GALLERY: Mount Otemanu – Bora Bora!

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A jagged pinnacle towering over paradise, Mount Otemanu demands attention from visitors to Bora Bora. Although French Polynesia island is known more for its overwater bungalows than its towering vertical cliffs, the view of this ancient volcano above the turquoise lagoon casts a siren call to the adventurous

Unlike that of its neighbor Mount Pahia, the summit of Mount Otemanu is insurmountable due to its precarious rocks (picture a real-life drip castle); however, a smattering of seductive options for exploring the peak from both above and below make up for the limited hiking opportunities.

Bora Bora is an island in the Leeward group of the Society Islands of French Polynesia, an “Overseas Country” financially assisted by France in the Pacific Ocean. The island, located about 230 kilometres (140 mi) northwest of Papeete, is surrounded by a lagoon and a barrier reef.

In the center of the island are the remnants of an extinct volcano rising to two peaks, Mount Pahia and Mount Otemanu, the highest point at 727 metres (2,385 ft). The original name of the island in the Tahitian language might be better rendered as Pora Pora, meaning “First Born”; an early transcription found in 18th- and 19th century accounts, is Bolabolla or Bollabolla.