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10 interesting facts about Bora Bora

  • The original name for the Polynesian people of Bora Bora is Pora, which means “first born“.


  • It is also known in Polynesia as Mai te pora, which means “created by the gods“.


  • You will no doubt have noticed that the difference between Bora and Pora comes down to a single letter. This happened because there is no “b” as we know it in their language, hence the change.


  • Bora Bora was formed from what is known in geology as a volcanic hot spot. This means a point through which magma emerges through a volcano from the earth’s mantle and causes emerged regions to form above sea level. The same thing happened in the Canary Islands and the Galapagos Islands. Amazing, isn’t it?


  • The capital and biggest population center of Bora Bora is Vaitape, located on the coast in the western part of the island. It has around 5,000 inhabitants, or roughly half the population of Bora Bora.


  • The highest mountain in Bora Bora is the 2,385-foot-high Mount Otemanu. The elevation gain is considerable but you don’t need to climb to the top. There are several highly-recommended routes with interesting visits such as the Otemanu Cave.


  • Bora Bora airport is not located on the main island but on one of the many small islands that surround it. It is called Motu (which means island) Mute and gives the airport its name. Remember that if you arrive in Bora Bora by air you will need to use a water transport service if you want to go to the main island or even to leave the motu.


  • Bora Bora lagoon is a surprising place. For example, on December 5th 2018 the region’s armed forces disarmed ammunition that had been sunk in the lagoon since World War II. These types of activity are common in Polynesia due to the enormous influx of military forces into its archipelagos during World War II, so much so that there were seven such incidents between 2011 and 2018.


  • Bora Bora has an extremely youthful population. Some 50% of the inhabitants are under 30 and it was even younger a couple of decades ago when the proportion of youths in the population exceeded 60%.


  • There is a very high probability that you will visit Bora Bora if you travel to French Polynesia. It should be mandatory. Bora Bora, in fact, is the second most-visited island by tourists who come to the Society Islands, preceded only by Tahiti. Specifically, 101,609 tourists visited Bora Bora in 2014, only 18,719 fewer than those who visited Tahiti.


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