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Destination Guide: Bora Bora

Bora Bora
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A Bora Bora vacation tops a lot of bucket lists — and for good reason. It's as idyllic an island as you could imagine, with deep blue water, lively reefs, a green-flanked volcano and thatched bungalows on stilts.

Part of French Polynesia, Bora Bora is a tiny green pearl in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Getting there is an adventure in itself. Plan on a flight of about 8 and a half hours from Los Angeles to the capital city of Pape'ete, then a 45-minute flight to Bora Bora. Here's our quick guide to this fabled island.

3 Reasons to Buy Travel Insurance for Bora Bora

  1. Medical evacuations are extremely expensive. If you become seriously ill or injured while visiting Bora Bora, you may need to be evacuated by air to Pape’ete, where local hospitals will expect payment up front.1 Without travel insurance, you could face staggering medical bills.
  2. Travel insurance can protect your vacation investment. A week-long vacation for two in Bora Bora can cost around $11,000.2 If you have to cancel the trip for a covered reason, travel insurance with trip cancellation benefits can reimburse you for your prepaid, non-refundable trip costs, up to the limit stated in your plan.
  3. Travel insurance can help you deal with unexpected crises. While you’re sailing on a catamaran, your bag falls overboard — with your phone, your wallet and your passport inside. What now? Call 24-Hour Hotline Assistance, and our experts can help.

For travel insurance for Bora Bora, we recommend the OneTrip Prime Plan, which includes key benefits for international travel and trip cancellation up to $100,000. Plus, kids 17 and under are covered for free when traveling with a parent or grandparent (not available on policies issued to Pennsylvania residents). Get a quote.

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3 Things to Do in Bora Bora

Some travelers spend decades dreaming of a trip to Bora Bora; others derisively call the island "boring boring." If you're looking for nightlife, shopping or adrenaline-fueled adventure, it's not the right destination for you. A Bora Bora vacation is about serenity, solitude and natural beauty. That being said, there's no shortage of things to do in Bora Bora.

  1. Swim with the fishes. See a massive shadow drift by while you're snorkeling? Don't be alarmed — it's a manta ray, a gentle giant with a fin-span of 18 feet or more. Snorkeling and scuba diving in Bora Bora offer incredible opportunities to see mantas, eagle rays and a thousand other species of tropical fish. Frommer's recommends snorkeling off the reef face at the Hotel Bora Bora or the Bora Bora Lagoonarium. Popular dive sites are accessible by boat.
  2. Explore the iconic mountain. Locals say no one has ever reached the top of Mount Otemanu, because the volcanic rock is too crumbly and fragile to climb.3 And you'd hate to be the one who snaps off the iconic summit, right? You can, however, hike around the base, where you may see abandoned U.S. artillery from WWII. The tiny dark spot on the side of the mountain is the Sacred Cave of Anau, long believed to have been inhabited by ghosts. You’ll need to take a guided tour to visit it.
  3. Sail around the island. Tired of lying on the beach? Get a different perspective by taking a catamaran tour. Enjoy a full day of sailing, snorkeling, snacking and sipping, or head out in the evening for a sunset cruise.
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3 of the Best Bora Bora Resorts

Bora Bora resorts are famous for their over-water bungalows on stilts. One of the most luxurious is the Four Seasons Bora Bora, where you can enjoy holistic spa treatments, explore the lagoon sanctuary and try your hand at windsurfing. You'll even find complimentary snorkeling equipment in your bungalow.

If the Four Seasons isn't quite exclusive enough, the Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island offers near-total seclusion and lavish service. A boat shuttle connects the private island to the main Sofitel Marara Beach Resort.

"Budget" and "Bora Bora" aren't often uttered in the same sentence, but savvy travelers know you don't have to spend a grand per night to enjoy the island. The Sunset Hill Lodge on the outskirts of Vaitape, which offers nicely furnished waterfront bungalows for reasonable rates.

3 of the Best Restaurants in Bora Bora

Dining out gets expensive in Bora Bora. Most food is imported, which adds to the cost, and leaving a resort to dine on the main island can be a challenge. That being said, you don't want to miss Polynesian delights like poisson cru, tuna marinated in lime and coconut.

Find local flavor at roulottes, the food trucks that set up each evening in Vaitape. Roulotte Matira is a permanently parked food truck that's known for hamburgers, fish burgers and garlicky frites.

At the popular Bora Bora Beach Club, you can dine while looking out over the lagoon. You can’t go wrong with a coconutty cocktail and the fish and chips.

For a special night out, visit La Villa Mahana, which many consider to be the best restaurant in Bora Bora. Operated by Corsican chef Damien Rinaldi-Dovio, La Villa Mahana has only seven tables, so make your reservation a few months in advance. The menu unites Mediterranean techniques and tropical tastes: think mahi mahi with curry and banana, or rock lobster risotto.

Don't put off your bucket-list trip to Bora Bora. Before you begin your tropical adventure, protect your vacation with travel insurance from Allianz Global Assistance. Get a quote now.

What Do I Need to Travel to Bora Bora?

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Aug 26, 2019