Bora Bora Tours: Land activities

There are two main types of Bora Bora tours for discovering this most famous Tahitian island.

One is to travel the Circle Island Road, stopping at the points of interest. The other is taking a Bora Bora excursion in a 4X4 Range Rover to discover the untamed interior. And if you're looking for challenging Bora Bora activities, such as hiking or mountain climbing, you can find these too.

While planning your Bora Bora travel check out these Bora Bora excursions on the lagoon. In my experience Bora Bora vacations are not complete without doing some of them. Your holiday time is limited and precious, so it's good to know which ones you would like to do most. Consider choosing the Bora Bora weather that is most suitable for the Bora Bora activities that are important to you.

Hiking Bora Bora

The tours we recommend are below. They also provide fascinating cultural information and experiences.

Hiking on Bora Bora is a rewarding experience because the lush tropical vegetation is so beautiful and there are amazing views from various vantage points. There are a few good walking trails, and as the island is small, they can be accomplished in a couple of days.

Bora Bora Valley of the Kings

On these Bora Bora tours you are led along old pathways to explore the remnants of ancient villages and maraes, which were ceremonial religious sites. You hike through fertile valleys amongst lush tropical vegetation.

Azdine, the guide, will share information about geology, ancestral plants, medicine and sacred trees. You'll also hear intriguing Polynesian legends and taste wild island fruits and coconuts, plucked straight from the trees.

Polynesian Island Tours offers a choice of fascinating cultural walks: Valley of the Kings is an easy 3 hour walk which most people can do. Ancesters Road or the Track of the Past is an easy full day tour for the fit.

Sacred Cave of Anau is a 6 hour trek (with climbing) for those used to strenuous activity. Mt Pahia Climb of 6 hours is for the very fit who don't suffer from vertigo.

It is only possible to do these tours during dry weather. The Bora Bora Island guide who leads these unique tours is Azdine Oualid. He's a qualified Polynesian hiking guide who's knowledgeable, passionate and humorous. You can book tours for any day except Sunday.

If you're wondering why a Frenchman of a Moroccan background is taking Polynesian cultural tours read Azdine's story of finding Paradise.

Tel 29.66.60 or 67.56.02. Email polynesiaislandtours@mail.pf if you want a phenomenal day out exploring the inner island on foot.

Mountain Climbing

Mount Otemanu Climb

Mount Otemanu (727m), the highest and most recognized feature on Bora Bora Island can only be climbed up to it's 'shoulders'. The crumbly vertical cliffs of the towering peak prevent further ascent as they do not hold clamps. Although it has never been scaled by foot it is possible for a helicopter to land on it's summit.

Mount Pahia Climb

Up for a challenge? Mount Pahia can be climbed in about 4 hours by fit and experienced hikers. You must only try this strenuous activity in dry weather or the unmaintained trail will be muddy and slippery. In Vaitape take the road to the south of the Protestant church. Follow it up until you pass clumps of mango trees, where you veer a little towards the left. Circle the cliffs keeping to the top of the left side.

A local guide is very useful. Some of the websites offering these are outdated. The only guide we know offering a Mount Pahia climb is Azdine, who also takes tours through the Valley of the Kings. For his 6 hour 2,168ft (661m) tour you must be very fit and not suffer from vertigo.

In the dry season all-day hiking Mount Pahia, Bora Bora tours can be arranged through:
Otemano Tours
Tel. (689) 67.70.49

Circle Island Bora Bora Tours

In Bora Bora there are 2 types of Circle Island Tours.

There are 'must do' Bora Bora boat excursions which circle the lagoon around Bora Bora's main island. On these tours you enjoy amazing views of this magical isle, from every angle, always with the awesome blue water as foreground. The lagoon is three times the size of the island.

The other type of Circle Island Tours are on land. Bora Bora has only one main road, aptly called the Circle Island Road. It winds for 32 kilometres (20 miles) around the perimeter of the island. You can choose to hire a car, scooter or bicycle and take yourself around by printing out this guide to Circle Island Bora Bora Tours.

Cycling around the Island
Stopping at a local fruit stand while cycling around the island

Or you can sit back and relax on bus or minivan Bora Bora tours which will drive you around the coast road and stop at the most popular attractions. A guide will give a description and explain the history of what you see. There are cultural sights such as ancient maraes (religious sites), American guns which are historical remnants of WW11, and the Bora Bora pearl farm to view. The beautiful Bora Bora beaches are the island's main marvel, so there will be a beach stop to swim and snorkel. These Bora Bora activities can be taken with:

Bora Bora Land Safari
Tel. (689)67.71.32

Bora Bora Tours
Tel (689)67.70.31

Charley Transports
Tel. (689)78.27.71

Moihere
Tel. (689)67.56.46

Otemanu Tours
Tel. (689)67.70.49 or 67.60.92

Taxi Simplet
Matahi, Tel. (689) Laiza, Tel. (689)73.85.72

4 x 4 Safari Bora Bora Tours

Bora Bora Island has a few inland roads. Most were cut by the US military during World War 2 to enable the placement of canons on strategic look-out points. These rugged roads that lead into the hills climb up steep ridges and are severely rutted in places. They are especially difficult after rain. So the inner island is only accessible by four-wheel-drive vehicles. Do not attempt to drive on these roads yourself as you may get stuck.

4x4 Bora Bora Tours
4x4 Bora Bora Tour © GIE Tahiti Tourism - D. Hazama

There are Safari Bora Bora tours that provide a thrilling scenic ride to points of interest. They're in specially designed Range Rovers which can handle any road conditions. An entertaining local guide will give cultural, historical and botanical insights. On your way to explore ancient archaeological sites you will pass by lush tropical flora. The locations of World War II cannons that you visit will offer the best views out over the spectacular lagoon. So if you're looking for fun things to do in Bora Bora try one of these extreme Bora Bora excursions:

Maohi Nui Tours
Guides, Patrick or Manate, share their love of Bora Bora Island as they pass along the island's oral history through stories, and inform visitors about geological formations, ancient religious sites and remnants from the American presence in World War 2. During a 20 minute walk through the forest to view an old turtle petroglyph you will be introduced to tropical plants such as ginger, ylang ylang, vanilla, wild hibiscus, mango and coconut trees. Patrick's father was considered the last chief of Anau village.
Tel. (689)67.69.94

Tupuna Mountain Safari
The Levard family is the oldest and largest provider of inland Bora Bora tours. It uses open air vehicles to visit the inner island Bora Bora attractions such as the American cannons and ancient maraes. The last stop is at 'the Farm' which is their family black pearl operation.
Tel. (689)67.75.06

Vavau Adventures
This company offers Land Rover tours in air-conditioned comfort. They have expeditions around the island and up into the mountains with a focus on history, culture, flora and fauna. There are stops at the World War 2 guns and a visit to a fish farm where tropical species are raised to restock the lagoon.
Tel. (689)72.01.21

Bora Bora Safari Land
These Bora Bora tours drive you inland through the tropical vegetation. You visit the historic American military sites, enjoy panoramic views and learn a little about traditional Polynesian life.
Tel. (689)67.71.32

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