Out of all the destinations I’ve been to, Bora Bora is the one trip I get asked about the most, and for good reason. Overwater bungalows sprawled across pristine blue waters and some of the most vibrant coral reefs in the world makes Bora Bora an attractive destination for honeymooners, couples, or those in search of rest and relaxation. Surely Bora Bora is one of the most beautiful places on earth, however planning Bora Bora holidays or vacations can be more elusive than other destinations. This guide answers all the frequently asked questions I get about Bora Bora. I hope you find it helpful in planning your trip!
By the way, if you haven’t seen it yet – check out my Bora Bora drone video below!
Getting to Bora Bora – Where exactly is it?
Bora Bora is part of a group of islands known as French Polynesia in the Pacific Ocean, somewhere in between Hawaii and Australia. Other popular destination islands within French Polynesia are the islands of Tahiti and Mo’orea. From Los Angeles, it is an 8 hour direct flight to Tahiti, then a 1 hour flight from Tahiti to Bora Bora.
What is the cost of vacation to Bora Bora / Is it really expensive?
If you’re going for the full experience, yes Bora Bora can be expensive compared to other South Pacific islands. Many people travel to Bora Bora to experience the overwater bungalows, due to the rarity of destinations that provide this type of accommodation. There are plenty of beautiful beaches with pristine waters located all over the world, so the uniqueness of being able to have a hotel room above water is an experience worth pursuing. In my honest opinion, there is no need to travel all the way to Bora Bora to stay in a regular beach-resort style hotel. Many of the resorts in Bora Bora offer “beach villas” as an alternative to the more expensive “over-water bungalow.” While the beach villas are a nice way to save money on a night or two, (many come with their own private plunge pools) if you’re going to travel to Bora Bora, I recommend spending at least one night in an overwater bungalow (preferably one that has glass bottom floors!) To sum it up: yes, Bora Bora can be quite expensive, but keep reading to learn about ways to save.
So how expensive is Bora Bora? What are the Bora Bora Holiday Prices?
Flight – Free if you use this flight hack, or if you’re buying your ticket, from LAX to Tahiti it can cost around $1600-$1800 USD, then another $200 from Tahiti to Bora Bora.
Hotels – Overwater bungalows generally cost between $750-$4000+a night. Beach villas cost between $600-$1000+ a night.
Food – Around $50-$100 per person, per meal depending on the resort.
Activities – Activities are mostly confined to your resort and mainly include water sports/activities (scuba, snorkeling, jet ski, etc) and spa services. All activities are also offered at high mark-ups compared to other destinations, with hardly any of them offered below $100 an hour at 4 and 5 star resorts.
Where should I stay in Bora Bora? Are Bora Bora overwater bungalows all inclusive?
Many of the resorts are located on their own private motus (islets) within Bora Bora. Le Meridien, St. Regis, the Four Seasons, or the Conrad are all worth looking into, or Le Moana for the most budget-friendly option. Most resorts offer full-board or half-board options, so your choices are all inclusive Bora Bora resorts, partially inclusive resorts where they cover half the meals, or non-inclusive resorts where all food and beverages are at extra cost.
Best to time to go to Bora Bora?
While Bora Bora offers warm, tropical weather year-round, there are periods of heavy rain. High season months where tourism is at its peak runs from May through October. For Bora Bora and in general while traveling, the best months to go are just before the high season (April) or just after (November.) Traveling to Bora Bora during early-mid December can also be a good time because costs are lower, though it also a gamble because there are possibilities of rain. When it does rain, it pours for a few minutes and then typically stops for long periods of sunshine, which still makes for a great experience if you are happy with this kind of trade-off.
How easily can I visit other islands? Is there a Bora Bora cruise?
You are able to visit other motus/islets/resorts within Bora Bora via boat taxis which typically cost around $50 a person. If you want to visit another island within French Polynesia, inter-island flights cost around $200 USD. Cruises to Bora Bora do exist, however you miss out on staying in an overwater bungalow. Or you can charter your own boat and cruise the French Polynesian islands by yourself.
Bora Bora, Moorea, or Tahiti: What is the difference and which island is best?
Bora Bora, Mo’orea, and Tahiti are the 3 most popular islands within French Polynesia. Bora Bora in my opinion is the most pristine and luxurious of all islands, however Mo’orea is also very beautiful in its own right, as it is much more lush than Bora Bora. Mo’orea is a great supplement (or alternative) to Bora Bora because accommodations, food, and activities are nearly half the price on this island. There is also more activities to do there as you are able to actually visit the mountainous region (ATV tours, hikes, etc.) and visit the local town. Tahiti is the most affordable of the islands costing a fraction of the price of Bora Bora and Mo’orea. You are still able to stay in bungalows there, though it may not be as luxurious of an experience. That said, you must first fly into Tahiti to reach the other islands in French Polynesia, so it is worth checking out and spending a night or two, especially if your flight arrives in the evening.
Is Bora Bora worth it?
A million times YES! In all honesty, Bora Bora is worth every penny for it is one of the most beautiful places on earth. The overwater bungalow experience is something every traveler should have, and despite the cost the memories made will surely be cherished forever.
Related reading: Bora Bora vs. Maldives: Where should you go?
French Polynesia Itinerary
I recommend spending 7-10 island hopping between Tahiti, Mo’orea, and Bora Bora. You really do not need to spend more time than that, because though you will be surrounded by breath-taking beauty, there isn’t many touring opportunities offered and you will easily wrack up quite the bill.
Day/Night 1: Arrive in Tahiti and stay at a regular hotel (no bungalow) OR if you are trying to save, spend a couple days here in an overwater bungalow before moving on to the next island.
Day 2: Take an early morning flight for Tahiti to Bora Bora. Spend between 4-6 nights in either strictly an overwater bungalow, or divide your nights between the bungalow and beach villa.
Day 4, 5, or 6: Take an early flight to Mo’orea. Stay in an overwater bungalow again or beach villa for 2-3 nights.
Day 6, 7, or 8-10: Take a flight back to Tahiti and then a flight back home OR spend another night (or two) in Tahiti and fly back the next morning.
I hope you have found this guide helpful. If there are any questions you still want answered, leave me a comment below or shoot me an email.