Part and parcel of French Polynesia, Bora Bora measures approximately 11.31 square miles. Luxury resorts and hotel conglomerates have taken over the land – albeit in a tasteful way – and offer a wide variety of activities. Foremost among them is scuba diving.
Settle in at the Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach and Private Island
This is one of the more budget-friendly but luxurious accommodations on Bora Bora (even so, it is not cheap). Quite as luxurious as other resort hotels, it features a gorgeous beach exposure. The 2011 starting price for a well-apportioned room is $391 per night. For the scuba diver, an on-site scuba diving center provides all the necessities to get started.
There are onsite restaurants — although you will save quite a bit of money by talking to fellow scuba enthusiasts about their favorite local hangouts and eateries. Although “hole in the wall” eateries are rare, it is possible to find a great hidden away restaurant with impossibly fresh seafood.
Get out and Scuba!
The southern Matira Beach is a must-see for the scuba aficionado. Close to the Sofitel, the Bora Diving Center, which recently merged with Nemo World, is probably the most convenient outfit to pick. This is a great beginner’s outfit; advanced scuba divers appreciate that Nitrox is priced the same as air. Wetsuits, masks, fins and even the regulator is available to borrow free of charge.
Another company to consider is the Blue Nui Dive Center. It operates in Bora Bora, Manihi, Tahaa and also Tikehau. Look for the company’s counter at the Pearl Beach Resort. This Bora Bora travel guide would be incomplete without pointing out that the company offers certification for tourists as well as packaged dives for already certified divers. It is one of the less expensive scuba outfits around.
Must-know Diving Travel Guide to Bora Bora
Due to the balmy water temperatures, scuba diving goes on year round. During the rainy season — usually November to about March — the underwater visibility is compromised. Bora Diving reminds tourists that airlines make a five kg allowance for divers with a valid diving certificate.
Do not forget to follow the rules of French Polynesia with respect to diving depths. Level one ANMP/CEDIP divers can go down to depths of 29 meters, while the 60-meter depths are reserved for experts only. First timers go no deeper than six meters. There are mandatory waiting periods before a diver may board a plane, depending on the length of the flight. Make sure you know ahead of time what the exact rule is for your particular flight, so that spacing the dives appropriately is easy.
Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach and Private Island
98730 Nunue Vaitape in French Polynesia
(689) 60 55 00
Bora Diving Center
BP 503 Vaitape in 98730 Bora Bora
(689) 67 71 84
Blue Nui Dive Center
BP 169 Vaitape in 98730 Bora Bora
(689) 67 79 07