Last updated on March 2nd, 2023 at 09:38 pm
Bora Bora vs Tahiti – It can be difficult to choose between Bora Bora and Tahiti. While both of these islands offer stunning natural beauty, there are key differences that you can consider to book the right vacation for you. For luxurious hotels, blue waters and overwater bungalows, go to Borabora.
For large island with more activities, Tahiti is best. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Bora Bora vs. Tahiti to help you decide which Polynesian paradise is right for you.
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Comparing Bora Bora and Tahiti
Comparing Tahiti vs Bora Bora, Tahiti is the largest island in French Polynesia and is the main point of entry for international visitors. The island offers a mix of beautiful beaches, lush forests, and cultural experiences, with several museums and cultural sites to explore. Tahiti is also home to Papeete, the capital city of French Polynesia, which offers a range of shopping, dining, and entertainment options.
On the other hand, Bora Bora is a small island that is known for its crystal-clear lagoon, which is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and other water activities. The island is also home to several luxury resorts, many of which offer overwater bungalows, private beaches, and world-class dining options. Bora Bora is a popular destination for honeymooners and those seeking a luxurious and romantic getaway.
Both are known to be expensive trips, and while you get exclusive blue water lagoon views in Bora Bora, Tahiti is better for its cultural sites to be explored.
Let’s compare them more below.
Bora Bora vs Tahiti – Location and Size
Bora Bora is much smaller than Tahiti, with a land area of only 29.3 square kilometers, while Tahiti’s land area is 1,042 square kilometers. This size difference makes Bora Bora a more intimate destination, while Tahiti offers more opportunities for exploration.
Bora Bora vs Tahiti – Natural Beauty
Both Bora Bora and Tahiti offer breathtaking natural beauty but in different ways. Bora Bora is known for its iconic turquoise lagoon and white-sand beaches, which make it the perfect destination for those who want to relax and enjoy the view. The island’s stunning views of Mount Otemanu and Mount Pahia make it a photographer’s dream.
Tahiti, on the other hand, offers a more diverse landscape, including rugged mountains, lush rainforests, and black-sand beaches. If you’re looking for adventure and exploration, Tahiti is the better choice than Bora bora. The island’s volcanic black sand beaches, like Pointe Venus and Papenoo Beach, offer a unique contrast to the turquoise lagoons.
Bora Bora vs Tahiti – Accommodations and Activities
Bora Bora is famous for its overwater bungalows, which allow you to sleep above the lagoon and wake up to stunning views of the turquoise water. These bungalows are available at many resorts on the island, and some even offer private pools and butler service.
Tahiti, on the other hand, offers a wider variety of accommodations, from luxury resorts to boutique hotels to guesthouses. In addition to the typical water-based activities like snorkeling and scuba diving, Tahiti also offers hiking and cultural tours that allow you to experience the island’s natural beauty and rich history.
If you want a relaxing and indulgent vacation, choose Bora Bora. If you want a wider range of activities and cultural experiences, choose Tahiti.
Culture and Cuisine
French Polynesia has a unique culture that blends Polynesian and European influences, and both Bora Bora and Tahiti offer opportunities to experience this culture. Bora Bora is home to several historic sites, including the famous WWII cannons and the ancient Marae temples, which provide a glimpse into the island’s past.
Tahiti, as the economic and cultural center of French Polynesia, offers a wider variety of cultural experiences, including traditional dance performances and museums. You can also experience Tahiti’s cultural richness through the island’s local markets, which offer an opportunity to taste traditional Polynesian dishes like poisson cru and breadfruit.
If you are a foodie and want to indulge in high-end dining, choose Bora Bora. If you want to experience a wider range of affordable dining options, choose Tahiti.
Beaches – Tahiti vs Bora Bora
Both Bora Bora and Tahiti are known for their beautiful beaches, but they offer slightly different experiences. Bora Bora is famous for its crystal-clear lagoon, where visitors can swim and snorkel among colorful coral and fish. Tahiti, on the other hand, offers a more rugged coastline with black sand beaches and crashing waves.
If you are looking for a relaxing beach vacation with crystal-clear water, choose Bora Bora. If you want to experience a more rugged and adventurous coastline, choose Tahiti.
Budget – Tahiti vs Bora Bora
Budget – Both destinations can be expensive, but Tahiti is generally considered to be more affordable than Bora Bora. However, both destinations offer options for budget travelers, such as staying in affordable accommodations and dining at local food trucks or markets.
If you are on a tighter budget, choose Tahiti. If you can afford to splurge and want a luxury experience, choose Bora Bora.
Beaches in Bora Bora and Tahiti – Bora bora vs Tahiti
The beaches in both Bora Bora and Tahiti are simply breathtaking. Bora Bora is known for its iconic turquoise lagoon and white-sand beaches, which make it the perfect destination for those who want to relax and enjoy the view. Some of the most popular beaches in Bora Bora include Matira Beach, which is known for its calm waters and stunning sunsets, and the stunning private beach at the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora.
Tahiti, on the other hand, offers a more diverse range of beaches. The island’s black sand beaches, like Pointe Venus and Papenoo Beach, offer a unique contrast to the turquoise lagoons. However, Tahiti is also home to some of the most beautiful white-sand beaches in the world, such as the stunning La Plage de Maui and Plage de Toaroto.
Things to Do in Bora Bora
In addition to its beautiful beaches, Bora Bora offers a wide range of activities to enjoy during your stay. Some of the top things to do in Bora Bora include:
Snorkeling and Scuba Diving
The island’s turquoise lagoon is teeming with marine life, making it the perfect place to go snorkeling or scuba diving. The coral gardens and lagoon sanctuary are a must-see.
Mount Otemanu Hike
Bora Bora’s highest peak, Mount Otemanu, offers a challenging hike that rewards you with breathtaking views of the island and its lagoon.
A helicopter tour of the island is the perfect way to see Bora Bora from a unique perspective. It offers a bird’s eye view of the stunning lagoon and the island’s lush landscape.
Top Hotels in Bora Bora
Bora Bora is home to some of the world’s most luxurious resorts, offering overwater bungalows and unparalleled levels of service. Some of the top hotels in Bora Bora include:
Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora
This resort is situated on a private motu and features stunning views of Mount Otemanu. It offers luxurious overwater bungalows, private plunge pools, and a range of water activities.
St. Regis Bora Bora Resort
The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort features overwater bungalows with private pools, butler service, and a range of dining options. The resort also has a spa and offers various water activities, including kayaking, paddleboarding, and snorkeling.
Conrad Bora Bora Nui
This luxurious resort features stunning overwater bungalows, hillside villas, and a range of dining options. The resort also offers various activities, including snorkeling, scuba diving, and a turtle sanctuary.
Things to Do in Tahiti
Tahiti offers a diverse range of activities for visitors to enjoy. Some of the top things to do in Tahiti include:
Museums and Cultural Sites
Tahiti is home to several museums and cultural sites that offer a glimpse into the island’s history and culture. The Museum of Tahiti and the Islands, the Robert Wan Pearl Museum, and the James Norman Hall Home and Museum are just a few of the must-visit sites.
Like Bora Bora, Tahiti is the perfect destination for water activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, and paddleboarding. The island’s coral reefs and clear waters provide the perfect conditions for exploring the underwater world.
Hiking and Outdoor Activities – Tahiti vs Bora Bora
Tahiti is home to several hiking trails that offer stunning views of the island’s natural beauty. The island’s rugged mountains and lush rainforests are also the perfect setting for outdoor activities like zip-lining, ATV tours, and horseback riding.
Top Hotels in Tahiti
Tahiti offers a range of accommodations, from luxury resorts to boutique hotels and guesthouses. Some of the top hotels in Tahiti include:
InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa
This luxury resort is located on the island’s west coast and features stunning views of Moorea. It offers a range of dining options, a spa, and various water activities.
Manava Suite Resort Tahiti
This modern resort is located in Punaauia and features spacious suites, an outdoor pool, and a range of dining options.
Getting Around in Bora Bora and Tahiti
Getting around Bora Bora is relatively easy, with taxis, bicycles, and rental cars available. However, most visitors prefer to get around the island by boat, taking advantage of the crystal clear waters and stunning views.
In Tahiti, visitors can get around by rental car, bus, or taxi. The island also offers various tours and excursions that allow you to explore its beauty and history.
Are there local beaches in both places
Yes, there are many local beaches in both Bora Bora and Tahiti that are popular with visitors and locals alike. Some of these beaches may be smaller or less well-known than the famous public beaches, but they still offer the same stunning natural beauty and crystal clear waters. Some of the local beaches in Bora Bora include Matira Point Beach, Anau Beach, and Nunue Beach, while some of the local beaches in Tahiti include Plage du PK18, Punaauia Beach, and Vaiava Beach. These beaches offer visitors a chance to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings without the crowds that can sometimes be found at the more popular beaches.
Local Beaches in Bora Bora
Matira Point Beach
Matira Point Beach is a popular local beach located on the southern end of Bora Bora, near the Matira Point peninsula. It is a smaller beach compared to some of the more famous public beaches on the island, but it is still a great spot to relax and enjoy the crystal-clear waters of the lagoon. The beach is known for its calm waters and stunning sunsets, making it a popular spot for swimming, snorkeling and sunbathing.
Anau Beach is located on the eastern side of Bora Bora, near the Anau neighborhood. This local beach is a favorite among residents and visitors alike for its beautiful white sand, crystal clear waters, and stunning views of Mount Otemanu. The beach is also a popular spot for snorkeling and picnicking.
Nunue Beach is located on the western side of Bora Bora, near the Nunue neighborhood. This local beach is known for its calm waters and beautiful scenery, making it a popular spot for swimming and relaxing. It is also a great spot for watching the sunset and taking in the stunning views of the lagoon.
Local Beaches in Tahiti
Plage du PK18
Plage du PK18 is a local beach located on the west coast of Tahiti, near the PK18 neighborhood. This beach is known for its beautiful white sand and crystal clear waters, making it a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking. It is also a great spot for watching the sunset.
Punaauia Beach is located on the west coast of Tahiti, near the Punaauia neighborhood. This local beach is a popular spot for surfing and swimming, as well as sunbathing and picnicking. The beach is also known for its beautiful views of Moorea.
Vaiava Beach is located on the east coast of Tahiti, near the Vaiava neighborhood. This local beach is known for its calm waters and beautiful scenery, making it a popular spot for swimming and relaxing. It is also a great spot for snorkeling and picnicking.
Transportation in Bora Bora
Many of the local beaches on Bora Bora are accessible by foot or by bike, and some are even located within walking distance of the major resorts. Additionally, taxis and rental cars are readily available on the island, which can make it easy to explore and visit the local beaches at your own pace. Some hotels also offer shuttle services to local beaches, and there are also water taxis that can take you to more remote beaches or locations around the island.
Taxis – Taxis are readily available on Bora Bora and can be a convenient and reliable way to get around the island. Fares are fixed and are based on the distance of your trip, with the cost for a one-way trip between the airport and major resorts typically ranging from 1,500 to 3,000 XPF (approximately $14 to $28 USD).
Rental Cars – Rental cars are also available on Bora Bora, and can be a great option for those who want to explore the island on their own. Rental prices vary depending on the type of car and the duration of your rental, with prices starting at around 8,000 XPF (approximately $75 USD) per day.
Bicycles – Bicycles are a popular option for getting around Bora Bora, especially for those who want to explore the island at a more leisurely pace. Many hotels and resorts offer bicycle rentals, and there are also several bike rental shops on the island. Prices start at around 1,500 XPF (approximately $14 USD) per day.
Water Taxis – Water taxis are another option for getting around Bora Bora, especially if you want to visit more remote beaches or locations around the island. Prices for water taxis vary depending on the destination, but typically start at around 5,000 XPF (approximately $47 USD) per person for a one-way trip.
Transportation in Tahiti:
Taxis – Taxis are readily available in Tahiti, and can be a convenient and reliable way to get around the island. Fares are based on the distance of your trip, with the cost for a one-way trip between the airport and major hotels typically ranging from 2,500 to 5,000 XPF (approximately $24 to $47 USD).
Rental Cars – Rental cars are also available in Tahiti, and can be a great option for those who want to explore the island on their own. Rental prices vary depending on the type of car and the duration of your rental, with prices starting at around 6,000 XPF (approximately $56 USD) per day.
Buses – Buses are a popular and affordable option for getting around Tahiti, especially for those who want to explore the island on a budget. Fares are fixed and are based on the distance of your trip, with prices typically ranging from 250 to 350 XPF (approximately $2 to $3 USD) per person for a one-way trip.
Ferries – Ferries are available in Tahiti for getting to other islands in French Polynesia, such as Moorea and Bora Bora. Prices for ferry trips vary depending on the destination and the type of ticket, with prices starting at around 1,700 XPF (approximately $16 USD) for a one-way trip to Moorea.
Overall, transportation in both Bora Bora and Tahiti is relatively easy and accessible, with a variety of options available to suit different preferences and budgets. Taxis and rental cars are readily available in both locations, and buses and water taxis can be a great option for those who want to save money or explore the islands in a more unique way. While prices can vary depending on the mode of transportation and the destination, there are plenty of affordable options available for those who are willing to do a little research and planning.
Cost of Travel per Week – Tahiti vs Bora Bora
Bora Bora and Tahiti are both known as luxury destinations and can be expensive to travel to. The cost of travel for a week can vary depending on factors such as season, type of accommodation, dining choices, and activities. However, here is a general comparison of the cost of travel for a week in each destination:
The cost of travel to Bora Bora for a week can range from moderate to very expensive. For budget travelers, a week-long trip to Bora Bora can cost around $2,000 – $3,000 per person, including airfare, budget accommodations, and some meals. For those seeking a more luxurious experience, a week in Bora Bora can cost upwards of $10,000 or more per person, including airfare, luxury accommodations, and fine dining.
The cost of travel to Tahiti for a week can also vary widely depending on your choices. For budget travelers, a week-long trip to Tahiti can cost around $1,500 – $2,500 per person, including airfare, budget accommodations, and some meals. For those seeking a more luxurious experience, a week in Tahiti can cost upwards of $5,000 or more per person, including airfare, luxury accommodations, and fine dining.
Getting There – Tahiti vs Bora Bora
Getting to Bora Bora and Tahiti can involve different modes of transportation and can vary depending on your location and budget. Here is a comparison of the different ways to get to each destination:
To get to Bora Bora, the most common way is to fly to Tahiti’s Faa’a International Airport and then take a short flight on a domestic airline such as Air Tahiti to Bora Bora. The flight from Papeete, Tahiti to Bora Bora takes approximately 45 minutes. It is also possible to take a ferry or a private yacht to Bora Bora from other islands in French Polynesia, but this can be a more expensive and time-consuming option.
Tahiti’s Faa’a International Airport is the main point of entry to French Polynesia and is served by several international airlines from major cities around the world. From there, it is possible to take a domestic flight to other islands in French Polynesia, such as Bora Bora, or to take a ferry to nearby islands like Moorea. Taxis, rental cars, and buses are all available at the airport to get you to your destination.
In terms of cost, flights to both destinations can vary depending on the time of year, the airline, and how far in advance you book. However, generally speaking, flights to Tahiti are often less expensive than flights to Bora Bora. Domestic flights between Tahiti and Bora Bora can cost around $200 – $300 roundtrip per person, while international flights to Tahiti can cost anywhere from $600 – $1,500 or more depending on your departure location and airline.
Best Time to Visit – Bora Bora vs Tahiti
Between May and October
This is the dry season in French Polynesia and considered the best time to visit islands like the Bora Bora and Tahiti. All activities are possible, and you’ll be able to enjoy tantamount of blue skies and sunshine.
Between November to April
This is the slow season in French Polynesia. You can expect fewer crowds and lower fees probably so you can check out if this is a good time for you to schedule your vacation. Some rains will be expected, but it’s a great way to lower down expenses and still experience the beauty of Bora Bora or Tahiti.
From December to March
These months are considered the slowest season in French Polynesia. This is when the rainy season is really happening so make sure you weight the pros and cons. With less expense comes the more chances of experiencing rain in the tropics.
Click here to check the current weather in French Polynesia
Money, ATMs and Currency
The currency of French Polynesia is called Pacific Franc and as of now, $1 USD is worth 105 XPF Pacific Franc. If you are bringing USD you can use them while traveling around French Polynesia no need to exchange them in the islands.
Bank or debit cards in an ATM are the recommended way to access your funds while traveling in French Polynesia.
Know real-time currency exchange here
Final Thoughts on Tahiti vs Bora Bora
In the end, the decision to choose between Bora Bora and Tahiti ultimately depends on your preferences, budget, and travel style. Both islands have their own unique charm, stunning natural beauty, and cultural richness to offer. By understanding the differences between Bora Bora vs. Tahiti, you can make an informed decision and plan a perfect vacation that suits your needs and desires.
If you’re looking for a luxurious and intimate island experience with stunning natural beauty, Bora Bora is the perfect choice. The island’s small size and exclusive overwater bungalows make it a popular destination for honeymooners and couples looking for a romantic getaway.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more diverse landscape with more opportunities for exploration and cultural experiences, Tahiti may be the better option. Tahiti’s larger size and diverse landscape make it an ideal destination for adventure seekers and cultural enthusiasts.
Either way, you’re sure to have an unforgettable vacation in this stunning part of the world. Whether you choose Bora Bora or Tahiti, you’ll be treated to some of the most breathtaking natural beauty, unique cultural experiences, and unforgettable memories of your life.