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Getting Around Bora Bora

by waverida1 Online Now Jan 29, 2008 at 11:10 AM

The main island is about 3 miles wide by about 5 miles long (not counting the wavy roads). My wife and I will be staying at the northern tip of the main island so we won't have the luxury of hotel transportation. Is it possible to walk the island? The island is small but I don't know if the curves of the main road double the distance from our place to the touristy spots. I know a car can be rented for 2 hours for around100 but after that 2 hour period, we'd still need a way to get from the rental location to our home.

Any chance there is a place to rent kayaks (especially tandem)? I've been kayaking for 10 years and could easily paddle around the island with a passenger. Any transportation advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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17 Answers
  • Sergeyu's Profile Photo

    Re: Getting Around Bora Bora

    by Sergeyu Online Now Jan 29, 2008 at 11:23 AM

    I din't stay on the main island but on motu - I ermeber ether were offers but for kayaks but for hobbie cat - I think such mod eof trasnportation? sighseeinhg is even more enjobale. I was there in Seeptmebr, it was rather dry season, but on the oppoiste side ( what you don't see on pics) it was very very windy and sea was with numrious underwater currents - I tried hard, but I can't get around even of my small Sofitel Motu, on top wind direction all time was changing. I understand the wind is problem during summer , but rain is one during the winter. But if weather permits you will find or sure single and tandem kayaks for hire, Matira point beach should be the place where to find it .

    May be it would be better for you to combine taxi+walking, but beware that you have to arrange taxi on most occasion upfront - I remeber every time I wish to go to restaurant to mainland reception done a difficult job to reconcile baot tarsnfer there ? back and two way taxi pick up - and I had to be very punctual, as otherwise logistics scheme would not work :))

    Another funny way to get around the island by water is by jetski, it is either guded or just yourslef, can't say where to ordre -0 just to know it is on offer on BB, have seen on Huahine.

    Car reant - as far as I know 2hrs or few hrs rent has almost teh same price as 24hrs - that is their pricing policy - did you inquired for the whole day rent quote?

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  • cgf's Profile Photo

    Re: Getting Around Bora Bora

    by cgf Online Now Jan 29, 2008 at 1:54 PM

    I also have been on motu there, but I've been also at main island few times as we had a boat which often went there from motu and back.
    You can hire bikes at Vaitape and Matira Point for sure.. maybe also somewhere else but I don't know. Like in Tahiti, at Bora-Bora there are a "bus"-servive "bus" because is not actually a bus, it's called "truck".. yes truck, hard to explaine, you'd better have a look at here
    arl.wustl.edu/~gorinsky/anna...
    there are very cheap.
    if you have time (a full day) choose a whole day excursion around Bora-Bora by boat with Chez Nono Tour (+689) 67 71 38 they are at Matira Point but they will come to pick up where you are and back, no problem.

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  • cgf's Profile Photo

    Re: Getting Around Bora Bora

    by cgf Online Now Jan 29, 2008 at 2:01 PM

    Ia Orana (hello/hola)
    I found cheznono's web site, you can book here
    http://www.cheznonobora.com/
    the whole day costs all tax. incl.: 8 500 CFP/person (71,23 €) (found on their site) BUT believe me, it's real good, many times people spend more for much less.
    nana (bye-bye)

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  • waverida1's Profile Photo

    Re: Getting Around Bora Bora

    by waverida1 Online Now Apr 12, 2008 at 10:29 PM

    Sergeyu:
    I've been kayaking for a while so I knew the distance isn't an issue. What I didn't think about was the underwater currents. I've paddled in the ocean with a single kayak but paddling long distance in a tandem kayak with winds and underwater currents working against me may not be as much fun.

    I didn't think about transporting via jetski. That sounds like fun. I'll avoid the jetski option if we decide to do any grocery shopping or a huge souvenir run.

    cgf:
    I know they rent bikes but from what some people say, they aren't in the best of condition. I've heard about Le Truck and may use that option too. I just wanted to know more about other options and how expensive this honeymoon is going to be.

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  • Marianne2's Profile Photo

    Re: Getting Around Bora Bora

    by Marianne2 Online Now Apr 12, 2008 at 10:46 PM

    Hi Waverida,
    I've been to Bora Bora numerous times. The island seems small if you're looking at a map, but it is actually too large to do an entire circumnavigation by walking. "Les trucks" are your best option, as they circulate around the island, but not always at reliable times. I've rented bicycles before at Vaitape, and never had a break-down, but ... you never know. There are several tour operators there, to arrange things like 4WD excursions up into the hills, regular circle-island tours, and so forth.

    While I haven't kayaked the lagoon, I've had my own dinghy there (both with outboard and just rowing). Within the lagoon, you will not find the currents too strong, as long as you stay away from the main coral reef pass. The winds come mostly from the SE, and therefore, the west side of the island is the leeward shore, with less effects from the wind (this is where Vaitape is). If they are renting kayaks down by Matira Point (southern part), that's also a nice area to kayak, but I don't know if they're available there.

    Unfortunately, for all its great beauty, BB is expensive. But face it, it's your honeymoon, so enjoy it!

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  • waverida1's Profile Photo

    Re: Getting Around Bora Bora

    by waverida1 Online Now Apr 13, 2008 at 7:41 PM

    Hi Marianne. Yeah, I know it's going to be very expensive. I lived in Hawaii for two years and I know Bora Bora is going to be more expensive than that. Our main challenge is that we're not staying in one of the major hotels near the southern tip of the island; we're actually staying closer to the northern edge of the main island. Because of that, I wanted to know our transportation options.

    I've heard of Le Truck but I don't know if their route is going to pass our location. We have transportation to Vaitape but from there, I need to know how we're going to get to the northern tip. If we rent a car, we'd have to keep it for a full day. Otherwise, when we return the rental car, we'd still need a way to get back to the northern tip. Is it more efficient to rent a boat from Vaitape to the northern tip? Renting a bike now and then would be fine but obviously not if we have a lot to carry (luggage, souvenir run, groceries, etc.)

    We could always take a cab to the northern tip but then, we'd need transportation from there back to Vaitape for shopping, restaurants, or excursions. *SIGH* Any information would be appreciated.

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  • Marianne2's Profile Photo

    Re: Getting Around Bora Bora

    by Marianne2 Online Now Apr 13, 2008 at 7:58 PM

    I'm trying to remember what accommodation is on the northern end of the island, as it is mostly just scattered residences, unless something has changed. You probably know that the airport you'll be flying into is located on a northern "motu" (islet), and that passengers are then delivered with their luggage to Vaitape.

    Here's a travel operator's website to try. I'm not suggesting you use them, but there are some possibilities listed in here that you might be able to follow-up on.
    boraboraisland.com/gethere.h...

    This discusses the rather unreliable "truck" schedules, various rental opportunities, bicycles, and taxis. There are also boats for hire and water taxis, but they might be hugely expensive. I forgot to mention another option to think about: after you have your luggage in place by probably taxi, you might be able to rent a scooter, which could get you conveniently all over the island. Again, this would have to be done from Vaitape.

    Another idea is to try to contact the BB Yacht Club. It is located just slightly north of Vaitape. They might have some good advice for you, and they are used to responding to English-speakers.

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  • Sergeyu's Profile Photo

    Re: Getting Around Bora Bora

    by Sergeyu Online Now Apr 13, 2008 at 8:07 PM

    Isn't renting a car for a whole period and keeping it overnight by your accomodation finally most effiecient and cost effecient option? Every trip with taxi will cost you 2000-2500 CPF and upward, in addition you have to order that ( or someone have to do that for you - as far as I know there is no central calling No., you need to approach drivers one by one to check who is available or make pick up time arrangements upfront) and then quite to wait for taxi. Did you try to find out what would be the rent a car price for the week? If that is appr. 100USD per day or so, I think it is good deal.
    I never used Le Truck, but exeprience with taxi shows that potentially wasted time waiting for Le Truck can be even longer. As for scooters LP gives the price guidance that is almost equal as for the car, cost-wise at least, not mentionibg convenience , rent a car 100USD per day is attractive option for Bora Bora.

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  • Sergeyu's Profile Photo

    Re: Getting Around Bora Bora

    by Sergeyu Online Now Apr 13, 2008 at 8:14 PM

    E.g. www.europcar-tahiti.com for Bora Bora for 7 days offers Miniclass like Fiat appr.44,500CPF incl. tax& but excl. cdw - un limited mileage. Seems to eb a good deal. Some extra charge applies for alternative pick up/drop off option. They have as well Mini category Cabrio etc. but at higher price.

    There are shoudl be other options , less global an thus cheaper brands, but car from Europcar are more likely to be in better driving shape than from smaller operators.Still I expect these cars to be rather weared and tired.

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  • cgf's Profile Photo

    Re: Getting Around Bora Bora

    by cgf Online Now Apr 13, 2008 at 11:44 PM

    Vaitape is the place where all "truck" arrive and leave. There is only one main road around the island itself and an other one toward Mount Otemanu, nothing else. Actually the most exciting experiences are on the beatiful lagoon (youtube.com/watch?v=AX9IZ8Tf..., you don't need to be a diver and/or to be able to swimm, just a mask and snorkel (I had my fins with me, but I never used them), the best of bora-bora is under water (also at 1 meter deep).... otherwise Bora-Bora could be a little bit boaring, nothing to do, a little nighlife is at ClubMed where everyone (paying) could go (I wouldn't).

    Vaitape is where the boat (free of charge) arrive and leave from/to Airport, where there are banks, ATMs, Phones, "magazine".. It's a good suggestion taking a scooter, I did it in Moorea and I believe is the best way to visit French Polynesia Island. I never took a truk in Bora-Bora but I did it a lot in Tahiti and Raiatea, it might be funny the first time, then it the best (and cheapst) way to go around. I would not take a car in PF (expeccially in Moorea).

    Don't think Bora-Bora like a big island with a lot of people around, shopping and many things to do, it's a place peaceful and quite, I would be not so worry how to get around, unless you're not going to 4/5 star hotel, excursions are at reasonable price without surcharge (i.e. I was on a motu and I paid only 500CPF *4,19 eur* the boat transfer to main island), also the smaller B&B could manage the best for you, have you asked where you're are going to? Outside the 4 or 5 star Luxury Hotel, people in FP are very friendly, you'll be surprise about that.

    nana (Bye)

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  • waverida1's Profile Photo

    Re: Getting Around Bora Bora

    by waverida1 Online Now Apr 15, 2008 at 11:30 AM

    Marianne
    The accomodations near the northern end are residences (kaloa.com/bora%20bora%20sat..... I was able to find someone renting their condo. I figured that added bit of privacy by being away from the major hotels would be nice.

    I also looked at renting a 6HP boat. I figure it's an island so it'd be fun to use a boat as transportation. The price I see for rental boats is about 10000XPF a day but I don't know what the condition of the boats is.


    Sergeyu
    We are staying there for 7 nights. Thanks for the Europcar link (www.europcar-tahiti.com). Their webpage doesn't show any prices or their Mini class for more than 8 hours but I'm sure that price is available if I sent them an email. The Economique class shows 7 days would cost 58000XPF. One item I noticed on the Europcar website is that all of the cars have manual transmission. I've never driven a manual transmission. If I had to drive a manual transmission, there'd be a lot of grinding but we'd eventually get moving. The rental cars that I've seen with automatic transmission are listed for around 14000XPF a day.


    cgf
    Nice YouTube video. When heading towards Bora Bora, which side of the plane will present the best photo opportunities?

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  • Marianne2's Profile Photo

    Re: Getting Around Bora Bora

    by Marianne2 Online Now Apr 15, 2008 at 11:56 AM

    Yes, I guessed it might be a private condo, as there are no hotels up north. BTW, that narrow area to the north, where the peninsula approaches the "motus" (islets) does get a lot of current, depending on the tides.

    A 6HP boat would be ideal for exploring, because then you could also swim and picnic off the deserted motus that line the lagoon. I couldn't attest to their condition -- probably just make certain the outboard is working fine and that there's basic safety gear included. A scooter would be another good alternative.

    As to which side of the plane to sit on, starboard immediately popped into my head. But then, in looking at the video cgf mentioned, it looked like the view might be from port side. Maybe cgf can remember which side. The video brought back lots of nice memories!

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  • Sergeyu's Profile Photo

    Re: Getting Around Bora Bora

    by Sergeyu Online Now Apr 15, 2008 at 4:10 PM

    Oh, yes, that EUROPcar , so they consider manual transmission as OK. I myslef can't drive manual too :)
    LP guide lists two other rent-a-car agencies but with ph. No only: Fare piti Rent-a-Car 67 65 28, Fredo&Fils Rent-a-Car 67 70 31.

    Sorry to say, but Bora Bora isn't about the [complete] confort, even irregarding the prices you pay - one or another issue will definetly go wrong in irritaing mananer - either logistics issue or too low service etc. - this how I see the things there, it shouldn't benchmarked e.g. to SE Asia :) But stil I go to region soon, will be on Bora Bora first days of May, so if you will not find anything in respect of rent-a-car that matches your requests, I can ask on the spot - but give me the notice before the April.

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  • Sergeyu's Profile Photo

    Re: Getting Around Bora Bora

    by Sergeyu Online Now Apr 15, 2008 at 4:13 PM

    Re : Side of the aircraft: going TO Bora Bora - the left, going FROm - the right side of teh aircraft, so you will have two options to amke pics. I made even better one leaviong BB to Huahine with my Nokia N95 5 mpix phone - the bungalow of motu hotels can bee zoomed in to see details :)

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  • cgf's Profile Photo

    Re: Getting Around Bora Bora

    by cgf Online Now Apr 16, 2008 at 5:07 AM

    probably coming from Tahiti or Raiatea on the right side of plane could be better.. then it affects the trafic control, to be FP, Bora-Bora airport is quite big and many planes go there and then go somewhere else
    as it's possible to guess on video I was at left side, I was coming from Rangiroa and I read it could be the best one.... but I did know it could not be for the flight I took for the weather, visibility and wind....


    one little advise.. learn few French words.. :-)

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  • waverida1's Profile Photo

    Re: Getting Around Bora Bora

    by waverida1 Online Now Apr 23, 2008 at 7:04 AM

    boraboraisland.com/todo/maev...
    Boat rental listed at 10600 FCP ($140 USD).

    http://www.europcar-tahiti.com/
    Renault Clio/Fiat Punto listed at 10000 XPF ($134 USD).

    AVIS
    Picanto with automatic transmission is listed at 14700 XPF ($195 USD).

    The problem with the car is that I've been told the cars have manual transmission. I don't drive manual but since I do understand the concept, I could probably make it from Point A to Point B with a LOT of grinding. :-(


    I guess we'll have to rent a boat for a week and hope it's not a rainy week. I may check to see what is needed to get a boating license so we can rent the larger 15 HP boat. It'd also be fun to rent a scooter while we're there to tour the island.

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  • Sergeyu's Profile Photo

    Re: Getting Around Bora Bora

    by Sergeyu Online Now Apr 25, 2008 at 4:08 PM

    In respect of transportation by 15 HP boats : this mean of transport, how far perceive it, is limited to daylight hours, it is until appr. 5:30pm-6pm, when it is already becoming dark. If you are planning to go out of your place in the evening then obviously another mode of transportation would be necessary. Another point whether it is possible to dock at every point where you'll wish so - not the full shoreline is suitable for that. Then what level of speed you'll achieve with this boat? I guess such boat would be fine to go on your own around the island or to some stops at motu nearby, but in general it is rarther slow, especially if the weather will be windy (June) and with strong underwater currents, I guess few hours to circle around BB. About cost, boats are usually are rather hungry for a gas, even if it's 15HP only, just need to budget that in.
    I was curious to check the Avis offer of automatic transmission , but I 've seen online it offers cars on Tahiti and other islands, not a Bora Bora?
    Whatever vehicle you'll chose for the over the land transportation, I think it is very importatnt to check with your accomodation what kind of road lead to there. I driven on BBora only between Sofitel and Matira beach, the road was paved, but on islands paved road is mostly limited to the main road or evn only its part. When I was at Virgin Gorda is. at BVI last 1km to our accomodation was taken by AWD vehicle by ave.10-15min. as the road (?) consisted mostly of holes and rocks, anything not AWD would not go through. Therefore with such quality of surface it could not possible to go with every kind of scooter or there could be limitation what kind car can recah the place, incl. limitation for taxi. It's always better to check this upfront than to find out only on arrival!

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