Bora Bora vs Maldives – Which Destination is Best?

By K.C. DermodyK.C. DermodyK.C. DermodyK.C. Dermody is the author of Best Travel Guide for First Time Visitors to Ireland and has had hundreds of travel articles published online and in print, including Yahoo! Travel, Trips To Discover,, Travelocity, and many more. She also creates itineraries for major tour companies focused on Greece, Croatia, Iceland, Ireland, the UK, Canada, and the US.Meet Our Team | Updated on April 12, 2024 | Posted In: Honeymoon Destinations

One of the most exciting parts of planning your wedding is deciding where to go on your honeymoon. The stress of that special day will be over and you and your partner will have that much-needed time to relax and enjoy each other’s company. If you’re seeking an exotic, luxurious, and unique honeymoon spot, you’ll want to check out two island chains in the South Pacific: Bora Bora and the Maldives.

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” in addition to often being voted among the world’s 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 costs and how much or how 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. Now look for the Maldives, a stunning tropical island country anchored in the crystal-clear blue Indian Ocean, with countless postcard-perfect white sandy beaches.

Getting there

When planning your honeymoon, how much vacation time will you have? Accessibility to either destination is an important consideration, especially if you want to spend time relaxing rather than flying. 

If you’re 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 will take you through Papeete Airport in Tahiti which is the gateway to Bora Bora. Then, you’ll catch 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, requiring upwards of 27 hours to reach this idyllic vacation spot. Once you arrive, you will also need to take a speedboat or a seaplane to your resort. 

When to visit

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

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

March through October is considered surfing season, with the months of May through October considered to be the rainy monsoon season which brings strong winds and storms. The islands receive between five and 10 inches of monthly precipitation and strong winds. 


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

While both destinations are expensive, the Maldives offers highly-rated yet less costly three-star accommodations as 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 the 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 the best places to stay for your honeymoon in Bora Bora and the Maldives.

You’ve probably seen the enticing ads for Bora Bora and its famous overwater bungalows that overlook the clear sea below. Several of these resorts have rooms starting at $300 per night while bungalows are available for as much as $1,500 per night.

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

What to eat

With its strong French influence, Bora Bora combines its heritage and surroundings to create delicious cuisine. You’ll find seafood dishes such as Poisson cru, 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. Here, 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 can join an excursion to nearby spots inhabited by locals to experience a touch of authentic island life. While staying in the Maldives you’ll feel more isolated.

If the two of you are more adventurous, the scuba diving and snorkeling is outstanding in Bora Bora. You’ll find native blacktip reef sharks, eels, rainbow-colored fish, and stingrays along the Coral Gardens and Lagoonarium. On land, you’ll be treated to amazing hikes or 4 x 4 adventures that include touring Mount Otemanu, an extinct volcano rising 2,400 feet above the lagoon. 

The pristine water in the Maldives draws those who want to explore the extensive reefs and blue lagoons, as well as to just relax on the sandy beaches occasionally dipping a toe in. The marine life is diverse and the visibility is remarkable, allowing divers and snorkelers to see 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 unwind and enjoy a luxurious island paradise. Both places offer otherworldly sea life, mouthwatering cuisine, and countless Instagrammable photo ops. Who wouldn’t want to stay in one of the seductive overwater bungalows surrounded by surreal views and calming breezes? It will be a memorable experience that you’ll want to share with family and friends back home, all while kicking off a lifetime a love. After all, isn’t that what a honeymoon is all about?

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