THE BORA-BORA ISLAND

Bora Bora is an island in the Leeward group of the Society Islands of French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of France in the Pacific Ocean. Bora Bora is a major international tourist destination, famous for its aqua-centric luxury resorts. The island is served by Bora Bora Airport on Motu Mete in the north, with Air Tahiti providing daily flights to and from Papeete on Tahiti. The major settlement, Vaitape is on the western side of the main island, opposite the main channel into the lagoon. Produce of the island is mostly limited to what can be obtained from the sea and the plentiful coconut trees, which were historically of economic importance for copra. According to a census performed in 2008, the permanent population of Bora Bora is 8,880.

Its 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.The west coast presents 2 bays : Faanui and Poofai.

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.

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~ by ferry1984 on September 20, 2011.

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