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Updated by Amy Roy on Sep 22, 2017
Amy Roy Amy Roy
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Interesting Facts about Bora Bora

Bora Bora island is situated in the French Polynesia. Far away from the city madness, the island is the best place to take a break.

Where Is Bora Bora?

Located in the French Polynesia, this island is located in the Pacific Ocean. The island was originally named “Pora Pora” which meant “First Born”. First discovered in 1722, the island is now 7 million years old.

Where Is Bora Bora Island Located?

The splendid island is located about 160 miles northwest of Tahiti, and about 2600 miles south of Hawaii. Surrounded by coral reefs, the Island is a volcanic origin. It takes less than an hour’s flight from Papeete to reach the island. Once there, visitors are greeted with flowers and warm smiles and a boat to transfer them to the Bora Bora resort. While in the boat prepare yourself to witness the islands famous lustrous lagoon.

Bora Bora Island History Facts

The island is full of interesting historical moments. They give an in-depth look at what Bora Bora truly is. Also, it helps you to get to know the culture and tradition of the place better. Here are the top history facts so that you can explore a different side of the loving island.

Volcanic eruption

Over 4 million years ago the island Bora Bora was formed by a volcanic eruption. For a time, it was uninhabited and desolate, until people from the Tongan island came. They are believed to be the first people to lie foot on the island after the volcanic eruption. At that time, the island was known as Vava’u.

Pora Pora

As in the Tahitian language the letter ‘B’ doesn’t exist, the island was originally called Pora Pora. When translated, it means ‘the first born’ referring to the grave importance of the island or the son of King Hiro of Raiatea, who ruled it. Later on, when English settlers arrived, they misheard the name as ‘Bora Bora’. Since then the name remained as we know it today.

Captain James Cook

Bora Bora was discovered by Captain James Cook in 1769. That was the first time the island was actually recognized as an existing one. Cook was on a mission in the area as a British explorer when he came upon the island. That was a beginning of the missionaries, which were established there in 1820. Their main purpose was to convert Polynesians into Christianity. You can see that the importance of the island only grew with the years.

World War II

Believe it or not, Bora Bora was an American supply base during World War II in 1940’s. The island was a perfect sanctuary for more than 6.000 US soldiers. Having said that, the islet Motu Mute was the main gateway for supplies to and from the island, making it a key location. For protection, 8 cannons were situated on different sides of the island. Out of them all, only one remains today as a reminder of the battle.

Romantic island

Most people call Bora Bora a romantic island. That’s mainly because it’s a perfect place for couples and honeymooners to crown their love. Starting from the bungalows, private beaches up to the Motus and the lagoon, it’s the kingdom of love. Moreover, there’s Motu Iti just 19 kilometers north. The coral reef formation that resembles a heart is another reason that justifies the ‘romantic island’ title.

The meaning of flowers

 In Bora Bora, everything has a meaning. That includes flowers, too. Most importantly, the flowers placed on women’s ears. Having said that, a flower on the woman’s left ear indicates that she’s taken and has someone she loves in her life. Whereas, a flower on the right ear is a green light for the men to approach her knowing that she’s single and ready to mingle. The beaches are full of young and beautiful people, so this a nice way to flirt a little and have some fun both with the natives and the tourists.




It’s a bit strange, but tattooing has a sacred meaning in Bora Bora. The locals believe that it derives from the two sons of Ta’aroa — the God of creation. The drawings on your skin are also observed as a sign of beauty. Despite that, in the past, they were a way to show your position in society. So, cool, right? Definitely, get a tattoo once you visit the island.

Bora Bora in movies

Among other things, this island seems to be an exciting location for shooting movies. To prove that, we have the romantic movie Couples Retreat. It was filmed at St. Regis Resort in 2009. Through the scenes on the island, the viewers get to see the beauty from their TVs, so it’s a win-win situation. Among other movies that have scenes shot in Bora Bora are XXX, Island Fever, Hurricane, Sky Pirates and even the reality show “Keeping Up With The Kardashians”.

Bora Bora’s youngins

 Another cool information among the Bora Bora facts, lies in the youngins. They are young people under the age of 20. And half of Bora Bora’s population are youngins. I know it sounds incredible, but that’s the truth. What’s awesome is that these young people fill the beaches during the day and during the night organize exciting parties. That means that you’ll have a blast on the island.

The most beautiful beaches

The first on the ‘tourism Bora Bora facts’ list are the beaches. The island has one of the most amazing beaches in the whole world. According to CNN’s piece on the World’s 100 best beaches, Bora Bora’s Matira Beach found its place among the top 10. It was described as too perfect to be believable and that’s everything you need to convince yourself of the beauty of this place.

No public transit

As a tourist you must be aware that Bora Bora doesn’t have any public transit. It’s one more on the list of Bora Bora facts connected to tourism because of that. However, it doesn’t need it anyway. Everything on the island is accessible. Plus, you can take tours, which usually have transportation included or climb a boat that will take you anywhere you want to go. What is even more, renting a car, walking, biking or taking a two-seater buggy are always an option.

Animals in the waters

 If there’s anything Bora Bora is rich with, it’s the animal world underneath the clear waters. With hundreds of species swimming in the reefs and lagoon, you’ll have a breathtaking experience. Go snorkeling or scuba diving to see the most out of these creatures. Some animals you’ll likely encounter up close are reef fish, sharks, manta rays, sea turtles, starfish and so much more.


Coconuts are included among the Bora Bora facts for the simple reason that they’re the main produce of the island. You’ll see that they’re almost in every activity on the island. From valuable ingredients in the traditional Tahitian meals to the tours where you can learn how to actually open one, they’re everywhere. There are even legends associated with the island’s coconut palms, once again pronouncing their importance for the natives.

Activities and attractions

While you’re there, you’ll surely want to explore the most thrilling activities and attractions in Bora Bora. After all, it’s not like you come there every day. There are a bunch of stuff that can occupy your whole time besides the bungalows, of course You can discover the depths of the lagoon by snorkeling, diving, jet skiing and swimming or go on land and explore the forests and islets.