Bora Bora vs Maldives – Which Destination is Best?

Posted In: Honeymoon Destinations

By Jim Campbell | Updated on February 12, 2024


One of the most exciting parts of planning your wedding is where to go for your honeymoon. The stress of that special day will be over and now it will be time for you and your partner to relax and enjoy each other’s company. If you are seeking an exotic, luxurious, and unique honeymoon spot, check out two island chains in the South Pacific.

Both offer azure blue waters, soft sandy beaches, idyllic overwater bungalows on stilts, fish-filled reefs, and tempting dishes. There’s a reason that both Bora Bora and the Maldives have been called Paradise on Earth and voted most popular honeymoon destinations.  But how to decide between Bora Bora and the Maldives? 

There are so many comparisons to make between the two destinations. Much will depend on when you’re going on your honeymoon and how far you want to travel. You’ll also need to consider cost and how much or little you want to do. Get out your map and find Bora Bora, a small pristine beautiful island near Tahiti in French Polynesia surrounded by turquoise lagoons and sandy beaches, and the Maldives, a picturesque tropical island country anchored in the Indian Ocean and surrounded by hundreds of charming islands, sparkling beaches, and crystal blue sea. 

Getting there

When planning your honeymoon, how much vacation time will you have? Accessibility to either destination needs to be considered, especially if you want to spend time relaxing rather than flying. 

If you are departing from the United States, Bora Bora is the better option.

Here’s why. Bora Bora is 4,181 miles from San Francisco or more than 6,300 miles from New York City. From the West Coast to Bora Bora, your flights take you through Papeete Airport in Tahiti, the gateway to Bora Bora, and then a short domestic flight on a local airline, all of which will take about eight to 10 hours.

The Maldives is 8,721 miles from New York City and upwards of 27 hours to get to this vacation spot. Once you arrive in the Maldives, you will need to take a speedboat or a seaplane to your resort. 

When to visit

No matter when your wedding takes place, you’ll be able to find pleasant tropical weather in either Bora Bora or the Maldives. Bora Bora’s peak travel season from May through October rewards travelers with the most sun and is the driest time of year with temperatures typically in the high 60s to mid 80s. Rainfall is most abundant from December through February.

Unlike Bora Bora, the Maldives has specific seasons of sun, rain, and monsoons. January is one of the best months to enjoy the Maldives especially for its water sports. Visitors choose to travel during the drier, less-humid months between December through April.

March through October is considered surf season and the months of May through October are known to be the rainy monsoon season with strong winds and storms. The islands receive between 5-10 inches of monthly precipitation and strong winds. 

Cost

Hopefully, you’ll have received a nice nest egg to fund your honeymoon. But if cost is a consideration, you’ll find that the Maldives will be less expensive than Bora Bora.

While both destinations are expensive, the Maldives offers highly-rated less costly three-star accommodations compared to Bora Bora’s five-star luxury resorts.

Since your meals in Bora Bora will be eaten at those luxury resorts, you’ll pay more for food too. To make your visit less expensive, visit Bora Bora during its off-season.

What is the average cost of a Maldives trip for two?

The average cost for a week long luxury honeymoon in the Maldives for two is $9,500.

What is the average cost of a Bora Bora trip for two?

The average cost for a week long luxury honeymoon in Bora Bora is $11,500.

Where to stay

Explore our favorite resorts and best places to stay for your honeymoon in Bora Bora and the Maldives.

You’ve probably seen the enticing ads about Bora Bora and its famous overwater bungalows that overlook the clear sea below. Several of these resorts offer prices starting at $300 per night or up to $1,500 per night in the bungalow.

There’s more affordable accommodation variety if you visit the Maldives. You’ll still find luxurious resorts and overwater bungalows but other options remain with lower price points.

What to eat

With its strong French influence, Bora Bora combines its heritage and its surroundings to create delicious cuisine. You’ll find seafood dishes such as Poisson cru, a raw tuna marinated in lime juice and coconut milk; superb Mahi-mahi, grouper, and bonito, cooked with locally grown pineapple, coconuts, and bananas. 

In comparison, chefs in the Maldives are influenced by Asian and Indian cuisines.

You’ll be sampling authentic Maldivian food containing coconut, curry, and seafood. One delicious meal not to miss is the local seafood grilled with an infusion of coconut. 

What to do 

What to do with all of this free time once you arrive? Here’s where you can’t go wrong between either destination. Perhaps your main honeymoon goal was to relax but you might get the urge to explore. On Bora Bora, you’ll be able to take a small craft trip to nearby spots inhabited by locals and get a touch of authentic island life. While staying on the Maldives you’ll feel more isolated.

If the two of you are more adventurous, you’ll find native blacktip reef sharks, eels, rainbow-colored fish, and stingrays along the Coral Gardens and Lagoonarium as you scuba dive and snorkel in Bora Bora. On land you’ll be treated to amazing hikes or 4 x 4 excursions where you can tour Mount Otemanu, an extinct volcano rising 2,400 above the lagoon. 

The pristine waters of the Maldives draws those who want to explore its extensive reefs and blue lagoons or relax on its sandy beaches. Due to its warm water, diverse marine life, and high visibility, divers and snorkelers will revel in seeing manta rays, dolphins, and spotted whale sharks. If you’re seeking privacy, the Maldives will permit you and your partner all the quiet time you need. 

Whichever destination you choose, you’ll find lots of ways to relax and enjoy this luxurious island paradise. Both places offer otherworldly sea life, amazing cuisine, and lots of Instagrammable posts. Who wouldn’t want to stay in those seductive overwater bungalows surrounded by surreal views and calming breezes? It will be a memorable vacation to share with family and friends. And isn’t that what a honeymoon is all about?


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