Bora Bora vs Maldives: Which is Better for You?

Bora Bora and Maldives are two of the most popular honeymoon destinations globally. Bora Bora is a small island in French Polynesia near Tahiti, while Maldives is a small country in the Indian Ocean close to Africa. Both the island nations are known for their breathtaking beauty and luxurious overwater villas. However, while Bora Bora has a more chic vibe with big resorts, Maldives is the ultimate deserted island experience which each resort being located on an individual island. Choosing between Bora Bora or Maldives for a honeymoon or a vacation depends on several factors. 

A part of French Polynesia, Bora Bora has some of the most beautiful sights to behold- a tropical island surrounded by an amazing blue lagoon and coral reefs, accompanied by small islets (Motus). Crowned by the blue lagoon, Bora Bora is a heavenly paradise for people longing for a relaxing vacation amidst natural beauty, and not to forget newly-weds who're looking for a private romantic setting for honeymooning.

The Maldives is an archipelagic state situated in the Indian Ocean known for its luxurious water villas. It is an archipelago of 1,192 coral islands grouped into natural atolls. However, only 200 islands are inhabited. Each resort generally occupies an entire atoll. Imagine having a room on a pier jutting out from the shore with a glass floor under which manta rays and reef sharks can be seen swimming, and step out from your overwater bungalow to the view of turquoise water.

Bora Bora vs Maldives: Budget

Even though Bora Bora and Maldives are luxury destinations, Bora Bora is slightly more expensive. Its exclusive location in the heart of the South Pacific Ocean amounts to high airfare, and the flights are limited, too, with no direct route and multiple stops. A 3 day trip to Bora Bora would cost around USD 1300 to USD 1500, including flight, hotel, and food, while a 3 day trip to the Maldives would cost around USD 900 to USD 1200.

The currency of Maldives is Maldivian Rufiyaa, and Bora Bora is French Pacific Franc. Maximum hotels and tour operators accept payment in US dollars as well.

Bora Bora vs Maldives: Best Time to Visit

Sunset in Bora Bora
Stunning sunset scene in Bora Bora
Both Bora Bora and Maldives are year-round destinations with tropical climate because of the sea. Therefore, you are likely to get a mixture of rain and sunshine at both places irrespective of the month you travel.

The best time to visit Bora Bora is from May to October which is the dry season. This is also the peak tourist season. The temperature during this time ranges between 20 degrees Celcius to 25 degrees Celcius. However, visit Bora Bora between November and April if you want to travel on a budget. The temperature will be slightly higher with warm weather, but the accommodation rates will be lesser than during the peak season.

The best time to visit Maldives is from December to April, which is its dry season. Maldives experiences wet and dry seasons with the dry season being better for travel. The wet season from May to October experiences more rainfall and humidity, but the prices of accommodations are lower during these months. So, if you want to travel on a budget, visit Maldives between May and October. To experience the best surfing, visit Maldives between March and October.

Bora Bora Vs Maldives: Accessibility

Seaplane terminal in Maldives
Seaplanes at the Water Terminal  of Male Airport in Maldives
Accessibility of both the islands depends on where you are travelling from. Bora Bora is more accessible if you are travelling from Australia or USA, while Maldives has better accessibility if travelling from Europe, Asia or Africa. 

To reach the Bora Bora island, you must land at Faa'a International Airport in Tahiti, followed by an air transfer to Bora Bora by Air Tahiti. From the airport, further travel to the resort is done through a speedboat or seaplane. The duration of the flight to Bora Bora depends upon where you are travelling from. From the United States, it takes roughly 7.5 hours to reach the island, while the same may take a day if it's from Asia.

Maldives can be reached via flights to the Male International Airport - there are 12 airports in Maldives. You can then easily travel to your resort through a speedboat or seaplane, mostly arranged by the hotels, at an extra cost.

Bora Bora vs Maldives: Activities

Underwater sea life in Maldives
Underwater sea life and corals in Banana Reef, Maldives
Bora Bora is surrounded by a mountainous landscape, providing hiking, horseback riding, and other land-based activities. Watersports are also popular in Bora Bora, especially scuba diving and snorkelling. On the other hand, Maldives is 99% water and known for scuba diving, snorkeling, paddleboarding, and skiing. So, if you are looking for a mix of water and land-based activities, Bora Bora is better for you.

Bora Bora vs Maldives: Accommodation

Overwater villas in Bora Bora
Overwater villas in Bora Bora

Bora Bora and Maldives are both known for their super luxurious over-water villas. In Bora Bora, a luxury resort with an overwater bunglow costs anywhere between USD 800 to USD 1500 for a night. Maldives, in comparison, has more options in a lesser price range. Each of the resorts occupies an island in Maldives and mostly has rooms ranging from beach bungalows to overwater villas, even with a private pool. So, Maldives has more affordable accommodation as compared to Bora Bora. If you are looking to stay in overwater villas that are a little inexpensive and have a modern touch, the Maldives is the right choice. Since there is a solitary resort on each island, you will get a more private and tranquil location. 



Bora Bora vs Maldives: Food

The food in Bora Bora is inspired by French cuisine while the food in Maldives has a greater Indian and Asian influence. In Bora Bora, there are a variety of seafood like Mahi-mahi, grouper, and bonito along with bread, pastries, pineapple and banana. In Maldives, a lot of the local food is based on curry, coconut and seafood. However, because of the international resort chains, all types of cuisines are available in Maldives. It is recommended to opt for a full board meal plan (breakfast, lunch and dinner included) in both Maldives and Bora Bora to save cost on food.

Bora Bora vs Maldives: Family Trip

Both Bora Bora and Maldives have plenty of options for kids. In both places, most of the resorts have kids' playrooms and family pools. When deciding to travel to these places, consider things like the travel time and the extra cost. Also, some properties at both places do not allow kids on overwater bungalows. So, check that before deciding.

Bora Bora or Maldives: LGBTQ+ Travellers

Bora Bora vs Maldives
When it comes to LGBTQ+ travelers, laws in French Polynesia - Bora Bora is much more relaxed than in Maldives. This is because gay marriage is legal and acceptable in Bora Bora since 2013, making it easier for same-sex couples to honeymoon here. Even the hotels and resorts are very open and supportive. 

Maldives have stricter laws and regulations and isn't very LGBTQ friendly. However, this does not mean that you will face issues as the people in the tropical island nation are far from malicious. Unlike Bora Bora, avoid public displays of affection in Maldives, and you should be good to go! 

The island retreats of Bora Bora and Maldives are renowned for spellbinding beauty and immortalizing memories. It surely is hard to select as both of these paradisiacal lands make the heart skip a beat. The best way out is to explore both these places, one at a time. However, if it has to be only one, then whichever one you choose, you are bound to experience a holiday of a lifetime.   

This post was published by Sonali Garg

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