The dazzling colors of the blue and turquoise water and the iconic overwater bungalows captivate you upon descent into Bora Bora, an island in French Polynesia, just a few hours beyond Hawaii. Although it is known to attract honeymooners with its romantic setting, Bora Bora is rapidly becoming a destination where the younger folk are welcome, too, especially during the school breaks, as my family did this past winter. The overwater bungalows, the scuba diving and the Turtle Center at Le Meridien are three good reasons why families should put Tahiti on their vacation radar.
The overwater bungalows at Le Meridien delight upon entrance with the glass floor showcasing the fish swimming in the water below. Tastefully decorated in the Polynesian style with romantic mosquito-netted beds, the balcony French doors open to the warm, calm, crystal clear turquoise water and stunning views of the jagged remnant of a lush green ancient volcano beyond. My three active teenage boys enjoyed launching themselves into the water from their separate bungalow next door, swimming amongst the fish in one of the most beautiful lagoons in the world.
As we were recently certified as Open Water Divers (kids can be certified as Junior Open Water Divers as early as 10) we were looking for a diving destination, promising great sea life. Bora Bora did not disappoint; the TopDive dive center provided my family with the best diving experience ever, as their instructors are professional, fun and patient and even inspired my 18 year old to advance his diving to the next level. Swimming together with the sharks and manta rays was an unforgettable family experience!
An added bonus for children/teens at Le Meridien is their impressive ecological center, dedicated to the protection and rehabilitation of turtles. They offer a program, “Biologist for a Day,” in which two of my boys participated. Swimming with the turtles was their privilege as “healers,” as well as assisting staff in their care and feeding.
We left Bora Bora, probably the most beautiful place I have ever seen, with some of my favorite family memories ever. It is still there, in all its surreal beauty, waiting to offer you and your family an unforgettable vacation for everyone.