Mount Otemanu on Bora Bora island is a jagged remnant of an ancient volcano that rises up to a sharp point at 2,385 feet (727 m) from the surface of a turquoise blue lagoon. The French Polynesian islands in general are blessed with some incredible picture perfect sceneries but Mount Otemanu takes the crown. There is something very magical about this unique landform that can be seen from every part of the island.
Thousands of people are drawn to Bora Bora every year because it is one of the most beautiful islands on earth. Most resorts have designed their overwater bungalows to specifically face Mount Otemanu and rooms that have unobstructed views typically come with a premium price tag.
I highly recommend a lagoon tour boat ride while in Bora Bora, this is a great opportunity to see Mount Otemanu from all angles as you take a loop around the island. The mountain makes for some great hiking as long as you are semi experienced or in decent shape as there are some steep cliffs. Unfortunately you can not make it to the summit because the loose rocks.
During World War II, Bora Bora island was chosen to be a United States refueling base and it was Mount Otemanu that provided a high vantage point to place large cannons and radar equipment for maximum effectiveness. Although combat never took place here, the United States did leave behind some large cannons which you can go on a 4×4 Safari tour and see.
The mountain stands proudly at the center of Bora Bora and seems to change all the time depending on the lighting, clouds and which side you are facing. Sunrise and sunset make for very dramatic photo opportunities. The island has a very rich history and Mount Otemanu is the center piece. There are sacred areas on the mountain that contain the bodies of the ancient Polynesian Kings. From the southern side of the island one can see massive circular stone walls of a temple which is said to house the king’s spirit. More can be learned by taking advantage of local tours, just ask your hotel concierge and they can help you.