Bora Bora vs Maldives: Where Should You Go?

Maldives or Bora Bora

Bora Bora vs Maldives? This is a question that plagues many luxury travelers including myself. After getting engaged in Bora Bora, arguably one of the most beautiful islands on earth, my husband and I had set the bar pretty high for where we should travel to on our honeymoon. We knew that after a chaotic year of planning which culminated in a very grand and lavish wedding, remote relaxation was a priority for top honeymoon destination choices. We also had been longing to visit another overwater bungalow island, and given that we wanted to travel to other countries after we rested and recharged, we decided on the Maldives as the perfect first stop to our multi-destination honeymoon. (Especially because the Maldives are rumored to disappear.) Many travelers debate whether they should go to Bora Bora or the Maldives, and after visiting both these dream-worthy destinations, I’ve formed some very strong opinions on which place to visit.

But first, check out my drone video from the Maldives below, and click here to see my Bora Bora drone video!ย 

Bora Bora or Maldives

Maldives, the set of islands in the Indian Ocean located off the coast of Sri Lanka, though beautiful and amazing in many ways, is very similar to the Pacific Ocean’s Bora Bora island in French Polynesia. Both offer the water bungalow experience on luxurious island resorts spanning the clearest crystal blue and turquoise lagoons. Here are some factors that may help you decide one destination over the other.

  1. Both have amazing coral reefs, but if you are a diver or avid snorkeler, the Maldives is home to the most amazing and colorful coral reefs in the world, that are home to a vast variety of flora and fauna.
    Bonus: Read my friend Eliose’s article on how to take the most amazing underwater photos.
  2. Maldives is far and hard to get to (at least from the US.) There are no direct flights to the Maldives. You either need to take a very long flight to either Hong Kong or Dubai, and then to Malรฉ (the main island) before taking a seaplane to your resort island. Total travel time will take more than 24 hours to get to compared to the 6 hour flight to French Polynesia.
  3. With both destinations, an extra flight (or seaplane for Maldives) is required to get you to your resort. (Tahiti to Bora Bora, and Malรฉ to whatever island/resort you are staying on.) The seaplane transfer is around $500 in Maldives, vs. the approximate $200 flight from Tahiti to Bora Bora.
  4. Both Bora Bora and Maldives do not offer much entertainment-wise beyond relaxation, and water sports and activities. (Which isn’t totally necessary when you can jump into the calm waters from your bungalow and swim amongst the many fish, turtles, and (friendly!) sharks every day.) In the Maldives, you cannot visit any other resort other than your own (unless you want to pay another $500 for a seaplane ride.) In Bora Bora, you can take boat rides (about $50 a person round trip) to visit the other resort hotels or the main part of the island. The activities (jet skies, parasailing etc.) are also slightly cheaper in Bora Bora.
  5. It is easier to visit other islands when visiting Bora Bora due to (some-what) affordable inter-island flights. When there, you can also spend a couple nights in Tahiti and/or Mo’orea, which offer cheaper overwater bungalow accommodations and provide a unique beauty of their own.
  6. Maldives in general is slightly more expensive. There is a 22% tax added to everything purchased there. (10% service and 12% government)
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The W Maldives

So which one should you visit? Bora Bora and Maldives are equally beautiful in my mind and offer a similar type of experience with similar activities. My recommendation is to go to whichever is closer (for residents of the US, that would be Bora Bora.) Resorts in Bora Bora are also slightly cheaper than Maldives when comparing 4 and 5-star accommodations, but if you are planning to visit other parts of the Middle East or East Asia on the same trip, then it may be worth your while to go with the Maldives. Need a Maldives packing guide? My friend Jade has you covered! Whether you choose Bora Bora, Maldives, or another island, staying in an overwater bungalow ย is an experience that should be on the bucket list of every traveler. There really is nothing like it.

* The featured photo was taken at the W resort in the Maldives from their WOW suite. Let me know if you would like a more in-depth guide and itinerary about our Maldivian trip.*

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Bora Bora or the Maldives!? Should you go to the Maldives? Or should you go to Bora Bora? All your questions answered here. #Maldives vs. #BoraBora

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22 thoughts on “Bora Bora vs Maldives: Where Should You Go?

  1. What a luxurious place to spend your honeymoon. It’s great for you to have experienced both places and the recommendation to visit whichever is closer is a good one.

  2. Nice review. I was thinking alot about which one would be best. Maybe you could put a in dept price list of how much each trip cost was. And what you did at each one of them.

  3. This is awesome! I’ve often thought about these destinations as they’re very similar but couldn’t decide on which one to choose. This is really helpful ๐Ÿ˜Š thanks

  4. I have been to both Bora Bora and Maldives like yourself and I tend to agree with your opinions I loved the idyllic photos. Thanks for sharing!

    1. It really is the question of the century lol. I have a blog post about how to get free flights to Bora Bora which can help with your overall budget. You should check it out!

  5. Wow Iโ€™m definitely surprised for some reason I thought that Bora Bora would be more expensive which is why my husband and I spent our honeymoon in the Maldives without even considering Bora Bora. Although we spent the first half in Thailand and Bali which made Male pretty close to us. Now that Iโ€™ve read this blog post, Iโ€™m definitely gonna look up Bora Bora. Thanks for the information!

  6. Superb post! Thank you so much for sharing! My boyfriend keeps on about that he want to go one of those places but has no idea which one is better, so your post was super helpful for me! Thanks, thanks!

    PS are there (friendly) sharks by Bora Bora too? If so, I will leave that information out of him for the moment ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Yes there are friendly sharks in Bora Bora too but more in concentrated areas. Swimming with little sharks is always a great experience if you can get him to muster up the courage ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Uh, I don’t dare to tell him that! My boyfriend is so afraid of sharks that it is incredible. Better to let him realize himself.. When he is there ๐Ÿ˜… Thanks for clarifying for me!

  7. So lovely!! Your pictures are just wow! <3 It looks beautiful, bright, and stunning like a paradise! Thank you for your recommendation as long as the very detailed guideline with real and personal experience. I will definitely go there once (with my boyfriend^^) Thanks a lot!!

    1. Aww thank you so much for the kind words! If you need any further help planning, just shoot me an email!

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