Which is Best? Maldives vs Bora Bora

Maldives vs Bora Bora: Which island paradise is better: Bora Bora or the Maldives? Bora Bora and the Maldives are both fantastic locations to fulfill your fantasies of pristine beaches, clear blue waters, and luxurious overwater villas.

The tiny but stunning island of Bora Bora is located in French Polynesia, an archipelago in the South Pacific.

 However, the Maldives are a tropical nation in the middle of the Indian Ocean, made up of hundreds of tiny islands.

which is best? Maldives vs Bora Bora

These two exceptional travel destinations may appear identical at first glance, but they are actually quite different in important ways that could significantly alter your vacation experience. (Which is Best? Maldives vs Bora Bora)

Here’s what I know from frequent visits to both the Maldives and Bora Bora: For your convenience, I’ll compare the following features of these locations:

Could you tell me if you’ve ever been to Bora Bora and the Maldives? If so, what’s your favorite? Make a remark. (Which is Best? Maldives vs Bora Bora)

WEATHER (Maldives vs Bora Bora)

Both the Maldives and Bora Bora have distinctly unique climates and seasonalities. The Maldives experience a dry season from November through April, and a wet season from May through October.

The dry season in French Polynesia (and, by extension, Bora Bora) is from May to October, while the wet season lasts from November to April. (Which is Best? Maldives vs Bora Bora)

Location is also a factor in the climatic differences between Bora Bora and the Maldives.

Due to its proximity to the equator, the Maldives enjoys year-round balmy temperatures, while Bora Bora, located further from the equator, experiences cooler evenings during the winter (nothing too bad but you may need a sweater nonetheless).

January through April is peak season in the Maldives due to the pleasant weather (and skyrocketing hotel rates).

The monsoon season lasts from May to October, with its peak occurring in June. (Which is Best? Maldives vs Bora Bora)

There isn’t much to do on a rainy day besides drink, eat, work out, or scuba dive, so it’s best to avoid the area during the wet season and pay the higher prices that come with it.

There has been a lot of unpredictability in recent years, especially in the months of November and December, which are typically considered to be part of the dry season.

Between June and September, when the climate is dry and the weather is warm, is the ideal time to visit Bora Bora (but windy).

However, this is the peak travel season, so expect crowds and higher hotel rates.

Comfortable weather is also available in the shoulder season months of May and October, when prices are lower and there is less wind. (Which is Best? Maldives vs Bora Bora)

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Bora Bora is accessible all year, but the months of November through April feature higher humidity, more cloudy days, and more frequent tropical showers.

Except for years when El Nio alters ocean currents, Bora Bora is almost never hit by tropical storms. (Which is Best? Maldives vs Bora Bora)


Whereas Bora Bora can be found smack in the middle of the Southern Pacific Ocean, the Maldives can be found to the southeast of India.

Travel time between the two locations varies greatly depending on starting point.

Travelers originating in Europe, Asia, or Africa will find the Maldives more convenient, while those coming from the United States, Australia, or New Zealand will have an easier time getting to Bora Bora.

To give you an idea, a flight from Paris to the Maldives takes about 10 hours and a flight to Bora Bora takes about 20 hours.

Travel time from Los Angeles to Bora Bora is around 10 hours, while travel time to the Maldives is around 20 hours.

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Accessibility is a must if you value your time, as it will allow you to spend more time in paradise and less time on the plane.

But there are some crucial distinctions to keep in mind: (Which is Best? Maldives vs Bora Bora)

  • The Maldives are now accessible from almost anywhere in the world thanks to the proliferation of airlines that service the area. Using a Middle Eastern airline (like Emirates, Etihad, or Qatar Airways) will get you to the Maldives quickly and easily (with multiple flights a day between their hubs and Male). And while some Maldives resorts are only accessible by seaplanes, which only fly during daylight hours, those in North and South Male Atoll, which are closer to the airport, are easily reached by speedboat at any time of day or night.
  • Since Bora Bora does not accept international flights, visitors will need to put in more time and effort to reach their destination. To get to Bora Bora, you must first take an international flight to Tahiti (and there aren’t that many airlines that fly to Tahiti, so connecting flights can take up to 50 minutes). Domestic flights to Bora Bora only take place during the day, which can cause scheduling conflicts with international flights (which typically arrive and depart in the wee hours of the morning or the late hours of the night). Any trip to Bora Bora will necessitate a stopover of one night in Tahiti, which is not always a pleasant experience given that Tahiti only offers mediocre hotels that are nothing to write home about, unless you choose an international flight with an early morning arrival in Tahiti (at the start of your holiday) and a late evening departure from Tahiti (at the end of your holiday). (Which is Best? Maldives vs Bora Bora)

RESORTS (Maldives vs Bora Bora)

There are many five-star hotels in the Maldives and Bora Bora, but they are among the world’s most expensive.

There are a large number of extremely high-end hotels in the Maldives, with many of them constructed on their own private island.

Comparatively, Bora Bora’s outer reef is home to only four true luxury hotels: the Four Seasons, St. Regis, InterContinental, and Conrad.

Even the best hotels in Bora Bora can’t match the level of luxury and service provided by Maldives resorts. (Which is Best? Maldives vs Bora Bora)

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When compared to resorts in the Maldives, Bora Bora hotels probably wouldn’t even make the top 20 if you moved them there (with the exception of the Four Seasons). (Which is Best? Maldives vs Bora Bora)

There are many notable distinctions between the Maldives and Bora Bora hotels.

  • Resorts in Bora Bora tend to be older and less well maintained than those in the Maldives, which feature mostly brand new properties.
  • Resorts in the Maldives are often design heavens and architectural jewels that will blow you away, while all Bora Bora resorts feature traditional Polynesian decor (which may feel a little dated).
  • Bora Bora’s overwater villas aren’t as grand or as well-appointed as their Maldive counterparts, and it shows in the space and amenities offered. One of my favorite resorts is Soneva Jani, and their overwater villas are the best I’ve ever stayed in.
  • Most of your meals in the Maldives and Bora Bora will be taken in the resort’s restaurants. Thus, many guests at both resorts opt to purchase a meal plan instead of paying a la carte, resulting in significant cost savings. Although Bora Bora’s resort restaurants are consistently above average, those in the Maldives are where you’ll find the most exceptional and avant-garde cuisine, prepared by chefs who have earned Michelin stars. Soneva Fushi in the Maldives, for instance, has the best resort food I’ve ever had, with gourmet restaurants in extravagant settings and attentive staff.
  • In comparison to the lavish breakfast buffets in the Maldives, the ones in Bora Bora feel very meager and unimpressive.


While both the Maldives and Bora Bora offer stunning natural beauty, there are subtle distinctions between the two that may sway a visitor’s preference.

One of the most stunning islands in the world is Bora Bora. There is a beautiful barrier reef and lagoon surrounding the island, and there are also several motus (islets) made up of sand and coral fragments.

Both Mount Pahia and Mount Otemanu, the remnants of a volcano that once towered over the island, can be found in the geographical center of the main island.

Mount Otemanu is the tallest mountain in Bora Bora, standing at an impressive 2,835 feet (727 meters) above sea level. (Which is Best? Maldives vs Bora Bora)

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With the exception of the Conrad, all of the other five-star hotels in the area are oriented toward the mountain so that their guests can take in the breathtaking scenery.

The Maldives, unlike Bora Bora, do not have any nearby mountains.

About 1,200 small coral islands form this archipelago in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Each of these isles has the appearance of a deserted paradise, what with its pristine palm trees, coral reef surround, and shallow lagoon in the middle.

Most vacation islands have stunning, unobstructed views of the ocean. Bora Bora is, if possible, slightly more beautiful than the Maldives due to the latter’s flat topography. (Which is Best? Maldives vs Bora Bora)

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The ‘quality’ of the beaches is another area in which the Maldives and Bora Bora differ.

Beaches in Bora Bora are composed of coral sand (not very soft) and have some rocky parts along the shore, but they are still stunningly beautiful and incredibly photogenic.

Sand in the Maldives is among the world’s whitest and softest, and it will take your breath away. (Which is Best? Maldives vs Bora Bora)


There are many ways to unwind and appreciate the beautiful scenery in either Bora Bora or the Maldives.

Bora Bora is a paradise for those who seek excitement, as it is home to a wide variety of exciting water, air, and land activities.

Fantastic snorkeling (with sightings of blacktip reef sharks, manta rays, and even whales), world-class scuba diving, and canoe tours of the lagoon are just a few of the water activities available.

On the main island (just a quick boat ride from most resorts), visitors can go mountain climbing or quad biking, or relax on a white sand beach.

Everyone should also take a helicopter tour of the breathtaking island. Bora Bora’s tours typically last half a day to a full day and are led by knowledgeable guides. (Which is Best? Maldives vs Bora Bora)

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In contrast, the resort at which you stay in the Maldives will likely arrange a small selection of activities for you to partake in (there are only few excursions as the islands are spread far apart from one another).

In any case, that shouldn’t be a major concern, as most visitors to the Maldives are looking for some peace and quiet on a deserted tropical island in the middle of a surreal landscape. (Which is Best? Maldives vs Bora Bora)

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However, if you’re the active type, you can choose from a variety of excursions that focus on the incredible marine life that surrounds the archipelago. (Which is Best? Maldives vs Bora Bora)

Due to the islands’ favorable conditions for snorkeling and scuba diving—warm water, high visibility, and abundant marine life—manta rays and spotted whale sharks, to name just a few, are common sights.

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