Are you trying to decide if Bora Bora is worth visiting in 2024?
We have spent a lot of time across the islands of French Polynesia, and with Bora Bora being the most popular of all the islands, we weren’t sure if it would be worth the hype!
But spoiler alert; it’s absolutely worth visiting.
Bora Bora is a dream destination with so much to offer. You’ll find idyllic beaches, turquoise lagoons, and overwater bungalows with a view of the iconic Mount Otemanu!
Plus, the South Pacific islands are warm all year round, making it ideal for travelers looking to escape the winter weather in their home countries.
In this article, we will discuss all of the reasons why we believe that Bora Bora is worth visiting, plus some tips for the best things to do, where to stay, and how to get around the island!
So let’s get started!
Is Bora Bora Worth Visiting?
Yes, Bora Bora is worth visiting. You might think the constant tourism would make the island feel a bit tacky or run down, but this is far from the situation in Bora Bora.
The island has leaned into sustainable tourism and remained one of the most beautiful places in the world!
Bora Bora has taken substantial action to limit over-tourism and preserve local Polynesian culture. At the same time, many of the top resorts in Bora Bora have done significant renovations to keep their overwater bungalows up to date!
What’s so special about Bora Bora?
Bora Bora is so special because of the beautiful landscapes, crystal clear lagoons, luxury resorts with overwater bungalows, and near-perfect weather conditions during the dry season.
It’s also one of the best places to go snorkeling in the world, with vibrant coral and marine life all around the island. Bora Bora is also considered to be a top honeymoon destination.
How much does it cost to go to Bora Bora?
The cost to go to Bora Bora varies dramatically depending on how many excursions you will do and where you book your accomodation.
On average, it costs somewhere between $5,000 and $22,000. Overwater bungalows typically cost around $1000/night, and most tours cost $100-300 per person.
Bora Bora: Reasons To Visit & Things To Do
There are loads of things to do in Bora Bora that make the tropical island worth visiting. Here are the top five reasons you consider planning a trip to Bora Bora.
1. There Are Beautiful Lagoons and Exciting Watersports
In Bora Bora, there are tons of opportunities to get out on the water and explore the lagoons. You will find boat tours, catamaran tours, whale-watching tours, stand-up paddle boarding, and you can even rent your own boat to explore the lagoons at your own pace!
2. You Can Stay in a Luxury Overwater Bungalow
Bora Bora is most famous for its luxury overwater bungalows, where you can stay in beautiful rooms surrounded by crystal clear water and coral reefs. Some overwater bungalows in Bora Bora even have private infinity pools and spa treatments.
3. Bora Bora Has Beautiful Beaches
There is one public beach in Bora Bora (Matira Beach), but almost every resort in Bora Bora has its own private beach with free sun loungers and kayaks. Then, you can enjoy Bora Bora at night by watching the sunset from one of the lively beach clubs.
4. Great Snorkeling Spots Surround the Island
The Bora Bora Main Motu Reef is one of the most vibrant and beautiful reefs in the world, and it’s HUGE. The overwater bungalows sit between the main island and the surrounding motus (small islets), so you can literally go snorkeling right from your room. Or you can book a formal snorkeling tour in other sections of the lagoon.
5. There is Great Hiking in Bora Bora
You may anticipate spending little time on land in Bora Bora, but there are actually some great hiking trails on the island. The most famous is the hike up to Mount Pahia or Otemanu Peak. These short, steep hikes reward visitors with panoramic views of the lagoon.
Where To Stay In Bora Bora
Regarding where to stay in Bora Bora, you have two options: the mainland or one of the surrounding motus (small islets).
Each option has advantages and disadvantages, but the best area for you highly depends on your budget and what kind of experience you’re looking for.
Staying on Mainland Bora Bora
If you stay on mainland Bora Bora, you will be closer to local Bora Bora restaurants and shops in Vaitape and along Matira Beach. These tend to be more affordable and less formal than resort restaurants, and it also puts you near the best hiking trails in Bora Bora.
Furthermore, it’s easier to get to/from the airport, and it’s the best option for budget travelers because the resorts here tend to be slightly less exclusive and more affordable than on the Motus.
Staying on a Surrounding Motus
On the other hand, booking a room on one of the surrounding Motus (Piti Aau, To’opua, & Tevairoa) offers your vacation a more private and secluded feel.
These resorts have multiple restaurants, private beaches, and activities such as snorkeling, kayaking, and paddle boarding right from your room. However, these resorts can be quite expensive.
Here are some of the best resorts and overwater bungalows in Bora Bora.
St. Regis Bora Bora Resort is an excellent choice for those seeking a luxurious escape in Bora Bora. The resort has tons of amenities, including two swimming pools, two bars, beachfront cabanas, multiple restaurants serving international and Asian cuisine, and a day spa with massages, hammam steam rooms, and luxurious skin treatments.
Also, each overwater bungalow at St. Regis offers its guests spacious bedrooms, a private lounge area, a heart-shaped bathtub, and a private terrace with sun loungers and steps leading right down into the lagoon.
The main difference is the room’s view. When booking, you can choose to have a lagoon view, an island view, or a view of Mt. Otemanu.
The Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora is an incredibly luxurious destination for couples seeking a romantic getaway. Each bungalow at Four Seasons features spacious floor plans and high ceilings that make them feel like a home away from home.
Guests can enjoy various amenities like four onsite restaurants, an infinity pool, and outdoor activities like snorkeling tours, kayaking, and tennis.
The basic bungalows are the most affordable rooms, but if you’re looking for a romantic escape in Bora Bora, the One-Bedroom Lagoon-View Overwater Bungalow Suite with Plunge Pool is the best value.
With its private pool, stunning views of the ocean and lagoon, and luxury amenities, it’s sure to make any couple feel relaxed and pampered.
The Conrad Bora Bora Nui is a gorgeous resort on a secluded Motu in southern Bora Bora. The resort features 114 elegant guest rooms and suites, ranging from beachfront suites to deluxe overwater bungalows with private pools.
All rooms have laptop-friendly workspaces, air conditioning, and luxurious bathrooms with rain showers.
The Conrad Bora Bora Nui also offers a variety of activities, such as kayak tours, stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), jet skiing, and snorkeling tours. There is even tennis and beach volleyball available.
And for those seeking a pampering experience, the resort also features an onsite spa offering massages, manicures/pedicures, and body wraps.
How To Get To Bora Bora
It is relatively simple to get to Bora Bora because there are only two options. You can choose between booking a flight or taking the ferry to Bora Bora.
But either way, you must enter the country through Faa’a International Airport (PPT). This airport is in Papeete, Tahiti, and it’s the only international airport in French Polynesia.
Once you get here, you either board a second short flight to Bora Bora or take a ferry to Bora Bora.
Flying From Tahiti to Bora Bora
The flight is typically reserved under one ticket to Bora Bora with a layover in Tahiti. It’s a short flight (50 minutes) and usually departs before 1:00 pm. One-way tickets cost about $200-250 per person, and roundtrip flights are usually around $400-450.
💡Pro Tip: Booking your flight at least a few months ahead is crucial for those who need an evening flight
Ferry From Tahiti to Bora Bora
Taking the ferry from Tahiti to Bora Bora is an excellent option for people who want to save a little bit of money and don’t mind a longer journey.
Apetahi Express operates the ferry, which leaves twice a week (occasionally three times) from Papeete, and can be booked in advance or upon arrival. The journey takes 8-9 hours and costs 6500-7500 XPF ($65-85) for a one-way ticket.
After arriving in Bora Bora, visitors need to find transportation to their hotel because the airport is on a different island from all the resorts.
💡Pro Tip: There is a free ferry to the main town of Vaitape, or you can hire a direct boat taxi from the airport to your Bora Bora resort.
Visiting Bora Bora: FAQs
Visiting Bora Bora is a wonderful experience, with its breathtaking scenery and luxurious resorts. Here are some frequently asked questions to help you prepare for your trip.
What is the best time to visit Bora Bora?
The best time to visit Bora Bora is typically from June to September when the weather is warm and dry. This season provides ideal conditions for enjoying the ocean, whether boating, snorkeling, or enjoying the view.
The sea remains calm and clear, with excellent visibility during the summer months. The winter months (April-May) are usually less crowded but can be colder and often see rain.
💡Pro Tip: Some resorts offer special discounted rates depending on the time of year you decide to travel, so keep an eye out for those deals!
How many days is enough in Bora Bora?
Most visitors agree that four days is enough time to explore Bora Bora’s stunning scenery and enjoy its many activities, but a week is ideal if you want to see everything the island offers without feeling rushed throughout the trip.
💡Pro Tip: Most resorts offer slight discounts for longer stays, especially if booking five days or longer.
Is it cheaper to go to Maldives or Bora Bora?
Bora Bora is cheaper than the Maldives. Not only is it more accessible and easier to get to the resorts in Bora Bora, but you can find resorts with similar amenities for a fraction of the price.
Most resorts in the Maldives are on their own private island or far from the airport, so you have to book seaplanes to get around, which costs a few hundred dollars per journey and adds up quickly.
Bora Bora Alternatives
Bora Bora is a dream destination for many travelers around the world, but it is not the only tropical island where you can stay in overwater bungalows and enjoy a couple of nights in the middle of the ocean.
Other islands, such as Moorea (also in French Polynesia), the Maldives, Seychelles, and Fiji, offer similar experiences to a vacation in Bora Bora.
Here is a short description of why one of these islands might be worth visiting instead of (or in addition to!) Bora Bora.
Moorea is a much more affordable alternative to Bora Bora, so it’s a fantastic place to visit if you are on a tighter budget.
This French Polynesian island is stunning. You will find all the beauty and adventure of Bora Bora, such as shark and sting ray snorkeling excursions, lush green mountains, pristine beaches, and overwater bungalows.
Plus, it’s just 10 miles from the main island of Tahiti, so it is incredibly easy to get to Moorea via a 30-minute ferry.
Believe it or not, you can find more adventurous activities in Moorea that involve learning about local Polynesian customs and exploring the island’s dense jungles.
The biggest drawback to staying in Moorea vs. Bora Bora is that it is slightly less luxurious and doesn’t feel as secluded and exclusive.
So if you’re dreaming of a trip to French Polynesia but don’t want to spend too much money – Moorea should be at the top of your list!
Visiting the Maldives is another excellent alternative to Bora Bora.
In the Maldives, you can have a similar experience to Bora Bora by enjoying the incredible beaches and a hotspot for romantic holidays and honeymoons for couples worldwide.
They also each have a plethora of overwater bungalows to choose from if you are looking for some additional luxury.
The differences when comparing the Maldives Vs. Bora Bora comes in price and location of each island.
As we mentioned, the Maldives are slightly more expensive than Bora Bora due to the cost of transportation and the remote location of each island resort. This country is also on the opposite side of the world from Bora Bora in the Indian Ocean, so it requires a longer flight for people in the U.S. or Canada.
Visiting Seychelles is a dream for many travelers and the most luxurious island destination in Africa. The island chain is in the middle of the South Indian Ocean (similar to the Maldives), so it offers a warm tropical honeymoon destination year-round.
It’s another one of the few places in the world like Bora Bora due to its pristine beaches, great snorkeling, and tropical weather.
Seychelles, though, offers some otherworldly scenery and more islands than Bora Bora. The largest island is Mahe, and this is the most touristy, but you can easily take boat trips to explore other islands in the country.
Visiting Fiji is another island nation in the South Pacific and a common alternative to Bora Bora as many people view it as a more affordable alternative. The island is slightly closer to Australia & New Zealand, so it’s a common stopover for people traveling from North America to Oceania.
It’s hard to decide which is better when comparing Fiji Vs. Bora Bora, since both islands have relaxing overwater bungalows to book, fun water activities, and beautiful beaches.
But you will find more beaches and islands to visit in Fiji since it is much larger than Bora Bora. You can bike around Bora Bora in a single day, while Fiji is more than 50 miles across. There are hundreds of islands you can visit on a day trip or overnight excursion from Fiji, as opposed to just four main islands in Bora Bora.
Fiji is also more of a cultural destination than Bora Bora, so you can find ways to participate in local customs, like a kava ceremony or even watch a firewalking ceremony.
The Wrap-Up: Is Bora Bora Worth It?
Visiting Bora Bora is a stunning and safe dream destination for many travelers, but getting there can be expensive and time-consuming. Therefore, it’s a good idea to decide for yourself if it’s actually worth visiting before booking the tickets!
In our opinion, Bora Bora is worth it, but if you decide it’s not for you, there are plenty of awesome alternatives to Bora Bora that might better suit your travel needs!