11 Great Reasons to Go Diving in Bora BoraApril 26, 2022
Renowned for its turquoise lagoon and reefs home to a vibrant array of marine life, Bora Bora is a paradise for every diver. This ‘Pearl of the Pacific’ hosts a long list of iconic marine life, from sharks and humpback whales to sea turtles, mantas and stingrays. And just nearby, lie some of the most spectacular atoll dives in the world. Let us take a look at the top reasons to go diving in Bora Bora this year.
1.Visit one of the most beautiful islands in the world.
With its dreamy overwater bungalows dotted above warm, cyan waters and soft white sands, Bora Bora is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful islands in the world.
It is a popular honeymoon destination, where you can spend your days diving and your downtime relaxing with champagne lunches on deserted islands.
If that does not sound romantic enough, take a day trip to nearby Tupai Atoll. Lying just 10 miles north of Bora Bora, this heart-shaped atoll is home to many species of birds and hosts nesting sea turtles each November.
2.There are dive sites for all experience levels.
You do not have to go far from Bora Bora’s shores to find exceptional diving. In fact, there are dive sites dotted all along Bora Bora’s outer reef and within the calm, sheltered lagoon.
Offering a mixture of exciting outer reefs and easy, shallow lagoon dive sites, diving in Bora Bora is suitable for all experience levels.
It is a great place to get your scuba certification and enjoy your first dives in warm, calm waters teeming with tropical fish life.
Bora Bora is also equally as impressive for experienced divers. It offers a range of thrilling offshore dives among current-washed passes, channels, caves, pinnacles and swim-throughs.
If you want to make the most of French Polynesia’s more advanced dives, it is a good idea to get your drift diving certification before you go.
3.It is like diving in an aquarium.
Did we mention just how vibrant Bora Bora’s reefs are? Diving in Bora Bora is like being in an aquarium and the aptly-named Aquarium dive site reflects that.
This dive site has a magnificent coral garden on bright white sands and is teeming with colorful reef fish, plus morays and stingrays. With a maximum depth of just 5 meters, it is perfect for beginner divers.
There are thought to be between 500 and 800 different fish species around French Polynesia’s islands.
The Aquarium is a great example of the rich and diverse marine life you will find there.
4.Snorkeling with friendly stingrays and reef sharks.
Nothing will put a smile on your face like hanging out with enormous, friendly stingrays that come right up to you in the shallows.
The protected waters of Bora Bora’s lagoon host dozens of these charming rays, plus numerous blacktip reef and lemon sharks.
Make sure you join a snorkel tour to hang out with the local rays and swim among the fishes that call this warm, sunshine-soaked lagoon home.
5.Diving with mantas year-round.
Manta rays visit Bora Bora lagoon daily to get tended to at the cleaning stations dotted around the island. So far, more than 130 individual mantas have been identified there.
Located on the east side of Bora Bora, Anau is the best-known cleaning station where reef mantas can be spotted almost all year.
There is a thriving and colorful coral garden at this dive site, plus a deep pinnacle with sea turtles, and a shallow channel that attract mantas.
It is one of the best places to go diving with manta rays in French Polynesia, as the mantas come to Anau to be cleaned then stay to relax and feed.
You can be in the water with anywhere between 5 and 10 mantas at a time and snorkelers can watch from overhead.
6.Jaw-dropping drift dives and dramatic landscapes.
If you love big, coral-covered volcanic landscapes and drifting along in clear blue water, diving in Bora Bora could be for you.
Bora Bora has only one pass, Teavanui Pass or ‘Big Pass’. This wide pass opens onto the coral reef and is an incredible drift dive.
The walls of the pass are swathed in purple, blue and yellow corals and it is a highway for sharks, eagle rays, mantas, jacks and Napoleon wrasse.
Tupitipiti, just southeast of Bora Bora, is a huge reef surrounded by yet more clear, blue water. This dive site has numerous caves, overhangs and swim-throughs, plus a huge wall covered in vibrant corals and sponges.
Make sure you look closely to spot the numerous nurse sharks sheltering in Tupitipiti’s caves.
7.Waters teeming with bucket-list pelagics.
Wherever you go diving at Bora Bora, you are likely to encounter sharks. Blacktip reef sharks are the most common, found swimming close to shore, in the lagoon and at the coral reef.
It is almost impossible to not spot these curious, small sharks!
Bora Bora’s rich waters also host an array of sharks further offshore. There are lemon sharks, whitetip reef sharks, nurse sharks and grey reef sharks in the vicinity.
Added to that, Bora Bora is visited by dolphins, mantas, humpback whales and numerous large pelagic fish.
In just one French Polynesia dive trip, you can tick off many iconic marine life encounters.
8.Post-dive luxury and pampering at its finest.
After all that diving, you deserve to treat yourself. Say goodbye to lukewarm coffee and a sand-filled snack before your next dive. At Bora Bora, they do things properly.
Take your pick from Bora Bora’s luxurious resorts, beachfront retreats, or more budget-friendly Airbnbs. Whichever you choose, you can unwind your tired diving muscles at the many spa and wellness centers around the island.
It might be small, but there are numerous oceanside restaurants and cafes to choose from at Bora Bora.
Enjoy your breakfast with the shimmering lagoon below, indulge in a fine-dining experience with a world-famous French chef, or watch the sun go down with a cocktail and sushi in hand. The choice is entirely yours.
9.Relax at one of the best beaches in the South Pacific.
There are beautiful beaches all around Bora Bora, but it is hard to beat Matira Beach. This exquisite mile-long stretch of white sand is the best public beach on the island.
Unsurprisingly, this gorgeous beach has been named by Trip Advisor as one of the top ten beaches in the South Pacific for 2022.
It has shallow, warm waters perfect for swimming and relaxing post-dive.
10.Hike up Mount Pahia for breathtaking island views.
After all that relaxation and food, it is time to grab your hiking boots and explore the interior of the island. If you are up for an adventure, take a guided hike up Mount Pahia.
It is not an easy walk and will take you six hours of solid hiking, but the rewards of walking through Bora Bora’s lush jungle are worth it. The views from the top are pretty spectacular too.
11.French Polynesia’s world-famous dives are nearby.
Last but by no means last, Bora Bora is on the doorstep of French Polynesia’s most famous dive sites and islands.
After just a short 50-minute flight, you can be exploring the many wonders of Tahiti and Moorea.
There are untouched reefs, enormous passes and walls of grey reef sharks there.
Further afield, lie the remote underwater ecosystems and melon-headed whales of the Marquesas Islands.
They are just a small selection of the many diving highlights this unique destination has to offer.
Are you ready for the trip of a lifetime? Head to the SSI Center Locator to find the top dive centers in French Polynesia.
Alternatively, read our guide to diving in French Polynesia to choose the right island for you: