French Polynesia is home to numerous dreamy islands, and Bora Bora stands out as the most popular destination. It has become a go-to spot for those seeking relaxation in its stunning natural beauty.
Bora Bora is a paradise teeming with all sorts of amazing attractions. What many don’t realize, however, is that the island also offers incredible hiking opportunities to explore its diverse natural features. While this may sound thrilling and adventurous – it’s important to remember that there are certain considerations when embarking on such an adventure in Bora Bora. To ensure your safety and enjoyment along the way, here are some tips you should definitely keep in mind!
A guide to Bora Bora Hiking
Bora Bora is the perfect place for hikers of any level – from beginners to experts. With its abundance of trails, no one can miss out on a chance to go hiking while visiting this majestic island! If you are planning a hike in Bora Bora, one of the most essential things to remember is that it’s best to avoid trekking during the rainy season. The mountains in Bora Bora have steep inclines and can become dangerously slippery when wet – so be sure to take extra precautions if hiking around this time! While climbing the mountain may not pose an issue, descending can require more caution.
Make sure you’re prepared for all kinds of terrain before beginning any journey outdoors! For an experienced hiker or someone under the guidance of a professional, Bora Bora hiking in the rain can be quite enjoyable. But it’s important to make sure you have proper equipment and know-how for tackling more arduous terrain during this time.
If you plan to hike any of Bora Bora’s trails, it is essential that you bring a sufficient amount of water and food, as well as sunscreen. Additionally, don’t forget your wide-brimmed hat — this will help protect you from sunburns while on the trail! Moreover, be sure to carry a backpack for carrying all necessary items such as snacks and drinks throughout the day.
Top Hikes In Bora Bora
Mount Otemanu Hike
The 4-kilometer Mount Otemanu hike boasts 400 meters of elevation and is considered a difficult hike. Although this trek will require four to five hours to finish, it’s worth every second! At the top, your hard work pays off with stunning views of Bora Bora Island from its highest peak – a reward that proves why this particular trail is one of the island’s most popular (and challenging!) hikes. Since the volcanic rock tends to crumble easily, make sure you have appropriate hiking gear before embarking on your journey.
Trekking up Mount Otemanu leads to a cave which is the pinnacle of mountain beauty, and can only be reached by foot. Getting to this exquisite sight requires an arduous trek up rope-secured paths with steep inclines that will challenge even the most experienced hikers.
Because there are no markers or signs leading travelers through this route, it is absolutely necessary that you bring an experienced guide who can not only help you with navigation but also secure permission to pass through certain areas where private land may be encountered. Although the start of the hike may feel straightforward and mislead you into thinking that it will stay this way, be prepared as some steep inclines will follow.
Therefore, make sure to have proper hiking gear in stride and bring plenty of water and snacks-this will certainly make your journey up much easier.
Faanui WWII Guns trail
For a deep dive into World War II history, take the walking trail that lies opposite Chancelade base. As you ascend up the hill towards the monument, you’ll find an array of artillery used by Americans in WWII – be sure to allocate some time to learn about these historical guns!
Spanning one kilometer in length, you’ll find yourself surrounded by incredible natural scenery as you traverse through without any major elevation changes. Visiting the World War II guns on the island is a must-see experience that will give you an unparalleled understanding of its transformation over time. Despite being relatively short, there are some steep areas along the trail; however, it can be completed within 30 minutes from start to finish.
Mata Pupu Hike
You won’t want to miss out seeing such a renowned landmark; Mata Pupu is one of Bora Bora’s must-visit destinations for hikers looking for an adventure. Covering 2 kilometers with an elevation gain of 240 meters, this moderate trail takes 1-2 hours to complete depending on your speed – so don’t forget to bring some water and sunscreen!
Upon arriving at Mata Pupu ridge, you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that the hard part is behind you. However, as this section of the hike can be strenuous and slippery footing – it’s essential to exercise caution while maintaining steady steps throughout.
Bora Bora Island Loop
The journey will take 8-9 hours to complete and features an elevation gain of 1000 meters – making it one of the most extensive trails on the island! As its difficulty is classified as hard, make sure you are adequately prepared for your excursion before embarking on the hike.
For an optimal experience, start your hike in the south of the island to ascend Mount Pahia during morning hours. The ascent is quite challenging so make sure you have all necessary hiking gear. After achieving the peak, follow along with the road that circles around the entire island for stunning views of its many beaches!
Valley of The Kings
Legends tell us the magnificent banyan tree on this hike was the source of inspiration for ‘The Tree of Souls’ in James Cameron’s Avatar. Whether that is fact or fiction, it remains true that this specific tree holds immense cultural importance as it reportedly served as an eternal resting place to kings from Bora Bora’s past.
If you’re looking to explore the Valley of The Kings, it’s best done with a guide. Not only is this because hikes on Bora Bora are rarely marked, but also due to its history-filled trail that winds through remnants from the island’s past. As Randy Newman once said: “It’s a jungle out there”!
Hikers can explore remnants of ancient villages and Marae (Polynesian temples) and it would be a shame to unknowingly pass these relics.
Point Fitiuu Cannons
Any hiker exploring the well-preserved Point Fitiuu Cannons on Anau’s eastern side will be enthralled by the spectacular views of both Mt Otemanu and Bora Bora’s renowned lagoon. As you trek along this pathway, an exceptionally shaped geological feature, known as Hiro’s Finger, stands out from its counterparts.
Please note that there is an area that is private land, so if its owners are present, seek permission before continuing on your journey.
Mount Pahia is the shorter sibling of Mount Otemanu, offering breathtaking views spanning both Bora Bora and beyond into the Pacific Ocean surfaces. Despite its height at only 2100ft, this trek will surely put your hiking endurance to the test. Reaching it’s summit is achievable unlike that of Mt. Otemanu!
To ensure a safe journey, it is highly recommended to have a local guide accompany you while passing the treacherous terrain and forging through an unmaintained track.
The track can be located just south of the picturesque Protestant Church with its signature red spire. Remember to ask around once you arrive though as there are no signs indicating where it is!
As you hike the island’s narrow track, listen for the sound of 4×4 and quad bike tours; their presence indicates that you are on the right route.
Situated high up in the mountains above Point Pahua on the western end of Bora Bora, you’ll find two cannons that offer stunning views. One overlooks Vaitape and Teavanui Pass while the other offers a sweeping view across the lagoon to Pearl Beach Resort.
At the start of your journey, you’ll work up a sweat in the sultry tropical temperature. Don’t worry though; after about 1500ft, you will come upon an easier plateau that features spectacular views of Motu Ahuna against the serene lagoon backdrop. The remaining part of your hike to reach the cannons is mild and manageable.