Bora Bora, Tahiti: What To Know Before Going

Bora Bora, Tahiti: What To Know Before Going

Bora Bora

Travel (MP) Undoubtedly, the foremost celebrated island in the South Pacific, Bora Bora is French Polynesia’s leading island of romance. Her beauty is unrivaled and her fame, absolute. Tahiti is also renowned for being a honeymooners’ and lovers paradise, and, yet every island in Tahiti offers multiple activities and possibilities!

This island is among the few places on earth that newly married Jennifer Aniston and hubby Justin Theroux actually considered spending their honeymoon. We hear they even took Jason Bateman, Jimmy Kimmel as well as their families along for the ride.

Spotting celebrities can include such renowned artists as Jimmy Buffett, Julio Iglesias, Steven Bishop, Commander Cody and Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones, just to name a few. Other celebrities that visit include honored return guests like, were Pierce Brosnan and his family, Mr. and Mrs. Buzz Aldrin, Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Phil Jackson of the Los Angeles Lakers. All these celebrities have vacationed on the island during summer months.

On your visit to the Tahitian islands anticipate discovering a new and colorful world. Lush green mountains and crystal clear lagoons are waiting for you within this absolutely stunning and idyllic section of the world. The island somewhat reminds you of Montenegro, in the sense, its iconic images are so beautiful it leaves one gasping for air.

Ready for Bora Bora

When to go?

The best times to go to Tahiti are November and April. These short months 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 increases considerably. Low season expands from December to March when the weather is wet and visitors become mosquito bait. But really anytime is a great time to visit the island, since the weather is warm year-round.

Where to go?

This is it, you’ll hear yourself say, as you arrive by plane to a view that says it all. Your main aim of a vacation is relaxation, but this small island offers countless ways to make it happen. Relax on the deck of your overwater bungalow, cool off in a moon-lit luminous lagoon surrounding the island, or bike around at a leisurely pace.

The promise of a wonderland is instantly made good: A ring of sand-edged motu (islets) encircle a glinting turquoise lagoon around soaring rainforest-covered lava flow peaks. With this sort of dreamlike setting, it’s no wonder island is, unsurprisingly, called a honeymooners’ delight. Just ask Jennifer Aniston when she returns from her honeymoon. But there’s considerably more to do than clinking champagne glasses with your loved one in a luxurious hotel. There’s plenty of water activities offered by the resorts such as diving, snorkeling, lagoon tours, hiking, and parasailing are readily available… The spas are amazing too using their uplifting tropical scents of plumeria and coconut oil.

Bloody Mary’s Bar is world-famous, and a few superstars have laid bare his/her soul there. Mount Otemanu is another beautiful attraction, a sedentary volcano, that inspires awe. You’ll discover world-renowned shopping for local and international original art, Tahitian pearls, and precious wood handcrafts. Get excited above the lagoon by outrigger canoe, Boston Whaler, wave runner, or jet ski, to dramatic sunset cruises aboard a catamaran sailboat. Yes, there’s plenty to do and places to see in this paradise.

Before you go!

Ladies: Stuff your bags with light cotton summer wear (fabrics that breathe), arrange your beach wear first, and start dreaming of Tahitian cocktails. Pack every skinny summer dress you own. The air temperatures here is great during the morning hours, so reach for your sun dress, have some breakfast while overlooking the sparkling lagoon.

Gentlemen: Bring along some comfortable, casual cotton shorts and cotton T-shirts. Plus, long pants and romantic white cotton shirts for the evening wear. For anyone who is planning to stay in a posh resort or visit restaurants proper attire is a must.

Footwear: If you intend to do some inland hiking you’ll need rubbers soled shoes or comfortable sneakers. Sandals and thongs are more suitable for around the resort and nearby by activities like shopping.

Beachwear: Take a few swimsuits (swimmers, bathers, boardies) to make sure you keep a dry one to put on later.

Headwear: The top item you need on this vacation is an inexpensive hat. It will be your ideal friend on your Tahiti vacation. So, take a practical men’s or women’s hat that crunches up in your bag and uncrunches, once you put it on during your stay.

Protection: Tahiti villas situated away from the beach will have mosquitoes around them once the sun sets. And if you take one their inland adventure tours and walk through the tropical vegetation, a mosquito repellent or bracelet is essential. Buy a non-toxic insect repellent to take along, and of course use sunscreen protection.

Things to know!

As if it wasn’t enough to have your luggage weighed on regular commercial flights, in Tahiti, they weigh your body too. Right in front of everyone, you’ll be asked to step on a scale, and sucking it all in isn’t going to adjust that number. Also, depending on the time of year, it’s hot as hell on the island. The heat and humidity shouldn’t have surprised me since it’s a tropical island in French Polynesia. Many have assumed because it’s far enough from the equator that it would me a bit milder. It ain’t!

Taxes:

Ask any of the locals in Polynesia and they’ll tell you the same thing, the cost of ALL goods within the islands is super expensive and they make sure to shop in the USA if and when they can.

There are entry taxes for exported products which explain the huge prices. Otherwise, there is no income tax in French Polynesia but in compensation, there are huge corporation tax rates. A tourist pays a visitors tax only in Bora Bora, Moorea-Maiao, Huahine, Rangiroa, Papeete, Faa’a, Punaauia. The amount is between 50 and 200 XPF per person per day depending on the island and the lodging category

Finally, Value Added Tax (VAT) (or TVA in French) – introduced in 1998 – has tax rates on tourist services at 13% and on hotels, small boarding houses, food, and beverages at 6%. However, all the restaurant, shops, boutiques, services, activities prices are all tax included.

The bottom line:

Bora Bora Tahiti’s reality is prices are high as hell, so as they say, “if you can’t afford it,” stay home.

Don Briscoe
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Don Briscoe

Finance educator, advisor, and leading voice in the global financial literacy movement.Founder and editor of MoneyPacers.com.He lives and enjoys life with his family in New York.
Don Briscoe
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