Don't Miss in Bora Bora
Four-wheel drive adventure: Take in the island's highlights -- on and off road -- in a sturdy 4WD. 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. There may be a chance to visit the studio of a local artist who paints pareos; make sure you request a stop there. Bora Bora Tupuna Safari (689-87-71-34-84) has been operating for almost 30 years and is located just off the coastal road about a short walk north of Vaitape town.
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: This 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) and black-tipped sharks (which are not threatening and do not come very close). The tour also includes excellent snorkeling in one of the coral gardens that surround Bora Bora. Raanui Tours operates a three-hour trip (689-87-79-43-14).
Private island picnics: If your cruise ship hasn't arranged for a private motu tour (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 may offer day passes to cruise passengers that include a meal and beach access); among them are Sofitel Marara Beach Resort (689-40-60-55-00), and the Intercontinental Le Moana Resort (689-40-60-49-00).
Jet-skiing: This is a great way to zoom around the amazing lagoon either as the driver or a pillion passenger. Groups of jet skiers follow the leader who loops the island and then arrives at a remote beach for a swim and a coconut tree-climbing show. Matira Jet Tours has been operating for years. (689-40-67-62-73).
Scuba Diving: Sharks, rays, millions of fish and manta rays inhabit the lagoon and areas near the fringing reef. Some companies operate night dives for those who are overnighting on their ship. Check out Bathys/Top Dive (689-60-50-50) and the Bora Bora Diving Center (689-67-71-84).
Bicycles: Rent a bike and ride around the entire circumference of the island (it takes about three hours on flat, well-paved roads). Just make sure you wear sunscreen and take water. There are a few little snack bars along the way and grocery stores called magasins. You can rent bikes and e-bikes in Vaitape at the pier.