Swaying palm trees. Empty beaches. Crystal clear water. Not a clock in sight.
These are some of the images that flash through my mind when I close my eyes and imagine where I would rather be. Whether it’s the result of a childhood filled with McHale’s Navy and Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, or due to a deep seated desire to be ruled by tidal clocks rather than time clocks, I’ve dreamt of island life for as long as I can remember. In particular, of Bora Bora, the archetypal South Pacific port of call.
Part of it is the appeal of getting away from it all, and it doesn’t get much further away than Bora Bora. (At least for those of us in the Northern and Western hemispheres.) It’s a long haul – several days if you plan on pulling into port in island fashion aboard a windjammer. Clearly, that’s the way to go: full sails pulling you across the briny deep, dolphins off the bow, barrels of rum (preferably in umbrella drinks), and random exclamations of nautical terms like “avast” and “argh.” Why not set the stage for getting away from it all aboard transport that does the same. Literally.
Once you’ve made landfall, you have two objectives. More umbrella drinks, and a hammock, though not necessarily in that order. I understand it helps to visualize your objectives, so this is what you’re aiming for:
It’s true, you cannot lie in that hammock all day long. That’s a lie, actually, but if we don’t get out of that hammock we would miss having an awesome room. I’m pretty sure it’s the law that you must stay in an overwater bungalow while in Bora Bora. They don’t make anything else. (Do they?) Which brings us to another part of the island commune’s appeal: Luxury.
If you’re going to travel half way around the world, you want to arrive to luxury. You’d want pampering, spa treatments, five star cuisine, and lush accommodations, all of which you’ll find in abundance in Bora Bora. The most iconic are the overwater bungalows, rooms set on stilts over the shallow lagoons found throughout the motus that make up the atolls of French Polynesia. The Hotel Bora Bora began the tradition, building the first overwater bungalows more than 30 years ago. Today the aqua-centric lodging is a main attraction for the tourism industry that supports the local economy. For our stay, we would take advantage of breakfast in our bungalow which, of course, would feature the coolest amenities including a glass bottom, steps into the water, and a private hot tub. I would certainly leave my hammock for a room like this one at Le Meridian. Problem is, I may never leave my bungalow!
Should you find sufficient energy and motivation to climb out of that hammock – or out of your bungalow, or off of the message table – you’ll probably want something to do. Snorkeling is a great option, with amazingly clear water and a wide variety of sea life to spy on. You can feed the sting rays and swim with sharks. Or, if that seems a bit adventurous, you can watch all the pretty creatures from the safety of a glass bottomed boat.
Sea kayaking, canoeing and sailing are some of my favorite activities, and you can do all of the above in the waters of Bora Bora. And there is land, with hiking, more beaches, island tours, bike rentals and even some shopping. But the big attraction of Bora Bora is getting away from everything to do…nothing. Get to know you. Get to know your beloved. Get to know the turtles over at Le Meridien’s sea turtle sanctuary. Time well spent, which is why Bora Bora is on our To Do list.
It’s not just us!
Bora Bora is the Dream Destination of our buddies A Brit and A Southerner, too. And over at A Passion and a Passport, they’ve put together a GREAT list of what’s to see and do in Bora Bora. I mean, besides sitting in hammocks sipping umbrella drinks…
Feature Photo: St. Regis Bora Bora Resort