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Bora Bora

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Let rhythm claim your soul at the Heiva Festival

The Heiva song and dance festivals and competitions take place all around French Polynesia between June and August; Bora Bora’s is the second largest after Tahiti. These celebrations of traditional performing arts and sports are some of the greatest shows on Earth. Among flamboyant sets and dressed in costumes of flowers, greenery, shells, and colorful fabrics, lithe female dancers shake their hips in a fast blur while muscular men waggle their knees; drum orchestras tap out primal, complex rhythms and vocalists sing together to create astounding harmonies.

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AFAR Local Expert
over 4 years ago

Try local seafood specialties like poisson cru

Mahi mahi in vanilla sauce, lagoon fish in garlic butter or slathered in a Roquefort cream, fresh lobster and prawns—such seafood specialties await you at Bora Bora’s fine restaurants. But the dish you really have to try can be found on every menu, including at the most humble roadside stalls: poisson cru, which is French for “raw fish." Poisson cru is much like ceviche—chunks of fresh, raw tuna are slightly cooked by the acid of a lime juice marinade, doused in coconut cream, and mixed with vegetables to create an indescribably cooling and delicious salad. Eat it with a traditional side of white rice.
AFAR Local Expert
over 4 years ago

Cheer in the paddlers of the Hawaiki Nui race

Around 60 outrigger canoe teams compete in the Hawaiki Nui Canoe Race each November, and at the end of the grueling 116 kilometer paddle, they all congregate on Bora Bora’s Matira Beach. This is French Polynesia’s biggest sporting event, so the buzz and fanfare at the final is beyond compare. Expect plenty of colorful canoes, bronzed, muscled men, an abundance of flowery wreaths, and days of partying. The race begins in Huahine and over the course of three days passes all the Leeward Islands before reaching Bora Bora. Although most teams come from French Polynesia, some ambitious foreign teams compete as well.

AFAR Local Expert
over 4 years ago

Snack on fresh mangoes, guava and passion fruit

Bora Bora is a great place to sample a range of seasonal tropical fruits. In general, the widest variety is found between November and March, known traditionally as the “season of abundance.” Mango season happens twice a year around December and again in July. Fruits like bananas and papayas, however, are always available. Whereas the mangoes, pineapples, and pomelos are fantastic, the soursop—a big, prickly green fruit with a tart but sweet white fleshy interior—has one of the most unique flavors. If the tropical delights included in your breakfast buffet are not enough for you, buy more by the kilo at the local fruit stalls in Vaitape or along the side of the road.

Hoeppner/Flickr.
Paul Gauguin Cruises
over 4 years ago

Bora Bora, Society Islands

Take a refreshing plunge into the turquoise waters of Bora Bora’s lagoon, dip your feet in the white sands and absorb the moment from the comfort of a palm-shaded hammock. Let the tides wash away your footprint as you clear your soul with a walk down the motu encircling a lushly forested and mountainous atoll. For a little adrenaline-infused fun, rent a jet ski from Moana Jet Boat to get a closer peek at the enchanted lagoon and barrier reef where neon-colored fish play hide-and-seek among the pink corals below. Zigzag amid the many islet gems scattered around the area, keeping the magnificent Mount Otemanu as a point of orientation, only to return for tropical cocktails paired with sunset views.

With 50% savings including airfare from Los Angeles, experience Bora Bora on most itineraries on-board The Gauguin.
Paul Gauguin Cruises
almost 4 years ago

Green Miles

Experience iconic Bora Bora, which James Michener famously described as “the most beautiful island in the world,” in an exciting new way: by joining a local expert for an off-roading adventure. On this epic trek, you will travel on a road less traveled in a Land Rover deep into the island’s rainforest-blanketed interior, where you will visit remote villages. Your local guide will describe Polynesian life, the lush flora of vanilla plants and towering palms, and point out some of the many bird species common on the island. Finally you’ll emerge above the green canopy to find a stunning view over Fa’anui Bay, before you return to The Gauguin.
Paul Gauguin Cruises
over 1 year ago

Bora Bora

Perhaps the most legendary of the Society Islands, Bora Bora is the kind of place that inspires wanderlust and envy among folks back home. It’s just not possible to casually drop, “It’s like that time we were in Bora Bora.” And yet, you’ll want to reminisce again and again about your time here—snorkeling in the coral reef, taking in views of Mt. Otemanu, and paddle boarding on Paul Gauguin Cruises’ exclusive beach. You’ll find what you seek here, whether it’s thrilling adventures or easy-going romance.