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3 Things to See and Do While Honeymooning in Bora Bora

There's more to this stunning island than just overwater bungalows.

conrad bora bora nui
Photography by: Courtesy of Conrad Bora Bora Nui

There's a reason so many couples choose Bora Bora as their honeymoon destination. It's beautiful, relaxing, and packed with splurge-worthy properties. Your hotel might be amazing, but there are so many reasons to step out of that overwater bungalow and dive into the dynamic culture of the Polynesian islands, too. From savoring the seafood to hiking to its holiest spots, there's more-a more-a to Bora Bora. Here, everything you should do while visiting the island retreat for your honeymoon.

 

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Take a bite out of the food scene.

Because of its location in the South Pacific and its history as a French colony, Bora Bora's cuisine is a vibrant mix of Tahitian, Asian, and French flavors. It all blends deliciously into dishes like poisson cru, a ceviche-style tuna marinated in lime juice and topped with coconut milk. Learn how to make it during a cooking class at the St. Regis Bora Bora ($390 for class; from $1,385 per night).

 

The new Conrad Bora Bora Nui ($77 for tour; from $480 per night), meanwhile, offers a tour that breakfast-hops among private homes for tastes of galettes, coconut bread, and doughnuts; lunch is fafaru (fermented crushed shrimp and fish), prepared by a local chef named Papi. (The hotel also has the region's only two-story overwater villa, plus an exclusive islet where you can book dinner for two.) And French Polynesia had food trucks, or roulottes, before they were cool. Venture to Vaitape Harbor, where everything from shrimp curry to steak frites is served abundantly (and cheaply) from spots parked along the main square.

 

Listen to the music

To immerse yourself in the rhythmic musical traditions—heavy on drums, ukuleles, and nose flutes—visit during the Heiva i Bora Bora festival, in mid-June to late July. The open-air Place Tu Vavau, in Vaitape, becomes a hive of singing and dancing competitions, plus events like coconut-tree climbing and fire-walking. The costumes alone—flower headdresses, grass skirts, vibrant textiles—make it worthwhile. Year-round, most resorts offer weekly barbecues with hip-shaking dances once banned by British missionaries. At the InterContinental Bora Bora La Moana (from $904 per night) you 
can watch the show over cocktails at the terrace bar. If you want to make music of your own, several of the porters at the Conrad Bora Bora Nui offer ukulele lessons.

 

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Mount Pahia
Photography by: Getty Images

Hike through history

Trekking in Bora Bora means getting up-close views of not only the lush rainforest—filled with hibiscus blossoms, paw-paw trees, and wild vanilla—but also remnants of the island's ancient civilization. French expat and founder of Polynesian Island Tours Azdine Oualid leads tours to the Valley of the Kings, a marae (outdoor ceremonial site) that he discovered in 2006, located on a plateau between Mount Otemanu and Mount Pahia. Nearby, Tumu Ora ("Tree of Life") is the largest-known banyan in French Polynesia, where early kings were buried. For something more strenuous, Oualid can also take you to the Sacred Cave of Anau on the cliff face of Mount Otemanu. You can arrange a tour through your resort, or email him at polynesiaislandtours@mail.pf.

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