BORA BORA | OCEANIA

HOW TO GET TO BORA BORA (INFO &TIPS)

words by Coco Tran

July 25, 2023

If you are currently planning your dream Bora Bora Island vacation and researching how to reach this remote island, this guide will help familiarize you with all the transportation options available from various regions of the world.

Scroll down to learn how to get to Bora Bora from USA main airports, as well as Europe and Asia’s main airport hubs. The major airlines that fly direct and share some helpful tips I’ve gained from traveling to Bora Bora for our honeymoon. Let’s get started!

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How To Get To Bora Bora 

How Do you get to Bora Bora? Because Bora Bora is a small island, it requires a bit of planning and a few flights to get there. I’ll explain in more detail below. But first, I’ll summarize what I’ll be covering: Check out my review of Le Bora Bora Resort here.

Bora Bora island, a picturesque island located in French Polynesia, a cluster of amazing islands part of the Society Islands in Tahiti, is a dream destination! With its turquoise lagoons, overwater bungalows, luxury resorts, and stunning natural beauty, Bora Bora offers a tropical paradise experience like no other.

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How To Fly To Bora Bora

How To Fly To Bora Bora

How to get from Tahiti to Bora bora

Currently, there are no direct flights available to Bora Bora. This holds true not only for Bora Bora but also for most of the islands in French Polynesia. Due to the relatively small landmasses of these islands, large passenger jets cannot land directly on their runways. So, all international flights to French Polynesia, including Bora Bora, land at Faa’a International Airport (PPT) near Papeete, the capital of Tahiti.

  • You Must Fly To Tahiti First: All international travelers who arrive by air must land at Tahiti’s Faa’a International Airport —PPT first.
  • Depending on your flight arrival time, book a separate domestic flight connecting to the island of Bora Bora —BOB

TIP—The most convenient and time-efficient way to get to Bora Bora is to book a direct flight into Tahiti—PPT and arrive early in the morning. Look on on Air Tahiti’s flights—book a flight that has at least an hour of connection time to Bora Bora. (more on that below)

TIP — Air Tahiti  has a bit of a monopoly on interisland flights, as it is the only domestic airline offering this connection 

Arrival at Bora Bora Airport 

When you reach Bora Bora, you will land at Bora Bora Airport, Motu Mute Airport (BOB) On a open-air tarmac and walk to the tiny airport that’s connected to the water. From there, there are water transportation options available to reach resorts and accommodations on the island. The most common method is to take a short boat ride provided by the resort or arrange for a private water taxi. Some luxury resorts even offer helicopter transfers for a luxury VIP experience.

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HOW DO I GET TO MY RESORT FROM BORA BORA?

The Bora Bora Airport Is On A Motu — an islet. It’s a very tiny airport. You walk off from the plane onto the tarmac.

Because the airport’s location is on an island and the major accommodations on Bora Bora are on their own island— you have to take a boat transfer to arrive at your resort. So as you go and collect your luggage if you booked a water taxi transfer from your hotel, the staff will be there to greet you with a smile and a handmade lei.

options to get from bora bora airport to resort:

  • Book a boat transfer with your hotel —the most expensive option on average it’s 150 USD to 300 USD.
  • Hire an independent water taxi—always ask for the price or book ahead online.
  • Take the free ferry to the main island and book a water taxi from there
  • TIP Air Tahiti offers a complimentary ferry to the main island’s town of Vaitape. We took advantage of this and did some grocery and souvenir shopping before going to our resort. There is a local grocery store called Chin lee that was close and convenient. You can purchase sunblock, alcohol, and snacks.
  • TIP — From Vaitape, many resorts hourly complimentary shuttles from the resort to the town of Vaitape.
  • TIP You can also go to the Visitor Center and ask them to hold your luggage while you shop. They were very nice and helpful.
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airlines that fly to bora bora From UNITED STATES

Wondering what airlines fly to Bora Bora? If you’re traveling to Bora Bora from the United States, several airlines offer convenient connections. Here are three popular choices:

Air Tahiti Nui

Air Tahiti Nui, the flag carrier of French Polynesia, operates regular flights from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Papeete, the capital city. From Papeete, you can then take a short domestic flight to Bora Bora. Air Tahiti Nui provides excellent service and is known for its comfortable seating and warm hospitality. Keep in mind they are notoriously strict on their carryon weight limit!

United Airlines

United Airlines also offers flights from the USA to Bora Bora. They operate direct flights from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Papeete, where you can connect to a domestic flight to Bora Bora. United Airlines provides a reliable option for travelers looking for convenient connections from the West Coast.

Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines is another major carrier that flies to Bora Bora from the USA. They operate non-stop flights from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Papeete. 

Airlines offering Direct Flights to Bora Bora from United States

  • Air Tahiti Nui: Air Tahiti Nui i offers direct flights to Bora Bora from major U.S. cities of  Los Angeles and San Francisco six days a week with a few flights per day.
  • United Airlines: United Airlines is another reliable option for direct flights from the USA to Bora Bora from San Francisco three times a week (Tue, Thu, Sun) 
  • Hawaiian Airlines: If you’re in Hawaii and looking to hop over to Bora Bora, Hawaiian Airlines offers direct flights from Honolulu to Bora Bora, you can combine the best of both island paradises!
  • French Bee: is a new carrier that offers budget direct flights from San Francisco 3 times a week (Wed, Fri, Sun)

How to Get to Bora Bora from United states Main Airports & distance

Wondering how long does it take to get to bora bora? Here are some details on how long it takes to reach Bora Bora French Polynesia from major Unite States Aiport hubs to help your planning:

Distance and Average Travel Time from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

  • Distance: Approximately 4,060 miles (6,526 kilometers)
  • Average Travel Time: 8 to 10 hours

To reach Bora Bora from LAX, you will likely have a layover in Tahiti’s capital, Papeete, before boarding a connecting flight to Bora Bora’s Motu Mute Airport. The layover time can vary, but expect around 1 to 2 hours.

Distance and Average Travel Time from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)

  • Distance: Approximately 6,779 miles (10,915 kilometers)
  • Average Travel Time: 13 to 15 hours

Flying from JFK to Bora Bora usually involves a layover in Los Angeles or San Francisco before continuing on to Papeete. Afterward, a connecting flight will take you to Bora Bora. The total layover time can range from 3 to 6 hours.

Distance and Average Travel Time from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)

  • Distance: Approximately 6,524 miles (10,504 kilometers)
  • Average Travel Time: 14 to 16 hours

Traveling from ATL to Bora Bora typically requires a layover in Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Dallas. Once you arrive in Papeete, a connecting flight will transport you to Bora Bora. The layover duration can vary between 3 and 6 hours.

Distance and Average Travel Time from O’Hare International Airport (ORD)

  • Distance: Approximately 6,855 miles (11,022 kilometers)
  • Average Travel Time: 14 to 16 hours

From ORD, you will likely have a layover in Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Dallas before heading to Papeete. A connecting flight will then bring you to Bora Bora. The layover time can range from 3 to 6 hours.

Distance and Average Travel Time from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)

  • Distance: Approximately 6,804 miles (10,947 kilometers)
  • Average Travel Time: 15 to 17 hours

Flying from DFW to Bora Bora generally involves a layover in Los Angeles or San Francisco before proceeding to Papeete. From there, a connecting flight will take you to Bora Bora. Expect a layover duration of around 3 to 6 hours.

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Airlines Flying to Bora Bora from Europe

If you’re traveling to Bora Bora from Europe, there are several airlines that can take you there. Here are three noteworthy options:

Air France

Air France, the national airline of France, operates flights from several European cities to Papeete. From Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG), Air France offers direct flights to Papeete. Once you reach Papeete, you can connect to a domestic flight to Bora Bora. 

Air Tahiti Nui

Apart from serving the USA, Air Tahiti Nui also offers flights from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) to Papeete. As mentioned earlier, from Papeete, you can take a domestic flight to Bora Bora. 

British Airways

British Airways, the flagship carrier of the United Kingdom, offers flights from London Heathrow Airport (LHR) to Papeete. Similar to other European airlines, you’ll need to take a domestic flight from Papeete to reach Bora Bora. 

Direct Flights from Europe to Bora Bora 

Europeans have easy access to direct flights to Bora Bora. Several airlines connect major European cities to this idyllic destination, providing a straightforward and convenient travel experience.

  • Air France: As the national airline of France, Air France operates direct flights from Paris to Bora Bora. Experience the comfort of their cabins and indulge in French cuisine while jetting off to this tropical oasis.
  • British Airways: British Airways offers a seamless travel experience from London to Bora Bora. 
  • Lufthansa: Lufthansa, provides direct flights from Frankfurt to Bora Bora. 
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How to Get to Bora Bora from Europe Main Airport Hubs & distance

Europe offers numerous direct flights to Papeete, which is the gateway to Bora Bora. Here are the distances and average travel times from some of the main airport hubs in Europe:

Distance and Average Travel Time from London Heathrow Airport (LHR)

  • Distance: Approximately 11,197 miles (18,010 kilometers)
  • Average Travel Time: 21 to 23 hours

When traveling from LHR to Bora Bora, you will usually have a layover in Paris, Los Angeles, or Dubai before reaching Papeete. From there, a connecting flight will take you to Bora Bora. The total layover duration can vary between 4 and 9 hours.

Distance and Average Travel Time from Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)

  • Distance: Approximately 10,066 miles (16,179 kilometers)
  • Average Travel Time: 20 to 22 hours

From CDG, the most common layover cities on the way to Bora Bora are Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Tokyo. Once you arrive in Papeete, a connecting flight will transport you to Bora Bora. Expect a layover duration of around 4 to 8 hours.

Distance and Average Travel Time from Frankfurt Airport (FRA)

  • Distance: Approximately 10,256 miles (16,511 kilometers)
  • Average Travel Time: 21 to 23 hours

Traveling from FRA to Bora Bora usually involves layovers in Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Tokyo. After landing in Papeete, a connecting flight will take you to Bora Bora. The total layover time can range from 4 to 8 hours.

Distance and Average Travel Time from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS)

  • Distance: Approximately 11,086 miles (17,837 kilometers)
  • Average Travel Time: 21 to 23 hours

When flying from AMS to Bora Bora, you will typically have layovers in Paris, Los Angeles, or Dubai before reaching Papeete. From there, a connecting flight will transport you to Bora Bora. Expect a layover duration of around 4 to 9 hours.

Distance and Average Travel Time from Madrid Barajas Airport (MAD)

  • Distance: Approximately 11,578 miles (18,625 kilometers)
  • Average Travel Time: 22 to 24 hours

Traveling from MAD to Bora Bora often requires layovers in Paris, Los Angeles, or Dubai before continuing on to Papeete. A connecting flight will then take you to Bora Bora. The total layover time can range from 4 to 9 hours.

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Airlines Flying to Bora Bora from Asia

Traveling from Asia to Bora Bora involves connecting flights, but there are options available. Here are three airlines you can consider:

Air Tahiti Nui

Air Tahiti Nui, being the primary airline connecting French Polynesia with various regions, also serves Asia. They offer flights from Tokyo’s Narita International Airport (NRT) to Papeete. From there, you can take a domestic flight to Bora Bora. 

Air France

Air France, as part of their extensive network, connects Bora Bora with Asian cities. They operate flights from Tokyo’s Narita International Airport (NRT) to Papeete, with onward connections to Bora Bora. 

Korean Air

Korean Air provides flights from Seoul’s Incheon International Airport (ICN) to Papeete. This is a popular route for travelers in Asia.

Airlines Offering direct Flights to Bora Bora from Asia

  • Air Tahiti Nui: Air Tahiti Nui operates flights from Tokyo’s Narita Airport to Bora Bora, providing a convenient connection for travelers from Asia.
  • Singapore Airlines: Known for its exceptional service and comfort, Singapore Airlines offers flights from Singapore to Bora Bora.
  • China Eastern Airlines: China Eastern Airlines provides direct flights from Shanghai to Bora Bora, making it an ideal choice for travelers from China and other parts of Asia. 

How to Get to Bora Bora from Asia Main Airport Hubs & Distance

How to go to Bora Bora from Asia. Here are the distances and average travel times from some of the main airport hubs in Asia:

Distance and Average Travel Time from Singapore Changi Airport (SIN)

  • Distance: Approximately 6,457 miles (10,396 kilometers)
  • Average Travel Time: 13 to 15 hours

When traveling from SIN to Bora Bora, you will typically have a layover in Tokyo, Seoul, or Hong Kong before reaching Papeete. From there, a connecting flight will transport you to Bora Bora. The total layover duration can vary between 3 and 6 hours.

Distance and Average Travel Time from Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND) TO BORA BORA

  • Distance: Approximately 6,134 miles (9,873 kilometers)
  • Average Travel Time: 13 to 15 hours

From HND, the most common layover cities on the way to Bora Bora are Seoul, Los Angeles, or Singapore. Once you arrive in Papeete, a connecting flight will take you to Bora Bora. Expect a layover duration of around 3 to 6 hours.

Distance and Average Travel Time from Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) TO BORA BORA

  • Distance: Approximately 7,413 miles (11,931 kilometers)
  • Average Travel Time: 15 to 17 hours

Traveling from PEK to Bora Bora usually involves layovers in Seoul, Tokyo, or Singapore before continuing on to Papeete. A connecting flight will then bring you to Bora Bora. The layover time can range from 3 to 6 hours.

Distance and Average Travel Time from Dubai International Airport (DXB) TO BORA BORA

  • Distance: Approximately 9,182 miles (14,772 kilometers)
  • Average Travel Time: 18 to 20 hours

When flying from DXB to Bora Bora, you will typically have a layover in Paris, Los Angeles, or Singapore before reaching Papeete. From there, a connecting flight will transport you to Bora Bora. Expect a layover duration of around 4 to 8 hours.

Distance and Average Travel Time from Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) TO BORA BORA

  • Distance: Approximately 6,417 miles (10,329 kilometers)
  • Average Travel Time: 13 to 15 hours

Traveling from HKG to Bora Bora often requires layovers in Seoul, Tokyo, or Singapore before continuing on to Papeete. A connecting flight will then take you to Bora Bora. The total layover time can range from 3 to 6 hours.

Frequently
Asked
Questions

Don’t see your question? Ask in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer!

Help enter

Bora Bora is a small island located in the Leeward group of the Society Islands of French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of the French Republic. The island is located in the Pacific Ocean, about 230 kilometers northwest of Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia. Bora Bora is part of a volcanic island group that also includes the islands of Tahaa, Raiatea, and Huahine.

Bora Bora is the epitome of a tropical vacation—it is known for its stunning beaches, crystal clear waters, and lush tropical landscapes. Visitors can enjoy activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and swimming with sharks and rays. The island is also home to several luxury resorts, spas, and overwater bungalows. It is popular amongst honeymooners for its luxurious accommodations, although anyone can enjoy Bora Bora.

  • The best time to visit Bora Bora is between May and October when the weather is nice and dry. This is also the most popular time to travel and therefore the prices of everything is much higher.
  • If you want to avoid the crowds and enjoy lower prices, you may want to consider visiting during the low season, between November and April. However, there’s also a higher chance of rainfall but from my experience, the rainfall will be sporadic and there is a high chance you’ll get amazing sunny weather in between the light rain.
  • 7 to 12 days if you are visiting multiple resorts and islands
  • 5 to 6 nights at one resort is a great start

I stayed 6 nights a Le Bora bora since It was our honeymoon and we wanted to have lots of downtime and relax. We spent a total of 11 days in Bora Bora and it was a great balance of doing things and relaxation.

TIP—You can also divide your stays between two different resorts. for example; you can spend 3 nights at Le Bora Bora Pearl and then spend 2 nights at St. Regis to get a variety of amenities and check out the resorts private beach.

TIP—It’s also a good idea to add the main island of Bora Bora — where the locals live and where there is much more affordable guest houses and simple overwater bungalows. Use those days as your days to do the excursions and have some free time to explore the culture and how the locals live.

The currency in Bora Bora is the French Pacific Franc XPF. As of 2023, the conversion rate between the XPF and the USD is approximately 1 XPF equal 0.0093 USD, and the conversion rate between the XPF and the EUR is approximately 1 XPF equals 0.0078 EUR. However, currency conversion rates fluctuate and it is best to check for the current rate.

TIP— The easiest way to convert from XPF to USD is to move over two decimals from the right to left. Ex: 60000 XPF equals approx 600 USD

The airport code for Bora Bora is BOB.

Bora Bora is GMT minus 10 hours. The easiest way for me to convert was to subtract two hours to arrive at the equivalent of PST time.

The plugs are the same as your European three prong plugs: Our resort rooms had adapters in the rooms, check with your resort.

  • French Polynesia, which includes the island of Bora Bora, was considered a Zika affected area according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC has issued a travel notice for French Polynesia.
  • From my experience, I did not encounter any mosquiotos at our resort in March. It depends on the weather and time of year.
  • French Polynesia, which includes the island of Bora Bora, was considered a Zika affected area according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC has issued a travel notice for French Polynesia.
  • From my experience, I did not encounter any mosquiotos at our resort in March. It depends on the weather and time of year.

Yes and no. Bora Bora doesn’t have all-inclusive resorts in the traditional sense— a resort with one set price that includes unlimited eating and drinking like in Mexico and other parts that are known for this. Bora Bora resorts offer packages that include accommodation, limited meals, no drinks, and various activities as part of the package price.

These resorts are very popular as they provide a convenient and hassle-free way to experience Bora Bora. Some of the popular all inclusive resorts in Bora Bora include Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora, InterContinental Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa, and Le Meridien Bora Bora. For example: Le Bora Bora offered a pre fix menu for an additional X amount for the duration of our stay.

TIP— Breakfast is included with some resorts. It is a delicious cook to order with a selection of buffet offerings.

TIP— Look out for the happy hour at your resort and enjoy drinks for a better price. The hotel I stayed at had happy hour from 5 to 6pm and the drinks were 20 USD vs 30 USD

  • Bora Bora is known to be a luxury location, and with luxury comes a higher price tag. Although, there are ways to make your trip more affordable. The accommodation is the most costly. Because it is a remote island in the middle of the pacific ocean, everything has to be flown in.
  • TIP— Stay at other islands that are more affordable such as Moorea. Stay at airbnbs and lodges instead of luxury resorts.
  • TIP— Divide your stay in different resort rooms i.e 1 night in an overwater bungalow, and 2 nights in the beach villa. This will save you money and will allow you to enjoy the luxurious amenities the resort offers.
  • Overwater bungalows in Bora Bora can vary greatly in price depending on the resort, the time of year, and the level of luxury. Generally, overwater bungalows in Bora Bora start at around 600 USD per night, but the prices can go up to 3000 USD or more per night for the most luxurious resorts.
  • It is also worth noting that the prices may change depending on the season, peak or low, and availability.
  • Overall, I’d recommend budgeting 3,000 to 10,000 USD per person for a 7 to 10 day vacation. To view, a detailed breakdown of my travel expense check out this post. Or learn how to travel hack with points and miles as I did, and enjoy the beautiful pearl of the pacific without making your wallet cry.

WHAT IS THERE TO DO IN BORA BORA?

  • You can start by lounging on the stunning white sand beaches and swimming in the crystal clear waters. Take a snorkeling or diving trip to explore the coral reefs, and go shark and ray feeding. You can also take a safari tour, which will take you to the island’s most beautiful spots and allow you to see the island’s diverse wildlife.
  • If you want to experience the local culture, you can visit the island’s cultural center where you will learn about the island’s history and customs. There are also historical WW2 hikes on the island of Bora Bora if you’re interested in history. And of course, you can’t miss out on the famous overwater bungalows. These luxurious accommodations are the perfect way to experience the beauty of the island, and you’ll have the opportunity to see the marine life passing by directly from your room.

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