If you’re a fan of exotic places, you have most likely heard about Bora Bora which is a small island that measures only 30.55 km², located in South Pacific, in the French Polynesia area. The island enchants tourists with its turquoise waters and sand-fringed islets. Besides relaxing and enjoying the breathtaking landscape, many people go there for scuba diving as well. Bora Bora represents a luxury resort destination. If your budget allows it, you will be able to rent an entire bungalow. At the center of the island, there’s a dormant volcano. Let’s see the reasons why you should go to this island and, most importantly, which the best time to visit Bora Bora is.
Why Should You Visit Bora Bora?
a. No Crowds
There are plenty of reasons why you should visit Bora Bora and choose this destination instead of going to other popular places such as Hawaii. For starters, the entire French Polynesia area receives approximately the same number of tourists in one entire year as Hawaii accommodates in just one single week. Even if you plan your trip during peak season, you will never feel crowded in Bora Bora. Therefore, you will be able to easily find a spot on a quiet and peaceful beach and have some privacy.
b. Beautiful Landscape & Unique Nature
Secondly, believe me when I say that Bora Bora is one of the most amazing islands on the globe, if not the most beautiful one. It features mesmerizing landscapes and unique geography. Basically, it’s an ideal place if you want to experience a lifetime adventure. Moreover, you can gaze at the volcano’s dramatic peak which is also known as Mount Otemanu.
c. Isolated and Exclusive Holiday Destination
Despite the fact that it has gained a lot of popularity, Bora Bora remains a pretty isolated island because of two main factors: distance and cost. So, one could say that those people who visit the island are truly privileged. If you don’t have an unlimited budget, don’t fret about it, yet. Still, some people manage to visit Bora Bora, although they have a tight budget.
d. Unspoiled Paradise
You won’t find any sky rise hotels or crowds of visitors in Bora Bora. Simply put, that means you will discover an unspoiled paradise embellished by pristine beaches and clean waters. As a matter of fact, this area is still a pure place and, unfortunately, there aren’t many like it left on the planet. Much of the island isn’t developed which means that you will always find a spot on Bora Bora where you can indulge in relaxation and peacefulness, in this secluded paradise.
e. Clear Turquoise Water
Some say that the island’s lagoon features no less than 50 different shades of blue which is pretty amazing. One thing’s for sure: if you go around the lagoon, you will certainly see a lot of hues of both turquoise and blue water. The best is yet to come: along with these great bright colors, you will also enjoy bathing in crystal clear sea. Some tourists even go snorkeling here.
f. Unique Experiences
If you decide to travel to Bora Bora, there are so many once-in-a-lifetime experiences that you could try. For instance, you could swim alongside graceful sharks without a risk in the world. Or, do you know what else should you not miss? Having a picnic in a delightful area right on the shore, while keeping your feet in the water. Doesn’t that sound great?
g. Luxurious Resorts
There are several exclusive island resorts that are both luxurious and glamorous. The most popular ones are those that provide bungalows built right over the water. There, you can bathe in a huge tub while watching all sorts of tropical fishes swimming nearby. The majority of the accommodations also offer pampering spa treatments and massages. Basically, in Bora Bora, you can have a taste of both man-made facilities and the treats provided by nature.
h. Savoring the Local Cuisine
Bora Bora’s local cuisine has French influences, although some say there isn’t a lot of variety as they thought it would be; let’s be realistic! This place is a remote island. Hence, a lot of the food and ingredients are imported so, if you think there would be Mexican or Chinese restaurants around the corner, you might be disappointed. That said, many tourists really enjoy their meals, especially when it comes to amazing pastries, homemade desserts, and, obviously, fresh seafood.
When Should You Go on a Trip There? – Best Time to Visit Bora Bora
Some say that’s best to visit Bora Bora in April and November. In these two months, you will enjoy fine weather and nice temperatures of about 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the island’s high seasons starts in May and ends in October. During this period, rain showers aren’t frequent. Still, the place is full of tourists. The low season lasts from December to March but the weather is rather wet and there are a lot of mosquitoes. All in all, you can visit Bora Bora anytime you want because the weather remains warm all year round.
|Best time to visit Bora Bora for/to||Good weather||May to October|
|General touristic visits||May, September, October, and November|
|Honeymoons||May to October|
|Outdoor Activities||From June all the way to September|
|Sightseeing||May, September, October|
|Diving and snorkeling||April & May and September & October|
If you want to save money while also avoiding peak seasons, you should plan ahead. Try not to travel to the island between June and August as well as during winter holidays. During those two periods, hotels are usually bursting with tourists, the accommodation rates are significantly higher, and flights might get overbooked.
If you’re a sightseeing enthusiast, then you should take into consideration a couple of essential elements before planning your holiday: busy and overpriced periods and the rainy season (after all, Bora Bora is a tropical island that has a wet season). Heavy rain is a common weather aspect from November to April. And, as I mentioned previously, busy times are around Christmas and during all major holiday months, particularly summer.
For those of you who want to go diving or snorkeling, the best time to visit Bora Bora is from April to October because then, the water is clear and calm. On the other hand, pay attention to all three summer months, during which the wind is stronger and might churn up the sea. You can also dive from November to April but, being the wet season, you should expect poorer visibility.
Obviously, the weather impacts outdoors activities in terms of both enjoyment and accessibility. The wet season comes with heavy downpours as well as powerful wind. Even when it stops raining, the air remains very humid which can be quite uncomfortable. The best time to go out and do outdoor activities is during dry months (June-September).
Finally, I know you’ve all been waiting for me to say something about the best time to go to Bora Bora for sunbathing and relaxing on the island’s pristine beaches. From May to October, the temperature during the day is, on average, 28 degrees Celsius. Still, the water temperature is higher and very inviting. It can go up to 26 degrees Celsius. On the other hand, some people prefer swimming during the wet season but that’s mostly because they look for relief from all the humidity and heat.
Best and Worst Time to Visit Bora Bora – Summarization
- High Season – around Christmas and New Year’s Eve time & during summer months: June, July, and August; the highest peak is reached in August. Downsides: high occupancy and high hotel rates;
- Shoulder Season – during April-May and September-October you can benefit from mild and dry weather and lower prices;
- Low Season – there are two off-season periods in Bora Bora. The first one starts right after New Year and lasts until March. The second one is from November to mid-December. These two timeframes have frequent rain and the air become unpleasantly humid. Sometimes, cyclones are possible, although they don’t occur very often. On the other hand, hotel rates drop and the island isn’t busy or crowded.
Bora Bora Events, Holidays, and Festivals by Month
- New Year’s – this is a global holiday that everyone celebrates so why not enjoy it on this tropical island?! Still, you must consider the fact that certain bars, restaurants, shops, and cafes might be closed during that period;
- Taurua Varua – this is a very important religious event on the island. You will witness three consecutive weekends full of traditional singing that takes place at various venues across the main island.
- Chinese New Year – sometimes it is celebrated in January and other times it is held in February. For a couple of days, Chinese families celebrate moderately.
- Missionaries Day – this event also goes by the name of Gospel Day. This holiday honors the coming of Protestantism which took place more than 200 years ago;
- Orero Championship – this is a truly remarkable competition that takes place in Vaitape, at the town hall. Competitors must play ancient songs and the winner goes to Tahiti, to compete in the next level.
- Easter – several facilities close during this time because both Easter Monday and Good Friday are public holidays. On Sunday, you could go to a local church and enjoy the festivities;
- Miss and Mister Bora Bora – this is a popular competition of both beauty and strength.
- Tahiti Pearl Regatta – this event is the biggest sailing race that takes place in the entire Pacific area. This is a feast for the eyes because you will see all kinds of beautiful boats, from small canoes to large and luxurious yachts;
- Ascension Day – this public holiday is celebrated 40 days after Easter;
- Whit Monday – Bora Bora’s Pentecost is a major religious event.
- Heiva Dances – the local dance school begins to perform as a form of practice to prepare for the upcoming Heiva celebrations;
- Miss Tahiti – is a contest of beauty that honors Tahitian women;
- Internal Autonomy Day – also known as Hivavaeve, this public holiday celebrates the moment in which French Polynesia was given the right to govern itself.
- Heiva i Tahiti – these festivities feature a lot of ukulele playing, sporting carnivals, hip-swinging dancing, and canoe racing, all over the Tahiti region;
- Bastille Day – during this public holiday, people enjoy tasty foods and sing in the street;
- Raid Anei Bora Bora – this is a contest that involves physical strength because competitors must hike in the mountains.
- Assumption – on the 15th of August, people of Bora Bora celebrate Assumption day which is a public holiday. Locals and tourists alike attend church services.
In September, there aren’t any special celebrations taking place in Bora Bora.
- Stone-Throwing Competitions – this event takes place in order to honor an ancient tradition, the one of fishing with stones.
- All Saints Day – on this day, locals visit their dead relatives’ graves;
- Faatitoraamoa – this is another way to celebrate Armistice Day by organizing some cock-fighting events across the main island, although not all of you might agree with this;
- Hawaiki Nui Canoe Races – important races take place on the water on all Bora Bora islands. This competition lasts 3 days and participants, as well as spectators, have a lot of fun;
- Matari’i Ni’a – local communities organize traditional events around the island. This holiday is a way for the locals to express their gratitude for a, hopefully, good weather with enough rain to ensure a plentiful harvest.
- Va’a Bora Bora – this is just another canoe race;
- Village de Noël – this is an inviting Christmas fair where tourists can purchase locally-made products;
- Parade de Noël – before Christmas, there’s a modest yet colorful and vibrant pageant that features a lot of dancing;
- Christmas Day – I know this is an international holiday but it is celebrated fervently in Bora Bora;
- Boxing Day – this isn’t a public holiday but it is part of the Christmas celebrations;
- New Year’s Eve – the majority of resorts and accommodations provide buffet dinners, seasoned with music and dances.
Things You Should Know Before Going to Bora Bora
- It is a luxury, hence very expensive holiday destination. For instance, a plane ticket from New York costs around $1,700. The cost of one night of accommodation at a premium hotel costs around $1,000;
- All flights go through Tahiti before arriving in Bora Bora, so brace yourself for a long journey that can last at least 20 hours. Moreover, there’s also a short boat trip involved;
- It will be easy to talk to locals because English is widely spoken, although the island’s official language is French;
- The currency on the island is the franc, even though France has replaced it with the euro. One US dollar is about 100 French Polynesia francs.
Warnings and Potential Dangers
- Bora Bora is normally a safe and welcoming place. Still, there might be a tiny risk of petty crime. To avoid this potential issue, just take care of your valuables;
- You’re on a tropical island. Therefore, pack accordingly. Don’t forget to use sunscreen, drink plenty of water, and inform yourself about precaution and safety measures in case of tsunamis or hurricanes. Also, watch out for falling coconuts;
- Bora Bora waters have sharks. Still, they rarely attack humans. Nevertheless, it is best to stay away from shark-infested waters. To avoid stings and other mild injuries, you should wear foot protection. Applying mosquito repellent is also good advice.
The Best Time to Visit Bora Bora – Final Thoughts
Bora Bora is a great holiday destination where you can experience a lot of fun and interesting activities. Just make sure to do your research before planning a trip there. It’s best to travel there during certain periods of the year, based on your personal preferences and, of course, your budget. If you take into account the safety guidelines I provided above, you are in for a real treat and you will be able to have fun and avoid stressing out.