Article repost from Travel Leisure
Article by Stacey Leasca
August 14, 2018
Leave the Crowds in Bora Bora and Visit These 5 Secluded French Polynesian Islands Instead
When daydreaming about an escape to French Polynesia, many think first of Bora Bora, that green-and-blue blip on the radar in the Society Island chain made famous by honeymooners from all over the world. And yes, Bora Bora is a romantic’s dream come true, thanks to its eager-to-please luxury hotels and now-ubiquitous overwater bungalows, but French Polynesia is so much more than that.
I recently hopped a plane away from reality and straight to the middle of the Pacific Ocean, where I got a taste of what the region has to offer by visiting five of French Polynesia’s most distinct islands. Here’s a glimpse into what made each of the islands unforgettable — and a breakdown of the best spots for every type of traveler.
Taha’a: For the Wellness Traveler
The only way to get to Taha’a is by boat, and that boat also only docks at the end of a restaurant. If you can pass through without ordering a meal, then bless your soul because it smells too good to be true. But we were on a mission, so we swiftly exited to get to our next hotel destination: Le Taha’a Island Resort and Spa.
What we learned almost immediately is that there really isn’t anything to do on Taha’a island, except sit back, relax, and enjoy the view of Bora Bora just a few miles away. And there’s no better place to do it than right from the end of the hotel’s overwater bungalows. Be ambitious and get up with the sun, and you’ll be handsomely rewarded with a sky that turns a mixed shade of burnt orange, red, and pink that you didn’t even know was possible.
Of course, if you’re really ambitious, you can also book a Tahiti Air Charter flight like we did, which will pick you up at the end of the hotel’s dock and take you away on a stunning 10-minute flight over Bora Bora.
The plane is about the size of a car, so it’s certainly not for the faint of heart, but on our return trip, we spotted what we thought was a mirage: a massive, angelic manta ray floating under the clear blue water below. Watching it drift and flap its wings made us feel like we were in a Disney movie — and made the turbulent water landing well worth it.
When we returned, the hotel invited us to take a sunset glide down its own lazy river. The hotel is built along a small inlet, which is covered from side to side with a coral reef. The natural tide makes it the ideal destination to walk to the end, hop in, and float right back to your room. That’s how relaxing this island really is. You don’t even need to swim. And, because of its location, it’s like you’re getting the Bora Bora experience, minus the crowds and still teeming with marine life below.
How to get there: Fly Air Tahiti Nui
Where to stay: Le Taha’a Island Resort and Spa
What to do: Take a Tahiti Air Charter
See the whole article here.