Why go to Bora Bora?
One of the world's most stunning lagoons is best explored by boat or jet ski
It's an expensive place and some areas are surprisingly less than luxurious
The claimed 'seven shades of blue' water will take your breath away
Bora Bora Cruise Port Facilities?
You'll find shops and market stalls in Vaitape selling souvenirs and jewellery (the famous Tahitian black pearls are everywhere), plus a handful of restaurants (all closed on our Sunday evening stroll for dinner, sadly.) Most folks don't linger too long in Vaitape; they're taking ship-sponsored shore excursions or exploring independently. You can find an ATM, post office and tourist office within easy walk of the tender pier.
Good to Know?
Much of Vaitape is closed on Sunday evenings and on national holidays. It's also expensive -- even compared to typically high island prices. Expect to pay about $30 more for a rental car here than in Moorea, for example.
By Car: Avis and Europcar have offices across from the Vaitape pier. Electric bicycles are also available for hire.
By Bus: Le Truck is the island's bus service, but it is highly irregular and not recommended.
By Taxi: Taxis are available at the pier. Taxi fares are expensive in French Polynesia, especially Bora Bora. So it's advisable to ask the price before boarding. Taxis are plentiful during cruise ships visits and may offer competitive rates for short shuttle trips down to Matira Beach or Bloody Mary's restaurant. As buses charges around US$5 (A$7.50) per person for a one-way trip; a taxi ride up to $20 (for the whole cab) is a good deal.
By Shuttle Bus: Local buses turn up in droves on the days when cruise ships are docked. The buses offer trips to Matira Beach and Bloody Mary's restaurant, about three miles to the south. The one-way ride is US$5; drivers also accept French Pacific Francs -- the equivalent is around 500 XPF. The bus leaves once all the seats are full.
Currency & Best Way to Get Money?
The local currency is the French Pacific franc. It is officially written as XPF, but many shops write it as CFP. ATMs are found at the bank branches of Banque Socredo and Banque de Polynesie in Vaitape.
French and Tahitian are the official languages, and both are commonly used, but English is spoken and understood in most restaurants and tourism establishments.