Bora Bora and the St. Regis Resort
Where is Bora Bora?
Bora Bora (part of French Polynesia) is located in the South Pacific, about 3500 miles west of South America, 3000 miles east of Australia, and 4000 miles south of California. This geological oddity is truly one of the most amazing places on our planet. Believe it or not, it only takes about 8-1/2 hours to get there from Los Angeles and is only 2-3 hours behind the Pacific Time Zone (depending on the time of year). Both Air France and Air Tahiti Nui offer direct flights to Papeete, Tahiti from LAX. A smaller (Air Tahiti) propeller plane can take you to Bora Bora in about 30 minutes. The best travel time is roughly April to October in order to avoid really hot weather and lots of rain. During this time the temperature ranges from 70-90 degrees F and it is almost always breezy.
High Islands to Atolls
Bora Bora was formed roughly 7 million years ago by volcanic eruption forming Mt Otemanu, the once active volcano and main feature on the island. As time passed, the volcano became extinct and collapsed on itself. Year after year, the island began to sink (due to subsidence) and coral reefs began to grow around the perimeter and form a reef. As the island continued to sink, the reefs continued to grow, expand, and erode. The eroding coral became brilliant white sand with the same consistency as finely milled flour and filled the lagoon between the island and reef. At certain points, the while sand piled up on top of old reef sections to form a low island, or motu. Bora Bora has 20 (or so) motus where most of the hi-end resorts have built their decadent retreats. My wife and I were lucky enough to spend our honeymoon at the St. Regis Resort, on motu Ome, this past September.
Arriving at the St. Regis
When we arrived on the island, we were quickly whisked away by a small speedboat to the St. Regis Resort. The multi-cultural staff was young and extremely eager to please. After a quick check-in, we were taken to our bungalow by golf cart.
Inside the bungalow
What to eat
What to do - Sailing
What to do - Tourist stuff
The staff at St. Regis was very anxious to plan any sort of tourist excursion for us. Since this was a packaged honeymoon deal, we had a few trips included with our stay. We first went on an island 4x4 jeep safari which takes you on a several hour ride around and through the island. Once you travel a hundred feet above sea level, the views of the island and surrounding motus are breathtaking. Our driver and guide gave us a good history lesson on the island and Tahitian people.
We also took part in a stingray and shark feeding and short snorkeling trip to the ocean side of the reef. I must admit that the stingray and shark feeding was extremely cheesy and a bit unethical. After so many years of conducting these feeding excursions, the local stingray and sharks (most lemon sharks about 5' long) have grown accustomed to getting fed by humans instead of hunting for themselves. If these trips had not already been included in our package, I would definitely not have paid for them.
The Night Life
There is just too much to describe about Bora Bora and our stay at the St. Regis for this hubpage. It was definitely the trip of a lifetime. We will have the images, smells, and sounds burned into our memory forever. There is really no place like it on earth.
If you are considering a trip to Bora Bora, you can use a travel agent (much easier but more expensive) or plan the trip yourself (harder but cheaper). We were not able to find any books or travel guides specifically about Bora Bora. The travel books and guides were either about Tahiti and/or all of French Polynesia, with no more than 10 pages devoted to Bora Bora. There are a bunch of tourism related links online regarding Bora Bora and French Polynesia. If you have any specific questions, feel free to leave a comment or attempt to email me. I'll do my best to respond. Thanks for looking.