The Island of Bora Bora
Location: It’s about 160 miles northwest of Tahiti and approximately 2,600 miles south of Hawaii.
Climate: Tropical conditions with some rainfall in the summer months (November – April). Ideal conditions exist from May – October as trade winds cool the island .
Land Area: 44 sq km (16.9 sq miles)
Who discovered Bora Bora?
The first signs of human life on the island of Bora Bora (formerly called Vavau -which may indicate that it was colonized by inhabitants of a Tonga island carrying the same name) are dated 900 BC, just after the populating of the island of Raiatea.
Bora Bora was first discovered by the navigator Roogeveen in 1722 then by Cook in 1796. It was converted to Protestantism in 1818. Famous for its warriors, the island resisted a long time to colonization until it was finally conquered by France in 1888. However, it kept its traditional lifestyle until the end of the 19th century. All this changed brutally on January 27, 1942, when Americans used the island as a supply base for the allied ships crossing the Pacific in an operation baptized Bobcat (after the attack of Pearl Harbour in December 1941). 5,000 GI’s disembarked with heavy military equipments and built a 2,000-meter runway on motu Mute. This runway was used for international flights until 1961 when Tahiti Faa’a international airport was finally built.
Pearl of the Pacific
Superlatives are missing to describe the beauty of Bora Bora, the “Pearl of the Pacific”. The most famous of the Leeward Islands occupies a surface of 38 km² and is located 280 km north-west of Tahiti, just under one hour away by plane from Papeete
From Pora Pora to Bora Bora
Pora Pora – the ancient name, meaning “first born,” came from legends describing this as the first island to rise when Taaroa, the supreme god, fished it out of the waters after the mythical creation of Havai’i, now known as Raiatea. Although the first letter “B” does not exist in the Tahitian language, when Captain Cook first heard the name he mistook the softened sound of the Tahitian “P” for “B” and called the island Bola Bola.
Fauna , volcano and coral reef
Bora Bora has an unforgettable turquoise lagoon -where a multi-color aquatic fauna (sting & manta rays, sharks, tropical fishes …) can be observed by outrigger canoe, boat or diving explorations- is born from the slow decline of its main volcano – Mount Otemanu (727 m)- doubled by the legendary Mount Pahia (626 m). The coral reef includes a string of islets (motu One, motu Mute, motu Piti Aau …) and gorgeous white sand beaches surrounding the main island. The unique pass of Teavanui between the ocean and the lagoon faces the main village of Vaitape located on the western coast of the island.
Text source: Worldatlas.com, thetahititraveler.com,tahiti-tourisme.com