If you go: tips on visiting Bora Bora

November 01, 2013|By Stephanie Citron, For The Baltimore Sun

Getting there

Bora Bora is part of the Leeward Island cluster within the Society Islands of French Polynesia. It's renowned as one of the most beautiful islands, with scenic vistas and a lagoon often described as an artist's palette of green and blue hues. Of course, beauty comes at a price. Bora Bora is about 13 hours from Baltimore by plane and can take up to 18 hours of travel time, including layovers. Travelers fly to Los Angeles and transfer to a flight into Papeete,Tahiti, where they switch for a 50-minute flight to Bora Bora. It's best to plan your visit for at least 10 days, longer if possible. Round-trip fares from BWI-Marshall Airport begin at about $1,350. Go to airtahitinui-usa.com.


St. Regis Bora Bora: James Ihedigbo and his bride stayed at this resort, accessible from the island by boat. Along with standard hotel accommodations, the St. Regis Bora Bora offers villas with glass floors perched above the ocean, gardens, plunge pools and private beach access. From $1,146 per night. Go to stregisborabora.com.

The Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach Resort offers private bungalows and private access to one of the island's most spectacular beaches from $350 per night. Go to sofitel.com


Restaurant Le St. James: Considered one of the finest dining spots on the island, this eatery serves French/Pacific Rim/fusion cuisine and is known for its sunsets and homemade ice cream. Go to boraborastjames.com

Visitors can also try the local fare at the Matira Beach Restaurant, whose fresh sushi is said to surpass anything in the U.S.

Don't miss

Water adventures: Immerse yourself in all of the spectacular aquatic activities around the island. Visitors can snorkel the crystal-clear ocean right off the beach, but there are many guided trips and dive experts who know the best reefs. Try touring the island by personal watercraft and, stopping for tanning breaks on remote sandbars and viewing sealife in their native habitat. Moana Jetboat Tours start at $85. Go to moanajetboat.com

Land tours: Check out the island itself on a 4x4 that takes you through jungles, mountainous terrain and beaches to see wildlife, rare flora and fauna indigenous to Bora Bora. Vavau 4x4 Adventures offers a half-day tour that begins at $75. Go to vavau4x4adventures.com

Massage treatments: Schedule a sea-view massage. Intercontinental Resort's Deep Ocean Spa offers treatment rooms perched above the ocean, with multisensory outdoor spas and hydrotherapy treatments. Go to boraboraspa.intercontinental.com.

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