Do you need help choosing between Bora Bora vs Tahiti for your vacation? When envisioning your journey, selecting the perfect location is essential. Especially when the destination entails crossing the vast South Pacific Ocean.
Both islands in French Polynesia are fantastic for all types of travelers and cater to families, honeymooners, and adventure enthusiasts alike. However, several drawbacks come with visiting both Tahiti and Bora Bora. Let us dive into everything you need to know about the two South Pacific Islands!
Tahiti Islands and Bora Bora are very close to each other and they both offer great sunbathing, exciting beaches, and a lot of similar outdoor activities. However, the two islands possess several differences:
- Tahiti is the largest island in French Polynesia and is most famous for hiking, surfing, and snorkeling. Furthermore, it is known as the political center of the country.
- On the other hand, Bora Bora is smaller in size compared to Tahiti, it exudes an even greater sense of seclusion and remoteness. Additionally, it is known for overwater bungalows and luxury resorts that give a tranquil, intimate, and serene getaway.
But that’s not all! Continue reading to uncover more details about both islands, their advantages and disadvantages, cultural aspects, geographical positions, cost of visiting, and what each island presents to visitors!
Check out the comparison of the two islands in the table provided:
WHICH IS BETTER
More snorkeling tours
Only one snorkeling tour in Moorea
More laid-back, best for honeymooners
Less laid-back for honeymooners
Expensive and less activities for kids
Best for all ages because of affordability
Difficult to access
Easy to access
Advantages and Disadvantages of Visiting Bora Bora
Bora Bora is a captivating paradise with an abundance of things to offer. From landscapes to overwater bungalows, Bora Bora is the best place.
Here are some advantages and disadvantages of visiting Bora Bora Island.
Advantages of Visiting Bora Bora in the South Pacific Ocean
French Polynesia’s most beautiful island among all the society islands promises an unforgettable experience. Let us look at some of the pros of visiting Bora Bora:
- There is an absence of crowds: French Polynesia welcomes as many tourists in a year as Hawaii greets in just a week. Even at its busiest times when the resorts are at full capacity, Bora Bora maintains an uncrowded ambiance.
- Bora Bora offers the most turquoise water: Navigating the lagoons around Bora Bora Island offers a breathtaking vista of an array of azure and turquoise hues that surpasses one’s imagination. Furthermore, these waters are good to go for snorkeling to witness some of the marine life.
- Exciting resort: Bora Bora is known for its luxury resorts that offer full accommodations. You can also own a private island in Bora Bora for a truly intimate vacation.
- Distinctive experiences: In which other part of the globe can you interact with elegant sharks and affectionately stroke stingrays akin to friendly puppies? Bora Bora represents the ultimate retreat for immersing oneself in nature and relishing unparalleled encounters.
Disadvantages of Touring Bora Bora
Here are some drawbacks of visiting Bora Bora Island:
- It’s outrageously Expensive to visit: Bora Bora is known for its luxury resorts that are very expensive to stay. Relaxing in an overwater bungalow experience at the St. Regis Bora Bora represents arguably the most extravagant manner in which you will never like in the island. Dining can be notably expensive, primarily because of limited alternatives.
- Difficult to get to Bora Bora: Due to the remote nature of the island, direct sea access to Bora Bora is not possible. The best way to access Bora Bora is through a flight to Tahiti, followed by a boat transfer that will take you to Bora Bora.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Visiting Tahiti
Spending your holiday vacation on Tahiti island can be interesting and sometimes disappoint you. Let us explore some advantages and disadvantages of spending your holiday in Tahiti.
Advantages of Visiting Tahiti
Here are some pros of visiting Tahiti:
- Impressive peaks: Tahiti consists of volcanic mountains with impressive peaks that attract tourists. One of them is Mount Mouaputa on the island of Moorea.
- Attractive culture and art: Tahiti features a unique culture combined with French influence. You can participate in music, dance, and taste their local cuisine.
- Low crime rate: Tahiti Island is known to be the safest place to visit, with low violent crime and theft cases. However, this does not mean that you will leave your expensive items anyhow; you should be responsible with your belongings.
- Numerous outdoor activities: Tahiti offers various outdoor activities to make your vacation more enjoyable. These activities include canoeing, paddle boarding, hiking, cycling, and soaring over the sea on a paraglider.
Disadvantages of Visiting Tahiti
Check out some of the drawbacks of touring Tahiti:
- It is expensive to visit Tahiti: If you plan to visit Tahiti during your vacation, you must be prepared to spend a lot of money. This island consists of many private islands, and almost everything needs to be shifted, making it more expensive to explore.
- Medical expenses are high: It is advisable to get medical insurance coverage if you must visit Tahiti so that once you get sick while there, your medication is covered. Health care in Tahiti is extremely expensive, especially if you are from the outer islands.
Geographical Position of Bora Bora vs Tahiti
Both Tahiti and Bora Bora are from the same group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean:
- Bora Bora is approximately 160 miles northwest of Tahiti and roughly 2,600 miles south of Hawaii. Furthermore, Bora Bora Island is mostly surrounded by small reef islets and a turquoise lagoon protected by a coral reef.
- On the other hand, Tahiti is located in the center of the South Pacific Ocean. It is about 4,400km south of Hawaiʻi and 7,900 kilometers from Chile.
Bora Bora vs Tahiti: Comparing Beaches and Scenery
Tahiti and Bora Bora boast stunning beaches and landscapes, making them ideal vacation destinations. Your choice depends on personal preferences. Let’s explore their best beaches and landscapes.
Beaches & Landscapes in Bora Bora
If you are after white sand, calm waves, and bright aquamarine-colored water, go for Bora Bora Island. Some of the best beaches in Bora Bora include:
- Matira Beach: Matira Beach on Bora Bora spans a mere 18 miles, a verdant, narrow strip of terrain nestled within a sheltered lagoon bordered by exquisite, powdery white coastlines. It is primarily favored for its gently sloping ivory sands and impeccably clear waters, making it an ideal spot for both swimming and snorkeling.
- Le Meridien Beach: This shoreline offers views of Monte Carlo and the Mediterranean Sea. It is a private beach with open-air swimming pools best for various water sports, such as scuba diving, windsurfing, and snorkeling.
- Plage royale de Bora Bora: Plage Royale de Bora Bora Beach is among the beaches with endless shorelines in Nunu’e, French Polynesia. It is good because it is easy to access and it’s a hotel beach.
Beaches and Landscapes in Tahiti
If you need a taste of black sand beaches, visit French Polynesia, especially the tropical island of Tahiti. Tahiti has countless black sand beaches, making your trip more remarkable and enjoyable. Here are some of the beaches:
- Vaiava Beach: Vaiava Beach is known to be the finest beautiful white sand beach in Tahiti. It is acknowledged for being the premier destination for snorkeling and swimming haven for children.
- Fare Beach: Merely a short distance to the north of Fare Quay in French Polynesia lies a well-liked Fare Beach among the local residents and the occasional travelers who come across it.
- Temae Beach: Temae Beach stands as a picturesque shoreline in Tahiti, showcasing awe-inspiring vistas, velvety sands, and crystalline azure waters.
Bora Bora Interesting Activities
Once you arrive in Bora Bora, you will always be active; there are many things to do. Here are some of the things to do while in Bora Bora:
- Bicycle around Bora Bora: Embarking on a cycling expedition ranks among the most enjoyable activities in Bora Bora. You can effortlessly encircle the whole main island on a bicycle. Therefore, hire a bike and set out on your journey.
- Opt for a Bora Bora jeep excursion: In your guided expedition, you’ll traverse rugged paths in your sturdy compact vehicle while touring the volcanic isle. On your way, you’ll receive a quick tutorial on the island’s fruit-bearing trees and blossoms.
- Whale watching: If you’re interested in whale watching, the prime period for spotting whales in Bora Bora falls within the humpback whale season, which spans from July to October. Encounter the magnificent humpback whales of Bora Bora and take a dip with them to create enduring and remarkable moments.
- Snorkeling: With its pristine beaches, your Bora Bora vacation must end after snorkeling at one of the beaches. There is a lot of underwater marine life that you will discover while snorkeling.
Tahiti Interesting Activities
Tahiti Island offers numerous things to do that other society islands cannot offer. Here are some of the Things to do while in Tahiti:
- Relax in an Overwater Bungalow: Indulge in a refreshing morning swim directly from your private overwater bungalow, and partake in some thrilling activities such as kayaking or snorkeling in the lagoon for an adventurous experience.
- Explore the Museum of Tahiti and The Islands: For those with an inclination toward history and a curiosity about Tahitian culture, tourists recommend including a trip to this museum in your schedule. The Museum of Tahiti and the Islands. is committed to enlightening its visitors about this exquisite group of islands.
- Surfing: Tahiti is known to be the best place to surf because of the Teahupo’o wave. However, this is only good for experts.
Gastronomy in Tahiti vs Bora Bora
Both Bora Bora and Tahiti provide excellent cuisine featuring an abundance of French pastries, seafood, and dishes influenced by Asian flavors. Some of the cuisines in Bora Bora include:
- Raw fish marinated in coconut milk;
- Fresh fruits like mango;
Some of the culinary options in Tahiti include:
- Sweet potatoes;
Cultural and Recreational Activities in Bora Bora and Tahiti
Tahiti and Bora Bora have diverse and attractive cultures, but Tahiti has it all. The Culture of Tahiti is experienced through its rich history, dance, tattoos, and cuisine, with cultural entertainment every day.
Conversely, Bora Bora’s rich Polynesian culture shines through its traditional dance shows and handcrafted arts, offering tourists a glimpse into the island’s heritage.
How to Fly from the USA?
Due to their remote destination, getting to Bora Bora and Tahiti takes a lot of work. The direct flight that will take you to the main city of Tahiti is from Los Angeles, which will take approximately 8.5 hours. Whichever flight you take, it must connect you to LA first.
On the other hand, to get to Bora Bora, you will need to stop at Papeete. From there, you check a flight that will take you to Bora Bora, which will take around an hour.
Population, Tourists and Crowd Factor
Tahiti, the largest island in French Polynesia, is the main destination that links visitors to other islands. It receives the highest number of tourists, making it more crowded than Bora Bora.
Bora Bora is situated in remote regions and features a solitary primary harbor, Vaitape. Consequently, it attracts fewer tourists and remains less crowded compared to Tahiti.
Bora Bora vs Tahiti: Best Time to Explore
French Polynesia boasts a fantastic climate, making it a must-visit destination. Weather is consistent between the two close islands:
- High tourist demand raises accommodation and amenity prices from May to October.
- From December to March, these areas have mosquitoes and fewer visitors.
- Therefore, the best time to explore both islands is between April and November.
Bora Bora vs Tahiti: Truly Intimate Vacation for Couples
Tahiti is a prime choice for budget-conscious honeymooners seeking adventurous experiences. The island offers thrilling activities such as:
- Mountain peak hikes;
- Attractive resorts.
Bora Bora is a popular pick among honeymooners due to its couple-centric atmosphere. It’s an ideal destination for escaping the hustle and bustle and enjoying a tranquil getaway with one’s newlywed partner.
Bora Bora vs Tahiti for Family Getaways
Both Tahiti and Bora Bora are good places for all ages to go for vacation. Tahiti is a budget-friendly family option with activities for all ages, especially kids and teens.
Though less popular with families, Bora Bora is ideal for toddler vacations, providing a laid-back atmosphere with plenty of engaging activities. Plus, kids under two years fly and stay for free.
Where To Stay Based on Your Financial Plan
Both Bora Bora and Tahiti offer something for every traveler. Check out where to stay on both islands, best in your pocket.
Here are some of the best budget and luxury accommodations in Bora Bora:
Best Budget Accommodation Options
Check out where to stay if you are a budget traveler:
- Anaiva Lodge Bora: This accommodation offers views of the garden, complimentary WiFi, and free on-site parking. It is located in Bora Bora, approximately 8.3 kilometers from Mount Otemanu.
- Hotel Maitai Polynesia Bora Bora: Hotel Maitai is a memorable resort; it’s a fantastic location to embrace life to the maximum. Visitors can start their day with a coffee on their exclusive terraces, gazing at the picturesque mountains and the transparent waters of the sea.
- Hotel Atiapiti: Atiapiti Inn is an ideal spot for a tranquil escape by the seaside, offering accommodations right at the water’s edge and open-air furnishings with a view of the swaying palm trees.
Check out some of the luxury accommodations in Bora Bora:
- Paul Gauguin Cruises: This facility features luxurious oceanview rooms with balconies, curated gourmet dining by chef Jean-Pierre Vigato, a lavish spa, a spacious deck with a pool, a fitness center, a boutique, and a cultural lounge with live local entertainment.
- Le Meridien Bora Bora: This establishment holds a prime position within Bora Bora’s captivating lagoon, offering a view across the water toward the majestic Mount Otemanu, the highest peak on the island.
- Conrad Bora Bora Nui: Nestled on Motu To’opua, a 20-minute boat ride from Bora Bora Airport, Conrad Bora Bora Nui offers ocean views, water sports, coral reef diving, and hiking. It features 29 garden/beach villas and 86 overwater bungalows.
Discover some of the best budget-friendly luxury accommodations in Tahiti.
Explore where to stay in Tahiti if you are a budget traveler:
- The Hotel Tahiti Nui: Hotel Tahiti Nui, a contemporary, centrally situated option, is ideal for those seeking a downtown Papeete experience. Just a 5-minute stroll from the Tahiti Pearl Market and Municipal Market.
- The Tahiti Airport Motel: The Tahiti Airport Motel is a superb option for travelers who prefer proximity to the airport. It’s conveniently located just 1 mile from Faaa Airport.
- Pension de la Plage: Pension de la Plage is a welcoming, pet-welcoming inn 6 miles from Faaa Airport. Its strategic position by the shoreline offers excellent opportunities for snorkeling and various exciting water activities.
Luxury Accommodations in Tahiti
Here are some of the luxury accommodations you will find in Tahiti:
- The Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa: The Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa sits at the heart of a sandy beach between Moorea’s two famous bays. Its northern position lets you enjoy sunrise and sunset views from your overwater bungalow.
- The InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa: InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa, Tahiti’s largest luxury resort, is just a five-minute drive from the airport, offering convenience. Despite its proximity, it’s a beautiful Polynesian oasis with stunning Moorea views.
Expense for a Trip to Bora Bora vs Tahiti
The price of your Tahiti vacation can fluctuate based on the duration of your stay and the type of lodging you opt for. You can discover economical lodgings for approximately $100 per evening, though this rate excludes dining and excursions.
Bora Bora tends to be pricier than Tahiti, primarily due to its reputation for overwater bungalows and luxury resorts. It will cost you approximately $400-$700 in one night if you will have to spend it on upscale hotels.
Is Tahiti better than Bora Bora?
Tahiti is better than Bora Bora in almost everything it offers. Tahiti is cheaper in terms of accommodations, flight, and dining. It is also good for honeymooners, a cultural hub, and a surfer’s dream.
Is Tahiti less expensive than Bora Bora?
Yes, Tahiti is less expensive for budget travelers. This is because Bora Bora is made up of luxury resorts located in most small reef islets, meaning you will need boat trips to access them.
Which is better, Fiji Bora Bora or Tahiti?
Fiji is known to be better when compared to Bora Bora and Tahiti. From stunning ocean beaches to diverse amenities and things to do, Fiji is a perfect destination for a family vacation.
Which is Easier To Get To, Bora Bora or Tahiti?
Although getting to both islands is difficult, it is easy to access Tahiti than Bora Bora. To get to Bora Bora, you must land in Tahiti first and then check for another flight.
Is Bora Bora better than Fiji?
Fiji is better than Bora Bora because it is a more affordable choice for travelers with diverse and unique amenities.
Is Bora Bora a Private Island?
Bora Bora is a public island in the group of French Polynesia, but most of its beaches are privately owned.
The outcome of the Bora Bora vs. Tahiti comparison ultimately hinges on the type of holiday you desire and your financial plan. Both islands present awe-inspiring scenery, top-notch hotels, and many pastimes to ensure an enjoyable time.
Choose Tahiti for affordable lodging, diverse dining, and a wide range of activities from relaxation to adventure. For an intimate, unforgettable honeymoon, Bora Bora is the ultimate destination.
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