20 Interesting Facts About Bora Bora That You Wish You Knew

Bora Bora has always intrigued mankind since it’s discovery. Here are 20 amazing facts about the island that you should know.

The Enchanting Bora Bora Island

A paradise on earth, the Bora Bora island is an epitome of natural beauty, pristine waters, sapphire blue skies, tranquil environment and serene beaches. This beautiful island is located off the French Polynesia Leeward group of Islands. Bora Bora has an extinct volcano right in the center. The extinct volcano has two peaks named as Mount Otemanu and Mount Pahia. 
Many scientists, nature enthusiasts, and avid travelers throng the place every year. This is the only island in the world which scores a perfect ten on the amazement scale by tourists. 
Bora Bora island offers a sweet escape into solitude and complete privacy for lovebirds and honeymooners. If all this description about his magnificent island haven is not enough scroll down further to know about some 20 amazing facts about Bora Bora.

Interesting History Facts about Bora Bora

Here is some interesting information about the history of this place. These facts about the history of this island give you in-depth information about its discovery, tradition, population, and culture. Apart from the majestic beauty, there is lots more to his interesting island. Let us read to know more:

1. Volcanic Eruption

This unique island was born out of a volcanic eruption around four million years ago. It remained uninhabited, desolate, and unknown for a long, long time until some people from the nearby Tongan island discovered it. The Tongans are believed to be the first humans who ever set foot on the Bora Bora land after it’s volcanic eruption. Bora Bora got it’s interesting name quite later and initially, it was known as Vava’u.

2. Pora Pora

A fascinating fact is that the Tahitian language does not have the letter ‘B.’ Bora Bora was initially called as Pora Pora by the locals. Pora Pora means ‘the firstborn’.   This name is very important as it refers to the son of the King Hiro of Raiatea, who first ruled this land. The English later settled here and started pronouncing the name as Bora Bora. The name has remained Bora Bora since then, and today the world knows it too as Bora Bora.

3. Captain James Cook

Captain James Cook gets the entire credit of discovering this stunning island back in 1769. That was, in fact, the first time, this island was recognized as an undiscovered by existing island.   Captain James Cook was outbound on a mission as a British explorer when he stumbled upon Bora Bora. That era was the beginning of missionaries who established themselves here in 1820, and their sole purpose was to convert the Polynesians to Christianity. It was only in the later years that the island grew popular.

4. World War II

This virgin land was once made the supply base of the Americans during World War II in 1940’s. They chose this recluse as it served as the perfect sanctuary for thousands of American soldiers. The islet of Motu Mute was used as the main gateway for the supply of arms and other provisions.   For protection against invaders, the Americans had installed eight cannons on all the sides of the island. Out of those eight, six are still present in the island reminding one of an essential aspect of history. Thankfully, the World War II had not caused much harm to the virgin beauty of the island.

Fun Facts about Bora Bora Island

A lot of false facts about the island are doing the rounds on the internet. People assume that there is a constant rave party going on here and that there is no public transit here. But all these are misleading information about the destination. The locals of this island have a rich cultural history of their own. A public transportation bus called ‘Le Truck’ does the rounds in the town for the locals. The island is very peaceful and quiet. 
Scroll down below to know about some fun facts about the island:

5. Romantic Island

Bora Bora is called as a romantic island because it offers the perfect privacy, recluse, and solitude most craved by couples in love. Away from the hustle and bustle of metros and the chaos of big cities, this place is perfect for couples to know each other better and spend time with each other.   The island has bungalows, private beaches, and lagoons for couples. It is the ideal destination for love, and hence it is called a romantic island. Motu Iti at 19 km towards the north of the island is a coral reef formation shaped like a heart. It is as if nature has crowned the island as the ‘Island of Love’ herself.  If you are looking to surprise your loved one with a romantic holiday, Bora Bora can be your ideal destination. 

6.The Importance of Flowers

The locals of Bora Bora like to relate everything natural with a meaning. They have meaning for flowers too. The local women place flowers on their ears. A flower on the left ear indicates that a woman is taken and on the right year is a signal for the men to approach her as she is single. The beautiful beaches further add to your excitement as they are thronging with young and beautiful people all seeking some fun.

7. Importance of Tattoos

Tattooing is considered to be a sacred art in Bora Bora. The locals have a belief that tattoo derives its name from the two sons of Ta’aroa – ‘the God of Creation.’ The locals look at the tattoo on your skin as a sign of beauty. Locals in the past used to get a tattoo done to reflect their position in the society.

8. Importance in Movies

The enchanting beauty of the island could not remain hidden from the movie makers as this island proved to be an exciting location for moving to make. The Hollywood movie ‘Couples Retreat’ was shot here at the St. Regis Resort in the year 2009. Other movies like XXX, Island Fever, Sky Pirates and Hurricane were also shot here. The reality show, ‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians’ was also shot here.

9. Youngins

Another interesting fact about Bora Bora is that half of its population is under the age of 20. They are called youngins. The youngin population fills up the beaches during the day seeking fun and ready to mingle with the locals and the tourists. This population organizes fantastic parties during the night.

10. Language

The main language spoken here is French while the locals speak Polynesian at home. Many youngins have learned English now to be able to communicate with tourists.

Bora Bora Tourism Facts

For all the tourists who have this island marked as a must visit destination in their bucket list, you need to know about some interesting tourism information about Bora Bora.

11. Geography

Bora Bora consists of three villages: Faanui, Vaitape, and Anau. The total population is less than 9000 residents. The entire area of the island is 29.3 km. Not a lot of public transport is available here apart from the local bus, ‘Le Truck.’ People are seen either walking, biking or traveling in a two-seater buggy.

12. Rare Underwater Species Found Here

Tourists indulge in scuba diving and snorkeling in the crystal clear waters of this island. The ocean has hundreds of rare species of fishes and underwater animals. You can explore many of these exotic creations in the blue waters of the island. Some of these species include colorful reef fish, starfish, manta rays and sea turtles.

13. Best Beach in the World

According to an article by CNN in 2013 on ‘World’s 100 best beaches’, Matira Beach in Bora Bora made to the top ten. This beach was numbered at the 8th position with its white sands and vibrant blue waters. Some even describe the Matira Beach as ‘little too perfect to believe’.

14. A Famous Holiday Spot for the Ultra-Rich

Bora Bora is the favorite holiday destination for the ultra-rich people in the world and also for the Hollywood celebrities. Many of them either rent a bungalow or even own one property in the lovely island. Some come with their private beaches.

15. Bora Bora Lagoon

The lagoon in Bora Bora has only one opening pass into the ocean. That is the reason the lagoon offers a warm, safe and calm place to swim. The temperature averages around 28 degrees. The main form of transport is by boat here. Small cruise ships also visit the island. They slowly navigate into the lagoon and anchor in the waters after entering the lagoon because the port is not very big to accommodate a docking ship. Ferry boats fetch the passengers from the ship to the pier.

Other Interesting Facts

16. Snakes and Pest-Free Zone

Another fascinating information about Bora Bora island is that there are no pests or snakes found here. The French Polynesia is devoid of harmful snakes and other creepy crawlies. You don’t need a bug repellant here and can take a nap on the beaches or between the lush greenery without worrying about snakes. It is the perfect paradise one dreams about visiting.

17. Dark Pearls

Many people get the famous dark pearls as souvenirs from Bora Bora. The dark pearls found here are rare, and people bring it as a gift for their loved ones.

18. Coconut Scare

The biggest scare in Bora Bora is that of falling coconuts. The island is thronging with tall coconut trees. A coconut may fall at any time to any passer by walking on the ground. Considering the heavy weight and the incredible speed at which a coconut falls, the tourists and locals are quite afraid of such incidents. 

19. Hotels and Resorts

The resorts in Bora Bora are built upon motus. Motus are coral, sandy islets that are scattered like a ring around the main island. These motus offer beautiful views of the island and the blue lagoon. 

20. One of the Most Secluded Spots in the World

For couples in love seeking privacy and for tourists who want a destination totally away from city inhabitation, Bora Bora is the ideal spot. It is one of the most secluded spots in the world as travel to these islands is a very costly affair. 


After knowing all the amazing facts about Bora Bora, add this destination to your traveling bucket list.   Add a new stamp to your passport today!!