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If you’re hoping to let down your guard around the little ones, then look no further than this destination. Bora Bora is a small, safe haven where families can experience nature the luxurious way. Take the kids swimming with sea turtles, go on an outrigger adventure, visit underwater pearl farms, experience a French Polynesian show and don’t forget to look up at the stars. These are our Forbes Travel Guide editors’ favorite family picks:
1. Swim with sea turtles. Bora Bora’s Le Méridien resort is home to the Turtle Sanctuary where the endangered species is making a comeback. Rent snorkeling gear with your kids and watch these passive creatures troll by in their natural habitat. Learn more about conservation methods and enjoy viewing a range of baby turtles in their floating nests just outside the lagoon. Even if you’re not staying at Le Méridien, your concierge can schedule this excursion. It’s well worth the 10-minute boat ride.
2. Plan an outrigger outing. French Polynesian’s traditional form of transportation is a fun way to explore offshore. Outrigger boats can seat two to four people and are a snap to maneuver. They look like canoes with a water ski attached to the side to help stabilize the vessel, often banded together with palm leaves. The waters surrounding Bora Bora are calm and kids will appreciate this ancient experience in a world of such high-speed travel.
3. Visit the Pearl Farm. Kids will be captivated as they learn how a pearl goes from being a bit of sand to becoming a valuable jewel. The Bora Pearl Company was founded in 1966 and offers tours where your family can dive into shallow waters to retrieve your own oyster. Then, wait in anticipation as it is cracked open—if there’s a pearl inside, then it’s your to keep forever.
4. Treat your family to a French Polynesian show. Kids will enjoy a feast for the eyes as local men and women adorned in colorful costumes chant and maneuver in ways only an islander could conceive. Perhaps your kids will giggle at shaking hips, but will certainly have fun when they are pulled out of the crowd to try the traditional dances for themselves. Many resorts host only one show per week, so be sure to find out when the big night is happening.
5. Stargaze. There’s not a hint of light pollution in Bora Bora, so kids can practice spotting their constellations and even learn new ones that are only viewable south of the equator. Ask your concierge if they have a telescope available on property. The night sky offers the best way to unwind after an active day, and will send little ones snoozing into a dreamland. While out at night, listen for small fish splashing in the nearby water, and pack a flashlight to spot manta ray out for a late-night swim.