OK everybody here it is, Our trip report from BORA BORA!!!!!
(I know I said this weekend but got busy, sorry)
Allright, The flight to Bora Bora from LAX
Take some sleeping pills. It is an 8 hour flight on a Airbus A340 from LAX. Airbus crams thier seats together, not very comfortable. I did not take any pills before we left, I thought I had slept a while, but woke and saw I had 5 hours left. The service was great, they gave us two meals, a little care package that included booties, earplugs, earphones, and an eye mask. The seats have there own screen that you can play video games in, or watch 7-8 different movies. All in all, good flight other than cramped quarters.
Small airport, It is all open to the outside. After finally getting through customs (2 people checking everyone from an A340 takes awhile, try to change your seats to the front of the plane if you can, just to get through customs quicker) We came across another tour agancy that was to meet us there. It was Marama Tours. They gave us our tickets to BB and a couple other vouchers. Than they took us to our hotel that we had to stay in for the night (5 hours total) Which I would suggest just waiting at the airport until the flight to BB left at 8 in the am. Just due to you having to wait at the airport to leave for 6 hours when you leave Tahiti to LAX. Why pay for the extra night if you only stay there 4 hours. The Airport has a McDonalds, and a smaller deli type place, also with 2-3 boutiques. These places (other than the deli) close until the morning or when an Air Tahiti Nui plane comes or goes.
Weight is a big thing on these flights, 44pnds for a non diver, and 55 pnds for a diver when you show them your card. Chances are your travel agent might tell you it is a direct flight to BB from Tahiti, chances are you will probably stop at a smaller island. We stopped at Raiatea to and from. Its ok though, you do not even get out of the plane, its 20 min tops. Plus they have the coldest and best pineapple juice on these flights. The flight is maybe 1 hr tops. It doesnt seem like it though, your always looking at the islands down below.
The airport is small, the arrival and departure gates are the same. It is an open airport as well. When you enter the first thing that catches your eye is the background. The Blue water and Mt. Otemanu. AWESOME!!! you are generally met at the airport by a representative of your resort than they throw ya on a boat and take you to the resort. It is a beautiful boat ride. Take it in. We stayed at the Bora Bora Lagoon Resort.
Bora Bora Lagoon Resort.....
We were met at the airport, they tag your luggage with your room number and put you on a boat to the resort. Then you are met at the dock by another representative who sits you down and checks you in. They gave us coconuts with a straw. We got jipped though, we saw people coming in later that they gave Mai Tais too. The BBLR in my opinion is the resort to go to. It is on a motu (little island) called Motu Toopua, The Bora Bora Nui is on the other end of the island. The BBLR is a very nice resort, it is not like the Nui, or Hotel Bora Bora, or the new Ritz or Thalasso. But it does have different amenities. It is also located directly across the lagoon from Vaitape. For one, It has a free shuttle service to Vaitape on the hour every hour starting at 6am. And from Vaitape every hour on the half hour. (however the schedule that they keep depends on how many people are there, but it will come) This free shuttle service is great due to the cost of food. The BBLR also has buffets on thurs and Sat. Thurs is a Tahitian Buffet with a show. Sat is a Seafood with show and fire show. Unless you really want to do this, the cost is outrageous $160.00 for two. The food was not even that great. and unless the show is inside you can see the show outside for free. We arrived at 9am they put us in a transit room, a room where people can go while they are waiting to get into their rooms, we finally checked in at 3pm. It is also the room to go to when you are leaving and have to check out 11am, but don't leave until 4pm. During this time we ate at the little poolside bar. We had a cheeseburgers and Mojitos and Mai Tais. Make sure to ask for your burger well done, we got them and the outside of the burger is the only thing that was brown. Our rooms were great. Hot at first, But once we got in turned the AC on and closed the curtains, it started to get cooler. The rooms are not really anything special, very nice, beautiful wood, a tv (with 4-5 channels and 1 english channel) The king sized bed is 2 twins put together, a little hard as well. We stayed 3 nights in a beach bungalow (#228, which I believe has the best view of the sunset, but is also the closest to the beach boys hut, A hut to rent boats, kayaks, snorkel stuff, etc...) Than we moved into the Overwater for 3 nights. We had #106 (any of the 100s is the way to go. These bungalows are the ones with the best view of Mt. Otemanu and the lagoon. Great sunrises as well. The Resort has 2 restaraunts 1 bar, and 1 poolside bar. It also has a spa, From what I hear is great, Expensive (but what isnt) and an activites desk that you can go to and sign up for activites around the island. A great Freshwater pool for dipping after snorkeling. The grounds are georgeous, The flora is outstanding, so many colors and flowers. The Fauna...Chickens, they hang around the pool mostly, but harmless. We also saw a few land crabs. I would come back here in a heartbeat!!!!
Ok everyone asks about this one....The food is EXPENSIVE...and the myth of...Seafood is so cheap because they live in a lagoon is a LIE!!! It is just as expensive if not more than Beef. My one piece of advice.......Don't eat at the resort, granted you will Need to at some times...but try not too. An example...2 cheeseburgers and two drinks...about $55-60 dollars. $18-20 for the burgers(each) and $10.00 for the drinks(each) What we did was this...Go to town!!!! go to the grocery store and buy bread and meat and WATER!!!! (by the way, the store only takes CASH), the water at the resorts is $5.00 a bottle, you get bigger bottles of water at the store for $1.50 same with all the grocerys CHEAPER!! (when they ask you if you would like water at the resorts they mean 5 dollar waters, not tap waters) Also there are a few places in town that you can eat for cheap. Bora Bora Burger, from the docks, go towards town when you hit the main and only street take a right. BBBurger is open till 5, so dinners will be early(not a problem, you seem to go to bed around 7 and get up at 6 anyways), but a burger costs 5 as opposed to 20, they also have pops, ice cream, and various sandwichs. There is also a place called La'Appetisserie that serves sandwiches and sorts. Got to main street and take a left, walk a few blocks, it is across the street from the grocery store, on the left. Ok for breakfasts, we got the resorts buffet breakfasts for all mournings we were there. IT GOT OLD, but it was food. The waffles are good, the fruit is great. Well ya get the picture. It was the same thing everyday. Other than the special of the day which seemed to be the night befores leftovers. BLOODY MARYS>The Best food I had in Bora Bora! Expensive yes, but worth it. It is a tourist trap, but Like I said worth it. The fish is fresh, and it is cooked on the BBQ with nothing added, just good, flavorfull fresh fish.
We did the shark and ray feeding (half day, a full day takes you to the lagoonarium, which is a mesh fence extending from the beach out into the lagoon that you can ssnorkel in wit the fish a waste of money to do the lagoonarium since as the fish are everywhere anyways). We did it through Moana Tours. Just one guy on a 4 person boat. Which was great because you would see other boats out there with 10 if not more people on them. this was more personal. We went outside the barrier reef jumped out of the boat and the guide dove down and let a lot of dead fish go. The Black tip reef sharks started swimming around within 6 ft of us. GREAT!!!. We than jumped into the boat, back inside the lagoon to a shallower area, jumped into water about chest high, and swam with stingrays. The guide would than catch one by feeding it, bring it to the surface for us to pet. Very slimy, but yet so soft. After this we went to and area even more inside the lagoon and snorkeled on a great reef system, whil the guide stayed in the boat and sang with a ukelele. We also rented a car from Europecar, a little one. And drove around the island, it really only takes an hour. So unless you have plans to go somewhere, renting it for 2 hours was fine. $69.00. It was interesting to see how the islanders lived.
I am a diver. I got certified for this trip. It has always been a dream of mine. I was originally going to do 5 dives with BORA DIVING CENTER, however after my first 2 dives I cancelled. Bora Diving Center Picked me up at 8am we went outside the reef to Sharks Pass. I was not given a briefing on how to use there gear, where we were diving, what to expect, signals, depths, and so on. He just checked my card and off we went. I did not feel safe with them. However the actual diving was PHENOMINAL!!!! I had 70ft vis. And it was as warm as bathwater. I saw lemon sharks, schools of barracuda and a turtle. We then went to a different spot to look for Spotted Eagle Rays, None were found. But still good diving. 2 dives was 13000xpf. Since I cancelled with them, I moved to TopDive>>>GREAT!!!! I'll dive with them anyday. They gave us breifings on site, gear, signals, what to expect, depths a,d so on. they even gave us buddies to swim with and 4 groups with there own dive master guide. We went to the same places I dove previoulsy, This time I saw 2 Lemon Sharks within 5-6 feet of us, 15 blactips, schools of barracuda and tuna. The second dive we did see about 7 Spotted Eagle Rays. At 78 ft the water temp was 81degrees. I reccomend TopDive to anyone interested. 13500xpf for 2 dives. Those were the only excursions we did. It was very easy to do them. Go to your activites desk, and they'll set up the appointment (for anything) and they give you a voucher to just give to your guides. Evrything is done by vouchers down there that gets charged to your room.
All in all it was a once in a lifetime trip. The weather was Ok, we only had 2 and a half days of sun, but it was still beautiful. We sorkeled like crazy, saw turtles and octopus and so many different kinds of fish that follow you everywhere. The resort was astounding, I reccomend it HIGHLY. Vaitape was a small little Island town, Muddy and sandy. Busy with traffic. Our Bungalows were awesome, especially the OWB (unless it was windy, than the waves were really loud) Enjoy the shows, the people, the atmosphere. If you do it right, don't worry about money. The bread is great, even the fish love it.
I could answer a lot of questions, Just ask!!!!!
I would love to reminisce.