When in Rome, do as the Romans do. And when in Bora Bora, do as the Polynesians do.
Patrick’s tour in Bora Bora is not to be missed. When we went to the islands in 2006, I lusted after the thought of a private tour through the crystal clear lagoons of French Polynesia. Authentic outrigger canoe, lobster cooked on the beach and the scent of fresh gardenias flowing through the air. It sounded like heaven. And it was. Although we didn’t get to go on our first visit, this past visit we made it a priority.
While “Maohi Nui” is the tour’s technical name, around the islands and the hospitality industry, “Patrick’s Tour” is how it’s known. From the moment the guides pick you up, you know you are in for a treat.
We chose the 3/4 day tour, complete with adult beverages and beach barbecue. Our first stop was the always impressive Coral Gardens. In the 20ft deep bay, mounds of colorful coral heads stand like skyscrapers among a sea of vibrant fish. If you’ve ever thought snorkeling in the Caribbean was great, prepare to be spoiled. Everywhere you look, schools of exotic fish swim by you like they are late for an appointment. Purples, reds, yellow, turqoise, lime green… all colors more vibrant than the best rainbow you’ve ever laid eyes on.
After leaving the coral gardens, our tour guides, Toby and Mareto took us to swim with stingrays on a beautiful sandbar. If you have ever been to Sting Ray City in the Cayman Islands, this is a lot like that but with much bigger rays. Also, they are fairly aggressive, but still gentle creatures.
Not only does the tour take you outside the barrier reefs to swim with black fin and lemon sharks, Patrick’s Tour also has a private island where they cook a delicious lunch of fresh lobster, tuna, chicken and local fruits/veggies. All of this is served to you on a picnic table submerged in the lagoons paired with a glass of champagne and a magnificent view.
Overall, the tour was well worth the $120 a person for 6 hours. I would highly recommend Maohi Nui Tours to everyone who is in the French Polynesia area. You can also book the private tour with 2 people or have a group of up to 12. The price varies accordingly.
So, until you make it out with Patrick, I’ll leave you with some of the great images we captured on the trip.