Hiking in Bora Bora is a demanding and quite sportive activity. The main island is indeed quite vertical and reaching the summits on foot requires an excellent physical condition. At the end of the effort, the panoramas on the lagoon are fantastic but you have to earn the mountain in Bora Bora. The Pearl of the Pacific and its dreamy landscapes await you. On the program: sporty climbs but also more peaceful paths.

Demands of Mountain Hiking

Exploring the mountains requires a high level of physical fitness. Most hiking trips involve steep and rugged terrain. Hikers will often have to use their hands to continue the ascent and even ropes hung on the walls. At the limit of climbing, it is a journey in the middle of forbidden and for a long time neglected lands.

View of the Bora Bora lagoon

On Top of Mount Ohue: An Extraordinary View

Starting from the village of Vaitape, this five-kilometer round trip hike is quite physical. Mount Ohue culminates at 620 m. Some passages are technical and even difficult. However, experienced hikers will find it an exciting challenge. The strong difference in level invites to a concentration of all the moments and the adrenalin is well with the appointment. At a cautious pace, the fairly well-marked path crosses a green forest with its lush vegetation. On the heights, the viewpoints reward the effort and allow to take exceptional pictures.

The most experienced hikers can continue the adventure and try to reach the nearby summit of Mount Pahia. On a path that is less and less convenient, they will climb a few dozen more meters to enjoy a new breathtaking viewpoint.

Panorama from Anau cave, Bora Bora

Anau Cave: Most Beautiful Hike in Bora Bora

Mount Otemanu is the highest point of Bora Bora. As much as the lagoon, this mysterious mountain belongs to the natural heritage of the romantic island. If reaching its summit is more a matter of climbing than hiking, walkers can however reach the Anau cave which is located at its base. Starting from the village of the same name on the west coast of Bora Bora, count on up to 2 hours of ascent and at least 30 minutes more for stops and breaks.

The last section of the hike is more technical and caution is required. Then finally, the goal is reached. The Anau cave goes deep into the belly of Mount Otemanu. The setting is monumental: the walls of volcanic rock rise to the heights at nearly 20 m. The sight is also impressive. It is an absolutely sublime view of the lagoon and the tiny overwater bungalows in Bora Bora. It is perhaps from the Anau cave that the shades of blue on the lagoon waters are best seen.

Recommendations Before Hiking in Bora Bora

Hiking trail overlooking the lagoon of Bora Bora

Preferably, plan your hike very early in the morning to avoid the heat. In any case, plan about one liter of water per hour and per person, as well as a cap to protect yourself from the sun. You must also take into account the weather of the previous days. In dry weather, the volcanic soil tends to crumble underfoot, causing possible slips on sloping ground. If it rains or has rained, the safety conditions can no longer be met. The activity will have to be postponed or canceled.

Although you don’t necessarily have to be a top athlete, you need to be in good physical condition. Without preparation, the climb can quickly become tiring. Also, hiking in Bora Bora will not suit for a family with young children. In addition, you will need a GPS or a detailed map of the island. Because of the dense and lush nature, the trails are not easy to find.

Another important aspect to consider is the void. Some passages are impressive. If the ascent is already a small feat, the descent is perhaps even more problematic. A person prone to vertigo will prefer a more peaceful and less vertical hike.

For reasons of safety and comfort, we recommend going hiking in Bora Bora mountains with a trekking guide. The company of a mountain professional will make the experience enjoyable and he will share with you his knowledge of the environment and Polynesian legends.

More Peaceful Alternatives: Walks and Strolls

Hiking can take the form of a more contemplative excursion. On Bora Bora, there is no lack of unusual places. These cultural outings are an excellent opportunity to discover the local historical heritage.

Valley of the Kings: Legends and Stories in the Heart of the Island

Visit the Valley of the Kings and the Tree of Souls in Bora Bora

Starting from the village of Faanui, a hike of a few kilometers takes you inland to the sacred places of ancient Bora Bora. This short 4-kilometer round trip is a pleasant walk in which children will not fail to participate. The visual is extraordinary and invites to think about the harmony between nature and men. As a guided tour, this hike is one of the best things to do in Bora Bora.

In the heart of the dense vegetation, the marae reminds us of the distant time before the French colonization. These stone platforms were both places of power and organization of Polynesian society. Long forgotten, these relics now belong to the cultural heritage of the island. The exploration continues with the presence of an almost unreal tree: a huge Pacific banyan. This fantastic plant has grown over ten meters, forming a gigantic structure with impressive roots. The tree of souls shelters the bones of the ancient kings of the island. On Bora Bora, nature has a mysterious side.

The Cannons of the Second World War: Back to the Past

American Cannons dating from World War II in Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Still starting from the village of Faanui, a short walk allows you to reach a nice viewpoint. The route is easy to follow for a little less than two kilometers. As you continue along the ridge, two American cannons dating from the Second World War appear. Positioned in the direction of the pass opening onto the ocean, they were intended to prevent a possible Japanese attack on Bora Bora.

These relics of the past remind us that the contemporary history of Bora Bora is intimately linked to the American presence during the conflict. At that time, the island hosted large military installations, including the current airport. The dreaded attack never took place and the cannons remained silent. It is therefore an unusual place to discover during a relaxing hike.

Touring the Island on Foot, by Bike or by Quad

The more adventurous hikers can undertake a tour of the island on foot. The itinerary does not present any difficulty. However, Bora Bora has a circumference of nearly 30 kilometers and such a tour requires a full day. It is an opportunity to discover the daily life on the island, meet its inhabitants and why not visit the stores in search of a souvenir to bring back.

Walking along the coastal road is not the only option. A first alternative will be to rent a means of transportation (bike, scooter, car). This allows you to explore several points of interest on the island without getting too tired. The second possibility is to join an organized tour by jeep or quad. Of course, it is no longer a question of hiking. But the important thing in Bora Bora is that everyone can enjoy the island at their own pace and according to their desires.

Bora Bora and its lagoon

Hiking in Bora Bora: An Atypical and Rewarding Activity

When it comes to hiking, the Pearl of the Pacific is as enigmatic as it is challenging. The tours offer unforgettable views as well as a true immersion in the natural and cultural heritage of the island. For obvious safety reasons, it is preferable to use the services of a professional for mountain excursions.

Will you now be tempted by scuba diving ? Or perhaps you would rather relax with a massage session in one of the spas in Bora Bora? There is no shortage of activities. To benefit from our advice and itineraries in Bora Bora and French Polynesia, please contact us.