the airline has prioritized safety measures for passengers, making it a reliable (and safe) option for such a long-haul flight. If you’re planning just a quick overnight stay in Tahiti, consider Hilton Tahiti, as it’s one of the properties that is very close to the airport.

Accommodations

No matter where you choose to stay in Bora Bora, there’s one thing they’ll have in common: unspoiled and remarkable luxury. Hotels are few and fancy, ranging from $400–$2,000 per night for the lowest standard rates. The Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora, for example, offers 115 spacious hideaways within 108 over-water bungalows and seven beachfront villas. Nestling around the Bora Bora lagoon and its outer beaches, they overlook the lagoon’s turquoise waters and spectacular views of Mount Otemanu. Special touches that accentuate the look and feel of Polynesia include striking works of art, private pools and sliding doors by deep bathtubs for panoramic fresh-air views of the lagoon. In terms of the vibe, you’ll find some families (but not many), a lot of honeymooners, and the occasional group of friends.  

If you choose one or more properties during your visit, there’s truly something for everyone. Just note that travel between resorts, unless they’re branded the same (InterContinental has two properties on Bora Bora with a set shuttle between them), often requires a private boat transfer, which can be costly.

Another option, the Conrad Bora Bora Nui, is an award-winning luxury resort located in a private cove on Motu To’opua, a small islet off the coast of Bora Bora. It is now the first resort in French Polynesia to offer guests the use of a floating helipad for arrival and departure, and though this wasn’t an option when I visited, it makes it easier than ever to travel from Tahiti. Once you step foot on property, you’ll love how it blends Tahitian history and legend with modern design and amenities. 

Dining concepts include an overwater lounge and swim-up pool bar serving international cuisine, while the full-service Hina Spa offers an indulgent oasis with seven indoor treatment rooms and one open-air space overlooking the lagoon. The resort also features an expansive infinity pool, Kids Club, fitness center, tennis court, retail spaces and complimentary activities such as kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, stand up paddle boarding, and sight-seeing boat tours. 

Activities

In Bora Bora, you can do as much or as little when it comes to how you spend your time. Naturally, as a remote island, there’ll be no shortage of water activities. And as a water sign, that was just up my alley. From options such as snorkeling and diving to yoga classes and free loaner bicycles, there’s more than enough to fill your days with joy, relaxation and adventure. 

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