Tahiti vs. Bora Bora? Which is better for you? If you have trouble choosing between the two, you’ve come to the right place!
Both French Polynesian islands are great for all kinds of travelers, from families to honeymooners and thrill seekers. So we are going to take a deep dive into each destination to help you decide which is the best island for your next vacation.
No matter which island you visit, you can spend time snorkeling in the aquamarine waters, hiking through the jungle, and sunbathing on pristine beaches.
But there are also some significant differences between the two south Pacific islands.
For instance, Tahiti is the largest island in French Polynesia and is well known for surfing, hiking, and snorkeling. It also has huge volcanic peaks you can hike to and unique black sand beaches, along with urbanized shopping, nightlife and other things to do in its capital city, Papeete.
On the other hand, Bora Bora is a much smaller island, about 200 kilometers west of Tahiti. It is most well-known for honeymoons and high-end vacations in overwater bungalows. The laid-back island is more intimate than Tahiti, with spas, massage huts, and yoga classes at the island’s top resorts. There are still great things to do in Bora Bora at night, but it is more low-key.
So which is best for vacation? Let the showdown begin.
Tahiti vs. Bora Bora: Compare Activities & Things To Do
Tahiti and Bora Bora offer unique experiences you won’t find anywhere else.
On Tahiti, you can explore ancient archaeological sites, learn to surf, go snorkeling at Moorea, and enjoy the vibrant nightlife in Papeete.
There are fewer activities on Bora Bora, but still enough excursions that you won’t be bored. In addition to snorkeling and hiking, you can also pamper yourself and relax at the resort with spa treatments, yoga classes, and sunset dinners.
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Tahiti: Things To Do
✅ Go Surfing – Tahiti is world famous for the Teahupo’o wave, but this is reserved for experts. Papenoo, which has left and right-handed waves that rarely get above 4 feet, is an excellent break for beginners to learn how to surf.
✅ Go Snorkeling in Moorea – Moorea is a small island just off of Tahiti with a ton of things to do, but one of the most popular excursions is snorkeling. This snorkeling tour takes you to Moorea lagoon, where you can see stingrays, blacktip reef sharks, exotic fish, and vibrant coral reefs.
✅ Go Jet-Skiing/Quad Biking in Moorea – Another exciting thing to do in Moorea is Jet skiing and quad biking. Tons of tours start in Tahiti each day, but this tour has both in the same excursion!
✅ Take a Day Tour of Tahiti – Tahiti has stunning scenery across the island, including waterfalls, caves, gardens, archaeological sites, and black sand beaches. This private tour visits six of the top attractions on the island in one 5-6 hour ultimate day tour.
✅ Stay in an Overwater Bungalow – Although Tahiti is known for adventure, you can (and should) still stay in an overwater bungalow while visiting the island. This is possible on both Tahiti island and Moorea.
Bora Bora: Things To Do
✅ Swim with Humpback Whales – Whale watching in Bora Bora is fantastic during the migration season, which lasts from July to November. You can listen to their songs through special hydrophones, and certain whale-watching tours even allow you to snorkel with the humpback whales!
✅ Stay at a Luxury Resort – Bora Bora is arguably the best place in the world for overwater bungalows, often compared to the Maldives or Mexico. These luxury villas are pricey, but if you are planning a honeymoon to Bora Bora, it’s an experience worth splurging on!
✅ Hike the Valley of Kings Trail – Hiking the Valley of Kings at Ancesters’ Peak is a great way to learn about the legends and mythology of French Polynesia and see various local plant species in Bora Bora.
✅ Rent a Bicycle – The main island of Bora Bora is not y big and can be explored in a single day. Both regular bicycles and E-bikes are available on the island for less than $40/day.
✅ Book a Catamaran Sunset Sail – One of the most romantic things to do in Bora Bora is spend sunset with your significant other on an evening catamaran sail. Some tours will have snacks, sparkling wine, and music to make the experience even more special.
Snorkeling In Tahiti
With pristine water and a wealth of diverse marine life, snorkeling in French Polynesia is one thing you can’t skip while visiting the country.
There are tons of beautiful underwater reefs to explore in the area, but you won’t have to go far from shore to find an array of colorful fish, small sharks, stingrays, and sea turtles.
In Tahiti, travelers make it a point to snorkel in multiple locations around the island. Some shallow areas near Papeete city, such as Mahana Park and Pointe Des Pêcheurs, are great for families. But the best snorkeling spots are actually on the nearby island of Moorea.
You can take a quick ferry from Tahiti to Moorea and snorkel with black-tip reef sharks and stingrays at the Sharks Sandbank.
Snorkeling In Bora Bora
On the southern tip of Bora Bora is one of French Polynesia’s most renowned snorkeling spots, nicknamed “the aquarium.” The water is super calm and is full of colorful coral, sharks, dolphins, stingrays, and a wide variety of other fish.
You can also ask your guide to take you further to the deep water at the edge of the lagoon. This way, you can see the drop-off and catch glimpses of sea turtles and other interesting fish species.
⭐️ The Winner – Bora Bora is the Best Island for Snorkeling ⭐️
Both islands have crystal clear water that is great for snorkeling, but Bora Bora has more marine life and more snorkeling tours available than Tahiti. Plus, snorkeling in Bora Bora is also more accessible since the best snorkeling in Tahiti is actually on its neighboring island, Moorea.
Tahiti vs. Bora Bora: Comparing Resorts & Accommodation
Everyone planning a trip to French Polynesia dreams of spending a few nights in a luxury overwater bungalow, assuming it works with their travel budget.
Tahiti and Bora Bora both have beautiful resorts for honeymooners, families, and even travelers on a smaller budget. Here are the best for each island.
This beautiful luxury resort is just 10 minutes from Papeete City and offers a variety of accommodation options, from classic hotel rooms to overwater bungalow suites. This spacious resort also has an on-site restaurant, unhindered views of Moorea Island, tennis courts, and a sand-bottomed pool with a swim-up bar to enjoy in the evening.
For those looking for a fantastic resort in Moorea, Sofitel Kia Ora Resort is a perfect choice. Here, guests have access to a swimming pool, but those who stay in the overwater bungalows will probably prefer jumping into the ocean right off their balcony. Additionally, this resort has a private white-sand beach and a delicious French restaurant on site!
Compared to other resorts in the area with similar amenities, Sofitel Kia Ora is relatively affordable and easy to get to from Tahiti!
Te Moana Tahiti Resort is a great place to stay for couples on a budget. The rooms are affordable yet still have many amenities like air-conditioning, a kitchenette, and lagoon views from your balcony. There is also a restaurant at the resort serving both Polynesian and Western cuisine and two separate bars.
Unfortunately, there are no overwater bungalows at Te Moana, but it’s still worth checking out if you’re interested in saving some money in Bora Bora.
Bora Bora Resorts
Staying at the Conrad Bora Bora Nui resort is a truly unparalleled experience. Located in its own private cove on Motu To’opua, the floating villas offer stunning views of the ocean. Guests have access to a day spa, infinity pool, four restaurants, and two bars for evening entertainment.
Their newly renovated villas feature air conditioning and marble bathrooms for added comfort. For those looking for a unique experience, some bungalows even come with catamaran-like nets!
Situated on a private beach, the Intercontinental Bora Bora and Thalasso Hotel is a luxurious 5-star resort + day spa in Bora Bora with a multitude of perks.
The resort has an outdoor pool, fitness room, and Turkish baths for its guests. And each bungalow has a private terrace with sun loungers and direct access to the ocean.
Le Bora Bora by Pearl Resorts has everything from suites with a garden view to beachfront suites and overwater bungalows. Guests will find a restaurant on the water, tennis courts, a diving center, and a large outdoor pool outside their rooms.
Le Bora Bora by Pearl Resorts is rated very well by couples who claim it’s the best place to stay in Bora Bora on your honeymoon.
⭐️ The Winner: Bora Bora ⭐️
While Tahiti has more options for budget travelers and families, Bora Bora is known for and lives up to its reputation for the best overwater bungalows in French Polynesia. They come with a price but definitely live up to the hype.
Tahiti vs. Bora Bora: Which Island Is Best For Honeymoon Travel?
French Polynesia is a beautiful destination for honeymooners, offering stunning beaches and plenty of romantic activities. The two main islands for honeymoon travel are Tahiti and Bora Bora, each with unique experiences to offer newlyweds.
Tahiti is a top destination for honeymooners who want to save a little money and go on adventures together on their first trip as newlyweds. There are lots of exciting things to do on the island and in water, like jet-skiing, quad-biking, and hiking to the top of mountain peaks as well as beautiful resorts.
The island is more commercialized than Bora Bora, so it doesn’t feel as romantic.
However, if you are visiting Tahiti for your honeymoon and want a particularly romantic holiday, Moorea is a better place to stay. You can still visit Tahiti, but it’s quieter and has better resorts.
Bora Bora Honeymoon
Bora Bora is a common choice for honeymooners because it caters to couples.
The island is a place where people can get away from all the noise and have a relaxing vacation with their new spouse.
In addition to the luxurious resorts, there are plenty of activities for honeymooners in Bora Bora, like snorkeling and hiking. But most couples on a Bora Bora honeymoon decide against these adventure activities in favor of spa treatments and long sunset dinners at the resort.
⭐️ The winner: Bora Bora ⭐️
Bora Bora is much more laid-back and relaxed than Tahiti, making it the perfect destination for newlyweds looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. With crystal clear waters and stunning resorts, Bora Bora is the ultimate honeymoon destination in French Polynesia.
Tahiti vs. Bora Bora: Average Vacation Cost
No matter where you visit French Polynesia, it is not a ‘budget destination,’ especially compared to other areas like Bali or Thailand. However, you don’t have to spend a fortune and if the cost of the trip is something you are concerned about, staying in Tahiti is typically the cheaper option.
Cost of Traveling To Tahiti
The cost of a Tahiti vacation will vary depending on how long you are staying and what type of accommodation you choose.
It is possible to find budget-friendly hotels for around $100/night, but that does not include meals or activities. On the other hand, if you stay at a nice resort, expect to spend anywhere from $300-1000/per night.
Budget travelers will also be pleased to learn that there are a lot of fast-food restaurants and affordable places to eat in Papeete city. You can usually find a meal for less than $20.
Cost of Traveling To Bora Bora
Bora Bora is more expensive than Tahiti, mainly because it is known for its overwater bungalows and luxury resorts.
Staying in one of the upscale hotels will cost around $400-$700/per night. And if you choose an overwater bungalow, popular with Honeymooners to Bora Bora, you can expect to spend upwards of $2,000-3,000/night.
Most restaurants on the island are at resorts and cost about $30-50 per person. Excursions are typically about $100-200 for an all-day snorkeling trip or boat tour.
⭐️ The Winner: Tahiti ⭐️
Tahiti is the winner when it comes to cost. It may not have the same level of luxury as Bora Bora, but there are still plenty of lovely resorts for a fraction of the price and more affordable tours and restaurants in Papeete city.
Tahiti vs Bora Bora: Which Is Best For Families?
Tahiti and Bora Bora can both be great options for families, depending on what you are looking for in your vacation and the age of your children.
Tahiti is great for families because it is more affordable than Bora Bora and has plenty of things to do for children of all ages, especially young kids or teenagers.
They will love exploring the markets and delicious restaurants throughout Papeete. When they get tired of the city, you can take them on exciting excursions into the countryside and boat trips around Tahiti and Moorea.
If you have young kids or teenagers, they will have a blast in Tahiti.
Although it’s not popular among families but Bora Bora is an excellent place to visit with younger kids, especially toddlers. It is a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere, but enough to keep young kids interested and entertained.
Plus, you won’t have to pay for an extra plane ticket or bed in a bungalow if they are less than two years old.
Teenagers may have a harder time appreciating Bora Bora because a lot of the best things to do are more about relaxation and less geared towards adventure.
⭐️ The Winner: Tahiti ⭐️
Tahiti is the best destination for families because of its affordability and various activities. No matter the age, kids can find something they like to do, and it won’t put too much of a dent in your wallet.
Conclusion: Tahiti Vs. Bora Bora: Choosing the right one For You
The winner of Tahiti vs. Bora Bora ultimately depends on what kind of vacation you are looking for and what your budget is.
Both islands offer breathtaking landscapes, world-class resorts, and plenty of activities to keep you entertained. No matter which one you choose, though, you’ll be sure to have an unforgettable experience!
Tahiti is the more affordable option, with plenty of budget-friendly hotels and restaurants, as well as activities that can accommodate a variety of interests and range from relaxing to adventurous.
However, if a truly intimate experience is what you are after, then Bora Bora is the perfect destination for a romantic and unforgettable honeymoon.