From LAX, Air Tahiti Nui and Air France offer nonstop service to Papeete, Tahiti, with Air Tahiti offering connecting service to Bora Bora. Restricted round-trip airfare begins at $1,780, including taxes and fees.
Consider using a certified Tahiti specialist to book your trip, especially if you plan to visit more than one island. French Polynesia is expensive, and a travel agent who can create a package that includes airfare, accommodations and transfers will save you money and time. For info, go to http://www.tahiti-tourisme.com/planner/travelspecialists.asp.
To call the numbers below from the U.S., dial 011 (international dialing code), 689 (the country code) and the local number.
WHERE TO STAY
Sunset Hill Lodge, BP 58 Vaitape, 98730 Bora Bora; 792-648, http://www.sunset-hill-borabora.biz. Five bungalows with kitchenettes from $63 a night, with air conditioning from $102. The two studios, they are well laid out and have a large outdoor patio.
InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa, Motu Piti Aau, 98730 Bora Bora, 607-600, http://www.ihg.com/intercontinental/hotels/gb/en/bora-bora/bobhb/hoteldetail. Over-water villas start at about $877 a night in low season.
WHERE TO EAT
Snack Matira, a beach shack with great views and picnic-style bench seating near Point Matira.
Mai Kai, 603-800, http://www.maikaimarina.com. Try the mashed potatoes and fresh fruit sorbet.
WHAT TO DO
Pure Snorkeling, 764-343, firstname.lastname@example.org. Avoid the full-day tours that include pareo-tying demonstrations, shark feeding and a mediocre lunch, and opt for this half-day tour with an emphasis on observing wildlife. $110 per person, a maximum of eight people per group.
Bora Bora Parasail, 705-662, email@example.com. Flights for one or two people start at $290 for 15 minutes (about 110 yards of rope), $388 for 25 minutes (about 330 yards of rope).
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