The ranking notes, “The very definition of a tropical getaway, blissful Bora Bora abounds with luxurious resorts, sunny skies, warm waters, and friendly locals.”
U.S. News & World Report prefaces the rankings by asking, “What is it about an island that immediately invokes a daydream? That feeling of seclusion, for sure, but also those sprawling beaches, those rolling waves, and those untouched pockets of wilderness. For an island to be considered one of the "best," it must have that je ne sais quoi–that magical spark. The islands listed here boast a little extra something that keeps travelers enchanted.”
Bora Bora, known as the “The Romantic Island,” is often called the most beautiful island in the world. The tiny island – just 18 miles in circumference – is encircled by a protective necklace of coral. Lush mountains provide a dramatic backdrop for the indescribable turquoise, lapis and aquamarine of the sheltered lagoon.
Arriving by air is a unique experience, landing on the airstrip that was built by U.S. troops during World War II. The runway is on a motu (small islet), and visitors must travel by boat to reach the main island. It's no surprise that most of the island's activities center in and around Bora Bora's spectacular lagoon.
The popular shark-feeding excursion puts visitors in the water and within safe view of reef sharks as they're being fed by guides. Additionally, visitors can enjoy the Lagoonarium, a marine exhibit in the lagoon where the adventurous can swim with sting rays, manta rays, huge sea turtles and reef sharks. Bora Bora is home to world-class resorts and quaint French-inspired restaurants, and is known for its jet-setting celebrity visitors who relax anonymously on its secluded beaches.
Where to stay: Bora Bora Luxury Hotels & Resorts