The first European to have visited Tahiti according to existing records was lieutenant Samuel Wallis, who was circumnavigating the globe in HMS Dolphin,[16] sighting the island on 18 June 1767,[17] and eventually harbouring in Matavai Bay. This bay was situated on the territory of the chiefdom of Pare-Arue, governed by Tu (Tu-nui-e-a'a-i-te-Atua) and his regent Tutaha, and the chiefdom of Ha'apape, governed by Amo and his wife "Oberea" (Purea). Wallis named the island King George's Island. The first contacts were difficult, since on the 24 and 26 June 1767,[18] Tahitian warriors in canoes showed aggression towards the British, hurling stones from their slings. In retaliation, the British sailors opened fire on the warriors in the canoes and on the hills. In reaction to this powerful counter-attack, the Tahitians laid down peace offerings for the British.[18] Following this episode, Samuel Wallis was able to establish cordial relations with the female chieftain "Oberea " (Purea) and remained on the island until 27 July 1767.[11]:45–84,104,135
A clan was composed of a chief (ari'i rahi), nobles (ari'i) and under-chiefs ( 'Īato'ai). The ari'i, considered descendants of the Polynesian gods, were full of mana (spiritual power). They traditionally wore belts of red feathers, symbols of their power. The chief of the clan did not have absolute power. Councils or general assemblies had to be called composed of the ari'i and the 'Īato'ai, especially in case of war.[9]
Although various explorers had refused to get involved in tribal conflicts, the mutineers from Bounty offered their services as mercenaries and furnished arms to the family which became the Pōmare Dynasty. The chief Tū knew how to use their presence in the harbours favoured by sailors to his advantage. As a result of his alliance with the mutineers, he succeeded in considerably increasing his supremacy over the island of Tahiti.
The island's economy is driven almost solely by tourism. Several resorts have been built on motu (small islands, from Tahitian) surrounding the lagoon. Hotel Bora Bora opened in 1961, and nine years later built the first over-the-water bungalows on stilts over the lagoon.[10] Today, over-water bungalows are a standard feature of most Bora Bora resorts. The quality of those bungalows ranges from comparably cheap, basic accommodations to very luxurious and expensive.
In 1827, the young Pōmare III suddenly died, and it was his half-sister, 'Aimata, aged thirteen, who took the title of Pōmare IV. The Birmingham born missionary George Pritchard, who was the acting British consul, became her main adviser and tried to interest her in the affairs of the kingdom. But the authority of the Queen, who was certainly less charismatic than her father, was challenged by the chiefs, who had won back an important part of their prerogatives since the death of Pōmare II. The power of the Pōmare had become more symbolic than real, time and time again Queen Pōmare, Protestant and anglophile, sought in vain the protection of England.[9]
In July 1768, Captain James Cook was commissioned by the Royal Society and on orders from the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to observe the transit of Venus across the sun, a phenomenon that would be visible from Tahiti on 3 June 1769.[21] He arrived in Tahiti's Matavai Bay, commanding HMS Endeavour on 12 April 1769.[22][11]:141 On 14 April, Cook met with Tutaha and Tepau.[11]:144 On 15 April, Cook picked the site for a fortified camp at Point Venus along with Banks, Parkinson, Daniel Solander, to protect Charles Green's observatory.[11]:147 The length of stay enabled them to undertake for the first time real ethnographic and scientific observations of the island. Assisted by the botanist Joseph Banks, and by the artist Sydney Parkinson, Cook gathered valuable information on the fauna and flora, as well as the native society, language and customs, including the proper name of the island, 'Otaheite'. On 28 April, Cook met Purea and Tupaia, and Tupaia befriended Banks following the transit. On 21 June, Amo visited Cook, and then on 25 June, Pohuetea visited, signifying another chief seeking to ally himself with the British.[11]:154–155,175,183–185
The commune of Bora-Bora is made up of the island of Bora Bora proper with its surrounding islets emerging from the coral reef, 29.3 km2 (11.3 sq mi) in total. The surrounding islets include Motu Tapu, Motu Ahuna, Tevairoa, Motu Tane, Motu Mute, Motu Tufari, Motu Tehotu, Motu Pitiaau, Sofitel Motu, Motu Toopua, and Toopuaiti. The commune also includes the Tūpai atoll. (11 km2 or 4.2 sq mi), located 20 kilometres (12 mi) north of Bora Bora. The atoll of Tūpai has no permanent population apart from about 50 workers in the coconut plantations.
The first years proved hard work for the missionaries, despite their association with the Pōmare, the importance of whom they were aware of thanks to the reports of earlier sailors. In 1803, upon the death of Pōmare I, his son Vaira'atoa succeeded him and took the title of Pomare II. He allied himself more and more with the missionaries, and from 1803 they taught him reading and the Gospels. Furthermore, the missionaries encouraged his wish to conquer his opponents, so that they would only have to deal with a single political contact, enabling them to develop Christianity in a unified country.[9] The conversion of Pōmare II to Protestantism in 1812 marks moreover the point when Protestantism truly took off on the island.

Huahine is immaculately tropical and effortlessly Polynesian. Lush and scarcely developed, this is an island to visit for extreme calm, communing with nature and a genuine taste of culture. There are plenty of opportunities for diving, surfing, snorkelling, exploring top-notch archaeological sites and horse riding, but the beauty of this place is just how easy it is to relax and do very little at all. The days go by, your skin gets a little darker and your smile a little wider.
Archaeology enthusiast or not, book a tour with Paul Atallah from Island Eco Tours and enjoy an educational and insightful discovery of Polynesia's past. Just outside Maeve Village you will find the largest stone temple with hundreds of excavated structures and many more still uncovered. In the nearby Lake Fauna Nui, visit the ancient stone fish traps considered so sacred that only descendants of the Tahitian royal family can remove them. Lastly, climb Matairea Hill and encounter remnants of countless religious and ceremonial monuments. You can also watch a feeding of the sacred blue-eyed eels in a freshwater lake near the town of Faie.
In the 1790s, whalers began landing at Tahiti during their fishing expeditions in the southern hemisphere. The arrival of these whalers, who were subsequently joined by merchants coming from the penal colonies in Australia, marked the first major overturning of traditional Tahitian society. The crews introduced alcohol, arms and illnesses into the island, and encouraged prostitution, which brought with it venereal disease. These first exchanges with westerners had catastrophic consequences for the Tahitian population, which shrank rapidly, ravaged by diseases. So many Tahitians were killed by disease in fact that by 1797, the population was only 16,000. Later it was to drop as low as 6,000.[27]
Because we care about your preferences, we let you choose what matters the most to you. Choose the office close to your location or get your vacations built by local experts based in Tahiti. By choosing the US agency, your request will be treated by Pacific Islands (based in Los Angeles, and licensed as California Seller of Travel # 2098768-40). If you decide to choose our local experts, your request will be processed by travel agents living in Tahiti and regularly visiting accommodations and updated on new excursions or services.
Archaeology enthusiast or not, book a tour with Paul Atallah from Island Eco Tours and enjoy an educational and insightful discovery of Polynesia's past. Just outside Maeve Village you will find the largest stone temple with hundreds of excavated structures and many more still uncovered. In the nearby Lake Fauna Nui, visit the ancient stone fish traps considered so sacred that only descendants of the Tahitian royal family can remove them. Lastly, climb Matairea Hill and encounter remnants of countless religious and ceremonial monuments. You can also watch a feeding of the sacred blue-eyed eels in a freshwater lake near the town of Faie.
The income generated through these means helps ensure Bora Bora Island Guide can devote the time to providing you with all the free and fabulous information & resources you'll find here. If you would like to support us, you can  purchase our book full of over 100 pages of money saving tips or find out the best activities, resorts, dining and beaches in our Best of Bora Bora book or buy our 2018 Bora Bora calendar.
The island equivalent to the Garden of Eden, Huahine is an immense tropical jungle thriving with coconut plantations, vanilla orchids, banana groves, breadfruit trees and watermelon fields. Beyond its lush landscapes and bright blooms, Huahine is also a culturally preserved sanctuary with sacred temples hidden throughout dense vegetation. Undoubtedly, this island will leave you spellbound.

A clan was composed of a chief (ari'i rahi), nobles (ari'i) and under-chiefs ( 'Īato'ai). The ari'i, considered descendants of the Polynesian gods, were full of mana (spiritual power). They traditionally wore belts of red feathers, symbols of their power. The chief of the clan did not have absolute power. Councils or general assemblies had to be called composed of the ari'i and the 'Īato'ai, especially in case of war.[9]

Many of us dream of spending a honeymoon or romantic retreat in an overwater bungalow, and if you've seen photos of thatched-huts on stilts overlooking a clear lagoon with striking green mountains behind them, chances are you were looking at Bora Bora in the South Pacific. After a 50-minute flight from Tahiti, you'll reach an island group featuring 10 overwater bungalow resorts.
The Viceroy of Peru, Manuel de Amat y Juniet, following the instructions of the Spanish Crown, organised an expedition to settle and colonise the island in 1772, largely to prevent other powers from gaining a base in the Pacific from which to attack the coast of Peru, but also to evangelise. He sent two expeditions under the command of navigator Domingo de Bonechea, the first in 1772, aboard Aguila. Four Tahitians, Pautu, Tipitipia, Heiao and Tetuanui, accompanied Bonechea on his return voyage to Peru in 1773.[11]:236–256,325
However, the island saw no combat as the American presence on Bora Bora went uncontested over the course of the war. The base was officially closed on 2 June 1946. The World War II airstrip was never able to accommodate large aircraft, but it nonetheless was French Polynesia's only international airport until Faa'a International Airport opened next to Papeete, Tahiti, in 1960.[8]
Indulge your tropical wanderlust with French Polynesian flair at The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort. Stay in the largest overwater villas in the South Pacific, starting at 1,550 square feet, and revel in the turquoise blue waters visible from the glass panels placed throughout. For ultimate privacy, reserve a secluded beach villa surrounded by lush palms. Each individual villa features unique amenities including spacious terraces with gazebos, whirlpools or plunge pools. Explore Bora Bora easily from our luxury resort. Sail around the island’s azure waters, or dive under to meet black tip reef sharks and rays up close. After your island adventure, swim in our Lagoonarium, workout in the fitness center, or unwind with a spa treatment. Order a cocktail at the swim-up bar, or sample international and Polynesian-inspired cuisine at our four restaurants. With its beautiful surroundings and refined amenities, our resort also offers an awe-inspiring backdrop for destination weddings, honeymoons and company retreats.
The Tahitians believed in the afterlife, a paradise called Rohutu-no'ano'a. When a Tahitian died, the barkcloth wrapped corpse was placed on a funeral bier, fare tupapa 'u, which was a raised canoe awning on posts surrounded by bamboo. Food for the gods was placed nearby to prevent them from eating the body, which would condemn the spirit to the underworld. Mourners would slash themselves with shark's teeth and the blood smeared on barkcloth placed nearby. Most importantly, the Chief Mourner, donned the parae, an elaborate costume composed of an iridescent mask made of four polished pearl shell discs. One disk was black signifying Po, the spirit world, while one was white, signifying Ao, the world of people. A crown of red feathers signified 'Oro. A curved wooden board, pautu, below the mask contained five polished pearl shells, which signified Hina, the moon goddess. Hanging below were more shells in rows, ahu-parau, signifying the Pleiades, considered to be the eyes of former chiefs. Finally, a ceremonial garment, tiputa, covered the body and was decorated with an apron of polished coconut shells, ahu-'aipu.[11]:151-152,177-179,308
Located on the northern coast of Bora Bora sits five overwater bungalows, with four of them available for public booking. Three of these bungalows, titled Brando's Overwater Bungalow, Marlon's Over Water Hidaway and The Black Pearl, are all owned by the same couple, making it easy to book more than one at a time if you're interested. The fourth bungalow is owned by a different couple. All of them, however, are kid friendly, which helps to attract more families to the island.
Because we care about your preferences, we let you choose what matters the most to you. Choose the office close to your location or get your vacations built by local experts based in Tahiti. By choosing the US agency, your request will be treated by Pacific Islands (based in Los Angeles, and licensed as California Seller of Travel # 2098768-40). If you decide to choose our local experts, your request will be processed by travel agents living in Tahiti and regularly visiting accommodations and updated on new excursions or services.
The commune of Bora-Bora is made up of the island of Bora Bora proper with its surrounding islets emerging from the coral reef, 29.3 km2 (11.3 sq mi) in total. The surrounding islets include Motu Tapu, Motu Ahuna, Tevairoa, Motu Tane, Motu Mute, Motu Tufari, Motu Tehotu, Motu Pitiaau, Sofitel Motu, Motu Toopua, and Toopuaiti. The commune also includes the Tūpai atoll. (11 km2 or 4.2 sq mi), located 20 kilometres (12 mi) north of Bora Bora. The atoll of Tūpai has no permanent population apart from about 50 workers in the coconut plantations.

"Tahiti" is a common name for French Polynesia, a country consisting of the 118 islands in the South Pacific. It's also a name of the island with this group. Bora Bora, Tahiti and Moorea are the most popular islands in French Polynesia, yet every island offers a multitude of possibilities: a dive in Rangiroa, a hike in Moorea, an encounter with manta rays in Bora Bora, a swim in Tahiti's waterfalls or a chance to enjoy Polynesian culture in Raiatea ...

Forest habitats on Bora Bora on the slopes of Mount Otemanu are quite diverse in gastropod life in comparison to other islands. Several species of endemic or native species existed in great numbers until relatively recently during the introductions of Lissachatina, Euglandina, and various flatworms which decimated populations of Partula lutea (an endemic partulid species that became extinct in the late 1990's)[14], Samoana attenuata (a species once native to Bora Bora but later not found in surveys of the island[15]), and Mautodontha boraborensis (a critically endangered species as of 1996 but most likely extinct, as it was last seen in the 1880's[16]). The above listed native and endemic species were mostly restricted to virgin forest, and the only species that remain common (perhaps even extant) are several subulinids and tornatellinids among others, including Orobophana pacifica (a helicinid).[17] 

Located on the northern coast of Bora Bora sits five overwater bungalows, with four of them available for public booking. Three of these bungalows, titled Brando's Overwater Bungalow, Marlon's Over Water Hidaway and The Black Pearl, are all owned by the same couple, making it easy to book more than one at a time if you're interested. The fourth bungalow is owned by a different couple. All of them, however, are kid friendly, which helps to attract more families to the island.

Indulge your tropical wanderlust with French Polynesian flair at The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort. Stay in the largest overwater villas in the South Pacific, starting at 1,550 square feet, and revel in the turquoise blue waters visible from the glass panels placed throughout. For ultimate privacy, reserve a secluded beach villa surrounded by lush palms. Each individual villa features unique amenities including spacious terraces with gazebos, whirlpools or plunge pools. Explore Bora Bora easily from our luxury resort. Sail around the island’s azure waters, or dive under to meet black tip reef sharks and rays up close. After your island adventure, swim in our Lagoonarium, workout in the fitness center, or unwind with a spa treatment. Order a cocktail at the swim-up bar, or sample international and Polynesian-inspired cuisine at our four restaurants. With its beautiful surroundings and refined amenities, our resort also offers an awe-inspiring backdrop for destination weddings, honeymoons and company retreats.

Bora Bora is arguably one of the world's most beautiful islands, showcasing white-sand beaches, impossibly clear seas and lush terrain covered in fragrant hibiscus trees and swaying palms. From honeymooners to families, The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort offers travelers to French Polynesia easy access to the island's best attractions, including unique recreational activities, delicious dining and nearby shopping venues.
In July, the Heivā festival in Papeete celebrates Polynesian culture and the commemoration of the storming of the Bastille in Paris. After the establishment of the CEP (Centre d'Experimentation du Pacifique) in 1963, the standard of living in French Polynesia increased considerably and many Polynesians abandoned traditional activities and emigrated to the urban centre of Pape'ete. Even though the standard of living is elevated (due mainly to French foreign direct investment), the economy is reliant on imports. At the cessation of CEP activities, France signed the Progress Pact with Tahiti to compensate the loss of financial resources and assist in education and tourism with an investment of about US$150 million a year from the beginning of 2006.
In the 1820s, the entire population of Tahiti converted to Protestantism. Duperrey, who berthed in Tahiti in May 1823, attests to the change in Tahitian society in a letter dated 15 May 1823: "The missionaries of the Royal Society of London have totally changed the morals and customs of the inhabitants. Idolatry no longer exists among them, and they generally profess the Christian religion. The women no longer come aboard the vessel, and even when we meet them on land they are extremely reserved. (...) The bloody wars that these people used to carry out and human sacrifices have no longer taken place since 1816."[29]
In July, the Heivā festival in Papeete celebrates Polynesian culture and the commemoration of the storming of the Bastille in Paris. After the establishment of the CEP (Centre d'Experimentation du Pacifique) in 1963, the standard of living in French Polynesia increased considerably and many Polynesians abandoned traditional activities and emigrated to the urban centre of Pape'ete. Even though the standard of living is elevated (due mainly to French foreign direct investment), the economy is reliant on imports. At the cessation of CEP activities, France signed the Progress Pact with Tahiti to compensate the loss of financial resources and assist in education and tourism with an investment of about US$150 million a year from the beginning of 2006.
Located on the northern coast of Bora Bora sits five overwater bungalows, with four of them available for public booking. Three of these bungalows, titled Brando's Overwater Bungalow, Marlon's Over Water Hidaway and The Black Pearl, are all owned by the same couple, making it easy to book more than one at a time if you're interested. The fourth bungalow is owned by a different couple. All of them, however, are kid friendly, which helps to attract more families to the island.
More than just a romantic ideal, Bora Bora is a romantic reality. It comes as no surprise that the island is an internationally acclaimed honeymoon destination. Our newlyweds who decide on a Bora Bora honeymoon often feel as though they have escaped to a private oasis tailored entirely to their special moment of marital bliss—and anyone in the midst of planning a wedding can relate to just how enticing that sounds.  

Located on the northern coast of Bora Bora sits five overwater bungalows, with four of them available for public booking. Three of these bungalows, titled Brando's Overwater Bungalow, Marlon's Over Water Hidaway and The Black Pearl, are all owned by the same couple, making it easy to book more than one at a time if you're interested. The fourth bungalow is owned by a different couple. All of them, however, are kid friendly, which helps to attract more families to the island.

Overwater bungalows were first invented in the South Pacific (in Moorea, off Tahiti, to be specific), and this is still the premiere destination for overwater resorts. But if you aren't close to the South Pacific then you should probably also consider the Maldives. Water villas in the Maldives, as they are called there, can be found at over 80 different resorts. This string of islands just south of India has most of the world's water bungalows, and as a result they also have the most competition and the best value.


In 1843, the Queen's Protestant advisor, Pritchard, persuaded her to display the Tahitian flag in place of the flag of the Protectorate.[33] By way of reprisal, Admiral Dupetit-Thouars announced the annexation of the Kingdom of Pōmare on 6 November 1843 and set up the governor Armand Joseph Bruat there as the chief of the new colony. He threw Pritchard into prison, and later sent him back to Britain. The annexation caused the Queen to be exiled to the Leeward Islands, and after a period of troubles, a real Franco-Tahitian war began in March 1844. News of Tahiti reached Europe in early 1844. The French statesman François Guizot, supported by King Louis-Philippe of France, had denounced annexation of the island.
The Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa is a 5-star resort hotel that offers stunning views of Bora Bora and its lagoon. It's located on a small islet that is a fast & free 5-minute boat ride to the main island, making it perhaps the best of both worlds, with privacy and seclusion, but also with the ability to get elsewhere on Bora Bora quickly if needed.
I must say….That Tahiti Nui Travel certainly took great care of me !!!! Everything they did for me……was most definitely…..”TOP NOTCH” !!!! I believe I mentioned how the Heiva seats were excellent as well !!! …..Plus, the Friday night buffet dinner…..didn’t end until probably 10.00pm……So, I was thrilled, when the waitress spoke to the buffet manager, and he took it upon himself to contact Tahiti Nui Travel to ask them to delay picking me up to take me to the airport a half hour, so that I could watch most of the Coco Hotahota’s group performance !!! How extraordinarily thoughtful, attentive, and professional !!! A perfect way to end my South Pacific journey !!!
The war ended in December 1846 in favour of the French. The Queen returned from exile in 1847 and agreed to sign a new covenant, considerably reducing her powers, while increasing those of the commissaire. The French nevertheless still reigned over the Kingdom of Tahiti as masters. In 1863, they put an end to the British influence and replaced the British Protestant Missions with the Société des missions évangéliques de Paris (Society of Evangelical Missions of Paris).
During his final visit, Cook returned Ma'i to Tahiti on 12 August 1777, after Ma'i's long visit in England. Cook also brought two Maori from Queen Charlotte Sound, Te Weherua and Koa. Cook first harboured in Vaitepiha Bay, where he visited Vehiatua II's funeral bier and the prefabricated Spanish mission house. Cook also met Vehiatua III, and inscribed on the back of the Spanish cross, Georgius tertius Rex Annis 1767, 69, 73, 74 & 77, as a counterpoint to Christus Vincit Carolus III imperat 1774 on the front. On 23 August, Cook sailed for Matavai Bay, where he met Tu, his father Teu, his mother Tetupaia, his brothers Ari'ipaea and Vaetua, and his sisters Ari'ipaea-vahine, Tetua-te-ahama'i, and Auo. Cook also observed a human sacrifice, ta'ata tapu, at the 'Utu-'ai-mahurau marae, and 49 skulls from previous victims.[11]:405,419–435
A trip to Bora Bora and Tahiti is your ticket to discover a new and colorful world. Lush green mountains, crystal clear lagoons and romantic overwater bungalows are awaiting you in this idyllic part of the world. Just looking at the images of Bora Bora makes you want to leave everything behind and fully immerse in this world of beauty and tranquility. It's no surprise Tahiti is a bucket list destination for many people, and a honeymoon in Bora Bora is the dream of many brides and grooms.

Also commonly referred to as the “secret island,” the “authentic island” and the “secluded island,” many charming adjectives come to mind when mentioning Huahine, and for obvious reasons. The island is a delicious cocktail of Polynesian sceneries and ambiance. Find natural beauty, experience intense encounters with the population, explore the infinite possibilities for adventure and relaxation, alike. Huahine is an island “to live,” an island “to feel.” The famous local singer and painter Bobby Holcomb has chosen this small piece of land where joy and smiles are always around.
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