CURIOUS ABOUT THE BEST WAY TO GET FROM TAHITI TO BORA BORA?
Tahiti and Bora Bora are two bucket-list destinations that are part of the same island chain in French Polynesia, The Society Islands.
Most travelers have to choose between visiting Tahiti or Bora Bora. But travelers fortunate enough to visit both islands on the same trip usually run into questions about how to get between these two islands efficiently.
We spent over two months living and island hopping through French Polynesia, including Tahiti and Bora Bora, so we can confidently share up-to-date information about traveling from one island to the other.
We will show you how to get from Tahiti to Bora Bora by plane (quicker but more expensive) and how to get from Tahiti to Bora Bora by ferry (cheaper but slower).
How Do You Get To Bora Bora From Tahiti?
You can get to Bora Bora from Tahiti by plane or by ferry. There is just one company for each mode of transportation, which takes away some flexibility, but you will always have a way between islands.
The ferry is best for travelers on a tighter budget or with extended time on the islands. It’s slow and only leaves a couple of times per week, but it’s half the price of a flight.
Flying, on the other hand, is the more common option because most travelers only have about a week in French Polynesia and need to make each day count!
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Tahiti To Bora Bora By Plane
The most comfortable and efficient way to travel from Tahiti to Bora Bora is by plane. Flying between the island is very easy, as there are consistent direct flights from Faa’a International Airport in Tahiti to Bora Bora island every day.
The journey only takes about an hour, so this is definitely the best option if you don’t have much time to spare in French Polynesia.
How far is the flight from Tahiti to Bora Bora?
The flight from Tahiti to Bora Bora is a 50-minute journey covering 172 miles (277 kilometers). It’s important to note that only a limited number of non-stop flights are available daily.
Usually, there are more flights on the weekends and special holidays (6-7 flights per day) compared to the weekdays (3-4 flights per day).
And the majority of flights leave before 1:00 pm.
All flights depart from Faa’a International Airport (PPT) in Tahiti and arrive at Motu Mute Airport (BOB). The airport is on a different islet from the rest of Bora Bora, so once you arrive, all travelers must take a ferry from the Airport to their Bora Bora resort.
Fun Fact: The Bora Bora Airport is just one small terminal without any security checkpoints. You will not get lost.
Most hotels and resorts in Bora Bora have a booth at the airport to help guide passengers to the correct boat dock. If you are staying on the main island of Bora Bora, then the ferry will be free, but resorts on other islets (referred to as “motus”) will have private ferry transfers to their resorts (usually at a surcharge).
How much is the flight from Tahiti to Bora Bora?
The flight from Tahiti to Bora Bora is an efficient and comfortable way of getting between the islands. The flight takes about an hour and flies 172 miles (277 kilometers).
Travel Tip: The cost of these flights does not fluctuate very much. Regardless of when you travel, one-way tickets are about $200-250 per person, and roundtrip flights are $400-450.
Once you arrive in Bora Bora, you also should account for transportation to your resort. If you are staying near Vaitape, on the main island of Bora Bora, the transfer from the airport is free.
The problem is that most of the top resorts in Bora Bora are not on the main island.
Popular resorts, like St. Regis, Four Seasons, and Conrad Resort, are on the surrounding islets of Bora Bora, so they require a separate ferry. The resort will arrange this transfer, usually costing around $50-60 per person.
Which airlines fly to Bora Bora?
All international flights arrive in Tahiti at Faa’a International Airport. It is the only international airport in French Polynesia.
From there, Air Tahiti operates all domestic flights within the country. This is because the French Polynesian government actually holds a decent stake in Air Tahiti. So any other airline seeking to enter the market is suppressed.
Because of Air Tahiti’s monopoly on the market, the prices of Tahiti to Bora Bora flights remain consistent throughout the year, but it is also very rare to find deals on flights within the country. You may only find a discount through a 3rd-party airline website like Trip.com or Expedia.
PRO TIP: Tickets booked with Air Tahiti are separated by Class (Y, S, or Z). There is no carry-on luggage (only handbags) with Air Tahiti. Checked baggage allowances vary depending on your ticket type.
Class Y and S have a standard baggage allowance of 50 lbs and total dimensions of 59 inches. Class Z gets an extra 50 lbs (for a total of 100 lbs), but the measurements must be the same as a Class Y/S ticket.
Tahiti To Bora Bora By Ferry
For travelers looking to save extra money on their trip to Bora Bora and don’t mind a longer journey, the ferry from Tahiti to Bora Bora is a great budget option.
The ferry does take about 9 hours, but it’s much cheaper than flying– tickets cost just a third of the price you would pay for a plane ticket. Plus, you can enjoy traveling like a local and seeing other South Pacific islands along the way.
Is there a ferry from Tahiti to Bora Bora?
Yes, there is a ferry from Tahiti to Bora Bora. The ferry is infrequent, though, with only ONE ferry, three times per week. You can travel by ferry from Tahiti to Bora Bora every Friday (6:30 am), Sunday (7:30 am), and SOME Wednesdays (6:30 am).
The Pape’ete Ferry Terminal for the ferry is located roughly 10 minutes away from Faa’a International Airport in Tahiti. A taxi from the airport to the ferry terminal is approximately $20.
How much is the ferry from Tahiti to Bora Bora?
Ferry tickets from Tahiti to Bora Bora cost between 6500 and 7,500 XPF (approximately $65-80) USD) depending on the season. Tickets are slightly cheaper when booked as a roundtrip.
Plus, there are some additional fees if you have any extra items with you. Here is a quick list of some items that will cost you extra on the ferry from Tahiti to Bora Bora
- Additional baggage = 2000 XPF ($20)
- Bicycles = 1500 XPF ($20)
- Surfboards = 1000 XPF ($10)
- Scooter / Motorbikes 6000XPF ($60)
- Pets 1500XPF ($15)
Even with the additional fees, if you are looking for an affordable way to get to Bora Bora from Tahiti, this is your best transportation option!
Booking these tickets online is possible only on the Apetahi Express Website. At the moment, there are no third-party booking websites to compare prices.
How long is the ferry ride?
The ferry ride from Tahiti to Bora Bora is over 8 hours long. Each ferry makes a couple of pitstops in Huahine, Taiatea, and Taha’a.
This boat is a “fast ferry,” much smaller than a cargo ship, so you can’t bring a car from Tahiti to Bora Bora on these ferries.
The fast ferries can handle the choppy South Pacific waters, it is not known for being a smooth ride, and it is not uncommon for ferries to be postponed or canceled due to weather. If you are prone to seasickness, take some medicine, like Dramamine, to help with the symptoms before you leave.
Which ferry companies go to Bora Bora?
Apetahi Express is the only ferry company that operates a route from Tahiti to Bora Bora. You may see other ferries at the Papeete Tahiti Terminal, but these other companies only travel between Tahiti and Moorea.
Apetahi Express has high ratings and is known for having high-quality service and a very hospitable staff.
Seating on these ships is relatively comfortable, resembling what you would find in most airports around the world. Some seats havelaptop-friendlyy tables, but outlets are not always available. There is also a cafe/bar on board where you can purchase drinks, coffee, or snacks.
Getting To Bora Bora: FAQs
In this section, we have included some additional information that may help you get around and from Tahiti to Bora Bora, especially regarding flight routes and layovers on your way to Bora Bora.
Do I need to stop in Tahiti to get to Bora Bora?
Assuming you arrive on an international flight, you will undoubtedly stop in Tahiti. All international flights land in Tahiti. You will connect to a domestic flight to Bora Bora Airport from there.
How do I get to Bora Bora from Europe?
The only way to get to Bora Bora from Europe is by flying, and there are no direct flights from Tahiti to Bora Bora. You will need to book a flight from Europe to Tahiti, almost always connecting in San Francisco (SFO) or Los Angelos (LAX), then get on a third flight from Tahiti to Bora Bora.
What is the Air Tahiti Multi-Island Pass?
If you plan to continue from Bora Bora to other islands in French Polynesia, it might be worth getting the Air Tahiti multi-island pass. This pass entitles you to a certain amount of transportation (via plane or ferry) all around the country.
You can take domestic flights from Bora Bora to other islands in the Society archipelago, such as Huahine, Raiatea, and Taha’a, as well as Northern Tuamotu, the Marquesas Archipelago, and Eastern Tuamotu.
There are eight different passes, ranging from $300-800, allowing you to island hop around French Polynesia at your own pace. The only restrictions are that the whole trip cannot be more than 28 days, you must only visit each island once, and all passes must start & end in Tahiti/Moorea.
Currently, there are two routes in the Air-Tahiti multi-island pass that include Bora Bora:
- Bora Bora Pass ($450 – 600) – Moorea, Huahine, Raiatea, Bora Bora, Maupiti
- Bora-Tuamotu Pass ($600-800) – Moorea, Huahine, Raiatea, Maupiti, Bora bora, Rangiroa, Tikehau, Fakarava.
More Travel Tips for Bora Bora
Here are a few more travel tips, including the best things to do in Bora Bora, and where to stay.
Best Things To Do in Bora Bora
✅ Go Hiking – There are some cool hikes that you should definitely try while staying in Bora Bora. One of the most popular is called the “Valley of Kings Trail,” which hikes to Ancesters’ Peak, passing ancient temples, tombs, and other archaeological sights. More ambitious travelers can attempt to hike to the “top” of Mount Otemanu.
✅ Private Sunset Sailing Catamaran Tour – If you are taking your honeymoon in Bora Bora, one of the most romantic things to do with your new spouse is watching the sunset from the water on an intimate sailing experience
✅ Private Island Jeep Safari – For those who want to see all of Bora bora in just a few hours, there are private 4×4 tours that will take you to some of the best lookouts on the island as well as teach you about the history and traditions of French Polynesian
Best All-Inclusive Resorts in Bora Bora
📍 St Regis Bora Bora Resort ($$$) – St. Regis is the most luxurious resort in Bora Bora, with gorgeous views of Mount Otemanu from your overwater bungalow and tons of complimentary amenities like kayaks, beach cabanas, and even snorkeling equipment. As with many high-end resorts in Bora Bora, it is also home to a day spa, a pool with a swim-up bar, and four restaurants.
📍 Le Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort ($$) – This resort is one of the best value resorts in Bora Bora, where you can get a luxury experience for a reasonable price. There are a variety of rooms, from garden suites to overwater bungalows with a hot tub. Le Bora bora sits on a small Motus called, Teaitoa, which makes it feel super intimate, and free breakfast is included with each room!
📍Maitai Bora Bora ($) – Located on the main island (which means you will have a free transfer to & from the airport), Maitai Resort is an excellent place for people who don’t want to spend a fortune while still staying at an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora. The resort is close to many hiking opportunities, restaurants, and shops on the island.
There are only two options when traveling from Tahiti to Bora Bora: plane or ferry, but deciding which transportation option is best for your trip can be challenging.
It is best to fly if you are only staying in French Polynesia for a short stay. This way, you have more time to go snorkeling in the lagoons and enjoy the beaches of each island.
But if you want to visit Bora Bora on a budget, the ferry is the best option since it will save you hundreds of dollars compared to a plane ticket. The downside is that it will be a long boat ride and eat up an entire day of your itinerary.
No matter your travel option, we know you will be glad you added Bora Bora to your itinerary.