Bora Bora is the vacation that we have all been dreaming about! Its crystal clear lagoon, fiery sunsets, and soft white sand beaches are more than enough reasons to jet set to Bora Bora. If you are just thinking about planning a trip to Bora Bora, my advice for you is, just do it! You will not be disappointed one bit. Once you book those airline tickets, come back here, because I have the perfect Bora Bora itinerary for you.
I am going to be honest here. Bora Bora was originally not on my radar for places to travel to this year or anytime soon. However, in May, my husband and I were planning on getting married in Italy and having our honeymoon on the Amalfi Coast.
That trip, unfortunately, got postponed. Getting the travel itch, I recently started looking for locations that have opened their borders to US citizens. Without a question, in our minds, we choose a trip to Bora Bora.
Our honeymoon was booked and planned to the island of Bora Bora in less than a month before departure. In that short period of time, I learned a lot. I am so excited to share with you our experiences and exactly how to plan the perfect Bora Bora itinerary!
To View More Bora Bora Content
☀️Your Layover Plans: Top 10 Things to do in Papeete
☀️How to Get to Bora Bora From SFO & Top Tips For Booking Your Flight
☀️St. Regis Bora Bora Review: Is It Worth It?
☀️ St Regis vs Four Seasons Bora Bora: Which One is Better
What You Need To Know Before Your Travels To Bora Bora
For updated travel information for entry on the Islands of Tahiti check Tahiti’s tourism travel page.
The main languages spoken by the locals are French and Tahitian. However, a lot of the resort employees and people in the tourist industry speak English as well. Before your travels, familiarize yourself with a couple of easy words. It’s something very simple, but makes a huge difference!
Hello: Ia ora na (pronounced yo-ra-na)
Thank you: Mauruuru (mah-roo-roo)
Welcome: Maeva Goodbye: Nana
Merci: Thank you
Goodbye: Au revoir
The currency used in all of French Polynesia is Central Pacific Franc (XPF). When we travel abroad we always get the local currency from an ATM at the airport because it has the best currency exchange. You are able to charge most things in Bora Bora with a credit card and do not forget to notify your credit card company before your travels.
In addition to using your card, I do think it is necessary to have some money available for tips. If you are in a bind or do not want to exchange, US dollars and Euros are accepted.
A good tip learned was that leftover XPF’s could always be used towards one of your hotel bills at the end of the trip. So you never have to worry about taking out too much money.
Where To Stay In Bora Bora
There’s good news and bad news when putting together your Bora Bora itinerary. The good news is, there are so many incredible 5 star resorts in Bora Bora that make you feel famous like the Kardashians. The bad news is, it’s so hard to decide!
To help you get a better idea of the hotels in Bora Bora, it’s important to know that each of the big-name hotels is on its own motu (small islands) and you can only get to them by boat.
Depending on your budget here is a list of the popular resorts in Bora Bora:
⭐️ Tip: If these hotels are out of your budget, don’t worry, you can still stay in Bora Bora! The main island has cheaper accommodations and is still in a beautiful location.
In my opinion, Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora is the crème de la crème of hotels. Located on its own private island in Bora Bora, Four Seasons is a 5-star luxury hotel and the most expensive resort on this list.
Why Stay at Four Seasons Bora Bora: Their accommodations are spectacular. They offer luxurious overwater bungalows, some with a private plunge pool, and beachfront villas. You can also wake up to gorgeous panoramic views of Bora Bora’s Mount Otemanu from your overwater bungalow.
Their amenities include Spa, complimentary snorkel equipment, 4 onsite restaurants, an infinity pool, pool cabanas, a fitness center, tennis courts, kayaks, standup paddleboards, and volleyball courts.
✅ Book your stay at the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora here
If St Regis Bora Bora looks familiar, you may recognize the location from the hit movie Couples Retreat. This lavish hotel is where we chose to stay for our honeymoon.
It truly was one of the best experiences I have ever had. You get all of the luxuries that the Four Seasons offers, but at a more affordable price. If you want to learn more about our stay, I have written a full review and tips on staying at St Regis Bora Bora.
Why Stay at St Regis Bora Bora: St Regis’s overwater bungalows are the largest in the South Pacific and showcase views of Mount Otemanu and the beautiful lagoon. St Regis Bora Bora also has beachfront villas and offers suites up to three bedrooms.
Their amenities include: St Regis Bora Bora offers 4 onsite restaurants, one being Lagoon Restaurant by Jean-Georges, which serves a fusion of French and Asian cuisine. It is a very well-known and popular restaurant that people not staying at the resort come to for dinner.
There are two pools, a private lagoonarium for snorkeling, a spa, designated bicycles for each guest, and a fitness center. Also, you’ll find many water activities, such as kayaks, standup paddleboards, jet skiing, boating, and snorkeling.
Hot Tip: St Regis is associated with Marriot Hotels, so if you are a cardmember and have points saved, this is definitely your opportunity to use them and save a little cash.
✅ Book your stay at St Regis Bora Bora here
St. Regis vs. Four Seasons Bora Bora: Which One is Better?
If you are thinking about booking one of these resorts for your dream vacation, check out my post: St. Regis vs. Four Seasons Bora Bora: Which One is Better?
In this post, I break down the differences and similarities between St. Regis and Four Seasons Bora Bora.
Located on a private cove, the Conrad Bora Bora Nui also offers a lavish experience in Bora Bora! If you do want to live like a Kardashian, honestly I don’t blame you, this is the resort they stayed at in 2011.
Why Stay at Conrad Bora Bora Nui: The Conrad also offers newly renovated overwater villas and they are pretty incredible! You can book an overwater villa with an infinity pool, a floating overwater hammock, or if you are traveling with a group there is the presidential overwater villa.
It is a two-story overwater villa, with three terraces, and an infinity. They also have a variety of other suites and villas along the beach and in the gardens.
Their Amenities Include: Spa, fitness and yoga, infinity pool, snorkeling, kayaking, standup paddleboards, beach volleyball, tennis courts, golf and sports simulator, and bicycles.
✅ Book your stay at Conrad Bora Bora Nui here
Feel pampered at the Intercontinental 5 star luxury resort in Bora Bora. This luxe hotel is also on the list of top resorts to stay at in Bora Bora.
Why Stay at Intercontinental Bora Bora Resort: Wake up every morning on your private overwater villa with either a view of the crystal clear lagoon or Mount Otemanu. Or enjoy a swim in your private infinity pool overlooking the lagoon. Intercontinental Bora Bora is the only resort featuring all-over-water accommodations.
Their Amenities Include: a Turkish bath, outdoor pool, fitness center, tennis, three onsite restaurants, and two bars. Also, there are two very unique things about this hotel.
One is that Intercontinental Bora Bora is the only resort in the world to feature a glass-bottom overwater chapel, so if you are planning on getting married in Bora Bora this could be a unique perk for you.
The second thing is the spa at Intercontinental Resort, they were the first thalassotherapy spa in the south Pacific. Thalassotherapy is the use of seawater in wellness treatments, harnessing marine nutrients to promote healing of the skin.
✅ Book your stay at the Intercontinental Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa here
In Conclusion: Where to Stay in Bora bora
We went with St Regis Bora Bora for our stay. Mainly because of their large Overwater Villas and the breakfast and dinner package offered. I go into great detail on why we absolutely loved St Regis for our Bora Bora vacation.
When choosing a hotel for your Bora Bora itinerary, can be difficult, especially since they come at a high cost.
However, I am confident if you stick to one of these four main hotels you are guaranteed to have a fantastic time. You will be staying in luxury in an overwater villa and surrounded by beautiful turquoise waters.
Tips On Booking Your Stay In Bora Bora & How to Save Money
You truly can’t go wrong with any of these resorts, they all offer luxurious stays at 5-star resorts. Therefore, trying to pick the perfect one for your vacation can be difficult.
I would highly suggest when planning your Bora Bora itinerary choosing a resort with a meal package because it can be a huge money saver! You will learn quickly that everything in Bora Bora is very expensive. Always check the hotel’s packages before booking your hotel.
Spend that extra money you saved with a meal package on an epic Overwater Bungalow. You will 100% not regret the splurge! If you are traveling all the way to Bora Bora staying in an Overwater Bungalow is an absolute must.
The overwater villas in Bora Bora are truly unbelievable and make your stay feel extra special!
As I’m sure you know by now, Bora Bora is a high-ticketed destination. So finding ways to save some money here and there can definitely be beneficial.
Another way to spend less on your room is by staying longer. Let me explain: Some of these hotels will give you a discount on your room if you book for 5 nights or more. A lot of people do like to hotel hop during their stay in Bora Bora. However, if you do this, then you will miss out on the extra savings.
Plan Your Bora Bora Vacation During the Off-Season
To find the best prices for flights, book your dream vacation to Bora Bora between the months of December to March (not including New Year or Christmas). This is considered Bora Bora’s low season and rainy season. More about tips for traveling during the wet season (like what we did) are below.
Bora Bora Main Island
The main island is also an option for you to book your stay in Bora Bora. All of the big-name resorts are located on a motu (small islands) and you can only get to them by boat. The main island is where all of the locals live. It also offers Overwater Villas and other nice accommodations for a lower price.
If you stay on the main island, you are also closer to the grocery store and shopping, more immersed in the culture, and you are not limited to the restaurants at your resort. Both are great options, it just depends on your budget and what experience you are looking for.
How To Get To Bora Bora
Be prepared, no matter where you are located, you will have to first arrive at the capital city of Papeete at Faa’a International Airport Tahiti. Like most people, we had to stay the night in Tahiti. At some point in your travels, you will need to plan time in Tahiti into your Bora Bora itinerary. Find out things to do during your layover in Pape’ete, where to stay, and more.
Cities, where you can find a direct flight to the Island of Tahiti are Los Angeles, San Francisco, Hawaii, Seattle, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, France, and Chile.
Next stop BORA BORA!! The most common way of transportation would be to take a quick 50-minute flight with Air Tahiti. Once you arrive at Bora Bora’s airport, you will be on a small motu (island).
A boat shuttle can be arranged by your hotel (usually the luxury hotels) or by Bora Bora Navettes (arranged by Air Tahiti for those staying on the main island). The Bora Bora airport is very small, but efficient. At the airport, you can find a little café, a gift shop, and that’s about it.
You can find my post here for all of the details on How to Get to Bora Bora From SFO & Top Tips For Booking Your Flight.
Flying Air Tahiti
You will need to book Air Tahiti for your Bora Bora itinerary. Air Tahiti is the only domestic airline that flies to Bora Bora and the other pacific islands in French Polynesia. The seats are first come first serve. If you are one of the fortunate ones to board first, pick a seat on the left side of the plane. You will see a picturesque aerial view of Bora Bora as you descend into the airport.
Excursions In Bora Bora
My idea of excursions and activities in Bora Bora consisted of dips in the lagoon and cocktails at the beach. However, an excursion is a perfect excuse to get off the resort for the day. Adding an excursion to our Bora Bora itinerary turned out to be the highlight of our trip.
If you plan on doing any snorkeling at your hotel or on an excursion I highly recommend you bring your own snorkel gear. This is the mask and snorkel we brought with us and it worked perfectly. Also, leave the flippers at home and save space in your suitcase. The tour will provide them for you.
We decided to go with a full-day snorkel excursion booked with Lagoon Service Bora Bora. They pick you up and drop you off at your hotel. It included a snorkel of the coral reef with stingrays and reef sharks. After exploring the lagoon, we enjoyed a delicious traditional Tahitian lunch together on a remote island.
⭐️ Pro tip: Your hotel will most likely give you recommendations on excursions to book. However, if you have time I suggest booking your excursions on your own. For example, we booked the same tour that the hotel offered at about $100 less.
✅ Book the full day Lagoon Group Tour in Bora Bora with Lunch here
Whale Watching Tour
A must-try adventurous excursion in Bora Bora is a whale watching tour. The whale season is between July and to end of October, which we just missed. It is common to see female humpback whales with their calves.
If you get lucky, they will allow you to get out of the boat and snorkel next to the whales. I can’t imagine a more incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience.
✅ Book an epic Whale Watching Tour in Bora Bora here
Reef Discovery Tour
Looking for more marine life to explore? A popular and highly-rated excursion is the Reef Discovery Tour.
The tour will take you to the manta ray feeding ground, swim with moray eels, snorkel in the local coral gardens, and if time allows, you’ll also spend time looking for the Eagle Rays.
✅ Book your Reef Discovery Tour here
Eating In Bora Bora
We could not get enough of all of the fresh fruit, seafood, and baked goods that Bora Bora had to offer. I am now a huge fan of passion fruit! Tahitian cuisine is a mix of traditional Polynesian food, with a little bit of French influence, and a whole lot of excellence.
We found all of the Tahitian food to be delicious! A must-try traditional dish and one of our personal favorites is the Poisson Cru au lait de coco. Poisson Cru is similar to ceviche, but the raw fish is marinated with citrus and coconut milk.
If you are a seafood lover like us, you will be in heaven! There are so many unique and different types of fish in Bora Bora that are prepared in numerous ways.
How Expensive Is The Food In Bora Bora
It is important to budget food for your trip, especially if your hotel does not offer a breakfast or dinner package. Bora Bora imports most of its meat and vegetables, so it makes sense how meals can get a little pricey. To give you an example, at the resort a pizza pie cost $38 and a burger in the mid $ 20’s.
Know before you go: More pro tips to save extra money are to pack snacks from home to eat during the day, choose local dishes made with local ingredients, buy snacks at the local grocery store, and book a resort with a meal package.
Purchasing Alcohol In Bora Bora
Alcohol in Bora Bora is expensive! For instance, an average cocktail at the resort was $28 and a glass of red wine started at $18. So it is doable but definitely adds up quickly. If you want to enjoy some drinks lounging by the pool or beach during your vacation in Bora Bora, I suggest you pack your own alcohol from home.
We ended up buying wine and vodka from the duty-free at Tahiti’s airport, which was way more than what we would have paid in California. We found out later that duty-free and grocery stores do not sell alcohol on Sundays.
Also pro-tip, we brought our own yeti cups to keep our beverages nice and cold at the pool.
Traveling During Wet Season
While planning our trip I was a little nervous about booking during Bora Bora’s rain season, which is from November to April. Bora Bora’s dry season, and most popular months, are between May and October.
The first thing you need to know when traveling during Bora Bora’s wet season is that your weather app is useless. During this time of year, the weather is extremely unpredictable, it could rain for an hour or for the entire day.
Nobody knows except for mother nature herself. We did have one day that we were out on the boat and had to turn around because the storms got so bad. However, we overall felt like we had decent weather during our stay.
My best advice is for you to go with the flow (you can’t control the weather), plan your excursions earlier in the trip, and have backup activities for days that it rains (because it probably will). Also, the perks of booking during the wet season are fewer people, cheaper prices, and the weather is still in the ’70s to mid-’80s.
Should Main Island Be Included In Your Bora Bora Itinerary
My answer is, yes! You should absolutely visit the main island during your Bora Bora vacation! On the main island, you can shop for local goods, experience Tahitian culture, and you are supporting the locals by buying their products.
The main island is a 15-minute boat ride from the airport. The largest village on the island is Vaitape, which is a 30-minute bus trip from the port. There you can find local shops, restaurants, and bars. If you are staying at a luxury resort, they often offer a free shuttle to the main island.
Things To Do On Bora Bora’s Main Island
We spent the afternoon in Vaitape on one of our days in Bora Bora. It is a small village so it didn’t take long to explore. We enjoyed yummy acai with coconut shavings from Acai Bob and later grabbed a Hinano (a local beer) at Aloe Cafe with some appetizers.
After that, we enjoyed some shopping on the island. We bought some Tahitian pearls from Deep Sea Pearls, which had a wonderful selection. A saying we heard was “You don’t pick the pearl, but the pearl picks you.” Well, that’s exactly what happened and we ended up buying a beautiful single black pearl necklace.
The rare black pearls are found in the black-lipped oysters that are most commonly found in the South Sea ocean waters in French Polynesia. If you are interested in buying Tahitian pearls, you will find a better price for buying a necklace on the main island than at your resort.
Other Popular Attractions To Do On The Main Island
- Restaurant St. James: A waterside restaurant for lunch or dinner with spectacular views. A short walk from Vaitape village and has plenty of great reviews.
- Bloody Mary’s Restaurant: The popular restaurant was built out of jungle timber and bamboo, with open sides, a white sand floor, and stools made from coconut stumps. All of the makings for a cool and unique experience for lunch, dinner, or a cocktail. You will need transportation from the port or village.
- Do some off-roading and tour the island by ATV with a professional guide.
- Explore the island’s WWII history: The US military used Bora Bora as a supply base in 1941. To discover the site and leftover remnants, you can take a half day island 4WD tour guide tour.
What To Pack For Your Bora Bora Vacation
- Durable suitcase- I just purchased my first AWAY luggage and I am obsessed. There are so many amazing features, but my favorite is the interior compression system and durable hard shell exterior to help you pack more for your trip.
- Reef friendly sunscreen & aloe
- Bathing suit
- Water shoes These are the ones I have, they are lightweight and pack easily. Also super cheap!
- Snorkel gear (leave your flippers at home, excursions offer them). This is the one I bought for our trip. Doesn’t take up too much space in the suitcase and worked great.
- A unicorn float to relax in the lagoon- trust me, it’s so worth it! And then you can just leave the float at the hotel for more space in your bag coming home.
- Pack some rope to tie the float to your bungalow.
- Alcohol, pack your own from home or you will spend a fortune at duty-free and on the island.
- Rashguard– cute two piece rashguard set
- Rain jacket
- Outlet converter- this is the outlet converter I have and it’s the best! You can charge multiple electronics at once and it’s a worldwide adapter.
- Dresses/nice clothes for dinner
- Underwater camera/GoPro. If you do not have one, get a waterproof case for your phone. We also used the case in the hot springs in Italy- worked like a charm.
In Conclusion: Bora Bora Itinerary
Bora Bora is one of the most beautiful destinations we have ever visited. The jaw-dropping landscapes, romantic private bungalows, and unique water activities offer everything you could desire for an epic vacation.
I hope you have found this Bora Bora Itinerary and all of my tips useful in planning your dream trip to the pacific islands.