Affiliate Disclaimer: This article may contain affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if a reader clicks through and makes a purchase. See full Affiliate Disclosure here.

What Is A Motu In Bora Bora?

If you’ve been researching a vacation to Bora Bora then you might have seen the word ‘motu’ pop up several times.

But what is a motu in Bora Bora?

Don’t worry, this post covers what a motu is and if Bora Bora is an atoll.

What is a Motu in Bora Bora?

A motu is a small elongated island that is formed by broken coral and sand. They are also sometimes referred to as islets.

In simple terms, a motu is just a really small island. In Bora Bora, these motus surround the main island.

French Polynesia, which includes Bora Bora, is made up of hundreds of islands and thousands of motus.

Motus tend to be too small to be considered an actual island, which is why they have their own word. The word ‘motu’ is actually a Tahitian word which means ‘small island’.

Bora Bora has many different motus with many of them containing fancy resorts. Motu Mute actually contains the Bora Bora Airport which receives 5 to 6 flights every single day.

The St Regis Bora Bora resort sits on its own private motu. It’s the same story with many other high-end resorts including the Four Seasons, Conrad Bora Bora Nui and InterContinental Thalasso.

I highly recommend visiting one if you can because these motus are like heaven on earth! 

They have white sandy beaches, swaying coconut palms and crystal clear waters. No wonder they’re on so many people’s bucket lists.

If you choose to stay on a motu in Bora Bora, it will feel like you’re on a deserted island in the middle of nowhere (and, to be honest, you are).

Motu Tapu

One of Bora Bora’s most famous motus is Motu Tapu. This motu is a private island accessible only to guests at the Conrad Bora Bora Nui resort. 

It’s completely unspoiled and in pristine condition. You can reach it by taking a short, 5-minute boat ride from the Conrad then stay for a picnic or a romantic dinner.

You’ll also find excellent snorkeling off this tiny islet. Expect to see tropical fish, rays and maybe even the odd reef shark.

It’s actually the most photographed islet in the whole of the South Pacific and it’s not hard to see why as it’s absolutely stunning.

Motu Tapu was actually once the private beach of Queen Pomare IV who was the Queen of Tahiti in the 1800s so this motu is pretty exclusive. 

Check out Motu Tapu in the video below:

Is Bora Bora An Atoll?

Yes, Bora Bora forms part of an atoll.

💡An atoll is a ring-shaped island that usually encircles a lagoon. 

Bora Bora consists of a large main island with an extinct volcano, Mt Otemanu, in the center. 

This island is surrounded by a blue lagoon which is itself surrounded by various motus and small islands. 

Check out the layout of Bora Bora in the image below. As you can see, Bora Bora is definitely an atoll.

Map of Bora Bora showing that it is in atoll.

For an amazing view of the atoll from above, you can hike Mount Otemanu which sits at the center.

From the highest point, you can see neighboring islands, the blue lagoon and lots of green vegetation.

And that’s it!

Thanks for reading this post all about motus in Bora Bora. 

It can be super confusing at first if you’ve never heard this word but hopefully you now know what a motu is in Bora Bora.

Thinking of visiting Bora Bora?

Related posts: