Yu Tsai/SI

Where did we go?

Gorgeous Bora Bora in the South Pacific. It is one of 118 islands and atolls that form the islands of Tahiti.

Why did we go?

In addition to pristine turquoise lagoons and picturesque white sand beaches, Bora Bora offered a truly stunning backdrop: Mount Otemanu and Mount Pahia, a pair of volcanic peaks more than 2,000 feet in elevation.

What did we do?

We--or at least the brave among us--swam with blacktip sharks and stingrays. One person who wasn't afraid of the sharks was Irina. She tried to lure one into a shot by tucking a fish into the side of her suit.

Where did we stay?

We spent a night on Tahiti at the Pearl Beach Resort, then made the 174-mile journey to Bora Bora, where we stayed at the Four Seasons. One of the most romantic hotels in the world, it has 100 thatched-roof bungalows and features jaw-dropping views of the surrounding mountains. 

What did we eat?

The cuisine in the four open-air restaurants at the Four Seasons was heavily French and Polynesian--which makes sense, because Bora Bora is part of French Polynesia. We also snacked on coconuts fresh off the tree.

What did we bring home?

The islands are known for their pearls, which come in a variety of colors, including white, pink and yellow. We particularly enjoyed the black ones--a rarity and a true Tahitian original.