Bora Bora Vs. Maldives: Which Destination is Better?

Bora Bora Vs Maldives
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Are you deciding between Bora Bora vs Maldives for your dream vacation?

I had the same thoughts and decision to make when deciding where I should go for my Honeymoon.

Both destinations offer pristine beaches, luxurious resorts, and stunning natural beauty, but they each have their unique charm.

In this article, I’ll compare these two tropical paradises and share my thought process of why I chose the destination for our honeymoon. Read on if you’d like help choosing the best destination for your ultimate dream vacation.

Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/bora-bora-vs-maldives/
Bora bora in March at le bora bora

Bora Bora Vs. Maldives: Which Destination is Better?

Although both destinations are dreamy and beautiful, they differ in many ways. The ultimate destination will depend on your personal reasons to visit and what type of trip you are seeking. For me, it is for our Honeymoon. I wanted a destination that is unique in landscape, had warm tropical waters, was easy to get there from the US, and had great marine life as I love snorkeling! So, let’s dive into how Bora Bora and The Maldives differ and which destination is right for you.

Geographical Comparison & Scenery of Bora Bora Vs The Maldives

Where is Bora Bora Located?

Located in French Polynesia, Tahiti – Bora Bora is a small volcanic island surrounded by a vibrant lagoon and barrier reef. The island’s lush tropical landscape and crystal-clear waters. Known for the luxurious overwater bungalows and mountainous view of Mt. Otemanu. It’s an idyllic tropical island paradise with calm white sand beaches and luxurious overwater bungalows. It is known as the Pearl of the Pacific and is popular amongst honeymooners and couples.

Where is The Maldives Located?

The Maldives is an archipelago of 26 atolls, consisting of over 1,000 coral islands in the Indian Ocean. Known for its white-sand beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and overwater bungalows, the Maldives is a popular choice for honeymooners and luxury travelers.

My Thoughts on The Difference Between Bora Bora vs Maldives Geographical Locations

They are located on different continents and different Oceans, depending on where you traveling from, one will be closer to you. In my case, Bora Bora is easier to get to from the US than the Maldives. If you are based in Europe both will be fairly easy to reach, if you are based in Asia then the Maldives will be easier to get to.

Another thing to consider is the geographical landscape of the Bora Bora vs the Maldives. Bora Bora is a volcanic island and has spectacular backdrop views of mountains in addition to the pristine turquoise water. It’s one of the world’s most iconic views. The highest peak in Bora Bora is Mount Otenamu at 727 meters. The Maldives compared to Bora Bora landscapes is much flatter and the highest peak is only 2.4 meters.

This was one of the deciding factors for me, as the view from our overwater bungalow was spectacular and added depth and beauty. You see all shades of blue, the turquoise of the waters, and Mt. Otemanu in the background.

The Maldives offers beautiful crystal clear water, but not much of a landscape to look at, it’s very flat and all you see are miles of beautiful shallow lagoons of turquoise waters. So if like me, you care about the view, Bora bora is the winner here.

Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/bora-bora-vs-maldives/

Weather and Best Time to Visit Bora Bora Vs Maldives

The Maldives Vs Bora Bora

Bora Bora Weather

Bora Bora has a tropical climate, with warm temperatures year-round of 70- 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The best time to visit is during the dry season from May to October, with less humidity and rainfall. However, the rainfall doesn’t last all day, so this won’t significantly affect your trip! We visited in March, and it was 80% sunny the rain came only a few times and lasted 10-20 minutes.

TIP: Don’t look at the weather forecast, don’t let it bum you out, it may say rain if you visit during off-season as I did but truly the rain does not last all day. It’s actually so nice to swim in the rain! It’s still warm enough to swim in the water.

Monthly Bora Bora Weather Chart
chart by boraboraphotos.com

Maldives Weather

The Maldives also experiences a tropical climate, with year-round warm temperatures. The Maldives experiences monsoon seasons, so you do have to plan ahead for that. The dry season, between November and April, is the most popular time to visit, as it offers optimal weather conditions and less rain.

Highest Maldives temperatures / Dry season: between 30°C/32°C (86˚- 90F˚)

Lowest Maldives temperatures / Rainy season: between 25°C/28°C (77˚- 83F˚)

My Thoughts on The Difference Between Bora Bora vs Maldives Weather

The weather is pretty similar as both have a dry and a wet season. Although the Maldives does have a monsoon season planning to visit during off season/ shoulder season would be riskier compared to Bora Bora.

It ultimately depends on what month you are going, but for me, I wanted to save by going off-season during March, and for me, Bora Bora was the winner here.

bora bora vs the maldives

The Beaches and Marine/Ocean Life

Bora Bora vs Maldives

Bora Bora Beaches

Bora Bora’s beaches are renowned for their soft white sand and crystal-clear waters. The island’s lagoon offers calm lagoons waters for swimming and snorkeling, while its barrier reef teems with vibrant marine life, including sharks and rays. Most hotels have exclusive private beaches for hotel guests to enjoy. You have lush palmtrees and Mount Otemanu in the distance.

Maldives Beaches

The Maldives boasts some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, with powdery white sand and turquoise waters. Many of the islands have private beaches exclusive to resort guests, ensuring a secluded and tranquil experience. The Maldives is also famous for its bioluminescent beaches, where glowing plankton creates a mesmerizing spectacle

My Thoughts on The Difference Between Bora Bora vs Maldives Beaches and Ocean Life

I think they are similar in the quality of the beaches are both amazing and beautiful. The marine life is beaming because they are both remote islands with coral reefs. It may be a bit rockier along some parts of the shore in Bora Bora vs The Maldives because it’s a volcanic island. There are long stretches of long white soft sand in the Maldives.

For marine life, Bora Bora has one of the best snorkeling with abundant marine life including reef sharks, stingrays, many colorful reef fish, huge clams, eels, and whales from June – November.

In my experience, if you’re staying at the resorts which you likely are, every major hotel has a soft white sand beach for you to lounge on. So you can’t go wrong with either one. For Marine life, I think Bora Bora is a winner. I’ve seen the most marine life when I went snorkeling and the reef is thriving and abundant. When I was researching before my trip, I didn’t read or hear of anyone raving about snorkeling in the Maldives.

Best Resorts / Hotels in Bora Bora Vs The Maldives

Overwater Bungalows Bora Bora vs Maldives

Bora Bora Resorts

Bora Bora is known for its luxurious overwater bungalows and upscale resorts. Most resorts offer half board and all inclusive packages, with amenities such as private plunge pools, glass bottom in room, outdoor showers, and concierge. Some popular options include the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora and the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort.

Maldives Resorts

The Maldives also offers a wide range of over 500 luxurious resorts, many of which feature iconic overwater villas. With options for both budget and high-end travelers, Maldives resorts cater to various preferences. Most resorts offer all inclusive packages, with amenities such as private plunge pools, outdoor showers, and private butlers. Notable resorts include the Gili Lankanfushi Maldives and the Soneva Fushi.

My Thoughts on The Difference Between Bora Bora vs Maldives Hotels and Resorts

Both offer unique over water bungalows and luxurious amenities. Maldives seems to cater more to all inclusive and luxury experiences with butlers and has over 500 resorts to choose from (that’s a lot!). Bora Bora offers more privacy and exclusivity of a smaller selection of ultra luxurious 4 to 5 star hotels. You can’t go wrong with either choice. I selected to stay at the 4 Star Le Bora Bora by Pearl Resorts for our honeymoon and it was amazing for the value! Check out my full review here. Next time we come back, I want to resort hop and check out St Regis and The Four seasons.

bora vs maldives
Bora Bora in March at Le Bora Bora

Activities and Things To Do in Bora Bora Vs Maldives

Bora vs The Maldives

Bora Bora Activities

Bora Bora offers a variety of activities to do Snorkeling and scuba diving are the most popular, you can explore the island’s rich coral reefs and diverse marine life. Other activities include jet skiing, paddleboarding, shark and ray snorkeling, Whale watching tours, and 4×4 island tours. Famous snorkeling points include Coral Gardens and the Bora Bora Lagoonarium. Here, you can interact with blacktip reef sharks and stingrays. There is also hiking in the lush mountains and cultural experiences including Polynesian food and culture shows.

Some of the most popular excursions and activiites in Bora Bora are:

Shark & Stingray Snorkeling: Enjoy a full day on a classic outrigger Polynesian boat going to three different snorkeling spots to see stingrays, coral reefs, and enjoy a delicious feast on a private island.

Catamaran Snrokeling & Floating Bar:  private tour let’s you enjoy the best of Bora Bora on a 25-foot modern luxurious catamaran as you sip on your favorite drink and snorkel in in the best lagoons.

4X4 Island Tour:

Maldives Activities

The Maldives also provides a wide range of water-based activities, such as snorkeling, diving, and fishing. Unique experiences like underwater restaurants and spa treatments add to the allure of the destination. You can also partake in dolphin-watching excursions and local island hopping.

Snorkeling: You’ll visit three different reefs, where you can see an array of tropical fish, multicolored coral, and dolphins as they do their stunts. Snorkeling gear, photos, and videos are included in this tour.

Dolphin Watching Tour: whole day of seeing wildlife, and the beautiful white sand beaches of the Maldives. Primary activities include guided snorkeling, a sandbank trip, a picnic lunch, a canoe ride, and dolphin watching.

My Thoughts on The Difference Between Bora Bora vs Maldives Activities and things to do

There are much more excursions and things to do on Bora Bora, on Viator there were much more reviews and options to chose from. I personally did the snorkeling with the sharks and rays and it was one of the most incredible snorkeling I’ve ever done. I’ve snorkeled in Thailand, Seychelles, and Maui and many other places. This bar far has been the best experience! It was a bit nerve racking to jump in the water with the reef sharks but it was amazing!! So Bora Bora wins this round again.

Culture and Tradition

Bora Bora vs Maldives

Bora Bora Culture

Bora Bora’s Polynesian heritage offers visitors a glimpse into the island’s rich history and culture. Because Bora Bora is an island colonized by the French, hence the name “French Polynesia”, there are many French traditions integrated with the islands. Think of Moana, the Disney movie and you will have glimpse of the Tahitian Polynesian heritage. This includes traditional dance shows, fire performances, and artisanal handicrafts that provide an authentic experience of the local culture.

Maldives Culture

The Maldives has a unique blend of influences from India, Africa, and Arabia, which are reflected in its culture, language, and cuisine. You can explore ancient mosques, visit local islands, and learn about traditional Maldivian crafts. This is a blend of different cultures.

bora bora vs tahiti Cuisine & Food

maldives vs tahiti

Bora Bora Cuisine

Bora Bora’s cuisine is influenced by French and Polynesian flavors, featuring fresh seafood, exotic fruits, and locally sourced ingredients. You can indulge in gourmet meals at each resorts or try local dishes at famous restaurants on the islands of Bora Bora such Bloody Marrys. Many of the hotels offer half board with breakfast included. Everything is A La-carte.

Maldives Cuisine

Maldivian cuisine is a fusion of Indian, Sri Lankan, and Arabic flavors, with an emphasis on seafood, coconut, and spices. Visitors can sample traditional dishes at local eateries or enjoy international fare at resort restaurants. Maldives is known more for luxury all-inclusive resorts.

How Easy Is It To Reach: Getting To The Maldives and French Polynesia

Bora Bora vs Maldives

How To Get To Bora Bora

Bora Bora is relatively remote, requiring a flight to Tahiti followed by a connecting flight on a smaller plane or ferry. This may result in longer travel times and higher costs.

Like I mentioned earlier, If you’re traveling from North America or Europe, you will stop in San Francisco or Los Angeles then take an 8-hour direct flight to Tahiti. Keep in mind all flights arrive in Tahiti at night so you may have to spend the night in Papeete. I was able to avoid this by planning ahead. Once you’ve arrived, the best way to get to Bora Bora is a domestic flight .

How To Get To The Maldives

The Maldives is more accessible, with direct flights from several major cities and a well-developed infrastructure for island transfers.

The most popular way is a 12-hour flight to Dubai followed by a 4 ½-hour flight to The Maldives. Or you can also take a 15-hour flight to Hong Kong and then another 5-hour direct flight to The Maldives

If you’re traveling from Europe, Africa, and Asia, The Maldives is much easier to get to as there are direct flights to Male which is the capital of Maldives.

Price Comparison: How Much Will Bora Bora cost vs Maldives?

bora bora vs maldives cost

While both destinations are known for their luxury offerings, the Maldives tends to be more budget-friendly starting at $2,000 per person for 5 day trip including flights, with a wider range of accommodation options catering to various price points. Do note; the Maldives has high import taxes on everything, and labor is more costly. 

Bora Bora, on the other hand, is more exclusive, with higher price tags for its high-end resorts with a starting price of $3,500 a person for a 5 day trip. There are ways to visit Bora Bora for better prices during shoulder season.

My Thoughts on The Cost Between Bora Bora vs Maldives

Both locations are dreamy and on my bucket list. For me, because we were going for our once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon, I opted for the more exclusive Bora Bora. I do want to visit The Maldives, but we can go anytime since it’s much more affordable than Bora Bora.

What do you think? Are you leaning towards Bora Bora or The Maldives? I hope this comparison article I wrote helps you decide! Let me know your thoughts or comments below!

FAQ


While both destinations are known for their luxury offerings, the Maldives tends to be more budget-friendly.

Both are beautiful, Bora Bora is the more picturesque location and offers better views while the Maldives offers more hotel options.

You can’t go wrong with either as they both offer some of the best clarity in the world!

With warm temperatures year-round of 70- 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The best time to visit is during the dry season from May to October. Although the shoulder season is also a great time to visit since the tropical rain doesn’t last all day.

Absolutely! It’s a bucket list location with some of the most stunning turquise water and luxurious over water bungalows.

A beautiful exclusive and luxurious tropical vacation destination, it is the perfect romantic getaway.

Here’s a tip, carry your own supply of Condoms when going to the Maldives. The Maldives is a fairly conservative country and interestingly, condoms are only allowed to be sold to married couples, they cannot be sold to single people. Condoms and lubricants are sometimes confiscated by the police and used as evidence of prostitution

To fully experience and take in the slow pace of Bora Bora, I recommend 4-5 nights in Bora Bora.

To fully experience and enjoy The Maldives at a slow pace, I recommend 4-5 nights in The Maldives.

Bora Bora is a bucket list luxury destination and comes with a higher price tag. The starting price is about $3,500 for a week long vacation. It will vary depending on the accomodation you choose.

Still have questions?

If you cannot find an answer to your question in our FAQ, you can always ask in the comments below!

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2 Comments

  1. Wow, Your photos are stunning! Both Bora Bora and the Maldives are on my all-time travel bucket list so thanks for such a helpful guide for deciding between the two!