Culture and History Bora Bora

Bora Bora (or “Pora Pora”) emerged from the sea approximately 3 millions years ago. Like all the other Polynesian islands, this volcanic island is slowly sinking and showcase unique geological characteristics. 

Its unforgettable turquoise lagoon -where a multicolor aquatic fauna (stingrays & manta rays, sharks, tropical fish …) can be observed by outrigger canoe, boat or diving explorations- is born from the slow decline of its main volcano – Mount Otemanu (727 m)- doubled by the legendary Mount Pahia (626 m). The coral reef includes a string of pituresque islets (motu One, motu Mute, motu Piti Aau …) and gorgeous white sand beaches surrounding the main island.

The first signs of human life on the island of Bora Bora (formerly called Vavau -which may indicate that it was colonized by inhabitants of a Tonga island carrying the same name) are dated around 900 BC, just after the populating of the island of Raiatea. According to the legend, Bora Bora means “first born” because it was the first island to emerge from the waters after the creation of Raiatea. In the ancient times, it was actually called “Mai Te Pora” which literally means “created by the Gods.” Approximately 40 "marae" (ancient polynesian temples) can be found on Bora Bora – the most significant one being the marae Fare Opu which is decorated with petroglyphs.

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