Bora Bora

Day 1: Jumping Off the Overwater Bungalow.  Fly overnight from Los Angeles on Air Tahiti Nui, immediately transferring to the interisland flight to Bora Bora.  Hotel boats meet you at the airport for a scenic transfer across the lagoon to the various hotels.  An overwater bungalow is a must for any first time visitor.  The Gailles opted for the Four Seasons Mountain-View overwater bungalows.  The water was about 12 feet deep beneath them, completely clear all the way to the sandy bottom.  Spend the first day jumping off the villa’s balcony into the water.

Day 2: Private Lagoon Charter.  Charter a sea ray speed boat and guide for the day to sample sights around the lagoon. Stop first at the manta ray cleaning station. This is a unique deep water snorkeling location where manta rays come into the lagoon to be cleaned by small fish.  Their immense bodies pass beneath you, with nothing but blue water beyond them.  Second stop is a shallow sandy area (~4 feet deep) patched with coral and sea anemones.  It’s heavily populated by clown fish and referred to as the Finding Nemo stop.  Third is a shallow coral garden where the lagoon flushes out between two barrier islands and into the Pacific Ocean.  It’s also a good spot to take a picnic lunch.  The final destination is the “aquarium” snorkel location.  It’s in about 20 feet of water.

Day 3: Mountain Climb.  After a day on the water, it’s nice to take a hike.  Ascend the summit of one of Bora Bora’s many craggy peaks.  These range from easy to difficult so be honest with your guide about the group’s experience and physical fitness.

Day 4: Jet Ski Circle Island.  Rent jet skis (and a guide) for a tour that circles the whole lagoon.  It takes a couple of hours, and the waves can be bouncy, but it’s great fun.

Day 5: Land Rover Island Tour.  Keep up the alternating sea and land days with a Land Rover driving tour of the main island.  This is a low key, slow-paced drive, punctuated with shopping, tie-dying shirts, and viewing World War II-era cannons.  On your last night, book a “private island” Polynesian dinner.  The hosts will pick you up in a small boat and take you to a private dinner on your own island.  While dining they will entertain you with music and fire dancing.

Day 6: Shark Snorkel and Deep Sea Fishing.  On the last day, charter a boat to shark snorkel and then fish for Mahi Mahi. The combination works because the sharks congregate at the main channel between the Bora Bora lagoon and the Pacific so the boat passes over them on the way to the fishing grounds. The guide will anchor in the channel, and drop squid into the water to get the sharks’ attention.  Once they are circling the boat, the guide goes in first and then eases each guest off the back of the boat (no splashing allowed).  Keep close to the boat as the sharks circle beneath and around you.  Then head off into the Pacific and see what you can catch.

Hotel: Four Seasons Resort

Photo Tip: Jumping off the Overwater Villa


Photo Tip: Finding Nemo



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