Bora Bora makes a stunning sight from sea level, of course, but for an incomparable vantage on its quintessential Polynesian landscapes, you’ll want to take it all in from the air. Charter a ride with the excellent local company Tahiti Helicopters, which offers flight options ranging from 15 minutes (“Essential Bora Bora”) to a full hour (for a complete tour of all the nearby Leeward Islands). Highlights include an up-close view of Bora Bora’s Mt. Otemanu, an imposing presence among the sand-fringed motus, surrounded by rings of emerald, turquoise, and cobalt blue waters; from this height you’ll clearly see the mighty coral reef that keeps the ocean break from overtaking the lagoon. Spring for extra time to see the heart-shaped atoll just north of Bora Bora and to the archipelago’s other islands to the southeast: Tahaa, the “vanilla kingdom,” and Raiatea, considered to be the cradle of the gods. The bird’s eye view of French Polynesia is an incredible sight to behold, and one that’s hard to explain or capture on Instagram (though it won’t hurt to try). Soaring through the air offers an insightful glimpse of nature at work on geography, and is a humble reminder of just how spectacular this world can be.