Outbound Collective logo

Hiking in Bora Bora

Not exactly destination hiking

By: Joel Blatt + Save to a List

Bora Bora is known for its beauty and rightfully, it is gorgeous.  However, good luck finding actual hiking trails.  We researched online, but accurate information just does not exist.  We attempted daily hikes and were challenged in many ways, not all related to ascending and descending.  Please note, hiking Bora Bora's two primary mountains is mountaineering with many ropes and high risk.  Many deaths have been documented, not kidding.

We used taxis to get around, but you could rent a car.  Traffic varies around the island, but can be fast and wild.  We walked the road, but is not advised.

We climbed to cell towers for mini-ascents.  Since hiking trails are not maintained, consider 4x4 trails.  You will want to take a crack at Pahia, Otemanu, and Popoti.


  1. Mount Otemanu is showcase peak, but not summit climb; trail is to the Sacred Cave; you need guide at cost of $500-900 to find said trail, which will pass through private lands (we looked, but could not find access to trail)
  2. Mount Pahia summit can be reached; a guide is strongly-advised, but we attempted without (we did not summit, but did climb for about 2 hours, before turning around; in the end we were left with a feeling like we had dodged a bullet and were prudent to turn around when we did) 
  3. Mount Popoti summit is easily reached without guide; it follows private road owned and maintained by 4x4 company, but they are completely okay with hikers (this is shorter hike and will only take you about 90 minutes from start to finish and is easy to find off main road - gate may be open or closed)

Start of Popoti:

View from Pahia after ~2 hours:

View from Popoti:

View of Otemanu (right) and Pahia (left:)

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Do you love the outdoors?

Yep, us too. That's why we send you the best local adventures, stories, and expert advice, right to your inbox.