While most people think of Bora Bora as a beach haven with its pristine lagoon and soft sand coastlines, not many people are aware that its mountainous parts make it a good place for hiking too. You can find a few hiking trails in Bora Bora that take you to scenic overlooks and historical places.
Going hiking in Bora Bora is a fun way to spend time away from the resort and truly learn a bit more about the culture and history of the island. Try any of these trails to get beautiful views of Bora Bora and visit deeply significant places you probably won’t get a chance to see otherwise.
Valley Of The Kings Hike
If you want to partake in one of Bora Bora’s most famous hikes, you will need to go with a guide. Along the trail, you will find vegetation filled with fruit trees and even unique snake vines, which are one of the best sources of water for any unlucky traveler who gets lost. I personally tried the water from the vine and can confirm it didn’t taste too bad!
The path takes you through a lush jungle and along some of the most sacred places that have a deep significance in Bora Bora due to the history behind it. Along the path, you will find the burial site of kings and ancient villages where the Bora Bora inhabitants of times long past used to live. Read our complete experience hiking the Valley of The Kings.
This hike takes anywhere from 2 to 4 hours and is considered moderate in difficulty since you are walking through dense forests and downhill/uphill at times. The additional benefit of a tour guide is that they can explain to you some of the stories behind each of the historical monuments you see and where to look for them.
Mount Otemanu Hike
Azdine was the first guide who initially did the Mount Otemanu hike and made it into a sought out thing to do. This Bora Bora hike takes around 2.5 hours to complete going uphill with a guide. The hike downhill is much faster but isn’t without its challenges.
As you reach the top of Mount Otemanu, you will gain access to panoramic views of the surrounding motus and islands like Tahaa and Raiatea. There are ropes in place along the way to help hikers reach the top. The hike ends once you reach the famous Mount Otemanu cave. Eating lunch at the top of the cave with views all around is one thing I really like to do.
We recommend bringing a lot of water since it’s an intense hike to do, and you should be moderately fit to do it. However, those who aren’t avid hikers can also go on an ATV tour which might be a more relaxing way to enjoy it. Carefully watch the weather days before you plan on doing the hike since any rain might make the trail too slippery and dangerous to attempt.
Mata Pupu Hike
Since Bora Bora is the world’s most beautiful lagoon, then walking along the ridgeline overlooking these waters could be the world’s most beautiful island hike. The hike from the tower behind Povaie Bay across over the top of Mata Pupu and onto Mt Otemanu is simply sensational. The amazing view of the hike and its sheer beauty has left climbers who have done it speechless.
One starts some 50 meters (164 feet) south of Galerie Alain & Linda and takes an access road up to the readily apparent transmission tower. A large cement water storage plant alongside the tower offers climbers a well-earned stop. One side has views over the sensational waters surrounding Point Faaone and on to Raiatea & Tahaa. These are photos I took while hiking it:
To the other side is a panorama taking viewers from Matira to Motu Tapu & onto Vaitape with Maupiti enticing viewers from afar.
When departing from the tower, the climb takes hikers up and literally over Mata Pupu, It’s a prominent Bora Bora landmark whose cone-shaped structure reaches 235 meters (770 feet) into the skies. While enjoying the shade offered by certain overhanging foliage, you can get glimpses of Mata Pupu seen here in the foreground with the mystical & omnipresent Mt Otemanu overlooking matters.
I can’t tell you how good it feels to reach the top of Mata Pupu and gaze out at the stunningly beautiful panorama that awaits you. I’ve had hardened water enthusiasts tell me that this outing beats by far any jetski tour of the island.
Here is view out over Motu Piti Au’u (‘twice the giving’) & over Faaone Point (‘bend in the sand’) across to a distant Raiatea & Tahaa. Huahine is also actually visible though lost here in the required compression of the image.
Bora Bora’s world-renowned resorts and their overwater bungalows are all laid out before your eyes. The trial that awaits you is a gem as it’s a leisurely stroll in wonderful surrounding. Just look at it laid out before you to make you take a deep breath.
Here are a set of photos to get a feeling for the relativity of landmarks along the path and give you a greater perspective of what awaits you.
As recorded in my Raid Anei Report these outings:” are more, in fact, than a good physical hit-out amidst outstanding scenery. They can also offer the opportunity to gain an insight into the rich cultural heritage of these people through a reflection, for example, into the names given to landmarks by the ancestors of this island’s people.
We were atop Mata Pupu the sharply pointed, cone-shaped mountain piercing the skies above Povaie Bay. A common usage of the word mata is to signify a face, the face of things; pupu commonly refers to a gathering (of personages).
“Could the ‘gathering’ refer to the ‘faces’ of stones with an uncanny resemblance to tikis? Could the ‘eye’ be referring to the eye of the tikis keeping a watchful look over Raiatea, Tahaa & Huahine as a means of ‘protection’ in days gone by for Bora Bora against any planned raids”?
Here is a stone with an uncanny resemblance to the tikis of Easter Island facing the same direction as the ‘tiki’ in the distance & featured above:
A couple more close-up shots that appeared in my earlier post: The sacred island Motu Tapu and in the distance Magical Maupiti.