You think you know Bora Bora? My guess is you do.
But these facts about Bora Bora will not just interest you, but also encourage you to visit the island.
You may be thinking about why that may happen.
Well, Bora Bora is unique because of the many special features that make the place fabulous and really inviting.
Even though we heard about the name and perhaps the island made of white sandy beaches, their sharks, magnificent lagoons, for the vast majority of us, the story ends there.
So in a bit to know the island proper, I have compiled a list of 20 facts about Bora Bora the little island that should be part of your next dream vacation destination.
If you’re ready, let’s dive in
20 Facts about Bora Bora
The facts about Bora Bora will give you the entire picture of the island. With an increasing number of tourists every year, there’s definitely something that’s attracting these visitors.
First called Pora Pora
The island was initially called Pora Pora Mai te Pora in the Tahitian dialect meaning created by the gods. Pora Pora which means firstborn and a name was given to honor the first king’s son who ruled the land.
Because the “B” alphabet does not exist in the Tahitian language, the name eventually was changed to Bora Bora when it explores misheard the name.
This all happened when explorer Jacob Roggeveen and his team of explorers first landed on the island in 1722 where they adopted Bora Bora as the new name and the name has remained ever since.
Bora Bora is part of France
Bora Bora is located in France a tropical island in French Polynesia (also known as Tahiti). This means the Bora Bora island is surrounded by water and located just north and south of the equator and known for being warm and humid.
At the center of the island lies the remnants of an extinct volcano and sits in the middle of the south pacific ocean and that’s where you’ll find Bora Bora.
Pest free zone
Bora Bora is unique from other islands and on this island, you’ll find no pest. In other words, the island is completely free from any pest and other reptiles like snake vermin.
It’s on this island that you can stroll the bushes without thinking of a bug attack or bite. You can equally take a nap without thinking of mosquitoes and other insects or reptile attacks.
In fact, this is one of the major reasons other people call the island a paradise. But If that’s not amazing, then I don’t know what to call it.
When in other places coconuts are just other fruits, in Bora Bora island, that’s not the case. Coconuts are the main product on the island. The coconut water is always to the rescue whenever you’re tasty.
That’s not all, visitors and guests are often thought about how to open the coconuts with no tools. That’s one definite skill you’ll want to learn when next you visit the island.
The coconuts are tasty and natural. They’re one of the abundant fruits you can find on the island.
USA military base
Even though Bora Bora is located in France, the United States of America used the island as a military supply base during the second world war.
The evidence is clear and you can still see it on the island. The seven giant cannons and guns of Bora Bora are used as a military defense for Japanese.
The main spoken language is French but still, you can find locals that still speak Polynesian especially at home.
However, due to the increase in the number of tourists and vacationers worldwide, any locals have learned other languages like English to make communication easy and tours exciting with the visitors.
Special underwater species
Scuba diving and snorkeling are important activities tourists love to do due to the clear waters of the island.
In the ocean, there’re hundreds of rare water animal species of fishes and other animals you cannot find anywhere in the world.
The amazing thing is you can see all the creatures in the blue sea of the water. Some of these unique sea animals include manta ray, starfish and sea turtles.
Because of the rare sea animals, this has also attracted a lot of scientists who visit the island for research purposes of the animal species.
A holiday destination for ultra-rich
The Bora Bora island is a holiday destination for the ultra-rich. The island is a favorite travel destination for the rich and famous including celebrities, sports stars, music stars, and politicians.
Some have even owned one or more property on the island, others prefer to rent an apartment when they visit and few prefer to come with and use their private beaches.
The island is surrounded by a lagoon with only one opening pass leading into the ocean. This design is what’s keeping the lagoon safe, warm and calm to swim.
This has also resulted in maintaining the temperature of the lagoon to an average of 28 degrees irrespective of the season.
A boat ride is a main form of transport
Boats are used as a means of transportation into the island. Also, the only small cruise ship is allowed into the island.
This is simply because they’re the required size that can navigate into the lagoon and sail in the waters in the lagoons since the port only accommodates small cruise ship due to its size.
A ferry boat is always ready to fetch passengers into the lagoon from a large cruise ship.
The dark pearls of Bora Bora
Dark pearls may be found in other parts of the world, but that one from Bora Bora is unique. Because the dark pearls are uncommon, it has become an important souvenir to family and friends from the island.
Best beaches are in Bora Bora
This is another fact about Bora Bora. In 2013 a cable news network (CNN) article on the world’s 100 best beaches made some interesting revelations.
According to the article, Matira beach in Bora Bora was numbered at the 8th position and the reason is not far-fetched.
Matira beach is fabulously breathtaking, with its white sands and vibrant blue waters. CNN where the right to include it among the top 10 beaches in the world.
Bora Bora island Geography
There’re only three villages in the entire island of Bora Bora. These villages are Anau, Fanu, and Vaitape. Vaitape is the major settlement and on the western side of the mainland.
The island is 30.55 km2 (which is 11.80 sq. mi) with mount Otemanu as the highest point.
The island has a permanent population of about 10, 605 people as at a 2017 statistics, with a population density of 347/km2 (899/sqm).
Bora Bora main source of income
The island is driven entirely by tourism. The money they’ll generate will depend on the number of tourists that visit the island every year.
However, several resorts, hotels, and water bungalows have been built on the island. Today the water bungalows come in ranges to give an option to the tourist base on the prices.
These water bungalows are of three types. Namely the cheap, basic accommodation and very luxurious bungalows.
Because public transport doesn’t exist on the island, you only rent cars and bicycles for transport. Buggies are also available for rent and can be used to explore the lagoon.
Snorkeling and scuba diving in and around the lagoon are another way the island generates income because it’s a popular activity on the island.
All these activities and rentals will not happen if visitors don’t visit the island.
Bora Bora is a romantic island
Because of the magnificence of the island and its reclusiveness, it’s a popular destination honeymoon, couple retreat, family reunion, family vacation, and relaxation.
Another unique feature is when you ride to Tupai (also known as Motu it) about 19km north of Bora Bora island, is a beautiful coral reef formation in a heart shape.
The coral reef is another gift of nature on the island and stretches 11km in the area.
The art of tattooing is sacred
While in other parts of the world tattoos are made for fun or to depict a favorite artist, name or quotes, in Bora Bora island tattoos are beyond just that.
Tattoos on the island of Bora Bora is a sacred art backed by a strong belief that comes from the two sons of the God of creation, Ta’aroa.
Tattoos are also a custom that promotes beauty among locals. It also shows you the position of the person in society.
So when next you’re in Bora Bora, just know that tattoos are a sacred art, not just fun art.
Favorite Hollywood destination
Some will still argue that Bora Bora is still a remote location and others see it as out of reach. If then that’s the case, it’ll not attract the rich and famous including Hollywood.
This is because Hollywood sees it as a great location for moving to make. As a result, they’ve been using the island in their films and television series.
In 2009 a romantic movie couples retreat was released and the movie was filmed at the St. Regis resort one of the best luxurious resorts on the island.
Many movies followed after the couples retreat and this includes Bachelorette season finale which showed one of the main stars of the series Ali Fedotwsky filmed at the Hilton Bora Bora Nui and that same resort, episode 3 season 6 of keeping up with the Kardashians was short.
Earlier movies that were filmed on the island include sky pirate in 1986, Bora Bora in 1968, Mutiny on the bounty 1962 are among the popular movies.
What that simply tells us is that the diversity in the tropical island landscape has been the major factor that has been attracting movie directors and producers.
Flowers are an important sign of an engagement
While in the west, Europe and other parts of the world a ring in the hands of a female is a sign of engagement and a signal she’s taken, in Bora Bora a flower is what does the trick.
A flower is used to show whether a female is taken or not. When the flower is placed on the left ear is a signal the woman is taken. On the other hand, if the flower is placed on the right ear, is a sign the female is single. The flower on the right ear is what attracts men to these single ladies.
At the Centre of the island are two remains of the volcanic eruption that created it over four million years ago.
It remained a desolate and inhabited island for many years until the arrival of the Tongan people. According to popular belief, the Tongan people are the first people to lie foot on the island after the eruption.
After knowing the facts about Bora Bora island, you now know that it’s a vacation destination you cannot afford not to add to your dream traveling list.
Many who have visited the island have returned with amazing stories. The cast of the couples retreat movies said they were on a vacation during the film short to Bora Bora.
When planning your next vacation, you may consider Bora Bora.