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Bora Bora vs The Maldives: What’s the Difference?

Bora Bora vs The Maldives: What’s the Difference?

Are you looking to spend your next vacation on an island, away from the busy city life, surrounded by the calm sea? If this is the case, both Bora Bora and the Maldives are great options. But which one is better? Check out this Bora Bora vs Maldives comparison.

Dreaming of vacationing on pristine waters, calm beaches, and overwater bungalows? Bora Bora and the Maldives are two destinations that should be on your travel bucket list.

While Bora Bora is a small South Pacific island, the Maldives is a tropical country in the Indian Ocean filled with dispersed islands.

On the surface, both these dream-worthy destinations are equally attractive and offer once-in-a-lifetime experiences. However, the difference between Bora Bora and Maldives is in the location, the vibes, the culture, and travel expenses.

If you are trying to decide your next travel destination, here is your ultimate Bora Bora vs Maldives guide.

Bora Bora vs Maldives

Bora Bora and Maldives on Map

In terms of location, Bora Bora and Maldives are entirely different from another. Here’s where you can locate Bora Bora and Maldives on the map.

Where is Bora Bora?

Bora Bora is among the many islands belonging to French Polynesia and lies in the heart of the Pacific Ocean. About 160 miles northwest of Tahiti, the tiny and calm island is surrounded by a crystal blue lagoon and coral reef.

bora bora map

The Bora Bora population is just over 10,000, and most locals follow the Tahitian religion. The economy of the island mainly depends on tourism. While the official Bora Bora language is French, most locals can speak good English.

Where is the Maldives?

The Maldives is a part of a chain of 1,192 small islands located in the Indian Ocean, at the southwest end of Sri Lanka.

Like the Bora Bora island, the Maldives is also a quiet and peaceful place, making it a paradise for tourists.

Maldives map

The Maldives population is about 515,000, with Islam being the official religion. The country’s main industry was fishing until the 1970s, after which tourism became the primary source of income.

The Maldives language is Dhivehi, but most locals are fluent in English.

Bora Bora vs Maldives: Accessibility

When you plan a vacation, your first question might be: What is Better to Travel to Bora Bora or Maldives?

The answer depends on where you are traveling from.

Bora Bora

Bora Bora is located in the South Pacific, and United Airlines offers direct flights from San Francisco to the international airport at Tahiti. So, if you are traveling from Australia or the US, then Bora Bora is a better option.

There is further traveling from the international airport, which means you will have to fly from Tahiti to Bora Bora on a one-hour domestic flight.

Alternatively, if you plan to further travel to some parts of Asia, then the Maldives would be a more convenient option for you.

The Maldives

The Maldives is located in the Indian Ocean, so if you are traveling from Europe or Africa, then the Maldives is a good option.

But, the location is difficult to get to because there are no direct flights to the Maldives.

To get to the island, you will have to take a long flight to Dubai or Hong Kong and then to Malé, the main island of the Maldives.

From there, you will travel in a hydroplane or a speedboat to your destination resort. All of that traveling might take more than 24 hours.

Bora Bora vs Maldives: Landscapes

Even though both of these locations can leave you spell-bound, there are a few differences in the landscape, which might make you prefer one over the other.

Bora Bora

With turquoise lagoons, powder-soft white sand, and endless blue skies, Bora Bora has a striking landscape among the other Tahitian islands.

Bora Bora landscape

The twin volcanic peaks in the center of the island add drama to the whole landscape, making it one of Earth’s most iconic views.

That’s why most luxury hotels face the mountains to give you a full view of the striking natural landscape.

The Maldives

The Maldives is a string of low-lying sandy islands lined with lush palm trees, floating in the Indian Ocean.


Each land feels like an abandoned paradise, encircled by a coral reef with a shallow lagoon in the center.

The emerald sea gives the most mesmerizing views from resort islands.

Bora Bora vs the Maldives: Accommodation

Both Bora Bora and Maldives are known for their luxury resorts and overwater bungalows. If you want to experience living in an overwater villa, you won’t fall short of places in either of these locations.

Still, as you will be spending most of your time in the room or on the beach, you should consider accommodation options beforehand.

Bora Bora

Bora Bora has some great luxury resorts, but the options are far less than the Maldives.

You will find many overwater villas, and as the location is smaller, expect to come across people in the water doing water sports and other activities.

Bora Bora huts

The rates of the villas are higher here because there are fewer resort options, but the luxury is incredible if that makes up for the high cost. 

The Maldives

With over 500 resorts, the Maldives has more physical options and more choices in terms of rates. Unlike Bora Bora, the Maldives’ resorts are more spread out.

So you have more private space if you want to go skinny dipping without coming in view of your neighbors or a passing boat.

Maldives accommodation

The Maldives now has many new resorts as well, with modern features such as glass-bottom floors and pampering opportunities.

There’s plenty of water sports you can do in the Maldives even if you aren’t an avid swimmer.

See Related: Best Overwater Bungalows in the Caribbean

Bora Bora vs the Maldives: Best Times to Visit

Bora Bora and Maldives have plenty of overwater bungalows because they don’t have a hurricane season. Still, certain seasons are best for vacationing at these places.

Bora Bora

There is no particularly bad season to visit Bora Bora because the temperatures remain between 70 and 80 Fahrenheit most of the year.

There is more sunshine from April to November, while December to February are the rainy months.

If you want to skip the rainy season, then the best time to visit is from May to October.

And while it starts raining in December, the showers don’t last all day, so they won’t have a huge effect on your trip.

The Maldives

The Maldives experiences a true monsoon season, so you need to plan your trip according to the weather. The dry season in the Maldives is from November to April, while May brings rain, wind, and storms with it.

The best months to plan your vacation are from January to March when there is more sunshine and less rain.

However, even if you travel in wet weather, the rain won’t pour down the whole day. You might have to cancel a few ventures, though.

See Related: Best Travel Accessories

Bora Bora vs the Maldives: Activities

Whether you choose Bora Bora or Maldives, you will have quite a few ways to relax and enjoy the stunning locations.

Keep reading to find out what they have to offer.

Bora Bora

Bora Bora is full of fun activities, so it’s an ideal location for adventure-loving souls.

On the island, you can have outstanding snorkeling and scuba diving experiences. Exploring the lagoon in a canoe is a must-do in every checklist.

lagoon in a canoe

The famous snorkeling points include Coral Gardens and the Bora Bora Lagoonarium, where you can interact with blacktip reef sharks and stingrays.

If you have some energy left after the water adventures, you can go hiking in the mountains or explore the interior of Bora Bora, which is a short boat trip away. There you will see the Bora Bora culture, food, and dancing that takes place on special occasions.

Most of the guides are local – you can catch the true vibes of the island and take some memorable pictures with the locals.

The Maldives

In contrast, the Maldives is an ideal place for relaxing in one place as you take your time to relish the dreamy landscape.

It is perfect for travelers seeking privacy and wishing to view active marine life from above and underneath the water. There is also a fair chance you will spot some pods of active dolphins in the waters.

The Maldives offers many activities, including snorkeling, sea kayaking, and village trips to experience the Maldives culture from up close.

However, there are not many excursions as the islands are spread far from one another.

See Related: Best Travel Shorts for Warm Weather Destinations

Bora Bora or the Maldives: Nightlife

As you might have guessed, the nightlife of Bora Bora and the Maldives revolve around the resorts.

There are several bars at a single resort and some event at least once every week, so there’s no way you will get bored.

Bora Bora

Since most places close at 10 pm, the nightlife of Bora Bora can be best experienced at after-hour bars outside and inside of resorts.

One such pub is the Lucky House, which is very popular with locals because it stays open till late if enough people are inside.

Apart from that, there is always Polynesian Night somewhere on the island. For example, it’s at Four Seasons on Monday, and at St Regis on Thursday. At very little charges, you can enjoy a great show put on by fire dancers or drinks on the sandy shore.

You can also visit Recif, a proper nightclub, and enjoy some dance music. It starts with karaoke, and the place is packed with people after midnight.

See Related: Best Travel Shorts

The Maldives

The bars and nightclubs at the Maldives stay open till 2 am, and the activities at night are fantastic.

A visit to the glow-in-the-dark beach at Vaadhoo Island is a magical experience as the sand around your feet will glow at every step.

Subsix Per Aquum Maldives

Subsix, an underwater nightclub at the Niyama resort, and 15 Below nightclub are other highlights of the islands. You will also find coffee bars and clubs in the capital, Malé, but don’t expect to find any alcohol there.

Bora Bora vs Maldives: The Food

If you are a foodie, this part is especially dedicated to you. You can expect these differences in the food on both islands.

Bora Bora

The food of Bora Bora is inspired by French cuisine, and the island has some of the most amazing restaurants. You will mostly find seafood on the menu, including raw tuna, Mahi-mahi, and bonito.

Bora Bora food

Because of the French influence, Bora Bora also produces fresh bread and delicious pastries topped with locally grown fruits such as pineapples and coconut.

The Maldives

Maldivian cuisine mainly consists of curry and coconut-infused dishes that are a must-try. The seafood at the island is grilled on coconut-infused charcoal, giving a distinct flavor to the dishes.


Apart from the local cuisine, you will also find many restaurants that offer international cuisines, including Indian and Asian ones. The food varieties vary in price ranges, due to which the Maldives is ideal for people traveling on a budget.

You can also opt for meal plans from your resort to save money on food and spend it on other activities.

Bora Bora vs Maldives: Travel Costs

When you are traveling away from home, one of the major concerns is the travel expenses. To help you plan out your budget, we have made a comparison of Bora bora vs Maldives prices.

Take a look.

Bora Bora

Bora Bora is a more remote island than the Maldives, so it costs more to visit. If you plan to spend ten nights on the island, you should expect to pay about $5000 per person.

The expenses can rise depending on the amount of money for accommodation, meals, and other necessities. For instance, staying at an overwater bungalow will cost you higher.

The Maldives

The Maldives is less costly than Bora Bora, with charges starting from $2000 per person for a seven-night stay. Similar to Bora Bora, the prices will rise depending on your accommodation, meals, and other preferences.

Also, keep in mind that the Maldives has high import taxes on everything, and the labor is more costly.

Bora Bora vs Maldives: Which is Better?

Even though both the islands are equally luxurious with beautiful landscapes, the main difference between Bora Bora and Maldives lies in the vibes and expenses.

If time is a major concern for you, it’s better to see the locations in terms of accessibility too. You may want to spend more time relaxing than flying.

As it’s more convenient to travel to a location that is closer to you, Bora Bora is an ideal travel destination for US citizens.

However, if you want to travel further to other parts of Asia, then the Maldives is the way to go.

Whichever island you choose, you can still experience the overwater bungalows that stay on top of every travel checklist.

Wrap Up

When you are picking between Bora Bora and Maldives, there is no wrong option.

At the end of the day, both of the islands are like paradise on Earth, and you will have a fantastic vacation no matter which location you pick.

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