After proposing in Bora Bora, probably the most gorgeous island on the planet, Me and my wife had set a relatively high bar for our honeymoon destination. We understood that following a hectic year of preparing that culminated in a large wedding, isolated relaxation would be a top priority for honeymoon resort selections. We also desired to visit another overwater bungalow island. Given our desire to go to additional countries after resting and recharging, we chose the Maldives as the ideal starting point for our multi-destination honeymoon. (Even more so now that the Maldives are believed to be disappearing.) Many tourists debate whether to visit Bora Bora or the Maldives, and after seeing both of these dreamy locales, I’ve acquired some pretty strong beliefs about which destination to visit (Bora Bora vs Maldives).
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Is Bora Bora a Maldives Island?
This is a frequently asked issue, so to begin, no, Bora Bora and the Maldives are two completely distinct destinations. The Maldives is an Indian Ocean archipelago located off the coast of Sri Lanka. Bora Bora is an island within the French Polynesia archipelago, located between Hawaii and Australia. Both provide the experience of staying in a water house on magnificent island resorts that span the cleanest crystal blue and turquoise lagoons. The following are some factors that may influence your choice of destination.
The Best; Bora Bora vs Maldives
I finally had the opportunity to stay in an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora last month, and I have to accept that it surpassed all of my expectations! Oh, the glistening blue water, the sea creatures, and the white sand beaches! However, having visited the Maldives twice, I can attest that it provides the same amenities.
So how do you choose between Bora Bora and the Maldives, especially if the trip is a bucket list item, such as a honeymoon? Allow me to delve into my experience and assist you in determining the answer:
Timing; Bora Bora vs Maldives
It may be as simple as selecting according to the rainy season. I’ve visited French Polynesia and the Maldives during the wet season, and rain is possible. However, you can also enjoy great weather and lower pricing, so it’s not all doom and gloom.
However, if you don’t want to toss the dice, examine each country’s dry seasons, which are nearly opposite:
May to October in Bora Bora (click here to read a complete seasonality breakdown)
Accessibility of Bora Bora vs Maldives
To reach Bora Bora, you first fly into Tahiti’s Faa’a International Airport and then take an Air Tahiti flight to Bora Bora. From the airport, the resort has reached either speedboat or seaplane. The duration of the flight to Bora Bora is dependent on your origin. It takes approximately 7.5 hours from the United States to reach the island, whereas the same journey from Asia may take a day.
The Maldives is accessible via flights to Male International Airport – the Maldives has 12 airports. You may then go to your resort via speedboat or domestic flight, which are frequently provided at an additional expense by the hotels.
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Traveling distance; Bora Bora vs Maldives
As a resident of the west coast of the United States, French Polynesia is deliciously close. All it takes is a reasonably priced eight-hour flight to get there. On the other hand, it takes me nearly 24 hours to reach the Maldives. It was considerably closer when I lived in Berlin, from which I traveled to the Maldives twice.
I’m not sure about you, but travel time has become increasingly important. Fortunately, I could book round-trip business class flights on Emirates for my upcoming trip (read more about how I did so using credit card points here). Still, I would have to think long and hard about flying coach for that trip, whereas I have no reservations about the flying coach to French Polynesia.
Contrast variety with a single lovely island
The Maldives consists of 1190 islands, but Bora Bora is a single island within French Polynesia, composed of hundreds of islands.
When picking between the Maldives and Bora Bora, you effectively choose between an entire country and a tiny island. Bora Bora may be more appealing due to its simplicity and plenty of activities. Still, if you’re looking for more diversity and more affordable options, the Maldives has enough to offer!
Costs; Bora Bora vs Maldives
Both of these locations have the potential to be prohibitively pricey. Bora Bora is well-known for its high pricing, as are portions of the Maldives. That said, the Maldives contains budget-friendly local islands, and while Bora Bora has a few budget-friendly options, you should budget more for everything in French Polynesia. Although it is my favorite travel location globally, it is not a budget trip.
The majority of Bora-overwater Bora’s bungalows will cost you at least $1000 per night, and that is on the low end. While staying above water in the Maldives is not significantly cheaper, those on a budget will often find more options.
Activities: Bora Bora vs Maldives
Bora Bora offers a plethora of activities. They’re famed for their lagoon trips with sharks and stingrays, but the lagoon is so lovely that you can take a kayak out and snorkel for as long as you like.
You may even take a boat out to swim with humpback whales if you visit around the perfect time of year (late July to late October).
Additionally, there is a climb on Bora Bora that provides a beautiful view of the island. If you prefer climbing and mountaineering, the Maldives is not the place for you.
Additionally, there are numerous eateries, and you may rent a scooter to explore Bora Bora.
This will not be the case if you choose to stay at a Maldives resort. The majority of resorts are isolated on their island, and you’ll be required to dine at their cafeterias, mark up for their tours, and do very little traveling beyond your tiny island.
The wildlife you can observe varies according to which region of the Maldives you are in. I enjoy visiting Ari Atoll, home to Manta rays and whale sharks. Other sections of the Maldives are also biosphere reserves where you may view a variety of species, so if you’re an ocean lover like me, choose a resort in one of the locations with the animals you’re interested in seeing.
Bora Bora vs the Maldives; Neighborhood Interaction
How much interaction on a local level do you desire? The people are one of my favorite aspects of French Polynesia, and being able to meet and speak with them has prompted me to return numerous times. That is not to suggest that the Maldivian people are not as gorgeous, but unless you opt to stay on a local island, you will not have much interaction (which I did during my first visit and highly recommend).
Local islands, on the other hand, do not have overwater cottages. You cannot wear a bikini (the Maldives is predominantly Sunni Muslim, and visitors must cover-up on local islands). While you can have beautiful experiences, you will not have the luxury and local interaction in the exact location.
The majority of Maldives resort islands are isolated and frequently staffed by foreigners. This permits them to sell alcohol and guests for wearing bikinis on the beach, but it also means you’ll be isolated and unable to explore much on foot.
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In my opinion; Bora Bora vs the Maldives
If I were arranging my honeymoon, I would choose dates depending on the ideal weather. Having visited both locations during the wet season, I can attest that you can either get really lucky or extremely unlucky. If you’re ready to spend thousands of dollars per night on an overwater bungalow, going during the rainy season is a gamble.
Of course, rain can strike at any moment, and you never know for sure, but I would hedge against rained-out honeymoons by selecting during the dry season.
Otherwise, it’s difficult for me to choose between them, as they are both stunning and offer so much to see. The excellent information is that you cannot go wrong.
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A turquoise lagoon wrapped by a coral reef surrounds the small, verdant island, flanked by tiny islets rimmed with brilliant white sand. Mount Otemanu, an extinct volcano at the island’s core, pierces the sky with its 2,385-foot peak. Particular attractions may be closed temporarily or require reservations in advance. Currently, some eateries only provide pickup. The hours and availability may have changed.
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1. Activities in Bora Bora; Matira Beach
Photo by -marko
Matira Beach is frequently cited as one of the world’s most beautiful beaches. This mile-long strip of beautiful white sand is located on Bora Bora’s southern point and is bordered by tall palm palms against a magnificent backdrop of lush green hills. Matira is the only public beach worth visiting on the island, and the entrance is open to everyone. It is framed on all sides by private beaches. The swimming and snorkeling are excellent, and the fine white sand slowly falls into a warm, shallow, soft, sandy lagoon. It is easy to stroll on the seabed since it is level and sandy, free of jagged coral. It’s the ideal spot to take the youngsters for a swim in the calm, warm sea. It is likely to wade from Matira Point to the barrier reef during low tide because it is shallow.
2. Activities in Bora Bora; Mount Otemanu
Photo by Pablo Fischer
You can see Mount Otemanu from anywhere on Bora Bora. Its craggy black slopes stand out against the beautiful vegetation surrounding it and the crystal blue lagoon below. While the entire island of Bora Bora is the product of an ancient volcano that is thankfully no longer active, Mount Otemanu and Mount Pahia are the most visible remains. Mount Otemanu is a famous trekking location with a height of 2,385 feet. You can only hike to the base, and even that requires the assistance of a local guide. Because of the unstable volcanic rock, which cannot withstand the weight of an average human, reaching the peak is challenging, yet that does not stop dedicated climbers from attempting it. Nobody has yet succeeded, according to the locals. On the other hand, the mountain is so gorgeous and majestic that the trip to the base is well worth it to acquire some breathtaking photographs. Look for historic American WWII guns, and some ancient local altars strewed over the jungle.
3. Activities in Bora Bora; Pearl Market
The Tahiti Pearl Market is a family-run enterprise that cultivates, puts into jewelry, and sells gorgeous locally sourced pearls. Their experience began on the atoll of Takaroa and has since expanded to five atolls in the Tuamotu Archipelago, where they currently culture pearl oysters. Colors, sizes, and quality vary greatly depending on the area. This Tahiti traditional trade employs many locals; only one of these farms on the tiny atoll of Ahe employs 40 people. Divers who pick pearl oysters from 20 feet below the surface are among them. Customers at Tahiti Pearl Market have the unique opportunity to choose their favorite pearl from thousands of options and have it mounted in the setting of their choosing.
4. Activities in Bora Bora; Church of Paroisse Saint Pierre-Celestin
Paroisse Saint Pierre Célestin, Bora Bora’s only Catholic Church, is located in the middle of Vaitape and is the town’s main attraction where locals assemble for Sunday Mass and religious holidays. Architect David Chauvin created this tiny jewel that combines perfectly with local architecture. It was built on Father Emile’s proposal, who was once the parish priest of the Leeward Islands. Atelier Mari & Femme created beautiful, colorful stained-glass windows that reflect the seven sacraments. They are composed of sturdy laminated glass instead of glass to withstand the area’s severe winds.
5. Activities in Bora Bora; Aqua Safari
Bora Bora is well-known for its excellent watersports, particularly scuba diving. You can still appreciate the beauty of Bora Bora’s underwater environment with the help of Aqua Safari and their revolutionary diving helmet, even if you are not scuba certified and are unwilling or unable to invest the time to learn to dive. You’ll be walking on a sand floor in around three meters of water, surrounded by colorful fish, seagrasses, and a variety of underwater plants and animals, and your hair will not get wet. The Aqua Safari crew will pick you up from your accommodation, give you basic safety training, and then guide you underwater after placing a helmet on your head. Even 6-year-old children can participate in this activity because it is so safe. Being so near to colorful clownfish, eagle rays, and possibly even sharks is an unforgettable experience.
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6. Activities in Bora Bora; Aquabike Adventure
Consider exploring one of Bora Bora’s blue lagoons on a two-person open underwater scooter. Bora Bora and Maurice Island are the only places in the world where you can experience it. Your scooter will be slowly submerged into the water from a platform, and while underneath, you will be able to analyze the lagoon and its abundant aquatic life with the help of a scuba diver. You will be wearing a glass helmet over your head and breathe properly. The aquabike is self-contained and driven by an electric motor, allowing you to move around freely. The dive will last approximately 40 minutes and cover about 1.5 kilometers at a depth of roughly 15 feet. To operate the aquabike, you must be 16 years old, and passengers must be eight years old or older.
7. Activities in Bora Bora; Upstairs Bora Art
The gallery Bora Art Upstairs, located in the heart of Vaitape Village, houses Bora Bora’s best permanent collection of paintings, featuring ten local painters and more than 100 original artworks influenced by Polynesian culture. Acrylic and oil on canvas, article or timber, watercolors, lithographs, replicas, prints, posters, tiki, tapa, and pareos are just a few media used to make artwork. The gallery also sells local art books. Marco Lundi is one of the gallery’s local artists, with several acrylic and oil paintings on canvas and paper and some reproductions and posters.
8. Activities in Bora Bora; Explorer
You’ll need an experienced guide to appreciate Bora Bora’s magnificent splendor properly. Bora Bora Explorer provides half-day and full-day land and water excursions day and night. Their professional and informed guides will take you to Bora Bora’s lesser-known and most hidden areas in their comfy off-road vehicles. If you choose to embark on a sea trip, the boat will pick you up from your hotel and take you sightseeing in Bora Bora’s stunning lagoon, swimming with stingrays and sharks, before transporting you to a small private island for a locally prepared lunch. For a truly unique experience, consider combining land and sea tours.
9. Activities in Bora Bora; Lagoon Tours
Whether you’re visiting Bora Bora for a honeymoon or to take in the stunning environment, you’ll want to capture some fantastic photos to remember your ideal trip. Bora Dream Pictures and Lagoon Tours combines a luxury boat tour with images taken by a professional photographer. Not only does your guide have a university degree in earth and sea sciences, but he is also a skilled photographer with a lot of experience. After they have been revised and processed, you will receive high-definition stunning images of your vacation. You can also choose a trip without photographs or hire a photographer for a session in Bora Bora.
Take Bora Bora island full circle in one of the beautiful traditional outrigger canoes, surrounded by crystal-clear waters teeming with marine life. Stop snorkeling and watch your guide feed the stingrays in the gorgeous coral gardens. Outside the reef, snorkel amid the reef and lemon sharks. If you choose a full-day tour, you will also have a picnic lunch on a private motu, where you will sample the excellent fresh local cuisine. Enjoy a romantic sunset cruise around the lagoon or a romantic dinner cruise, where your tour guide will pick you to a small private motu where you will enjoy a romantic three-course supper set at the table over the water after the sun has set.
10. Activities in Bora Bora; Maohi Nui
Visiting Bora Bora with Maohi Nui and local icon Patrick Tairua is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Patrick will take you about his island by boat and on land, telling you stories and legends and sharing his knowledge of history, environment, and native culture. You have the option of going on a lagoon trip in a traditional outrigger canoe, where your guide will entertain you by playing the ukulele as you take in the beautiful beauty of the lagoon, or swimming and snorkeling with stingrays, reef sharks, and turtles. You may also have a Polynesian feast on a private motu, where you can sit in the sea and eat a traditional meal while sipping a refreshing drink. Take a 4X4 safari expedition to see the stunning views from the island peaks, or get married in the Polynesian style. Bora Bora is the most romantic spot on the planet.
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11. Activities in Bora Bora; Adventure Tours in Moana
Moana Journey Tours will assist you in making your Bora Bora adventure a reality. They have a caravan of 14 boats and 16 jet skis, and you may book a completely private tour, go in a small or large group, join one of their organized excursions, or even have a time designed specifically for you. The following are some of the tours available:
- Enjoy a romantic escape with a barbecue lunch on a private motu.
- Go on a lagoon safari.
- Get your adrenaline pumping with jet ski tours and so much more on spending 4 hours on a Blue Lagoon Cruise after taking the 2-hour Romantic Sunset Cruise and enjoying the beauty of the water in all its grandeur with a glass of Champagne in your hand.
- Go on a lagoon safari.
- Get your adrenaline pumping with jet ski tours and so much more.
There is a lovely picnic for honeymooners on a private motu with your feet dangling in the lagoon. For those who prefer to keep dry, there is a glass-bottomed boat.
12. Activities in Bora Bora; Reef Discovery’s Pure Snorkeling
Pure Snorkeling by Reef Discovery is a one-of-a-kind snorkeling tour with four stops throughout the island. You’ll snorkel in the Bora Bora lagoon’s meticulously managed healthy, colorful coral gardens for around 3.5 hours in warm, shallow, crystal-clear waters. You’ll see moray eels, anemone fish, eagle rays, manta rays, and a variety of other sea creatures. You will be accompanied by highly qualified and informed guides who will ensure your safety while also enlightening you about the environment and the wildlife you will encounter. The tour is appropriate for all ages, and the groups are small, ensuring that each participant receives individual attention. Snorkeling is an excellent way to explore underwater life without devoting time and money to scuba diving training and equipment.
13. Activities in Bora Bora; Matira Beach Restaurant
The sophisticated and picturesque Restaurant Matira Beach is located on the widespread public Matira Beach, on the very border of the sand and overlooking the lagoon’s crystal-clear waters. The comfy, sophisticated furnishings gives a great vibe in a classic Bora Bora setting, while the spacious dining rooms are all exposed to fresh breezes and excellent views. Chef Tuaiva and his wife Margiane provide a modest lunch menu, amazing sushi at the sushi bar, and New Zealand beef and other regional delicacies in the evening. The restaurant is equally appealing for large group dinners for intimate dinners for two. There’s a welcoming bar, a welcoming greeting area, a lovely outside terrace, and even a kid’s room.
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