Shaped like a giant sombrero, this lush volcanic island stars in countless South Pacific fantasies. The focal point and best asset of this tropical beauty is its ravishing lagoon in technicolor turquoise. Fish, turtles, sharks, and rays swim in the clear waters, and tiny islets or motus dot the lagoon.
The island, of course, is distinctly French, with mouthwatering cuisine to match. Diving and snorkeling are excellent in the surrounding reefs, and hiking trails weave through the palm-studded forests.
If you can afford it, hide out here in a luxurious over-the-water bungalow and bask in your good fortune as you fall asleep to the gentle slosh of the sea.
The best times to go to Bora Bora are November and April. These short shoulder seasons offer fine weather with temperatures in the mid-70s to mid-80s. High season runs from May to October when rain showers are isolated and the number of tourists swells. Low season stretches from December to March when the weather is wet and visitors become mosquito bait. But really anytime is a good time to visit Bora Bora, since the weather is warm year-round.
The main languages in Bora Bora are French and Tahitian, but you’ll find that many people also speak English, especially resort employees. French Polynesians move at a relaxed pace. They have a life philosophy called “`Aita pea pea,” which means “not to worry.” Try to go with the flow and enjoy life at a slower clip.