About Erin D
Lives in San Pedro, Belize
Since Sep 2008
35-49 year old female
Full time traveler and digital nomad - visited over 60 countries on 5 continents to date. Three-time expat -- Taiwan, Netherlands, and Belize. I'm a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) and I'm an annual passholder to all Disney Parks worldwide, visiting each of the international resorts 2-3 times per year. I work as a travel and food writer and blogger. I write for publications like Viator and Roam Right Travel Insurance. I am AFAR Magazine's Belize expert and authored the Official AFAR Guide to Belize. In 2013, I authored the majority of Belize's official visitor magazine, Destination Belize, and had the honor to work as the English language editor for a renowned international chef's second published cookbook.
Scuba & Snorkeling
4WD, ATV & Off-Road Tours
Gift & Speciality Shops
Gift & Speciality Shops
If you want to pack the most into your one day in Bora Bora, consider a snorkeling tour to the Bora Bora Lagoonarium. This is a natural aquarium located on a small island east of Bora Bora's main island. Under the supervision of wildlife guides, you can snorkel the fenced lagoon where you'll see sharks, turtles, rays, and various types of ocean fish.
If the idea of snorkeling in a fenced lagoon area doesn't sound like something you'd enjoy, book a snorkeling tour to Coral Gardens instead. Coral Gardens is located on a small island across from the Sofitel Marara. The reef is close to shore so this is a great alternative to visiting Bora Bora's Lagoonarium.
Tupitipiti Point is a well-known dive site and stopping point on many ATV tours. This is an ideal spot to snap some awesome photos of Bora Bora and its signature turquoise lagoon. If you're a diver rather than a snorkeler, then consider diving here for half a day instead. It's known for its beautiful purple corals and steep drop-off, where you're likely to see sharks, rays, groupers, and even Parrotfish.
If you want to check out a beach in Bora Bora, Matira is your best bet. Aside from the fact that it's pretty much the only public beach in the area, it's also considered one of the best beaches in the world, offering soft sandy areas complimented by shallow, calm, turquoise waters. There are several bars and restaurants nearby too where you can grab a bite to eat or a tropical cocktail.
Mounta Otemanu is an extinct volcano, and the highest point on Bora Bora. As long as it's a nice day, you'll see all of Mount Otemanu no matter what part of Bora Bora you end up visiting. If you opt for a 4x4 adventure tour, you may even drive up and around parts of the mountain, where you can see cannons and bunkers used by American military forces during WWII.
Natura Discovery is an awesome tour if you're hoping to learn more about Bora Bora's historical and cultural past. With over 300 significant marae (ancient temples once used for religious and cultural ceremonies) located on private family lands, it is not possible for visitors to explore some of the region's most important historical sites independently; however Natura Discovery obtained permission from the Elders and now runs the only 4x4 tour on the island where you can get up close and personal to these very special open-air temples.
Leave some free time to explore Vaitape, the largest city in Bora Bora, and home to around half of the tiny island's population. Vaitape is Bora Bora's administrative center and the best spot to do some souvenir shopping, grab a bite to eat, or check out Tahitian pearls at a local jewelry store. Many of the tours meet in Vaitape, making it convenient to explore the town when your tour finishes.
One of the main souvenirs people like to take back from French Polynesia is a Tahitian pearl - and visiting one of Bora Bora's reputable pearl shops, like Arc En Ciel Bora Bora, choosing your own pearl(s), and finding the perfect setting(s) is certainly a shopping experience unique to the island. Although they are often called 'black pearls,' the truth is that Tahitian pearls come in a variety of colors.
If you're looking for somewhere to pick up souvenirs on the way back to your ship, check out Boutique Gauguin in town. You'll find the most artistic looking pareus in the area here (if you're interested in bringing home one of these Polynesian specialties), plus a good selection of t-shirts, general souvenirs, and jewelry. If you're a fan of Paul Gauguin's artwork, Boutique Gauguin is also the ideal store to shop for prints of his best known paintings.
Bloody Mary's is Bora Bora's most famous restaurant, renowned for its food and colorful history. While it is considered rather touristy, as it's a Bora Bora icon, it's still worth a stop. If you're after fresh seafood, Bloody Mary's has a display at the entrance where you can choose your own dinner from the variety of freshly caught local fish. This venue has also seen its share of celebrity visitors over the years, including a feature on E!'s hit show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians.