Bora Bora is a tropical island that also forms part of the Leeward group of the Society Islands. These also remain a part of French Polynesia, located in the Pacific Ocean.
Bora Bora sits surrounded by a large lagoon, as well as a barrier reef. Located roughly in the center of the island is the remnant of an extinct volcano. This remnant forms two peaks, named Mount Otemanu and Mount Pahia.
This incredible location ranks as one of the most active tourist destinations on earth. Yet the number of actual residents only totals roughly 8,900.
Bora Bora Geology
Bora Bora formed from a unique geology, that actually comprises the main island and numerous surrounding islets. These actually constitute the tips of coral reefs emerging from the ocean.
There is also an atoll named Tupai, located about 12 mi (20 km) from the main island. The atoll has no permanent population. Combined, the island and islets have a total area of around 11.3 sq mi (29.3 sq km).
The atoll also adds yet another 4.2 sq mi (11 sq. km) to the total area of Bora Bora.
Bora Bora History and Economy
Bora Bora was first inhabited by settlers of Polynesian descent. This occurred around the 4th century A.D. The first known European sighting of the island occurred in 1722. The first to land was James Cook, in 1770.
The island remained an independent nation until 1888. At that time, the queen abdicated, and the island France then annexed it. During World War II, the United States used Bora Bora as a supply base. The island never saw combat, however, and the base closed in 1946.
Today, the economy of the island remains driven almost exclusively by tourism. Snorkeling and scuba diving in the lagoon and surrounding ocean serve as key attractions.