Popular Bora Bora Shore Excursions
Take in the island's highlights -- on and off road -- on a four-wheel drive adventure. The open-air, six-passenger safari vehicle circles the island and ascends several hills for views of the harbor, Faanui Bay and Matira Beach. Stops include a WWII naval gun site. Devout shoppers will want to visit the studio of a local artist who hand-paints pareos; make sure you request a stop there.
Editor's Note: The ride is very bumpy and may not be suitable for those with back problems. Pregnant travelers should not take this tour.
Shark and ray feeding is an exhilarating way to experience a snorkel trip. Passengers don snorkeling equipment (minus flippers) and swim among affectionate stingrays (you are encouraged to kiss them -- that's how sweet they are) and black-tipped sharks (not threatening, and they don't come very close). The tour also includes a snorkeling stint in the golden coral banks that surround Bora Bora -- the best snorkeling on the island. Raanui Tours operates three-hour trips.
If your cruise ship hasn't arranged for a private motu (or island beach on the outskirts of the lagoon), head for Matira Beach, a 15-minute trip by car from the pier at Vaitape. Other options include some of the resort beaches (which prefer cruise passengers also eat a meal there); among them are the Hotel Bora Bora and Sofitel Marara Resort.
For scuba diving, check out Bathys/Top Dive (689-60-50-50) and the Bora Bora Diving Center (689-67-71-84); both operate dives during the day and at night. There is generally little to no current, so scuba divers of all levels will enjoy seeing the rays, sharks and nearly 500 different species of fish that live in the Tahitian islands.
Rent a bike and ride around the entire circumference of the island (it takes three hours on flat, well-paved roads). Just make sure to wear sun block! You can rent bikes in Vaitape.